The main objective and educational mission of our film program is to provide a stimulating and rewarding context for independent filmmaking and scholarship. The film program places equal emphasis on academic film studies and creative production.
In our bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree program, students pursue various modes of production, including experimental, narrative, documentary, and animation and are required to take film history, theory, and criticism courses.
Our approach is that of the total filmmaker. The primary focus of the program is to foster creative, intellectual, and personal achievement. You learn everything from scriptwriting to pre-production, production, and post-production techniques. Developing interpersonal and leadership skills is an important part of training for the collaborative work of media production. Our students go on to become independent filmmakers, educators, and work in a wide variety of media-related fields.
The program encourages independence, debate, and originality. Our approach to film is an aesthetic one rather than a commercial enterprise.
The first two years of the program are rigorously structured. First-year students follow the Department of Transmedia’s core curriculum, which includes film history and an introductory film production course. Sophomore classes concentrate on essential filmmaking skills. Juniors and seniors have more flexibility. You choose from menu-structured course offerings according to your academic and professional interests and, in essence, construct your own path with your faculty advisor. This structure permits you to study abroad for one semester in any of the Syracuse University Abroad locations or in our program with FAMU (the Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague, Czech Republic.
Other global study opportunities include two in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world: the LA Semester, SU's academic- and internship-centered program, and the Sorkin in L.A. Learning Practicum, a week-long professional sojourn founded by Aaron Sorkin '83 H'12, an SU:VPA alumnus and award-winning writer and producer.
Students must participate in a portfolio review, which is held at the end of each semester. The student and faculty members evaluate creative and academic work and assess student progress. The sophomore review will result in a recommendation to continue or not continue in the program.