The Ivy Coach Daily

March 15, 2023

Top 25 American Film Schools

An exterior shot of USC's film school.
One need not attend film school to work successfully in Hollywood (photo credit: Bobak Ha’Eri).

Originally Published on August 15, 2018:

Which universities in the United States offer the best education in film and television? The Hollywood Reporter is out with its 2022 annual ranking of film schools. While US News & World Report has cornered the market for overall college rankings, The Hollywood Reporter has been trying to claim a foothold in the space by targeting the more niche category of film schools over the last several years. So which schools topped the latest ranking?

The 2025 Best Film Schools in 2022

The 2022 Hollywood Reporter ranking of the best film schools is as follows:

  1. American Film Institute
  2. New York University
  3. University of Southern California
  4. Chapman University
  5. CalArts
  6. Emerson College
  7. Columbia University
  8. Loyola Marymount University
  9. University of California, Los Angeles
  10. University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  11. University of Texas at Austin
  12. Columbia College Chicago
  13. Wesleyan University
  14. Florida State University
  15. DePaul University
  16. Ithaca College
  17. Boston University
  18. Syracuse University
  19. ArtCenter College of Design
  20. The Savannah College of Art and Design
  21. Ringling College
  22. Rhode Island School of Design
  23. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College
  24. Howard University
  25. California State University, Northridge and Northwestern University (tie)

Is Going to Film School Necessary to Work in Hollywood?

Regular readers of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog know that we are not cheerleaders of film programs. And why? In short, you don’t need to major in film studies to build a successful career in Hollywood. You could be better served to major in another field entirely.

Major in anthropology, and you’ll have the expertise to create a show like Bones. Or major in history, and you’ll have an understanding of the British monarchy so you can make a show like The Crown.

Major in film, and you might realize that much of what you learned over four years can be grasped on a film or television series set in two weeks. Besides, will you go to Chapman University over Columbia University because Chapman ranks higher on this particular ranking? That would be nuts! What if you suddenly no longer want to study film?

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Top Film School Admission

Just because we at Ivy Coach don’t always recommend attending film school, it doesn’t mean we don’t frequently help students earn admission to top film programs if that is their wish.

Ivy Coach’s managing partner, Brian Taylor, is, after all, a Peabody Award-winning producer of television fare like Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird, which won an Emmy, received a Golden Globe nomination, and was named by the American Film Institute one of America’s greatest screen stories for its “contributions to America’s cultural legacy.”

So Ivy Coach knows a thing or two about top film schools. If you want our help navigating the film school admissions process, fill out our free consultation form, and we’ll respond.

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