Students filming
Story Education

San Francisco State and CSU Northridge Rank Among Elite Film Schools



Students filming

​CSU Northridge film students at work. Photo courtesy of CSUN's Department of Cinema and Television Arts


San Francisco State University and CSU Northridge were recognized among the 25 best U.S. film schools by The Hollywood Reporter. Ranked according to academic experts, industry professionals and film school alumni, the two CSU campuses were included among schools like the University of Southern California and Yale University as some of the top universities for cinema and television arts education.

San Francisco State's School of Cinema students can study animation, filmmaking, media and culture, or screenwriting, or propose an individualized area of emphasis. The school boasts a curriculum that is "oriented around the notion that theory and practice should be closely intertwined," says Britta Sjogren, Ph.D., professor and director of the School of Cinema at SFSU.

Honored alumni include:

  • Pixar producer Jonas Rivera, who won an Oscar in 2016 for "Inside Out" and was nominated in 2009 for "Up"
  • Visual effects artist Rich McBride, nominated for an Oscar in 2016 for "The Revenant" and also worked on Hollywood blockbusters including "Avatar" and "Gravity"
  • Screenwriter Steve Zaillian, nominated for an Academy Award four times and a winner for "Schindler's List" in 1994

CSU Northridge's Department of Cinema and Television Arts also offers a range of options in entertainment education, with undergraduate concentrations that include electronic media management, film production, and media theory and criticism, as well as a master's degree program in screenwriting. 

A recent
$2 million grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is helping to update the department's facilities and equipment and will provide scholarships for students from underrepresented populations, highlighting the school's commitment to diversity.

"The Hollywood Reporter ranking is a clear sign that we are considered by those in the industry as being among the elite," says
Nate Thomas, professor and head of CSUN's film production option and a 2015 CSU Wang Family Excellence Award recipient. "This ranking continues to give a stamp that CSUN is among the most reputable film schools sending qualified graduates into the workplace."

N was also recently included among the top innovative and cutting-edge programs in film, television and media according to Variety.

Learn more about
SFSU's School of Cinema and CSUN's Department of Cinema and Television Arts

Student Success; Alumni; Made in the CSU; Impact; Underrepresented Communities