MA Decision: SCAD/ NYFA/ Goldsmiths/ UAL

HaylieC

Member
Hi everyone!
I am an international student from Asia planning to pursue a 1-year MA this fall.
It would be of great help if you guys could share some thoughts on which one of these four I should go for.

Savannah College of Art and Design- MA Film
New York Film Academy (LA Campus)- MA Producing
Goldsmiths, University of London- MA Filmmaking (Producing)
University of the Arts London- MA Film


My ultimate goal is to become a film producer, and I would say the most important criteria would be a great set of professors and courses.
Then, of course strong industrial connection and possibility for internship/ job are taken into major consideration.
I would also hope the school has an overall positive reputation, so people won't think my degree doesn't worth much.

I think my research tells me that SCAD and Goldsmiths would give me better education.
But I'm a little worried that SCAD is only strong for animation/ design, but not in producing, and the location seems to lack internship/ job opportunities.

NYFA seems to be at a great location to do internship/ job hunting, but I feel a little risky to put in money and time while the school has a little too much of negative reviews on their teaching.

UAL made the list because it offers short-term work placement, but I also feel its forte is more in 3D/ design.

Pursuing a graduate degree is a huge investment, and I'm practically torn by making the final decision everyday.
So please let me know if you have anything to share.
Thanks in advance!
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
Have you looked into a
Hi everyone!
I am an international student from Asia planning to pursue a 1-year MA this fall.
It would be of great help if you guys could share some thoughts on which one of these four I should go for.

Savannah College of Art and Design- MA Film
New York Film Academy (LA Campus)- MA Producing
Goldsmiths, University of London- MA Filmmaking (Producing)
University of the Arts London- MA Film


My ultimate goal is to become a film producer, and I would say the most important criteria would be a great set of professors and courses.
Then, of course strong industrial connection and possibility for internship/ job are taken into major consideration.
I would also hope the school has an overall positive reputation, so people won't think my degree doesn't worth much.

I think my research tells me that SCAD and Goldsmiths would give me better education.
But I'm a little worried that SCAD is only strong for animation/ design, but not in producing, and the location seems to lack internship/ job opportunities.

NYFA seems to be at a great location to do internship/ job hunting, but I feel a little risky to put in money and time while the school has a little too much of negative reviews on their teaching.

UAL made the list because it offers short-term work placement, but I also feel its forte is more in 3D/ design.

Pursuing a graduate degree is a huge investment, and I'm practically torn by making the final decision everyday.
So please let me know if you have anything to share.
Thanks in advance!
Have you looked into something longer or shorter? A 2yr mfa or a summer program like UCLA's professional program?
 

Cdemon

Active Member
Hi everyone!
I am an international student from Asia planning to pursue a 1-year MA this fall.
It would be of great help if you guys could share some thoughts on which one of these four I should go for.

Savannah College of Art and Design- MA Film
New York Film Academy (LA Campus)- MA Producing
Goldsmiths, University of London- MA Filmmaking (Producing)
University of the Arts London- MA Film


My ultimate goal is to become a film producer, and I would say the most important criteria would be a great set of professors and courses.
Then, of course strong industrial connection and possibility for internship/ job are taken into major consideration.
I would also hope the school has an overall positive reputation, so people won't think my degree doesn't worth much.

I think my research tells me that SCAD and Goldsmiths would give me better education.
But I'm a little worried that SCAD is only strong for animation/ design, but not in producing, and the location seems to lack internship/ job opportunities.

NYFA seems to be at a great location to do internship/ job hunting, but I feel a little risky to put in money and time while the school has a little too much of negative reviews on their teaching.

UAL made the list because it offers short-term work placement, but I also feel its forte is more in 3D/ design.

Pursuing a graduate degree is a huge investment, and I'm practically torn by making the final decision everyday.
So please let me know if you have anything to share.
Thanks in advance!
I don’t know much about MA programs, but I’ve heard a lot of bad things about NYFA, so I’d consider putting your money elsewhere.
 

HaylieC

Member
Have you looked into a

Have you looked into something longer or shorter? A 2yr mfa or a summer program like UCLA's professional program?
2yr MFA is just too expensive for my circumstances though I did apply to USC since it's my dream school but got rejected anyway

Thank you for mentioning the professional program since I wasn't aware of that.
It seems nice but the huge problem is that it's too short so it's not eligible for me to obtain OPT, which means I can't work or even intern after completing the program, I'll have no choice but to come back home.

