Executive Education

The Top 10 Film Schools In America For 2015

As usual, the legendary University of Southern California film school ranked number 1 among the best film school in the United States in an annual list ranking of “The Top 25 American Film Schools,” by The Hollywood Reporter, culture and film trade magazine.

University of Southern California’s tuition was reported as $349,464, and among the USC’s alumni highlighted in the ranking are Judd Apatow, Doug Liman, George Lucas, Neal Moritz, Jason Reitman, Bryan Singer, and John Wells.

The New York University was ranked No. 2 on the top U.S. film schools list, among the NYU’s alumni highlighted in the ranking are Joel Coen, Chris Columbus, Steve McQueen, Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shyamalan, and Oliver Stone. California and New York still remain the best places to receive a film education. American Film Institute was ranked No. 3, followed by UCLA at #4 and California Institute of the Arts at #5.

The Top 10 Film Schools In America For 2015:

Judd Apatow

1 University of Southern California (USC)
Tuition: $49,464 a year (undergrad)
Notable Alumni: Judd Apatow, Doug Liman, George Lucas, Neal Moritz, Jason Reitman, Bryan Singer, John Wells

M Night Shyamalan

2. New York University
Tuition: $49,962 (undergrad); $52,194 (grad)
Notable Alumni: Joel Coen, Chris Columbus, Steve McQueen, Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shyamalan, Oliver Stone

David Lynch

3. American Film Institute
Tuition: $47,030 (first year); $58,216 (second year)
Notable Alumni: Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch, Terrence Malick

Tim Robbins

4. UCLA
Tuition: $15,131 (in-state undergrad); $15,662 (MA); $25,196 (MFA); $15,308 (Ph.D.)
Notable Alumni: Jack Black, David Koepp, Mike Medavoy, Rob Reiner, Tim Robbins, Darren Star

Tim Burton

5. California Institute of the Arts
Tuition: $43,400
Notable Alumni: Frozen co-director Chris Buck, Tim Burton, Big Hero 6 director Don Hall, Inside Out director Pete Docter

6. Columbia University
Tuition: $49,300 (MA); $55,356 (MFA)
Notable Alumni: Lisa Cholodenko, Jennifer Lee, Kimberly Peirce

7. Chapman University
Tuition: $47,040 (undergrad); $1,175 per credit (grad)
Notable Alumni: The Amazing Race producer Darren Bunkley, Masters of Sex editor Rebekah Parmer, Dear White People director Justin Simien

8. Loyola Marymount University
Tuition: $41,876 (undergrad); $1,118 per unit (grad)
Notable Alumni: James Bond franchise producer Barbara Broccoli, The Simpsons producer David Mirkin, American Horror Story writer-producer James Wong

9. Wesleyan University
Tuition: $48,704
Notable Alumni: Michael Bay, Toby Emmerich, Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, Zak Penn, Benh Zeitlin

10. Emerson College
Tuition: $40,320 (undergrad); $1,197 per credit (grad)
Notable Alumni: New Regency’s Pam Abdy, DreamWorks’ Holly Bario, Sony’s Andrea Giannetti, Viacom’s Doug Herzog

*To create its list, magazine’s staff toured campuses, met with deans and faculty, and interviewed alumni and industry experts. Multiple factors—including “prestige, practical experience, inspirational teachers, potential career connections and access to cutting-edge equipment”— were integral to the ranking.

Below is the complete list of the “Top 25 Film Schools in the United States”

1. University of Southern California
2. New York University
3. American Film Institute
4. University of California, Los Angeles
5. California Institute of the Arts
6. Columbia University
7. Chapman University
8. Loyola Marymount University
9. Wesleyan University
10. Emerson College

11. University of Texas, Austin
Tuition: $17,108 (out-of-state undergrad); $12,074 (out-of-state grad)
Notable Alumni: Robert Rodriguez

12. Boston University
Tuition: $47,422 (undergrad); $47,422 (grad)
Notable Alumni: Joe Roth, Howard Stern, Nina Tassler

13. Stanford University
Tuition: $44,169
Notable Alumni: Documentarians Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk

14. University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Tuition: $23,401 (out-of-state undergrad)
Notable Alumni: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride

15. Savannah College of Art and Design
Tuition: $34,470 (undergrad); $35,325 (grad)
Notable Alumni: In a World producer Jett Steiger

16. Columbia College Chicago
Tuition: $23,640 (undergrad); $1,113 per credit hour (grad)
Notable Alumni: Selma exec producer Paul Garnes, Janusz Kaminski

17. Ringling College of Art and Design
Tuition: $38,170
Notable Alumni: YouTube makeup superstar Michelle Phan

18. Rhode Island School of Design
Tuition: $45,530
Notable Alumni: Martha Coolidge, Seth MacFarlane, Gus Van Sant

19. San Francisco State University
Tuition: $18,372 (out-of-state undergrad); $19,368 (out-of-state grad)
Notable Alumni: Inside Out producer Jonas Rivera

20. Syracuse University
Tuition: $41,794 (undergrad); $33,312 (grad)
Notable Alumni: Writer Rob Edwards, Pixar president Jim Morris

Read More Up-and-Comers: 5 Film Schools to Watch

21. Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
Tuition: $19,365 (undergrad); $20,266 (grad)
Notable Alumni: Cinematographer Larry Fong, director Tarsem Singh

22. Florida State University
Tuition: $22,354 (first year, out-of-state undergrad); $34,432 to $49,982 (first year, out-of-state grad)
Notable Alumni: Maze Runner director Wes Ball, Marvel Studios exec Stephen Broussard

23. Northwestern University
Tuition: $48,624
Notable Alumni: Anna Gunn, Hobbit producer Ken Kamins

24. Colorado Film School
Tuition: $15,000 (out-of-state, undergrad)
Notable Alumni: Director Bradley King (his first feature, Time Lapse, just got picked up by Lionsgate)

25. Ithaca College
Tuition: $40,656
Notable Alumni: Terminator Genisys producer Bill Carraro, Robert Iger

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Prof. Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj
Prof. Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj is a media and technology executive, macro-economist, strategic thinker, chair, and chief executive officer of the CEOWORLD magazine, one of the world’s most influential and recognized global news publications. Under Dr. Amarendra's leadership, CEOWORLD magazine has become the world's most iconic news organization, whose rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of business leaders daily. Additionally, he serves as the chair and founding member of the CEOWORLD magazine’s Inclusion Advisory Board.

In his current role, he counsels and collaborates with c-suite executives of large multinational corporations, helping them drive change in their companies to improve their competitiveness. Dr. Amarendra has extensive experience in serving on numerous boards. He leads and supports a globally dispersed team of columnists, correspondents, editors, journalists, reporters, researchers, and industry analysts.

He received his Ph.D. in Finance and Banking from the European Global School, Paris, France. He also received his Doctoral Degree in Chartered Accountancy from the European International University Paris, France, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design (KNUTD), Ukraine. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and his master’s degree in Chartered Accountancy (CA) from European Global School Paris. Dr. Amarendra also holds a Master of Business Administration degree in International Relations and Affairs from the American University of Athens, Alabama, United States.

As CEO, he transformed the CEOWORLD magazine into a highly efficient, digital-first, profitable enterprise. Today, CEOWORLD magazine is a standard bearer for modern responsible journalism. Dr. Amarendra retains a strong desire to continuously improve his skills and abilities and believes that the first step to being a true leader is to inspire others to lead with you.


Prof. Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj is the CHAIR, CEO, AND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR of the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.