CSU Film Programs

Last Updated on January 19, 2023

The California State University (CSU) is an amazing force for good in the world, training tomorrow’s teachers and nurses, guiding students through one of the most affordable four-year college degrees available in America today, and creating countless future leaders. The CSU is made up of diverse campuses and programs, each with a distinct mission to serve California. With four campuses in Sacramento alone, the CSU has something for everyone—and so does our department.

Whether you want to become a filmmaker, an actor, set designer and other related fields in film production, we got you covered with up-to-date information on california institute of the arts, los angeles film school and the best film schools in the world.

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San Francisco State and CSU Northridge Rank Among Elite Film Schools | CSU

CSU Film Programs

Program Description, Purpose and Strengths  

Our innovative program integrates critical thinking and critical making.  By approaching both traditional and emerging media as creative storytelling and grounding students in the knowledge of the history, politics, forms and industry structures of media stories, students learn to adapt to a constantly changing media landscape and how they can make a positive impact on society using their creative voices. Students take courses on storytelling in and across media forms. In writing about media stories, students develop skills in analyzing and interpreting media stories. Building on those skills, students will also learn how to tell new stories as well as identify potential audiences and venues for those stories.

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Film, Television and Media is to cultivate the diverse creative voices of CSU Dominguez Hills students by providing them with an understanding of the histories, forms, contexts and existing structures of where and how media stories are told. Students are prepared to contribute new and necessary stories with the potential to meaningfully represent their own communities and transform society. Upon completing the degree, students will understand the power of media stories and the impact they can have. They will have a deep understanding of what stories have been told and what is missing. They will be empowered with the skills to express their voice in places where stories can and need to be told.

Curriculum Highlights

Immediately upon beginning the degree students take introductory classes emphasizing both critical thinking and critical making. Students gain technical proficiency in Digital Toolkit and Introduction to Digital Media Production. Students also become conversant in the tools for media analysis in Genre Analysis and develop an understanding of the key forces that shape media stories in Introduction to Media Criticism. At this point, students are fully prepared for an industry internship at any point in their university career.

Upper division courses including Media Industries, Media and Representation, and the three History courses provide students with historical and cultural knowledge of the structures that impact what and whose stories are told in the media industries. In Creative Producing and Screenwriting students gain a deeper sense of how their own creative work can change the existing media landscape.

Upon completing their degree requirements, an array of elective courses allow students to tailor their degree in a number of ways. For instance, a student who wants to pursue screenwriting can take more media writing and creative producing courses, while a student who wants to work in the field of emerging media might take a handful of courses in emerging media production and transmedia storytelling. Alternately, a student who wants to emerge as a generalist can take courses across film, television, and emerging media, integrating production of both creative and scholarly work.

In their final semester, students come together in the Senior Project course to revise projects from previous coursework and complete their professional portfolio. As the capstone experience, students are positioned to develop projects that are both attuned to potential audiences and venues for distribution as well as the impact they can have in representing students’ communities and transforming the industry and society.

School of Film & Media Arts | Cleveland State University

cal state la film school acceptance rate

California State University–Los Angeles admissions is less selective with an acceptance rate of 76%. Half the applicants admitted to California State University–Los Angeles have an SAT score between 870 and 1060 or an ACT score of 15 and 20


In addition to completing the Application for Enrollment to be eligible for admission, an applicant must provide a valid government issued picture ID prior to enrollment and documentation confirming ONE of the following:

  • An official high school transcript or diploma issued by a school in the United States that confirms the applicant is a high school graduate;
  • Confirmation that the applicant has successfully completed a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, such as a GED (General Education Diploma) diploma;
  • Confirmation that the applicant has successfully completed the California HiSET (high school equivalency test)received directly from the testing center;
  • Documentation of the completion of secondary school through homeschooling as defined by applicable state law and the student satisfies compulsory school attendance requirements in California or is exempt from such requirements;
  • Must be of legal age at expected graduation date to be eligible to work within chosen profession;
  • Documentation of successful completion of a state authorized examination from a state other than California that the jurisdiction recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma; or
  • For non-U.S. transcripts or diplomas, an evaluation prepared by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) member organization to confirm that prior training is equivalent to the prerequisite for admission.