Thanks for raising the question, and it'll still be great if you have any thoughts on the schools I mentioned initially :)
 

HaylieC

Member
I don’t know much about MA programs, but I’ve heard a lot of bad things about NYFA, so I’d consider putting your money elsewhere.
Thank you for your reply!
That's what I'm hearing from lots of people about NYFA, too.

Do you have any thoughts regarding the other schools in general?
I'm leaning toward SCAD and Goldsmiths at the moment.
 

Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
I don’t know much about MA programs, but I’ve heard a lot of bad things about NYFA, so I’d consider putting your money elsewhere.
I’ve also heard some pretty shady things about NYFA, I would avoid if I was you
 

Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Hi everyone!
I am an international student from Asia planning to pursue a 1-year MA this fall.
It would be of great help if you guys could share some thoughts on which one of these four I should go for.

Savannah College of Art and Design- MA Film
New York Film Academy (LA Campus)- MA Producing
Goldsmiths, University of London- MA Filmmaking (Producing)
University of the Arts London- MA Film


My ultimate goal is to become a film producer, and I would say the most important criteria would be a great set of professors and courses.
Then, of course strong industrial connection and possibility for internship/ job are taken into major consideration.
I would also hope the school has an overall positive reputation, so people won't think my degree doesn't worth much.

I think my research tells me that SCAD and Goldsmiths would give me better education.
But I'm a little worried that SCAD is only strong for animation/ design, but not in producing, and the location seems to lack internship/ job opportunities.

NYFA seems to be at a great location to do internship/ job hunting, but I feel a little risky to put in money and time while the school has a little too much of negative reviews on their teaching.

UAL made the list because it offers short-term work placement, but I also feel its forte is more in 3D/ design.

Pursuing a graduate degree is a huge investment, and I'm practically torn by making the final decision everyday.
So please let me know if you have anything to share.
Thanks in advance!
SCAD is seemingly becoming more reputable by the day, but it is fairly expensive so that is a downside in my mind. However, the upside is their focus on the dramatic arts is fairly inclusive so you would get a pretty well rounded perspective, from writing producing and film standpoints.
 

Cdemon

Active Member
Thank you for your reply!
That's what I'm hearing from lots of people about NYFA, too.

Do you have any thoughts regarding the other schools in general?
I'm leaning toward SCAD and Goldsmiths at the moment.
Yeah I've also heard good things about SCAD, I know multiple people that specifically think their FX department is great and that usually speaks well of the film department. There's also so much filming going on in Georgia that you'd probably still be able to get some useful production experience or internships even if you later want to be in LA. So that one seems like a good option. Goldsmiths IDK anything about, though London itself is great.
 
Is the nyfa you applied to the school in LA? out of the list given and hearing your goals I would reccomend SCAD right off the bat. Georgia is where all the movies are being made right now. However, these films still get there above the line positions mostly in Hollywood. So depending on what kinda producer you are is how I'd gear my choice. I had an internship at a small management and production company which offered me the opportunity to work as an assistant and then work as a jr. Manager and then climb my way up. And Hollywood has a ton of those type of gigs if that's what you want. If you're looking to get on set, and get a more hands on approach, then I would suggest SCAD. I think pure education wise, SCAD would be better than NYFA, but NYFA might be closer to different opportunities.

Let us know what you decide! Congrats on having choices.
 

popsicles

Member
There is definitely film production happening in Georgia but I have heard mixed things about SCAD. I agree its reputation is as a fine art and animation school. There were some articles circulating a few years ago about its president evading taxes, mismanaging its funding, etc., not sure how credible.

I would definitely reach out to SCAD and see what sort of internship opportunities they have, and if they could provide meaningful connections to your career as a producer specifically. Since it's a master's in Film, not Producing, it's probably focused on shaping your process as an artist/filmmaker, etc – not necessarily training you to be a producer for films, Hollywood, etc..

As I commented previously I have heard similar things about NYFA, so I am wary of both. Not an expert in either program, just my two cents...

