The Department of Film and Media Arts is a major academic center for the education of contemporary artists and media arts professionals.

The centerpiece of the department’s undergraduate curriculum is a four-year core program that emphasizes collaborative and interdisciplinary practice, innovative thinking, and a critical understanding of new technologies. Students emerge from the Department of Film and Media Arts highly skilled in their individual disciplines, ready to tackle the demands of contemporary art and commerce.

Top 25

American Film Schools (ninth consecutive year)

–The Hollywood Reporter


Best M.F.A. Programs

– U.S. News & World Report

Top 40

Private Animation Schools (U.S.)

Animation Career Review

Hands-On Learning Experiences

In addition to work in the classroom and studio, film and media arts students can benefit from arts organizations on campus and in the Syracuse community. The department is a sponsor of the annual Syracuse International Film Festival and closely collaborates with Light Work, an internationally recognized artist-in-residence program housed on campus, and the Urban Video Project, which commissions artists to create artworks for outdoor projection on the Everson Museum of Art in downtown Syracuse. Housed within the department is also The Canary Lab, which develops research-based art and media focused on ecology.

Study Abroad Programs Tailored To Your Degree

Programs abroad especially designed for students in film and media arts include semester-long programs in London, England; Prague, Czech Republic; and Florence, Italy. Summer programs offer additional opportunities to study in Bologna, Italy; Venice, Italy; Santiago, Chile; and Moscow, Russia. Students may also apply to participate in the six-week summer LA Semester, which offers internship-based learning in Los Angeles. See all VPA study abroad options.

Learn from Professionals

The faculty members in film and media arts are working artists with active careers. World-wide exhibitions, from LA to South Africa, and screenings among the faculty include the J. Paul Getty Museum, Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival (France), Shanghai International Film Festival (China), Viña del Mar International Film Festival (Chile), the Museum of Modern Art, Ars Electronica, the Brooklyn Museum, Pacific Film Archive and Harvard to name a few. Grants and awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

Where Our Graduates Work

An ever-growing network of alumni can help students succeed with careers in the film industry as producers, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, animators, and special effects design; in photography with magazine, editorial, fashion, and book publication; as curators in fine art galleries and contemporary art museums; and, of course, as practicing artists.

Film and media arts alumni have leadership positions in the creative industry, including:

  • DreamWorks, Pixar, Sony Pictures
  • Yahoo and Apple
  • Cosmopolitan, Photo District News
  • Showtime and HBO
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • and
  • Spelman College, University of Houston, Pratt Institute

Graduates of our program have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MIT List Center, the New Museum, and the Houston Center for Photography and have held screenings at Sundance, MOMA, and such international venues as Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Berlin’s Transmediale Festival, Slamdance International Film Festival, and the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

Undergraduate Majors

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Graduate Degree Programs

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Recent Department of Film and Media Arts News

  • A series of photographs on a wall

    Featured News

    The Art of Science: Students Participate in University’s First-Ever Bio-Art Class

    In Bio-Art (BIO 400/600 and TRM 500), cross-listed between the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), STEM students join art majors in a first-of-its-kind course at Syracuse, ­­where students explore and create their own bio-art.

  • Gabrielle Demeestere

    Faculty News

    Gabrielle Demeestère, assistant teaching professor of film in the Department of Film and Media Arts, had her second feature film “Terra” selected by Italy’s TorinoFilmLab (TFL) for its 2022 FeatureLab, which is running now through November.

  • Carlton Daniel Jr.

    Alumni News

    VPA Graduate Paves the Way to Develop His First Feature Film

    Carlton Daniel Jr. G’16 fell in love with filmmaking at an early age. Growing up in Ohio, he spent a lot of his childhood at the local movie theater, browsing for videos at Blockbuster and dissecting films with his family. His passion for movies led him on a trajectory from...

See More News