Best Film Schools in Texas – Updated 2020 List

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Are you an aspiring actor, director, or filmmaker? If you’re looking for the best film schools in the state of Texas, you’ve come to the right place. 

As film schools are stocking up on the latest equipment and technology, it gets more and more overwhelming to choose the best one. 

To help you out, here’s a rundown of the best film schools in Texas. We hope this article provides all the right information to help you make your decision.     

Job Outlook in Texas After Film School

When you’re getting into any profession, you surely want to research its job outlook thoroughly. Let’s overview these prospects so you can have a clear idea. 

With a degree related to film production, there are many opportunities, but the job market is tough and saturated. The competition is fierce, with an increasing number of talented graduates entering the industry. 

In 2018 alone, there were more than 118, 630 directors and producers working around the country; an increase of five percent in job opportunities is expected by the next ten years.

In Texas, the minimum salary you can earn with a bachelor’s degree is approximately $33,051 and can go higher than $43,000. Annually, wages can go above $100,000 as well.

Texas has a rich history in film and television production. Motion Picture and Video Industries flourish better than Performing Arts companies in this state.

Overall, employment in this industry is the third highest in the state of Texas. So if you’re looking to step into it, your career prospective is bright. 

Quick Take - Top Film Schools in Texas

Before we dive into our review, here are the top film schools in Texas:

  1. Sam Houston State University 
  2. University of Houston 
  3. Austin Community College District 

List of the Top Film Schools in Texas

Now let’s get into the top film schools in Texas. From the address to the reasons we picked these schools, we will try to convey as much relevant and useful information as possible. So let’s get started. 

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $4,268.00 (for 12 semester hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 4-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts 
  • Number of students: 20,477
  • Student:Teacher ratio: 25:1

Our Review of the Program

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and TV production program is one where you could learn everything – from writing a movie to directing, shooting, producing, and editing it. This program is curated to equip you with all you need to know when it comes to film production. The skills you acquire here are indispensable in the movie industry.

With a student: faculty ratio of 25:1, each student gets individual attention and takes hands-on courses to make the best of the course. With this degree, you could either go down the directing and producing path, or work in news reporting and news videography as well. 

A great incentive to want to study here is that the university holds an annual trip to the Cannes Film Festival so that all students get the opportunity to intern, interact, and network with people leading this industry. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance you wouldn’t want to miss!

Sam Houston State University accepts transfer students from other colleges and institutions as well. So it’s never too late to come here. A campus visit can be arranged to help you make your decision; with the COVID-19 situation, they are offering virtual tours as well. Be sure to check their website for full details.

Best Film School in Houston, Texas:
University of Houston

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $8253
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 4-year, Bachelor of Arts
  • Number of students: 45,364
  • Student:Teacher ratio : 22:1

Our Review of the Program

A Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies (concentrated in Film and Media studies) at the University of Houston can take you places. This program is about analyzing and studying the film industry and learning to interpret the political, social, and aesthetic basis of films.

Courses for this program include the History of Cinema, Media Effects, The Social Impact of New Information Technology, etc. Such courses focus on studying directors in-depth and the thought process and themes that hide behind the films. They cover the aspect of the impact of media on society, so students develop a strong background for when they go into management or consultation in this field.

This program will help you appreciate films much more deeply so you can become well-informed viewers and soon directors of such films. Many alumni have praised the university for the opportunities it provided them with. It helped them network in the industry and provided thorough insights into what they wanted to learn.

The University of Houston is the third-largest university in Texas and has quite a diverse and welcoming atmosphere. They accept students of all nationalities, races, and ages, with no discrimination, so you can feel safe at the campus.

Best Film School in Austin, Texas:
Austin Community College District

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $5,295 (for 15 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 2-year, Associate of Arts
  • Number of students: 60,100
  • Student:Teacher ratio: 21:1

Our Review of the Program

The Associate of Arts program at Austin Community College emphasizes on creative digital production and media studies. Courses here include Film History, Introduction to Cinema, Radio Television Film, etc.

This program’s duration is two years, after which students must complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree. Hence, at this community college, you form a foundation or familiarize yourself with the basic knowledge before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. You will always be two steps ahead of your fellow batch mates.

The college also aids students in securing internships in order to gain hands-on experience in the industry. They also offer an internship class where the supervisor helps give out recommendation letters and submit weekly progress reports throughout the course.

Austin Community College helps you take transfers to multiple universities, including Angelo State University, Baylor University, Lamar University, Rice University, etc. This strengthens your skillset and helps gain experience from multiple forums. 

