Best Film Schools in Florida – 2020 Round-up

The Sunshine State of Florida has always been a preferred location for the TV and film industry. 

Film Florida, who represents the Florida film industry, is pushing for a new incentive program to lure commercial TV shows and big-budget movies. Things are going well for Florida this year. 

In this article, we have rounded up the best film schools in Florida. If you are a Floridian who is dreaming of a career in the film industry, now is the time to take action. Since the residents are supporting the film movement, the industry will be flourishing in no time. You can read a detailed account of the film programs offered by each school below to find out a suitable one for yourself. 

Job Outlook in Florida After Film School

The film industry in Florida is vast and varied. There are more opportunities for filmmakers now than ever before. Why? Just take a look around yourself. How many screens are there in your vicinity? They are the answer to your question. 

Screens are the future. They are responsible for displaying content that filmmakers spend hours and days on creating. And to fulfill the demands of projection, entertainment, and interaction, you need filmmakers. 

Florida ranks high in states that are actively granting film-related degrees and diplomas. Once the aspirants finish school, they can start working immediately for the industry. You can be hired as a producer, writer, director, camera operator, sound recordist, craft service, lighting technician, or accountant. 

You can also start your own production house, become an event filmmaker, work as a freelancer, specializing in a niche or field and work on that, or make web-based promotional videos for different organizations. 

These are just a few options out of the numerous jobs available in the field. It is expanding uncontrollably, so more and more jobs are created every day. If you are a Florida resident who wants to embark on a career in the filming industry, now is the ideal time to enroll yourself in a good film school

Quick Take - Best Film Schools in Florida

Before we dive into our review, here are the best film schools in Florida:

  1. Florida State University
  2. University of Central Florida
  3. The University of Tampa

List of the Best Film Schools in Florida

Film is a career field that many aspire for. The new generation of Floridians is especially inclined towards it. That’s why numerous schools and universities around Florida are offering various comprehensive film programs to educate and train them for it. Here is a detailed account of some of the best film schools located in the state. 

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $5,656 per year
  • Number of years, type of degree: 4-years, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Production, 2-years, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Production, 4-years, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation and Digital Arts and 2-years, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing
  • Number of students: 215
  • Student Teacher ratio: 5:1

Our Review of the Program

No institute can beat Florida State University in film major. It is a very large public school situated in the medium-sized city of Tallahassee. It prides itself on its exceptionally low student-teacher ratio. The students passing from its College of Motion Picture Arts earn significantly higher than other students with the same degree.

It offers four film major programs. These include a BFA in Production, a BFA in Animation and Digital Arts, an MFA in Production, and an MFA in Writing.

The production programs focus on training students with hands-on production opportunities. Students are allowed to interact with visiting filmmakers. The degrees are awarded after the development of a thesis film.

The students of BFA in Animation and Digital Arts learn about visual effects, green screen or computer animation, and motion capture technology. It is conducted at the satellite campus at West Palm Beach.

MFA in Writing is all about developing screenwriting skills. The students of this program are given a choice to spend a semester in London, England, to further polish their craft.

It houses state-of-the-art facilities that comprise sound stages, mixing theater, post-production studio, and a visual effects lab.

Best Film School in Orlando, Florida:
University of Central Florida

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $6,379 per year
  • Number of years, type of degree: 4-years, BFA Arts Film and 3-years, MFA in Feature Film Production 
  • Number of students: 66,183
  • Student Teacher ratio: 30:1

Our Review of the Program

The University of Central Florida is a huge educational institution located in the suburban area of Orlando, Florida. It is an emerging preeminent research university. It is regarded as one of the best colleges for impact, quality, value, and access. It is a good choice for individuals who are seeking to establish a secure career path in the film industry.

This school offers multiple film programs of both bachelor and master levels. The BFA film program is all about the process of film production. Students studying in this program are required to complete a short film or a screenplay in their senior year.

The MFA program focuses on film production. Students learn all about the process and receive hands-on training throughout the program. At completion, they produce and market a low-budget film in order to receive their degree.