Applicants who are unable to provide such documentation due to the unavailability of academic records (such as a natural disaster or closure of the issuing institution) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Factors for consideration may include, but are not limited to, confirmation from a reliable authority that the institution cannot produce the records or that the records are not attainable. In all cases, LAFS retains the sole discretion to determine whether or not the secondary training completed by the applicant is sufficient to satisfy the admissions requirements. For any bachelor’s degree completion program, applicants also submit an official college transcript issued from the institution to LAFS, documenting completion of an associate’s degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the equivalent (bachelor’s degree completion program only).

Television, Film, and Media Studies | Cal State LA


All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language. This requirement can be satisfied a) if the applicant successfully completed course work in high school in the United States; b) submits a diploma from a secondary school in a system in which English is the official language of instruction; c) completion of an American standardized test (SAT, ACT, or GRE) exam evidencing English comprehension; or d) completed one or more years of postsecondary education at an English-speaking institution and can demonstrate completed coursework in English courses. If the applicant does not meet one of the English language proficiencies listed above, the applicant must provide the minimum acceptable proof of English language proficiency through one of the following:

Associate and Full Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Presenting the Level 110 certificate of completion of ELS coursework or official documentation from another accredited ESL program that the applicant has completed an equivalent college-level English language program or presenting an official minimum score on one of the following English proficiency exams:

  • A score of ‘61’ on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based (iBT);
  • A score of ‘6.0’ on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or
  • A raw score of ‘66’ and an adjusted score of ‘81’ on the Michigan Test of English Proficiency (MTEP).

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Presenting the Level 112 certificate of completion of ELS coursework or official documentation from another accredited ESL program that the applicant has completed an equivalent advanced college-level English language program or presenting an official minimum score on one of the following English proficiency exams:

  • A score of ‘79’ on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based (iBT); or
  • A score of ‘6.5’ on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

cal state la film school review

California State University-Los Angeles Reviews

  •  112 Reviews
  •  Los Angeles (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $18,648

 91% of 112 students said this degree improved their career prospects

 93% of 112 students said they would recommend this school to others

Programs with 5+ Reviews

Master’s4.26 Health Sciences
Master’s3.94 Social Work


Matthew Gonzalez

  • Reviewed: 6/20/2019
  • Degree: Communications (Public Relations)

“The undergraduate program gives a great foundation of knowledge for any graduate program. However, as the degree is not of the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) there is a-lot of challenges that come after graduation. The great and worse thing about the university is that it is in Los Angeles, meaning you have to compete with USC, UCLA, CSUN, CSDH, CSUF, Cal poly Pomona and neighboring UC’s and private colleges. You really have to do more out of the college classroom then you actually do academically. The great thing about the program is that it is one of the cheapest Cal States to attend.”Tania Gutierrez

  • Reviewed: 6/12/2019
  • Degree: Mathematics

“My experience at CSULA was one of the hardest and best times of not only my academic career but personal life as well. Academically it was challenging with homework, studying, and tests. The usual of procrastinating and staying up really late to get a passing grade. However besides that it has the best networking and opportunities inside the campus. I was able to join many organizations and meet many students who just like me found out that there was more to college than just attending classes. I joined a co-ed fraternity and a sorority in which I made many great memories and gained leadership skills. I joined a teaching program that helped my realize that I wanted to become a teacher and helped me gained experience in the classroom. I got my first full time job in the classroom right after graduation thanks to the friends I made in the teaching program. I met my best friends in college and I also met the love of my life through one of the organizations. Networking at CSULA is one of the best experiences because you never know who you will meet and how they will have an impact on your life.”speed ross, jr

  • Reviewed: 5/3/2019
  • Degree: Political Science


  • Reviewed: 8/1/2018
  • Degree: Political Science

“California State University, Los Angeles is one of the highest ranked public universities in Northern California. The university offers a wide array of culture and students with different backgrounds. There is plethora of options for degree options, from African American Studies to Computer Engineering. However, as a student athlete, the athletic department lacked a great deal of academic support. As A CSULA alumna, I strongly recommend CSULA for students that are wanting a institution that offers cultural diversity and degree options.”Patricia C.

