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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

The School of Motion Pictures & Television's BFA program offers six areas of emphasis—cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design, and screenwriting. Each path is designed to equip students with specialized, employable skills and create the storytellers of tomorrow.

BFA Motion Pictures & Television Unit Requirements

Major Coursework
Core 36 Units
Major 42 Units
Art Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Motion Pictures & Television Degree Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist

And the following general education requirements:

  • 3 Written Communication courses
  • 4 Art Historical Awareness courses
  • 1 Historical Awareness course
  • 1 Quantitative Literacy course
  • 1 Cultural Ideas and Influences course
  • 1 Employment Communications and Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • Effectively communicate information and stories to a target audience, applying a general knowledge of visual storytelling and specific technical skills from their area of specialization

Professional Communication

  • Critically discuss artistic and technical choices using industry terminology

Research and Problem-Solving

  • Conduct and apply research to creatively solve problems throughout the filmmaking process (creative, technical, and marketing)

Historical Knowledge

  • Intelligently discuss major film movements and the work of key filmmakers

Professional Readiness

  • Effectively assemble their best work into an industry-standard demo reel or portfolio
  • Demonstrate professional-level achievement through multiple projects in their area of specialization

Specialty Skills: Editing

  • Demonstrate proficiency in post-production technology and techniques
  • Make editing decisions to convey a compelling story or create interest in an idea
  • Demonstrate basic trouble shooting skills and professional responsibility

Specialty Skills: Screenwriting

  • Write shorts and features that demonstrate compelling story and character development
  • Pitch their stories effectively

Specialized Skills: Cinematography

  • Work effectively with various cameras, lenses and accessories
  • Design and execute creative lighting schemes and choices that serve the story
  • Apply principles of composition and camera movement to enhance the story (working with the director)

Specialty Skills: Directing

  • Guide a crew in preproduction, production, and postproduction to execute effective choices that serve the story
  • Elicit engaging and believable performances from actors

Specialty Skills: Producing

  • Manage complex productions from commercials to short films
  • Assemble creative teams to originate either commercials, music videos, or shorts
  • Demonstrate familiarity with negotiating film contracts (for actors, crew, locations, equipment, lodging, transportation, and catering)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the legal aspects of film production, including copyrights, trademarks, music licensing, working with minors, unions, finance and distribution
  • Demonstrate understanding of film marketing including market research, target audience, promotional tie ins and product placement, press kits, and social marketing. Supervise appropriate publicity campaign

Specialty Skills: Production Design

  • Design the look of a film based on the director's vision, including: choosing locations, creating settings, selecting props, and dressing sets
  • Collaborate effectively on creative projects
  • Communicate design concepts through basic drawing skills and visual presentations

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

The School of Motion Pictures & Television's AA program offers six areas of emphasis—cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design, and screenwriting. Each path is designed to provide students with solid fundamentals in their chosen field, as well as prepare them for a seamless transition into the BFA program

AA Motion Pictures & Television Unit Requirements

Major Coursework
Core 33 units
Major 15 units
Liberal Arts 18 units
TOTAL 66 units

AA Motion Pictures & Television Degree Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist

And the following general education requirements:

  • 2 Written Communication courses
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness courses
  • 1 Employment Communications & Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

AA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • Effectively communicate information and stories, applying a general knowledge of visual storytelling

Professional Communication

  • Critically discuss artistic and technical choices using industry terminology

Research and Problem-Solving

  • Conduct necessary research for film projects (creative, technical, market)

Technical Skills

  • Demonstrate basic technical skills in editing, lighting, and cinematography

Professional Readiness

  • Produce basic materials suitable for seeking entry-level employment

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Certificate

The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Motion Pictures & Television. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Motion Pictures & Television. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.

Certificate in Motion Pictures & Television Unit Requirements

Core 36 units
Major 42 units
By Advisement 24 units
Art Electives 12 units
Art History 6 units
TOTAL 120 units

Motion Pictures & Television Certificate Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all major coursework

Certificate Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • Effectively communicate information and stories to a target audience, applying a general knowledge of visual storytelling and specific technical skills from their area of specialization

Professional Communication

  • Critically discuss artistic and technical choices using industry terminology

Research and Problem-Solving

  • Conduct and apply research to creatively solve problems throughout the filmmaking process (creative, technical, and marketing)

Historical Knowledge

  • Intelligently discuss major film movements and the work of key filmmakers

Professional Readiness

  • Effectively assemble their best work into an industry-standard demo reel or portfolio
  • Demonstrate professional-level achievement through multiple projects in their area of specialization

Specialty Skills: Editing

  • Demonstrate proficiency in post-production technology and techniques
  • Make editing decisions to convey a compelling story or create interest in an idea
  • Demonstrate basic trouble shooting skills and professional responsibility

Specialty Skills: Screenwriting

  • Write shorts and features that demonstrate compelling story and character development
  • Pitch their stories effectively

Specialized Skills: Cinematography

  • Work effectively with various cameras, lenses and accessories
  • Design and execute creative lighting schemes and choices that serve the story
  • Apply principles of composition and camera movement to enhance the story (working with the director)

Specialty Skills: Directing

  • Guide a crew in preproduction, production, and postproduction to execute effective choices that serve the story
  • Elicit engaging and believable performances from actors

Specialty Skills: Producing

  • Manage complex productions from commercials to short films
  • Assemble creative teams to originate either commercials, music videos, or shorts
  • Demonstrate familiarity with negotiating film contracts (for actors, crew, locations, equipment, lodging, transportation, and catering)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the legal aspects of film production, including copyrights, trademarks, music licensing, working with minors, unions, finance and distribution
  • Demonstrate understanding of film marketing including market research, target audience, promotional tie ins and product placement, press kits, and social marketing. Supervise appropriate publicity campaign

Specialty Skills: Production Design

  • Design the look of a film based on the director's vision, including: choosing locations, creating settings, selecting props, and dressing sets
  • Collaborate effectively on creative projects
  • Communicate design concepts through basic drawing skills and visual presentations

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Classes

Not ready for a degree program? Explore our course catalog and take classes based around your interests and schedule online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Undergraduate Degree Breakdowns

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Rooted in practical skills and professional knowledge, the BFA degree provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Motion Pictures & Television. The general education program (Liberal Arts) supports major coursework by promoting the breadth of knowledge, critical thinking and communications skills necessary to analyze issues from multiple perspectives. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Motion Pictures & Television.

Associate of Arts (AA)

The Associate of Arts degree provides students with an introduction to a particular field of study in art and design with a firm foundation in the concepts and problem-solving skills of that field. Once earned, the Associate's degree can also be used as a stepping stone to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The Academy of Art University Associate of Arts Degree is specifically designed for seamless transition into the Academy of Art University Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and to apply for entry level positions in the industry.

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Eduardo Rufeisen

Full-Time Faculty, Motion Pictures & Television

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