The resources and facilities provided include telecine equipment, editing suites, production space, a color-correction suite, Adobe, and Final Cut Pro software, and lighting grids.

Best Film School in Tampa, Florida:
The University of Tampa

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $27,206
  • Number of years, type of degree: 78 credit hours, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts.
  • Number of students: 8,310
  • Student Teacher ratio: 17:1

Our Review of the Program

The University of Tampa is considered one of the best film schools in the entire US. It is a private-not-for-profit institute with a medium student population. Located in the scenic city of Tampa, it offers a premium educational experience.

The film program offered here is a BFA in Film and Media Arts. It centers around providing a hands-on approach to film production regarding documentaries, experimental films, and narratives. It also includes cinema studies, screenwriting, and art history. They train their students with real-life experience of working in film production by letting them participate in different internships at various production companies.

The curriculum is designed to address the demands of the current filming trend. Both in technique and expression, the coursework will prepare you to enter the workforce as an entry-level employee.

The facilities provided by this school include state-of-the-art motion cameras and numerous post-production facilities. These include a TV control room, surround-sound screening room, video and film production lab, stunning editing software, a studio for three-camera TV production, etc.

Best Film School in Jacksonville, FL:
Jacksonville University

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $35,260
  • Number of years, type of degree: 4 years, Bachelor of Arts Film
  • Number of students: 4,222
  • Student Teacher ratio: 11:1

Our Review of the Program

Jacksonville University is a small private institution situated in a large city. The huge campus is set in the suburbs and is equipped with all the latest facilities to provide their students with a realistic training atmosphere.

It offers only one Bachelor of Arts Film program and is very thorough about it. It teaches the students how to create independent motion pictures. They are provided a hands-on experience that rigorously trains them in the production protocol. Each student is taught with a focus on his/her individual skills so that each of them can connect with their audience intellectually and emotionally in a unique way.

The curriculum is designed to assist individuals who want to seriously pursue a career in visual arts. It teaches them about all the ins and outs of a moving picture. From arts and crafts to aesthetic and technological, the coursework covers everything

The students of this program can opt for an entry-level job after completion, or they can also continue towards graduate studies.

Best Film School in Miami, FL:
Miami Dade College

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $2,838
  • Number of years, type of degree: 4 years, Associate of Science in Film, Television, and Digital Production
  • Number of students: 90,085
  • Student Teacher ratio: 19:1

Our Review of the Program

Miami Dade College is one of the oldest and finest educational institutions in Miami, Florida. It is a public school that has eight campuses and twenty-one outreach centers. It is the biggest college in the Florida College System and ranks second on the list of the largest educational institutions in the US.

The associate degree in film offered by this school requires a total of 64 credits. Coursework includes screenwriting, video composition, several levels of film production, business, and editing. An internship is also compulsory for the completion of the degree.

The students are provided hands-on experience and skills to enter the workforce with full confidence. They are completely trained in ethics and research, broadcast design, DVD authoring, sound design, digital cinematography, film production, fiction scriptwriting, and TV studio production. They have full access to video editing facilities and field audio recording equipment as well.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $2,474
  • Number of years, type of degree: 2 years, Associate of Science in Film, Technology, and Production
  • Number of students: 43,217
  • Student Teacher ratio: 25:1

Our Review of the Program

Valencia College is a public institute located in Orlando, Florida. It was established a while back as a junior college, but it later became Valencia Community College that now educates individuals who are serious about building their careers.

The Film, Technology, and Production associate degree awarded at this school is a 4-year bachelor program. Majors can straightaway apply for entry-level job positions or transfer to a bachelor's degree after completing this program. Film aspirants are put through rigorous hands-on training to prepare them for real experiences.

The curriculum places a huge emphasis on the development of production-related skills. These include camera, grip, editing, electrical, cinematography, light, sound, camera technique, and set construction. The program is designed to nurture fundamental technical skills for better employment opportunities.