If you'd consider taking another year off, I have heard good things about the professional programs at UCLA. But it's not a master's degree, if a degree is important or relevant toward your career goals. You could be better off with a real MA/MFA if you ever want to be a professor. And corporate jobs related to film production, especially in the US, will likely value a master's more.

UAL as a whole is considered very reputable, but they house a lot of different schools. I think their Film MA is under London College of Communication? Not sure what kind of connections to Hollywood they have. It's also a MA in "Film", so I think it focuses on shaping you as an artist/filmmaker – probably less so on the business of film, being a creative producer, etc. It does look like they focus on the "vocational" aspect, from the website, but probably less so than a "Creative Producing" M.A.

I hope this helps ... There is a lot of conflicting terminology between "film production" and "film producing", especially when comparing US schools to everywhere else. I would generally say a broad "Film" M.A. will offer less insider/business training than a producer's program specifically.

Would highly recommend calling all these schools and press them on what opportunities/internships they could offer you as a producer, specifically.

Sounds like you've got some excited choices – hope you're able to find a program that's a good fit.
 

HaylieC

Member
SCAD is seemingly becoming more reputable by the day, but it is fairly expensive so that is a downside in my mind. However, the upside is their focus on the dramatic arts is fairly inclusive so you would get a pretty well rounded perspective, from writing producing and film standpoints.
Thanks for sharing!
It's nice to see that people think rather positively about SCAD and living in Georgia.
Makes me more relieved about my choice :)
I come from business background so I do think having a well rounded education on film would be helpful for me.
 

HaylieC

Member
Yeah I've also heard good things about SCAD, I know multiple people that specifically think their FX department is great and that usually speaks well of the film department. There's also so much filming going on in Georgia that you'd probably still be able to get some useful production experience or internships even if you later want to be in LA. So that one seems like a good option. Goldsmiths IDK anything about, though London itself is great.
Thank you for your feedback!
It's glad to hear another positive thought about SCAD, I do plan to move to LA after graduation since I also have some relatives and friends there :)
London do sound really appealing culture wise, I would love to live there for a year and they do seem to have a fair amount of related internship/ job offered (although not as much as LA)!
But it's really hard to compare schools in US with those in UK. Like based on my research, Goldsmiths and UAL are pretty reputable schools in the UK, but people in the States seem not to have to much thoughts about them.
 

HaylieC

Member
Is the nyfa you applied to the school in LA? out of the list given and hearing your goals I would reccomend SCAD right off the bat. Georgia is where all the movies are being made right now. However, these films still get there above the line positions mostly in Hollywood. So depending on what kinda producer you are is how I'd gear my choice. I had an internship at a small management and production company which offered me the opportunity to work as an assistant and then work as a jr. Manager and then climb my way up. And Hollywood has a ton of those type of gigs if that's what you want. If you're looking to get on set, and get a more hands on approach, then I would suggest SCAD. I think pure education wise, SCAD would be better than NYFA, but NYFA might be closer to different opportunities.

Let us know what you decide! Congrats on having choices.
Yes, the MA program is at LA campus, so I guess that is a pretty big advantage about the school, but I find it hard for me to justify if the education is not good.
I do think production experience would be nice since I don't have too much of that, and maybe move to LA after graduation to find some above the line position related intern/ experience. If that makes any sense...
I think at the moment I really want to work on set, so thanks for your analysis!
 

Cdemon

Active Member
Yes, the MA program is at LA campus, so I guess that is a pretty big advantage about the school, but I find it hard for me to justify if the education is not good.
I do think production experience would be nice since I don't have too much of that, and maybe move to LA after graduation to find some above the line position related intern/ experience. If that makes any sense...
I think at the moment I really want to work on set, so thanks for your analysis!
If the education is sub-par, I'd really think hard before spending your money on it. If you're willing to work for cheap or free you can get on-set experience by just looking at Craigslist out here for film sets at least. And those are great learning experiences.
 

HaylieC

Member
There is definitely film production happening in Georgia but I have heard mixed things about SCAD. I agree its reputation is as a fine art and animation school. There were some articles circulating a few years ago about its president evading taxes, mismanaging its funding, etc., not sure how credible.
Hi, there
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, too!

