AFI Conservatory Reviews & Admissions Statistics

4.00 star(s) 4 Stars (1 Reviews)
School Website
Degrees Offered
  1. 2 Year Conservatory
  1. Cinematography
  2. Directing
  3. Editing
  4. Producing
  5. Production Design
  6. Screenwriting
Tuition Range
$60k to $70k

Film School details

Graduate Student Body
Graduate Class Size
  1. Student owns all scripts written
  2. School owns copyright for cycle films & thesis films
Camera Equipment
  1. ARRI Digital Cinema Cameras
  2. RED
  3. Sony Cinema Cameras
Software Used
  1. Avid Media Composer
Filmmaking Facilities
  1. Sound Stage(s)
  2. Editing Bays
  3. Screening Rooms
  1. Student must arrange
  2. Internships only possible during Summer
  3. Unknown
Job Placement
  1. Student is on their own
  2. Unknown
Application Fee
GRE Required?
  1. No
SAT or ACT Required?
  1. No
Portfolio Required?
  1. Yes
Minimum GPA
  1. None
Letters of Rec Required
  1. 2 (Graduate)
Notification of Decision
March 15

First established in 1967, the American Film Institute is world renowned for producing pioneers and trailblazers in the film industry. As a not-for-profit, private graduate film school, the AFI Conservatory teaches multimodal pedagogy in hands-on courses led by industry experts. Film students learn the art of narrative cinema by exploring their specializations in a highly collaborative environment. From Amy Hecklering (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless) to Terrence Malik (Badlands, Thin Red Line, Tree of Life), many graduates go on to become household names in the film industry. Today, AFI's alumni have taken home more than 149 Academy Award nominations and 30 wins.

Enrollment is limited to around 150 Fellows.

Read our interview with AFI Admissions:

How to Get Into AFI Conservatory: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions Office (Part 1)

How to Get Into AFI Conservatory: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions Office (Part 1)

Ask anyone about where to go to film school, and you’re bound to hear the American Film Institute Conservatory. First established in 1967, AFI is world renowned for producing pioneers and trailblazers in the film industry. In 2020, the Hollywood Reporter ranked AFI as the top film school in...

And our full guide to applying:

AFI Conservatory: How to Apply for 2024, Acceptance Rate, and What to Expect as an AFI Fellow

AFI Conservatory: How to Apply for 2024, Acceptance Rate, and What to Expect as an AFI Fellow

For more than 50 years, the American Film Institute Conservatory has elevated the art of cinema and helped film students lay the groundwork for lifelong film careers. In 2022, awarded AFI Best West Coast Film School. And in 2023, The Hollywood Reporter ranked AFI the no. 1 film...

Graduate Application Requirements

  • Narrative Statement
  • Resume
  • 2 Letters of Rec
  • Transcripts
Cinematography Requirements
  • Moving Image Sample
  • “Ten-Sixty” Assignment
  • Photography Portfolio
  • Cinematography Reel
Directing Requirements
  • Moving Image Sample
  • Directing Assignment
  • Moving Image Sample Essay
  • Moving Image Sample Essay
Editing Requirements
  • 2 samples of work where they are sole editor
Producing Requirements
  • Vision Statement
  • Short Answers
Production Design Requirements
  • Portfolio
Screenwriting Requirements
  • Screenwriting Sample
  • Screenwriting Assignment
The AFI Conservatory is a narrative filmmaking school, and submitted films should show narrative ability.

Tuition Details

Scholarship Opportunities

Internship Opportunities

AFI Conservatory Fellows look for internships during fall, spring and summer terms although interning is only really possible during the summer due to the courseload.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time it was last updated. PLEASE verify with the school ALL due dates and requirements as they may have changed since our last update. If any info on this page is incorrect please let us know and we will update it. We are not responsible for missed deadlines or rejected applications due to out of date information on this page. Please do your due diligence.

Latest Film School Reviews

Be careful What You're Getting Yourself Into
Reviewed by: Alumni
Degree: MA/MFA
Concentration: Screenwriting
  • Good Faculty to Student Ratio
  • Very professional editing and cinematography students to work with
  • Great Location
  • Good Value comparing to other programs
  • Mixed bag of directing, writing and producing fellows.
  • The writing department has a rigid concept of what's accepted as a Hollywood script
  • Political correctness taking a toll and driving away good teachers
  • The project pairing process can often be disastrous
What's AFI best for?
Students who had at least couple years of industry experience. I don't mean running around and shooting shorts with your buddies. Real paying experience working as a filmmaking professional, or you'd be better off spending the time and money addressing the lack of experience, i.e. interning, working with independent crews, rather than coming to AFI. The system is fast paced and rigid. It is designed to churn out industry professionals. If you still soul searching, don't come. If you want to make friends and have a good time, don't come. If you are a politically vocal person, don't come.
You need to have a very narrow mind of focus to reap the benefit of the school, that is to make money being a film professional.

The writing, producing, and directing program have significantly lower quality of candidates than the editing and cinematography program. If you want to attend the first three programs, you need to be a mature person who knows what you want. It's very easy to get into creative disagreements in AFI because its system of pairing people up practically encourages it.

If you are mature, competent, flexible about your work, then AFI is probably the best value of all top-tier schools. It's only two years instead of three. It introduces you to the heart of Hollywood. And most people hang around for at least couple of years after graduation.
4.00 star(s)
Alumni Network
4.00 star(s)
2.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
3.00 star(s)
Facilities & Equipment
4.00 star(s)
4.00 star(s)
3.00 star(s)
Dean recommends this film school
2 members found this helpful.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AdrianC and Chris W
Can you elaborate on the cons more? A few of those are major red flags for any prospective student yet you still rate the school highly
hello, which discipline did you do at AFI?

Latest questions

Hello all! I had my interview for the AFI directing program last week. I was notified on January 17th and the interview was conducted on the 25th. To prepare, I met with a directing fellow the weekend before to get a sense of what I would be asked, and she framed it as a "chill conversation". I can't say that was my experience (lol) so if you have any questions regarding any part of the interview process, please send them my way.

Curious if anyone who got an AFI interview also got interview requests from USC and UCLA. So far I've only been interviewed by AFI, but it's my top school so I'm happy :)
Hello, I am preparing my application for the production design program and I want to ask if anyone can share any examples for the portfolios they used for their application.
I am an architect, should I show my work with plans, elevations and sections or do I focus mainly on 3d models and visualizations
  • Like
Reactions: unwinding-dreams
Hi! I've been following along some applications on the page and I've seen that USC and AFI have already started interviewing. I applied to those two and I haven't been reached out to for an interview yet, should I be worried?
I'm not sure if they notify everyone they want to interview at the same time or does this happen along a period of time in a more gradual form? Please let me know if you know about this! Thank you!!!

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