This school also offers a 24-credit technical certificate in film production fundamentals that includes an internship. In fact, Valencia’s Film Production program has also been acknowledged by famous director Steven Speilberg as one of the best US film schools.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $2,830
  • Number of years, type of degree: 2 years, Associate Science Degree in Film Production Technology
  • Number of students: 67,000
  • Student Teacher ratio: 25:1

Our Review of the Program

Broward College is a public educational institution that is situated in Fort-Lauderdale, Florida. It is a part of the Florida College System and strives to provide quality education at an affordable cost.

The film program offered here is an associate degree in Film Production Technology. It is designed to provide students with hands-on instruction in the fundamentals of Filmmaking and Video Production. So the students enrolling in this program will not only be taught theoretically, but they will be making films.

The curriculum revolves around the three fundamental stages of filming pre-production, production, and post-production. The comprehensive teaching of all three will open gates for the many job opportunities in the film world.

Coursework includes general studies, digital media courses, video editing, an internship, 3D animation, and portfolio development. Once the program is complete, you can venture into the high-intensity field of video making. You can work on movies, web videos, event videography, music videos, corporate videos, commercials, and many more.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $2,682
  • Number of years, type of degree: 1-year, Digital Media Video Production Certificate
  • Number of students: 29,183
  • Student Teacher ratio: 21:1

Our Review of the Program

St. Petersburg College is Florida’s first-ever two-year college. It is a regionally accredited and nationally recognized institute. It was the first community college that started awarding bachelor degrees in Florida. The institute lies within the jurisdiction of Pinellas County, Florida. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar and ranks 63rd on the best colleges in regional colleges south.

The setting is urban, and the campus is huge and welcoming. The atmosphere is friendly, and the faculty is very helpful and accommodating to their students’ needs.

SPC offers a Digital Media Video Production Certificate as a part of its Digital Media Technology Associate in Science Degree. It prepares the students for developing complex digital videotape presentations that can be viewed on or off-air. They further provide them with hands-on training in various aspects of digital videography. These usually comprise of scripting, program editing, and producing, professional video cameras operation, lighting, and off and online editing.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $2,444
  • Number of years, type of degree: 2-years, Associate of Arts Degree in Motion Picture and 2-years, Associate of Science Degree Motion Picture Production Technology – Digital Animation
  • Number of students: 49,000
  • Student Teacher ratio: 48:1

Our Review of the Program

Palm Beach State College is a part of the Florida College System. It is located in Lake Worth, Florida. This is a public institute with a big student population. It offers a complete educational, cultural, and social experience.

It offers two associate degrees in film production. Both are comprehensive programs that full-time students can easily complete in two years and part-time students in three years.

The associate of arts program is designed to facilitate students who want to continue further studies by enrolling in a public university or state college for a bachelor's degree. In the meantime, they are eligible for a job as a director, producer, multimedia planner, screenwriter, broadcast engineer, and animator.

The associate of science coursework focuses on production areas like lighting and grip, production design, sound and motion picture, cinematography, screenwriting, and editing basics. Students are also required to complete an internship.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $24,109
  • Number of years, type of degree: 29 months, Digital Cinematography Bachelor of Science, 20 months, Film Bachelor of Science, 1-year, Film Production Master of Fine Arts, 20 months, Computer Animation Bachelor of Science, 20 months, Creative Writing Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1-year, Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts and 20 month, Show Production Bachelor of Science
  • Number of students: 15,500
  • Student Teacher ratio: 22:1

Our Review of the Program

Full Sail University is a private for-profit educational institute in Winter Park, Florida. It is a nationally accredited school that awards numerous associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in design, business, computer animation, and audio.

The school operates on a well-well thought philosophy of Full Sail Real World Education. The programs are designed to train students by exposing them to the most comprehensive challenges they will face over the course of their careers.

Of all the film programs we have reviewed so far, Full Sail University offers the vastest and varied one. There are seven different degree programs to choose from; all centered on a specific aspect of filmmaking. Some of the programs are available online as well.

Formerly a recording studio, the school is equipped with the best tools to practice your craft on. It has recording studios, art and design studios, a Dolby Digital-Certified Print Master facility, editing facilities, and a motion capture studio. The school is way ahead of many other media and art schools for its superior quality and industry-standard tools and equipment, which students use regularly.

