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Ranked the #18 film program by The Hollywood Reporter, the film major teaches you every aspect of the film industry including scriptwriting to pre-production, production, and post-production techniques.

Pursue various modes of production, including experimental, narrative, documentary, and animation. Built on excellent coursework and dynamic outside learning opportunities, the major will prepare you to enjoy rewarding careers in the film industry.

The film program within VPA is extremely comprehensive and challenging. Our coursework includes studying the theoretical and practical approaches to art and filmmaking. We learn by doing.

Terry Jones ‘16, Film

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Core coursework is centered on studio concepts, production, and transmedia. Sample courses include:

  • Sound/Image
  • Cinematic Modes of Production
  • Film Scriptwriting
  • Problems of Film Perception
  • Filmmaking: Storytelling Production
  • Cinema Acting & Directing

View official major requirements .

Practical Experience

Film offers a number of experiential learning opportunities in addition to coursework.

  • Get involved with the annual Syracuse International Film Festival.
  • Make short 35mm films and take other film studio electives during a semester abroad in Prague at FAMU, The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts.
  • Attend the Sundance Film Festival as part of the Sundance Ignite initiative, which supports and fosters young filmmakers as the next generation of storytellers.
  • Take a six-week summer class as part of the LA Semester program.

Study Abroad

Pursue new experiences with a semester abroad during your four years at Syracuse. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Film students often go abroad to the Syracuse University Florence Center and to our World Partner program CET Film Production at FAMU (Prague).

Summer programs of interest include British Masculinity on Screen: James Bond and Sherlock Holmes (London), Paris Noir, and Italian Film Studies and Filmmaking in Bologna.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in film, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Actor
  • Video editor
  • Filmmaker
  • Director
  • Set designer
  • Film technician
  • Writer

Or continue your education and earn a graduate degree in business, design, or film. Past graduates have attended many prestigious graduate schools in the U.S.