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The Best Film Schools Online

The Best Film Schools Online
Rank School Location
1 New York Film Academy New York, New York
2 Los Angeles Film School Hollywood, California
3 University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, Massachusetts
4 Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, Arizona
5 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, New Hampshire
6 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, Arizona
7 Abilene Christian University Abilene, Texas
8 Wilmington University New Castle, Delaware
9 Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida
10 Academy of Art University San Francisco, California

About this ranking:

Successful Student has ranked the best online Film Schools in the U.S.

This ranking is designed for online students to be informed of college and degree options for attending film school online.


There are many online film degree programs available to prospective students at online film schools. Attending school online can offer some unique advantages, including getting a bachelor's or master's degree faster, the flexibility to create their own curriculum, and learn at their own pace.

In online education, several schools stand out as premier high education institutions, offering comprehensive programs designed to create filmmakers and other experts in the field, including producers and screenwriters. Our research has found the best online film schools, their degrees offered, and what prospective students can expect in the programs. 

These schools are within accredited universities that offer online bachelor's and/or master's degrees in film and other degrees related to the film industry. The film industry generates over 45 billion in revenue, and is one of the largest industries in the world.

This ranking includes related degrees, such as:

  • Film Studies
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Screenwriting
  • Digital Media: Film Production

When choosing which film school to attend and what degree to pursue, online students have many great options.

Featured Online Schools:

Is Film School for you?

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The Best Online Film Schools

Ranking Methodology

This ranking was created using Successful Student's ranking algorithm. This algorithm uses the following data points to calculate a school's ranking placement:

  • Acceptance rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Cost of undergraduate tuition
  • Percentage of first time undergraduates awarded aid
  • Percentage of students who are fully online
  • Academic influence

New York Film Academy

New York, New York

New York Film Academy

The New York Film Academy offers a unique online program for aspiring filmmakers.  

The online Master of Arts in Entrepreneurial Producing and Innovation degree is a smart choice for students to learn how to become entrepreneurs as a producer for television shows and films, including independent films.

This program teaches students business, marketing, and creative principles. The program fits students who want to develop their own studios or production and media companies, or other entrepreneurial businesses in film.  

Courses include:

  • Producing Essentials
  • The Art of Pitching
  • Producing Alternative Media

Los Angeles Film School

Hollywood, California

Los Angeles Film School

Los Angeles Film School offers the Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking degree online. The program is 36 months, and students complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Online students learn how to create digital video and films.

Online courses include:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Introduction to Filmmaking
  • Screenwriting
  • Location Scouting
  • Producing
  • Directing

This online film degree teaches students the skills to be competent in today's film industry. Students will learn the art of digital cameras, visual effects, and digital production design in this respected and sought-after online film degree. Graduates can potentially become film and video editors among other careers in the film and television industry.


University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies online with a focus in film and media studies degree.

This film degree can be tailored, where students choose what online courses they're most interested in learning. Online courses include:

  • film and TV law
  • film theory
  • filmmaking
  • film criticism
  • media literacy
  • public relations
  • screenwriting
  • TV pilot script
  • visual storytelling
  • media representation of sex and race
  • news writing and reporting
  • media and education
  • social media
  • digital narrative production

This online bachelor's degree is a film studies program, and as such studies the film industry, and provides film analysis. It doesn't teach aspiring filmmakers the technical or vocational skills to create cinematic film arts. This online film school is more attuned to prospective students who want to learn film history or become a film critic.


Arizona State University-Tempe

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State university

Arizona State University offers the Bachelor of Arts in Film: Film and Media Studies degree online.

The BA in film and media studies teaches students how to analyze screenwriting, digital media, television, and film. Graduates can think and write stories critically concerning the intersection of culture with film and digital media.

Courses include:

  • First Year Composition
  • Social-Behavioral Sciences
  • Literacy and Critical Inquiry
  • Emerging Digital Media
  • Race and Gender in U.S. Media

Online students learn how these media, such as movies and television programs, are interpreted and how they shape and influence our culture.


Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers the Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing And English: Screenwriting online degree.

SNHU is a non-profit university, that offers fast track online bachelor's programs that can be completed in 18 months. SNHU also has the same tuition since 2012, which is one of the lowest in the nation for online degrees.


Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers the online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film: Screenwriting degree, and the online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film: Production degree.

The program offers two specializations: Screenwriting and Production. The Screenwriting specialization focuses on the art of storytelling and teaches students how to write compelling screenplays. The Production specialization focuses on the technical aspects of film production, such as cinematography, lighting, and sound.

Grand Canyon University is a leader in campus-based and online education, offering bachelor's through doctorates in a large variety of subjects. Their tuition has been the same for on-campus students since 2009.

Grand Canyon offers accelerated online programs that allows students to finish their bachelor's in a faster timeframe compared to traditional programs.


Abilene Christian University

Abilene, Texas

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian offers the online Bachelor of Science in Digital Media (Film Production) degree.


Wilmington University

New Castle, Delaware

Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers the online Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking degree.


Full Sail University

Winter Park, Florida

Full Sail University

Full Sail University offers the online Bachelor of Science in Digital Cinematography degree.


Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing for Film, Television and Digital Media online degree.

Based in San Francisco, the Academy of Art University offers a rich selection of online programs in filmmaking. Their School of Motion Pictures & Television offers an Online Award of Completion in Film and a variety of degrees including an AA, BFA, MA and MFA in Motion Pictures and Television. 

Online Film School: Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take film school online?

Yes. Many traditional, accredited universities and colleges in the United States offer film degrees completely online. These online programs include degrees in Film and related subjects, such as Digital Cinematography, Screenwriting, Film Studies, and Film Production. Some of these programs are available online as bachelor's and master's degrees.

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Where can I study filmmaking online?

Filmmakers may study filmmaking at a variety of colleges and universities in the United States. Here is our list of where film students can study filmmaking online: University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Abilene Christian University, Grand Canyon University, Southern New Hampshire University, Arizona State University, Full Sail University, Academy of Art University, Wilmington University.

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What is a digital filmmaking degree?

Digital Filmmaking degrees teach students how to use digital cameras and softwares to make digital broadcast media for film, television, mobile apps, commercials, documentaries, news, and other media.

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Regardless of the online film school you may choose, it’s important to determine how well the curriculum aligns with your career aspirations. Investigate the program's faculty, student success stories, and any relevant film industry connections and networks. The best online film school is likely the one that most adheres to your education goals, learning style, and career ambitions. 

Online film schools can offer relevant pathways for ambitious students looking to potentially enter the film industry. Whether it’s learning the art of storytelling and screenwriting, understanding cinematography, or developing film editing skills, these schools provide the tools, mentorship, and industry insights needed to flourish in the film industry. It's prudent to decide on a film school programs that coincides with your education and career ambitions.