Have built an okay network there, a foundation for the network I have now
Awesome study abroad programs -- the Castle, Prague, Greece, etc
Employment office does try to help you prepare for job hunting, they can look over your resumes & host mock interviews
You have access to Emerson's film equipment (but you're often not really taught how to use them because you can only check the EQ out if you're shooting a class project)
Campus isn't super accessible for students w disabilities
Not a lot of great professors, just a lot of average ones (have definitely had a professor advertise his book to us in a lecture before)
My whole experience felt half-baked
ELA is useless, internships aren't guaranteed and the classes they have there are awful + the campus is GAUDY
You really need to join clubs/extracurriculars to build your network/get experience but you end up having to be interviewed by your peers to get in; weird environment
Can only take 4 classes per semester -- rip off?
Dorms are disgusting
Transfers are treated lesser than 4 year students
You have to take a lot of useless classes that Emerson requires to make you a "more well rounded student" but you can only take 4 classes per semester so there's less time for more concentrated classes
Some professors are just salty that they're teaching film students rather than making films themselves
I went to Emerson for my undergrad for VMA (Visual media arts, just generally the film program) and...it was a lot of fun, I certainly learned some things, but it's truly what you make of it. There are plenty of really good professors that care and want to share their knowledge with you, but a lot of classes felt useless to me. You're also only able to take 4 classes per semester which felt like a rip off. You do have smaller class sizes and Boston is an awesome college town, but I'd be lying if I said that Emerson doesn't have it's flaws. Take advantage of all the extracurriculars and clubs, sometimes you learn more from those than actual classes. Like they have comedy shows you can write/act in and be able to work in a studio, they also have the EVVYs award show you can work on (I didn't but I wish I can been a part of a big production like that). I didn't have a concentration when I was there because I didn't know what I really wanted to do yet, so I feel like I lost time while I was there (I also transferred in as a sophomore and they don't treat transfers the same as freshmen, plus you cannot attend the Castle study abroad program). The Boston classes feel like a lot of film history and not a lot of practical stuff unless you find that diamond in the rough production class (only had about 2 production classes where I actually learned things, otherwise you just kinda have to volunteer to be on student film sets).
Luckily, I was able to go to the Prague summer study abroad program and study at FAMU (the world's oldest film school) and produce my own short film, that alone made the entire Emerson experience worth it; great people and great professors there. I also did the ELA program on their Los Angeles campus my final semester and got an internship (you really have to get your own internship, not a lot of help from their network), the classes at ELA were ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE and USELESS to me, but I did end up getting a job out of my internship -- only a handful of people actually get work out of their internships so don't bank on this. The job was AWFUL (I was an assistant in a small production house and they treated me like shit, plus I felt like I was wasting my time there because I wasn't learning about preproduction, I was just an admin) and I left after a few months. I left LA altogether bc it's a terrible environment and moved in NYC, which has a much better film industry in my opinion because there's less competition than LA. However, the "Emerson Mafia" didn't help me land ANY jobs in NYC, I got all of those on my own and was successful there (before Covid rip).
This was just MY experience with Emerson, luckily I was only there 2 and a half years since I was a transfer so I got what I wanted out of it (kinda, it felt half-baked at times), but people that went there all 4 years absolutely hated it. It's a very small community but it's realistic to predict your future career in film in the way that everything relies on your reputation, if you work well with others, and if you have talent. But there's definitely a popularity hierarchy at a school this small, you really do have to find your niche. There were a lot of people who truly utilized all of Emerson's resources and came out with a lot of great student films but plenty of people just scraped by with nothing to show for it.
*note: I came in as a transfer so I wasn't able to get into the dorms, I had to move into a shitty and expensive apt near campus at the last minute bc Emerson didn't help me AT ALL.
Not the best faculty, looking back, just some diamonds in the rough. I'm sure the same things can be said for any small arts school. But they do have an employment office that helps you with resume building and interviewing, they still helped me after I graduated which was nice.
Well respected in the industry (Film, Media, Journalism)
Nice renovations to campus
Great classes that challenges you to think critically
In the heart of Boston, so very urban campus if that's what you like
Very elitist student body
Not diverse in ethnicity or class
A bubble, everyone operates in an Emerson vacuum and is very arrogant (cliche arts school)
Lack of diverse professors, therefore if you're a student of color you will be less likely to have your work critiqued by someone who looks like you and has lived your experiences
Can't use film equipment unless in the film production. In tours they'll show you the equipment but unless you're directly enrolled you're not allowed to access it
Not a very strong alumni base (they're everywhere, but not willing to help as everyone sees each other as competition)
Everything is a competition. So all the clubs you need to try out, audition, submit a resume to join any group on campus which leads to popularity contest
Emerson opened a lot of doors for me, so I can't dismiss that fact. However, I don't think it was necessary for me to go to Emerson as opposed to another top university for communications (UVA, Boston U, NYU).