Back to school time is here! We’ve decided to run a short series on some of the colleges and universities with the best reputations in media education. Over the next week or so we’ll break down some of the options by major, state vs. private school, area of focus and more. These short and unbiased top 5 lists should help you, or your kids, find a starting point when researching higher education. The old saying is to go big or go home, so today we’re going to feature the top 5 universities and colleges with excellent reputations in film studies and video editing. Here’s what we found…

5. University of North Carolina School of the Arts

UNC School of the Arts is known for having a rigorous academic program with well rounded exposure to all aspects of cinema creation. Recognizable alumni include David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and Danny McBrine (Eastbound & Down). If you’re in state, this is the perfect school to shoot for as tuition is reasonable. Even for out of state students, you’ll find that they price of an education at UNC is extremely well priced compared to some of the other well known film schools. Also, they’re expanding the program by opening up a new animation and gaming building, which shows the university is willing to invest in the quality of your degree.

4. California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts, better recognized as CalArts, is where many of today’s most recognizable names in Hollywood got their start. Those noteable names include Tim Burton, Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and John Lassater, just to name a few. Known best for its animation department, CalArts has a well known reputation for inspiring creativity and providing open forums for creative arts. Located 30 miles north of Los Angeles, you’re also sure to enjoy some sunny weather when you’re not stuck in an editing bay!

3. Columbia College Chicago

The Midwest is not exactly known for being a film hub, but Columbia College in Chicago is the perfect place for studying media and film in America’s heartland. Columbia College is known for giving hands on opportunities to students and yields an extremely talented group of creative graduates year after year. If you’re looking to take your education outside the classroom and think you can handle a cold Chicago winter, then this might be a serious place for you to consider.

2. New York University Tisch School of the Arts

Undoubtedly one of the best known film schools in the country, NYU offers a uniquely East Coast film education. With an extremely large and successful alumni base, students are given intimate opportunities to learn from some of the best in the industry. NYU is also known for providing students with ample and impressive grant opportunities through student film festivals. If you’re questioning your future career in film, this is not the school for you. NYU School of the Arts is highly competitive and has high tuition rates.

1. University of Southern California

Located near the heart of Hollywood, USC is without a doubt the premiere film school. Funded heavily by its alumni, including George Lucas, this program is not lacking in resources or prestige. USC is also known for providing above average technical training, perfect for those who are looking for a career that doesn’t focus as much on the creative. Overall, USC is a top notch school, but also comes at a high price and is highly competitive.

Do you think your alma mater should be on this list? Make a case for it! Leave a comment below or join the conversation on our VideoBlocks Facebook page.

Wherever you wind up, make sure to remember that there is always free stock footage available at VideoBlocks!