  • Reviewed: 6/28/2018
  • Degree: Criminal Justice

“California State University Los Angeles has a great program if you are interested in studying Criminal Justice. The professors have hands on experience in all areas of law enforcement and they bring that knowledge to their courses. This makes the courses so exciting. You will not regret choosing Cal State LA to complete your degree.”Adriana Soriano

  • Reviewed: 5/23/2018
  • Degree: Social Work

“CSULA School of Social Work is an outstanding program that will not financially hinder you upon graduating. Courses are well taught and organized for a granteed success, including studesnts witch families! I would highly recommend the MSW. program! Take advantage of State University Grants through early financial aid application along with a abailable stipend programs!”S Jacob

  • Reviewed: 4/18/2018
  • Degree: ESL

“I received my MA in TESOL from Cal State LA and am extremely grateful for the opportunities this program has afforded me. The supportive faculty provided generous opportunities to engage in research at the university, helping lay my path to continued studies pursuing a PhD in education. The coursework provided a strong foundation in the elements of pedagogy, language, and culture in the language classroom. The program encourages students to attend and present at academic conferences, providing direct experience in contemporary research on language teaching and learning. In addition to learning the theoretical underpinnings of Second Language Acquisition research, courses on teaching methods and a practicum component equipped me with multiple applied techniques for the language classroom. Many students interests centered on these elements of the program and greatly improved their instructional methods. Though several members of my cohort went on to pursue advanced degrees, most of the students are now employed as community college professors, university instructors, teachers, or in learning and writing centers. In addition to the great mentorship, the TESOL faculty are kind and caring, fostering a true community with lifelong friendships among the alumni. While the program was challenging, it was also fun! If you are interested in language learning, teaching, or applied linguistics, I give the MA in TESOL Program at Cal State LA my highest recommendation.”Stacey Koff

  • Reviewed: 3/31/2018
  • Degree: Education Administration

“Cal State LA prepared me for the filed of educational administration. While I was taking my classes, I was also working full time as a teacher with many administrative roles. I was not yet sure I wanted to pursue being an administrator at an elementary school, but I quickly realized, through the learning I was involved in at CSULA, that I wanted to pursue the field.”Jared Simmons

  • Reviewed: 11/25/2017
  • Degree: Electrical Engineering

“Great if you want to work in the film industry. The program had great internships available and very good instructors who were actively working in the business. The program has continued to grow and is located right next to the heart of Los Angeles. Id take the classes again if I could.”Mr. Smith

  • Reviewed: 10/3/2017
  • Degree: ESL

“MA in TESOL: Honestly, this program is a major joke. I attended within the last few years. It absolutely in no way prepares you to become a good teacher. It is all based on outdated theory and research and is just overall ridiculous . The professors are all so boring and their teaching methods are so boring. I spent 2 years of my life listening to peoples feelings on boring topics and at the end of the 2 years I felt like I learned absolutely nothing. I could have picked up a teaching methods book and read for a couple hours or did some research online and got more in 2 hours than in 2 years. You may learn how to study terms for exams which you will braindrop later. You may learn how to write endless amounts of papers. But in no way, shape or form will you enhance your teaching skills. It is a joke. Seriously a waste of time and money! I would just go do the CELTA, it’s 110% better. Whoever is in charge of this program should fire everyone and completely remodel the program. Get some awesome younger teachers with overseas teaching experience who are aimed at making you a better teacher. Drop the stupid exams and essays. Save all that research and paper writing for PHD students. When I came to get my Masters I was told it would directly teach me to be a great ESL teacher. It didn’t do that at all. Seriously run far away from this program. Don’t waste time or money. If you don’t believe me… visit the campus and find some of the current student and ask them. I guarantee you they will all say its a joke and waste of time. Everyone felt that way when I was there a couple years back. I heard it got even worse from a colleague.”Robert

  • Reviewed: 6/17/2017
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering

“There are many that have a low opinion of the university, but like any other establishment of higher education, it is what you make of it. There are many great professors at this university, There are also some that help encourage me when I have had thoughts of giving up. Naturally there are those professors who don’t contribute to a pleasant experience. The school has updated technology, some departments have antiquated equipment but sufficient for the learning experience. The campus itself is nice, and for the area in which it is located the campus itself is safe. The only major inconveniences suffered while attending the university is they are impacted and continue to admit too many students, and there is insufficient parking to accommodate the overload.”Traci Long

  • Reviewed: 6/12/2017
  • Degree: Health Sciences

“California State University, Los Angeles was an excellent program for pursuing my Master’s Degree in Audiology. Currently, they are in the process of starting a doctoral program in Audiology, which should be an excellent, in-state option to consider.”Jennifer