Another factor worth mentioning is that here, you can afford to fail a class and retake it without needing to pay again as long as you graduate within the maximum time frame of the degree program you are enrolled in. The school runs an accelerated program throughout its curriculum so you can earn a bachelor’s degree in a little over two years. The same degree will be awarded after four years at a traditionally-paced school.

Best Film Schools in Florida Comparison Table

When it comes to filming schools, Florida ranks third in the number of diplomas granted each year in this field. There are more than 30 schools here which train students in film production and other related fields. With so many options, finding the right fit for yourself can be tough. Here is a chart providing you the details about the best filming schools in Florida right now. 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 4-years, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Production, 2-years, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Production, 4-years, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation and Digital Arts, 2-years, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing
  • $5,656 per year
  • Number of students: 215
LEARN MORE →
  • 4-years, BFA Arts Film, 3-years, MFA in Feature Film Production
  • $6,379 per year
  • Number of students: 66,183
LEARN MORE →
  • 78 credit hours, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts.
  • $27,206
  • Number of students: 8,310
LEARN MORE →
  • 4 years, Bachelor of Arts Film
  • $35,260
  • Number of students: 4,222
LEARN MORE →
  • 4 years, Associate of Science in Film, Television, and Digital Production
  • $2,838
  • Number of students: 90,085
LEARN MORE →
  • 2 years, Associate of Science in Film, Technology, and Production
  • $2,474
  • Number of students: 43,217
LEARN MORE →
  • 2 years, Associate Science Degree in Film Production Technology
  • $2,830
  • Number of students: 67,000
LEARN MORE →
  • 1-year, Digital Media Video Production Certificate
  • $2,682
  • Number of students: 29,183
LEARN MORE →
  • 2-years, Associate of Arts Degree in Motion Picture, 2-years, Associate of Science Degree Motion Picture Production Technology – Digital Animation
  • $2,444
  • Number of students: 49,000
LEARN MORE →
  • 29 months, Digital Cinematography Bachelor of Science, 20 months, Film Bachelor of Science, 1-year, Film Production Master of Fine Arts, 20 months, Computer Animation Bachelor of Science, 20 months, Creative Writing Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1-year, Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts, 20 month, Show Production Bachelor of Science
  • $24,109
  • Number of students: 15,500
LEARN MORE →

Conclusion

Florida has always been a welcoming destination for filming. From silent movies to monster pop-culture productions, it has seen it all. There are a number of schools in Florida that are trying to bridge the gap between talented students and the film industry. 

Filming is a popular major, and Florida ranks 3rd for the number of students studying it. We have carefully evaluated almost all the schools offering a film program and compiled the above list of the schools that have the best programs. They are accredited, provide quality education, and maintain a constant focus on the major. 

You can enroll in any of the schools mentioned above and rest assured that you will be ready for an entry-level job after the completion of the program. With support from Hillsborough County, the industry is trying to stand on its feet again. This has also opened the gates of employment for all aspirants. 

People Also Ask

Filming is an adventurous and fun career pathway. Unfortunately, it is also a career that most people are uncertain about. So you are likely to receive conflicting advice about it that can confuse even the most confident of aspirants. We have addressed most of the issues regarding film schools in Florida, but here are some frequently asked questions for further clarification. 

Is FSU a Good Film School?

The Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts is ranked at number 13 in the list of best film schools in the US. It ranks on number four amongst public universities. It ranks higher because of its emphasis on experiential learning. You can judge how good it is by the growing number of its successful alumni. 

Does UF Have a Film Program?

The University of Florida or UF is a top-ranked public research university based in Gainesville, Florida. It is known for its majors in engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, social sciences, business, and management, etc. It offers two from programs, a major, and a doctorate. 

Does UCF Have A Film School?

UCF stands for the University of Central Florida. It is a public research university situated in Orange County in Florida. It is a research, academic, and partnership leader in a number of fields. These include business, optics and simulation, hospital management, video games, etc. It also has a film school that offers a limited access bachelor program in film.

Other Film School Reviews 

Looking for film schools in other areas? Here are a few other reviews: