Temple University - School of Theater, Film and Media Arts

4.00 star(s) 4 Stars (1 Member Reviews)
Degrees Offered
4 Year B.A., 4 Year B.F.A.
Concentrations
Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Film Studies, Media Arts & Practice, Producing, Screenwriting
Yearly Tuition
$10k to $20k
Tuition Detail
PA Resident: $17,712
Out of State Resident: $30,672
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Overall rating
4.00 star(s) 1 ratings
Affordability
4.00 star(s)
Alumni Network
4.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
3.00 star(s)
Coursework
3.00 star(s)
Facilities
3.00 star(s)
Professors
3.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Relatively affordable
  • Decent gear
  • Philly is a great city
Cons
  • Lack of focus
  • No real stages
  • Somewhat out of touch with the "industry"
I graduated in 2013 and know several recent graduates ( 2017-2019 classes) as well. My personal and their related experiences are the basis for the sum of this review. I currently work as a DP & AC in Los Angeles. I was out of state and found it quite affordable. With some small scholarships & grants, I was only left with around $16K in student loan debt, which ain't bad at all. The film school isn't any more expensive than any other degree on campus to my knowledge. For PA residents it's a very affordable school and that is where a significant amount of the students are from for sure. Many others like myself were from surrounding mid-Atlantic states, and then you had a peppering of people from everywhere else. Philadelphia is fairly popular film making city, with lots of trickle down from NYC and good amount of local industry as well.

Temple's film program is interesting. It is relatively small and doesn't make a ton of "lists" but you'll find a surprising amount of Temple alumni with substantial careers in the industry. Temple ultimately gives you what you put into it. Among my peers, by the end of Junior year, it was clear which students would likely go on to have active careers within the film industry based on how they "moved" through the film program. When I was in the program, their where no "concentrations" and you had to forge your own from what courses were offered. It was easy to get lost as a student there. The best students recognized what they wanted to do in the industry and used whatever the school might offer to achieve it. I see now they do offer concentration tracks in cinematography, screenwriting etc. and I'm glad they made that change. I think it will help many students feel less lost. For what it's worth, the list of required and suggested elective courses for the Cinematography track very closely mirror the courses I chose to take in my time there. They don't look to be offering more than there were in 2009-2013, but they are definitely presenting it better.

The school offers modest gear and facilities, with tools that in 2020 are plenty enough to make a film with. Access was tiered and tied to classes, you aren't going to be shooting on RED or Amira until your maybe 3rd, probably 4th year. You also wont be renting out any of the "good lights" if you aren't enrolled in a lighting, cinematography or thesis course. They boasted a fairly large collection of 16mm & Super 16mm cameras and shooting film is an active part of the curriculum. Professors were generally knowledgeable and encouraging. Many of them had respectable bodies of work, especially in documentary and independent film circles. Temple is actually known to produce great documentary filmmakers. However, I found that to really learn how a set worked, what roles there were in play, what practices and techniques were considered standard and professional...I needed to not only work on any and every student project I could, but also find local sets to crew on and do my own research. Speaking particularity to cinematography and camera department, I found that the gear & practical "on set" education I got solely from courses at Temple where CRAP compared to the USC/Chapman/LMU alums I met in LA. And that is honestly to be expected...those schools have tons of money, resources, connections and of course the price tags to go with them.

Community is probably the most important thing you get from film school and this is where Temple shines to me. We stick together. The "indie" offerings from the school often force the students who really want to succeed to push each other to do so. All film schools breed tight knit relationships among students, but I felt that Temple with the backdrop of Philadelphia as your formative environment, really make for some tight bonds with the peers you knew wanted to "make it" in larger markets like LA or NYC. More formally, Temple does have a very strong Los Angeles internship program that is probably the single most crucial part of the program to consider. It definitely gave me and countless other students the legs to make it to LA after school, obviously with career connections, but also adjusting to LA living, housing, etc. There is a house LA that has served as a place for new graduates to room in (its like a 5 bedroom house) and find their footing in the city. Somewhat legendary, as the landlord is a Temple alum and its been exclusively rented (for cheap) to Temple alums for over a decade. There is also a good amount of alumni in the NYC market given its proximity to Philadelphia, and the school will support intern programs there as well. That Temple bond actually makes for a great alumni network in LA and NYC.

All in all it's a good program that will give back what you put into it. Like any film school, you should always be looking for work outside of academics...crewing on local sets, shooting beyond classes, etc. But when your school is somewhat obviously not up to snuff with the industry's latest and greatest, the drive to go the extra mile kicks in even harder. Success in this industry means you have to hustle and, even if unintentionally, Temple pushes it students to do just that. Despite Temple's lack of "hollywood training" I had just as much (and sometimes more) practical experience than those big ticket school alums, because the program inadvertently made me seek out professional opportunities pretty much from Freshman year. It's a program & environment that show you a path to success, but it's up to you to work hard and go down it.
Affordability
4.00 star(s)
Alumni Network
4.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
3.00 star(s)
Coursework
3.00 star(s)
Facilities
3.00 star(s)
Professors
3.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
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