Best Film School in San Antonio, Texas:
Northwest Vista College

PROS

  • Average tuition cost: $3220 (for 15 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: Two-year, Associate of Applied Science 
  • Number of students: 16,067
  • Student:Teacher ratio: 39:1

Our Review of the Program

An Associate of Applied Science in Digital Video & Cinema Production program trains students for careers in the video and film industry. Some of the job roles that graduates pursue after completing this degree include producers, directors, production managers, video editors, compositors, sound editors, cinematographers, camera operators, and screenwriters.

Here at Northwest Vista College, students are equipped with state-of-the-art software, apparatus, and all the latest technology commonly used in the industry. In the first semester, the college trains their students to shoot, produce, and edit videos or cinema projects as proficiently as possible.

Some of the courses include Digital Sound, Digital Video, Screenwriting for Features, Shorts and Documentaries, Advanced Digital Video, Production Management, Video Graphics, and Visual Effects, Cinematography, Directing for Film or Video, etc.

The program focuses on three main areas: pre-production, production, as well as post-production. The college has hired industry professionals for their faculty since they have years of experience with feature films as well as national commercial production.

This degree in Digital Video & Cinema Production provides theoretical learning as well as hands-on skill training that is a requirement in most entry-level jobs in different areas of film production. Luckily, these are skills that also aid in transferring to a university in order to pursue a Baccalaureate of Applied Sciences degree. 

Best Film School in Dallas, TX:
Southern Methodist University

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $58, 540 (122 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 4-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts 
  • Number of students: 11,739
  • Student:Teacher ratio: 11:1

Our Review of the Program

The four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film and Media Arts is an artistic and creative program. Admissions are highly competitive, and the class space is limited. At the end of the program, each student is required to submit an individual thesis film or media project or a collaborative project.

Some of the courses here include Production, Screenwriting, Film Acting, Convergent Media, Cinematography, Film Directing, Postproduction Visual FX, and more. Each course gives students the opportunity to work with the latest equipment and trains them in video editing labs, production classrooms, audio mixing suites, etc. 

Every two years, the university holds the Summer Film Production Program, where students and graduates are encouraged to create a feature-length film. They plan everything from writing a script and executing it by filming it, editing the video and sound, and then sending their projects to film festivals. This gives students the opportunity to build networks and polish their skills.

The university offers financial aid depending upon your needs. You could qualify for an academic scholarship or need-based aid and receive grants, loans, or scholarships, so don’t let the tuition fee haunt you.   

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $1270.50 (15 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 2-year, Associate of Applied Science
  • Number of students: 69,293
  • Student:Teacher ratio : 23:1

Our Review of the Program

The Art and Design department at Houston Community Colleges offers various certificate programs and the Associate of Applied Science in Film and Video Production and Special Effects. The certificate programs are divided into Certificate Level I and II.

Certificate Level I consists of three semesters, while Certificate Level II and the Associate of Applied Science are divided into four semesters over two years. Some of the courses taught include Video Graphics, Visual Effects, Film, and Video Editing, Lighting for film or video, TV Production, Animation Production, Cinematography, Behavioral Sciences, and Math, etc.

The college has recently introduced a capstone course that gives students the chance to use their knowledge from the given courses to get meaningful information on professionalism.

Many graduates have posted their success stories, and needless to say, they have all benefited greatly. Their experiences helped them massively in the industry and aided them in networking and building skills necessary in the “real world.”

The college also offers financial aid and scholarships. You can even use this opportunity to buy books, along with paying for your tuition fee.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $10, 920 (60 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 2-year, Associate of Applied Science
  • Number of students: 11,919
  • Student:Teacher ratio: 13:1

Our Review of the Program

The Associate of Applied Science in Digital Media Design Technology program is the right fit for you if you are passionate about art, media, and technology. This program teaches you all the techniques in graphic design and editing, multimedia, videography, and photography. By the end of the degree, you’ll have mastered the Adobe Creative Suite to create your designs.

The skills the program equips you with will help you pursue a career in marketing, television, print, and more. Some of the courses taught here include Design Communication, Typography, Digital Imaging, Digital Video, Digital Publishing, Interface Design, and Web Design. These courses focus on camera operation, image production, and composition, digital image processing, etc.

As a graduate, you will be able to pursue your career as an art director, graphic designer, multimedia artist, animator, photographer, film and video editor, and desktop publisher. The opportunities are endless.

Texas State Technical College is known for its work ethic and qualified professional faculty. Every equipment a student uses for this program is state-of-the-art so that everyone gets the professional experience they need in the industry.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $48, 326 (for the entirety)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 2-year, Bachelor of Arts 
  • Number of students: 4600
  • Student:Teacher ratio: 15:1

Our Review of the Program

A major in Photography and Media Arts will take you from creating images to deciphering the meanings behind them and what they mean in our highly visual culture.

