If you are interested in earning an online bachelor's in film, use this page to learn more about opportunities available to you. Here, you can review the best film programs of 2020, common courses, admission requirements, potential career paths, and other valuable information related to a bachelor's degree in film.

What Are the Best Film Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 3:

Rank School Location
1 Arizona State University - Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
2 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
3 The University of Montana Missoula, MT

A film degree can yield lucrative career opportunities. Many graduates choose to pursue careers as producers and directors. These professionals experience annual median salaries of $71,680 and enjoy a projected job outlook of 5%. New York boasts the highest employment levels for producers and directors, and it represents the highest-paying state for the occupation.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Film Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Arizona State University - Skysong

Scottsdale, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Ranked among the most innovative colleges in the country, ASU offers a fully online bachelor's in film and media studies that emphasizes critical and analytical perspectives on film, television, and other media. This unique program also explores the social, cultural, and economic factors that affect contemporary media.

The 120-credit degree includes 45 upper division credits. Typical courses for film majors include introduction to new media, film history, television and cultural studies, and race and gender in American film.

Film majors can pursue careers in a variety of fields, including media and entertainment, marketing, education, and creative management. Over 90% of recent ASU undergraduates report either being employed or receiving at least one job offer within 90 days of graduation. Nearly 20% of students also report being accepted into a graduate program.

Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies
School Status: Public
Tuition: $5,459/semester in-state; $6,464/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years


Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT


Phone: (866) 277-6589
Email: asuonline@asu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter


Pennsylvania State University - World Campus

University Park, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

Penn State's World Campus offers a fully online bachelor of arts in digital journalism and media, which explores the intersection of journalism, digital media, and web-based communication. Students receive an overview of general journalism practices along with new media techniques, such as multimedia storytelling and digital production.

Degree candidates complete a minimum of 34 major credits, including 22 credits of required courses and 12 credits of electives. Required courses cover foundational topics in media ethics, mass communications, and principles of multimedia journalism. Students also complete two courses focused on news/media writing and mass media/telecommunications.

Elective courses give students the chance to specialize their degree based on professional interests. For instance, candidates interested in new media journalism can complete courses in telecommunications management, digital media metrics, strategic communications law, and internet law and policy.

Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media
School Status: Public
Tuition: $576/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years


Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous


Phone: (800) 252-3592
Email: wdadmissions@outreach.psu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter


The University of Montana

Missoula, MT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Based in Missoula, UM offers a bachelor of arts in media arts available fully online. This interdisciplinary program explores varied approaches to established and emerging media, including film, animation, sound, and interactive web technologies.

Media arts students complete 45 credits of major courses that cover topics in film editing, creative coding, sound design, interactive games, and film and media studies. Broadly, the program examines both the creation and analysis of various forms of media and their role in culture.

UM offers an assortment of resources for online learners, including career counseling, library services, undergraduate advising, and veteran services. Students can also receive live writing tutoring through UM's online platform, which enables participants to share documents with experienced peer tutors.

Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts
School Status: Public
Tuition: $7,242/year in-state; $24,958/year out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years


Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT


Phone: (406) 243-2764
Email: robert.weibush@mso.umt.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Bachelor's in Film Program Overview

While specific requirements differ depending on the school, degree-seekers typically explore similar courses, including those centering on digital imaging, film production, audio recording and sound design, and film genres. Curriculum structures include core coursework, film studies courses, elective options, and seminars.

Assignments often allow learners to work directly with hardware and software used in the film industry. Students may participate in video shoots so they can connect course concepts to film and video production. Internship opportunities also provide degree-seekers with valuable, in-the-field experience to prepare them for their respective film careers after graduation.

Common Bachelor's in Film Degree Courses

Lighting for Motion Pictures

Degree-seekers learn about the technical skills and aesthetic conventions involved with motion picture lighting. They learn how to use the equipment and techniques for on-location and in-studio production settings, specifically exploring how to achieve professional quality video images.

Film Analysis and Criticism

Taking a humanities-based approach to cinema, this course allows learners to focus on elements of camera operation, sound, narrative and editing. During their assignments, students focus on the approaches to film theory and criticism within international and historical contexts, understanding how to analyze films and produce quality critiques.


Students explore concepts of technical and artistic operation of cameras and other video equipment used in motion picture production. Course topics focus on file formats, application of post-production techniques, composition, camera movement, and exposure.

Modes of Video Production

During this course, students consider digital video production modes used across documentaries, web videos, personal narratives, and fiction. Learners work hands-on with common hardware and software while participating in video shoots.

Online Bachelor's in Film Admission Requirements

  • Official Transcripts

    Before learners can pursue a bachelor's degree, they must hold a high school diploma or complete their GED. During the admissions process, applicants must provide their official transcripts, detailing the coursework they completed during their high school education.

  • Minimum GPA

    Although not all colleges and universities require bachelor's students to meet a minimum GPA requirement, many prefer to admit students who hold a specific GPA, usually between 2.5 and 3.0.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Some higher learning institutions require applicants to provide letters of recommendation with their admissions application. Admissions departments will outline how many letters are required, generally requesting 1-3 letters written by professional or educational references.

  • ACT or SAT Scores

    Bachelor's degree applicants must provide their SAT or ACT test scores along with their admissions application and high school transcripts. Institutions may provide a minimum score requirement for admission, but some may not require these scores at all.

  • Admissions Essay

    Applicants may need to submit an essay or a statement of purpose with their admission materials. These essays allow students to describe how earning a degree from the institution will help them accomplish their educational and professional goals.

Online Bachelor's in Film Career Paths

Students who pursue an online bachelor's in film can consider a variety of career paths. Graduates can pursue careers as film and video editors, marketing managers, video producers, and creative directors. Professionals interested in entry-level roles, before embarking on a more specialized career path, may work as administrative assistants, executive assistants, and office managers in film settings.

Many film professionals focus their careers on either television or video production, although some explore opportunities in both industries, using their skills and knowledge to promote innovation and creativity in the discipline.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a bachelor's in film?

Careers include broadcast engineers, television production coordinators, broadcast presententers, and film producers and directors.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in film?

Students who enroll in their bachelor's program full time typically graduate within four years; part-time students may take closer to five years to earn their degree.

Do you need a degree in film?

Many film careers require professionals to hold a bachelor's degree, although some entry-level opportunities allow professionals to work with only an associate degree or high school diploma.

What classes do you take in a bachelor's in film program?

Students can expect to focus on courses, such as film technologies, film theory and criticism, and screenwriting, that will allow them to build their knowledge and skills in the film industry to pursue successful careers after graduation.

How much can you earn with a bachelor's in film?

Salary opportunities for professionals who hold a bachelor's degree in film vary depending on the career they pursue and the state in which they work. Annual salaries range from $33,000 to $71,000.

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