Deciding which college or university to attend is one of the most significant decisions you can make in your life. At the School of Cinematic Arts we believe students find a combination of factors that make the USC Cinematic Arts experience truly unique.
Each of our faculty members has been or is currently working professionally. As directors, editors, writers, producers, sound designers, lighting artists, animators, scholars, game designers, media artists and in many other roles, they constitute the power behind everything from box-office blockbusters, to independent films, to broadcast and cable television hits, to interactive games and other new media. Likewise, professors and researchers in The Division of Cinema & Media Studies advance society's understanding of the creation and cultural impact of film, television and interactive media.
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Our teaching philosophy is built on the understanding that people learn best by doing. Additionally, we believe that great ideas arise when theory and practice are in constant interaction, propelling one another forward. Our aim is to give students comprehensive exposure to all facets of film, television and interactive media production. Our programs are structured to enable students, regardless of their chosen area of specialization, to take a wide selection of courses from across the disciplines. Through this process Cinema & Media Studies majors get behind the camera to make short films, writers direct actors to learn how to craft the best scripts, and directors immerse themselves in the canon of work made by the generations who came before.
Facilities and Resources
The facilities, equipment and resources at the School of Cinematic Arts provide students with industry-standard education and experience. The School's brand new main complex features soundstages, animation facilities, post-production suites, mixing theaters, and all digital classrooms, cutting edge research labs and a fabrication space, in addition to screening rooms that seat from 40 to 200 people. The Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts provides even more production space, as well as advanced technologies such as motion capture suites. The Zemeckis Center is also the home of Trojan Vision, the University's television service that provides daily programming to millions of homes across the city, as well as to select national and international outlets.
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The School of Cinematic Arts is situated in the heart of Los Angeles, regarded as the entertainment capital of the world. Within just a few miles of the university are the corporate offices and production facilities of leading motion picture, television and interactive companies. The city is also home to talent agencies and management firms, independent producers and new media creators. Archival resources are also in ample supply, affording students access to primary-source research materials, as well as films, programs, scripts and other items from which they can draw insight and inspiration for their own projects.
Alumni & Friends
Numbering over 11,000 strong, our alumni form a close-knit community both in Los Angeles and around the world. People who just a few years ago were studying in our classrooms and working in our production areas now occupy key decision-making posts throughout the creative, financial and academic ranks of film, television and interactive media. Through classroom appearances, screenings, internships and mentorships, students can take advantage of numerous opportunities to gain from the wisdom and experience of the men and women who have come before them.
Myth vs. Reality
Applying to college or university is one of the most intense and critical processes you will undertake in your life. Your final decision is based on many factors, chief among them getting accurate information. Over the years, a number of applicants have told us about the "facts" they heard someplace about USC cinema. Turns out many of these "facts" were myths. So we figured we'd set the record straight with a reality check.