  • Reviewed: 5/23/2017
  • Degree: Sociology

“Excellent school with an amazing sociology program. It is very impacted but the student to teacher ratio allows students to become involved in discussions and class activities. The diversity at CSULA is great because it allows people from different backgrounds to come together to learn.”Anonymous

  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Engineering

“The professors were really helpful in providing the needed information! They were always supportive during classes and office hours. The syllabus and curriculum were presented clearly from day one. The access to technology and web resources were readily available.”Anonymous

  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Health Sciences

“It is a great program! You have to create a program plan as part of the application process so I felt that it was definitely organized and mapped out your classes. The professors are also amazing and knowledgeable.”Michael Vincenzo Martinelli

  • Reviewed: 5/8/2017
  • Degree: Teaching

“The degree that I will be reviewing is a Bachelors of Arts in History from California State University of Los Angeles. Overall, I felt that the quality of instruction, the educational and career advisement from the history faculty, and the satisfaction from the rigor of the curriculum of the program was the most fulfilling experience I’ve had in my whole educational career. Ultimately, the program was challenging due to the expectations enforced by the history departments staff, but as a student you wanted to meet those expectations or more because the history faculty want you to learn as much as you can from their expertise. There were many of the faculty engaged with their specialties such as giving talks domestically or abroad like in Washington D.C. or in Russia. Additionally, there are many numerous historical periods to choose that are offered year-round. The opportunities from the history department at Cal State LA were limitless such as from internships at the Autry, local community museums, or even trips aboard to Germany made my college experience unforgettable. If you are a history major, choose Cal State LA in order to replicate the same memorable experiences I had.”Christina

  • Reviewed: 3/27/2017
  • Degree: Sociology

“The sociology department staff are highly interested in helping their students. My mentor is the chair of the sociology department. She has nominated me and has shown me opportunities that I would have otherwise not known about. The more a student tries, and talks to their professors, the more connections they can make. All my professors have been easy to talk to and willing to help. I will be attending their MSW program in the fall.”Jennifer Oliva

  • Reviewed: 3/25/2017
  • Degree: Communications (Strategic & Organizational)

“My undergraduate experience at California State University, Los Angeles was more than I ever could have imagined. I took everything from general ed classes in large lecture halls to upper division courses in a classroom setting, and the professors shared great immediacy to their capacity. Every professor I took wanted to see me succeed, so they made themselves available for office hours and through email. The entire Communication department at Cal State LA will go above and beyond for their students; they will expect you to give your 100% and they will give you their 100%. The scholarship expected from students is of potential for publication and that is a great incentive to produce your best possible work. I felt like I flourished and grew at Cal State LA, not just as a student, but as a human. I fell in love with Cal State LA so much that I am also, currently, pursuing my master’s degree there.”Anna Dominguez-Viramontes

  • Reviewed: 3/20/2017
  • Degree: Sociology

“Cal State University of Los Angeles was a great school. I enjoyed my classes and the campus was clean, friendly, and easy to get from one class to another. Parking was easily accessed and the campus was not overly crowded. I enjoyed my classes as well. My professors were wonderful and every class had something new to offer.”Elizabeth Renteria

  • Reviewed: 3/7/2017
  • Degree: Psychology

“CSULA is a great university. It is a very diverse campus where students will have many unique encounters with other students due to the fact that there are people from all over the world. That is the beauty of it. The professors are also diverse and very knowledgable in their field. The courses were very challenging but I learned a lot and the professors are more than willing to really help their students understand the material. They are very flexible and will meet with you at a time that is best for the student. CSULA is a very small campus which I absolutely love because it gives the sense of a tight knit community. You automatically feel like you belong. The faculty in student services departments such as, admissions, financial aid, the student health center, the program department, cultural centers, and advisors, are all very helpful and welcoming when students go in with many questions. If they do not know an answer for you, they will find a way to get you the information you need. The campus security is also very great. You see them everywhere patrolling the campus and they are friendly too so you don’t feel intimidated to ask them for help. Definitely makes students feel safe. There are always different events on campus that fit everyone’s needs and meet everyone’s interests. It’s never a boring day on campus because there is always something going on. What I love the most about CSULA are the psychology professors. They are passionate and very experienced in their field and they have truly inspired me to do bigger and greater. They also have a bus terminal that makes it very easy to use public transportation. The busses and Metrolink leave you right there on campus. CSULA is a great campus overall. I wouldn’t mind going back for my graduate degree.”

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