I can't lie about that I've heard some negative reviews about SCAD before, too. But I think at least it feels more positive in general than NYFA. I'm having an interview with them next week, so thank you for raising some great questions to discuss with them. I do think a Producing program would be better for me, but the reality is the schools I could choose from are as above. So I've been thinking about going to SCAD for film and then go to USC for their producing professional program, or just go to Goldsmiths for their Filmmaking (Producing).

When you mentioned a "real" MA/MFA, do you mean a degree at a "university" rather than an academy or college like NYFA and SCAD? Because all the programs are Master of Arts degree programs per se, so not so sure if this is what you mean. If it is, does that mean you think I would be better off with Goldsmiths and UAL?

Regarding UAL, you're correct that their MA Film is under LCC. Glad to hear that it is reputable also in the States, but I feel like it's forte is also more towards fashion and design. On the side note, I'm a little surprised that you talked about UAL but not Goldsmiths. From my research, Goldsmiths ranks pretty high for film in the UK. I guess they're not that famous in the States then?
 

HaylieC

Member
If the education is sub-par, I'd really think hard before spending your money on it. If you're willing to work for cheap or free you can get on-set experience by just looking at Craigslist out here for film sets at least. And those are great learning experiences.
That's what I thought, too. So SCAD and then LA seems like to be my plan for now, and hope it works. I'm willing to work for free, but I'm not sure if my visa allows me to do so though lol

Appreciate you sharing anyways!
 

popsicles

Member
When you mentioned a "real" MA/MFA, do you mean a degree at a "university" rather than an academy or college like NYFA and SCAD? Because all the programs are Master of Arts degree programs per se, so not so sure if this is what you mean. If it is, does that mean you think I would be better off with Goldsmiths and UAL?
No I mean if you did a professional program (like at UCLA) instead of getting a degree. As far as I know I think both NYFA and SCAD's programs are "degree granting" (i.e. a MA or MFA?) But that could definitely be something to ask during the interviews too.

Honestly I had never heard of Goldsmiths... But I'm not necessarily the best barometer for these things! I think if it's an established program and offers concentrations in producing specifically (which I think UAL does?) it is probably "known" by producers... Or at least will look decent on a resume.
 

Fernando González Ortiz

Member
Supporting Member
Just a lurker trying to share some info. During my University years I had an awesome professor, he graduated from an MFA at SCAD. He told us about his experience, he had some options but SCAD was the most affordable for him. He is a great portrait photographer and an awesome director. He currently teaches at a University in Seattle.

He was my professor for Film and audiovisual theory, advanced directing and Thesis Production 1. He taught me a lot and he was very critical about the creative and artistic process for film.

He directed this during his first year and told us that he had a lot of support from SCAD.


I know that this is not the same as having studied there, but at least I have this small anecdote about one of their students.
 

HaylieC

Member
No I mean if you did a professional program (like at UCLA) instead of getting a degree. As far as I know I think both NYFA and SCAD's programs are "degree granting" (i.e. a MA or MFA?) But that could definitely be something to ask during the interviews too.

Honestly I had never heard of Goldsmiths... But I'm not necessarily the best barometer for these things! I think if it's an established program and offers concentrations in producing specifically (which I think UAL does?) it is probably "known" by producers... Or at least will look decent on a resume.
Thanks for clarifying!
Yes, NYFA and SCAD are also degree granting.

Goldsmiths is a part of University of London, and has pretty good reputation among UK students. So I'll have a good think about it.

Thanks again!
 

HaylieC

Member
Just a lurker trying to share some info. During my University years I had an awesome professor, he graduated from an MFA at SCAD. He told us about his experience, he had some options but SCAD was the most affordable for him. He is a great portrait photographer and an awesome director. He currently teaches at a University in Seattle.

He was my professor for Film and audiovisual theory, advanced directing and Thesis Production 1. He taught me a lot and he was very critical about the creative and artistic process for film.

He directed this during his first year and told us that he had a lot of support from SCAD.


I know that this is not the same as having studied there, but at least I have this small anecdote about one of their students.
Hi, there!

Thank you for sharing your experience.
It definitely helps to hear things like this.
I'll give it a good think and make the final decision.
I'm sure either way it would be an exciting experience for me!

Thanks again :)
 

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