This program is all about learning the old school, traditional film-based photography methods in a wet darkroom. Once you have the basics mastered, you then move on to digital imaging. You won’t only be an expert in digital photography but also well-versed in black-and-white and color photography, stills, and video.

The program trains its students to work in a professional studio with hands-on training in the best lab rooms and studios. Elective courses like documentary photography and photographic book design will further students’ knowledge. The courses teach you the history of photography, its uses, and how photography has changed over time; therefore, you can help shape photography’s future as you view it.

Through this degree, you can pursue a variety of different careers from being a Fashion designer and Project Runway judge to managing art galleries. An owner and founder of New York City-based retouching studio, an Associate producer at VICE Media, and an Art gallery manager at Texas Christian University are all graduates of this institute. These are just a few examples; the world is your pickle, and this degree will help you unleash your creative side.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $33,450 (58 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 2-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Number of students: 3741
  • Student: Teacher ratio: 12:1

Our Review of the Program

The Houston Baptist University offers a Cinema and New Media Arts (CNMA) program, which further offers three different degrees (amongst which Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Media and Digital Design is one). The program provides a creative yet challenging environment for students to unleash and polish their artistic abilities and prepare for future work in multimedia production.

The program offers students abundant opportunities for practical, hands-on experience along with expert mentorship under experienced faculty members. The courses are designed to prepare students for filmmaking, video games, digital design, and emerging opportunities in new media and technology.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Media and Digital Design is a combination of specialized digital courses and traditional studio art courses. Some of these courses include Art of Storytelling, Digital Design & Portfolio, Advanced Digital Design, Principles of Interactive Media, Visual Effects & Animation, Color Theory, The World of Business, Media Law & Ethics, and an Internship.

Graduates have praised the university for how much the practical training and theoretical knowledge helped them in the industry and in building their careers. Most film programs focus on work in the Hollywood studio system, but at the Houston Baptist University, the need for talented multimedia artists is fully recognized, and students are exposed to plenty of potential careers and given the required training for the trajectory of their choice.

School Info

  • Average tuition cost: $96, 300 (180 credit hours)
  • Number of years for degree, type of degree: 4-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Number of students: 2545
  • Student: Teacher ratio: 16:1

Our Review of the Program

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program is curated for students with a creative mind in visual storytelling and those who want to master the art of video production.

This program gives students the opportunity to learn how to create captivating television programming, use digital production tools, and receive a comprehensive education in the skills to reach any audience with video.

This institute promises to give their students theoretical and experimental experience. By practicing production, scriptwriting, and distribution, graduates will have gained enough expertise to enter careers in cable TV, broadcasting, educational videos, etc.

They will also learn about the growing field of video for interactive media—streaming media and webcasting on the internet, DVD, and soon, the new generation of video cell phone technology.

The institute provides students with well-equipped studios and computer labs. There is a wide range of software to learn from highly qualified and dedicated faculty, many of whom have extensive industry experience.

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program have multiple opportunities in the field. They are trained to work as a Broadcast Producer, Cinematographer, Electronic News Gathering Camera Operator, Electronic News Gathering Editor, Film Editor, Film Maker, Independent Video Producer, and Motion Picture Camera Operator; the opportunities in this field are endless. 

Best Film Schools in Texas Comparison Table

Here is a summary of all the institutes we have listed in the article. The tuition cost and list of programs and other important information on the best film schools in Texas have been mentioned here for ease.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 4-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • $4,268.00
  • Number of students: 20,477
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 4-year, Bachelor of Arts
  • $8253
  • Number of students: 45,364
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 2-year, Associate of Arts
  • $5,295 (for 15 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 60,100
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • Two-year, Associate of Applied Science
  • $3220 (for 15 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 16,067
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 4-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • $58, 540 (122 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 11,739
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 2-year, Associate of Applied Science
  • $1270.50 (15 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 69,293
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 2-year, Associate of Applied Science
  • $10, 920 (60 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 11,919
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 2-year, Bachelor of Arts
  • $48, 326 (for the entirety)
  • Number of students: 4600
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 2-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • $33,450 (58 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 3741
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews
  • 4-year, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • $96, 300 (180 credit hours)
  • Number of students: 2545
LEARN MORE →Read Customer Reviews

Conclusion

We tried to do our best to elaborate on Texas’ best film schools. Hopefully, we were able to round up enough information that is helpful. This field has a tough job market, and finding the right school can be quite a decision. With any luck, this article has guided you in making your choice rightfully.

Other Film School Reviews 

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

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