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Chris W

Chapman University - Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (M.F.A.)

4.7/5, 4.7 from 3 reviews
The graduate programs at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Conservatory of Motion Pictures are designed to empower you with
  1. Anonymous
    Great program
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 23, 2016
    • + Great staff -- very approachable, esteemed industry vets / pros
    • + Beautiful campus
    • + Strong curriculum
    • + Meaningful projects
    • + Students own their films
    • + Money from tuition is allocated toward film project budgets, so you don't have to raise the money
    • + Amazing reputation (and growing)
    • + Growing alumni base
    • + Fantastic facilities
    • - Very expensive (though again, a good value in relation to comparable schools / programs)
    • - Slightly far from LA (especially dealing with traffic)
    • - Small alumni base
    • - Chapman Filmed Entertainment seems very cliquey with who they've given opportunities to
    • - Classes get cancelled a little too frequently (due to adjuncts having business to attend to)
    • - Still fairly new, so a lot of people outside LA/OC don't know about it
    I attended Chapman's MFA Producing Program from 2010-2012, immediately after finishing undergrad. My experience was a good one overall. I produced several award-winning shorts and was taught by a lot of leading industry veterans. I met and collaborated with a lot of talented people and have kept in touch with many of them who are doing great things. I received a $4,000 per semester fellowship, which really helped with expenses.

    I will say that grad school is sort of what you make it. You can just take the classes and go through the motions to get the degree, but to get hands-on experience, you'll need to put in the work. You'll need to have internships, develop side projects, shoot and edit non school-related projects, and build relationships with classmates that will turn into industry relationships in the future.

    It's expensive, but it's one of the most highly-regarded film programs in the world. If you want to work in any facet of the industry, you'll be prepared. If you want to teach, you'll also be prepared. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who isn't completely dead-set on attending one of the bigger name programs just because of the name. Chapman has the same level of faculty, better facilities, and is cheaper than the others, but is just as highly-regarded in the industry.

    I had to limit my pros and cons in the above, so here are the rest of the:

    -Great location (beautiful area with not too much congestion)
    -Great guest lecturers and screening opportunities
    -Chapman Filmed Entertainment
    -Opportunity to work on as many student projects as you want
    -Opportunity to take classes outside your chosen track
    -Tuition in reference to comparable film schools (but still expensive)
    -Fellowship opportunities to alleviate tuition costs
    -Don't need to take the GRE (at least when I went)
    -Small class sizes for grad programs
    -Always at the top of the "nation's best film schools" lists
    -Chapman, in general, has a great university reputation

    -Not a ton of internship opportunities through the school (you have to go out and search on your own)
    raechen, Mike_V and Chris W like this.