URGENT: Ryerson vs. Sheridan: Which one should I choose?

I'm a first time poster here, and I really hope I'm doing this right!

I have been accepted to Ryerson University's (BFA) Film program, as well as Sheridan College's (BFA) film program, and while I may have initially had my heart set on Ryerson, I'm not so sure anymore. I'm being absolutely torn apart trying to make this decision, and I have to reply before May 1st or I will loose my spots. I've made a list of my personal pros as well as questions that I have for each bellow, and if anyone can provide further info on either program (Ryerson especially because I know a little more about Sheridan), it would be incredible! (Goal wise, I am looking into being an Director or Editor, and possibly dabble in screenwriting)

Ryerson Pros:
- In the heart of Toronto (where the industry is
- RUFF every year + connections to other film festival, good for fostering business connections
- Study of analog film (sounds pretty cool)
- Solid theoretical base + hands on production
- Better filming locations (downtown city life is much more interesting than the bland suburbs of Oakville)
- It is possible to study abroad!! (This is something I'd be very interested in!)

Sheridan Pros:
- You can specialize into TWO streams in your second year (editing, directing, sound, screenwriting etc.)
- Top notch equipment
- Make a ton of films for your reel through all four years (I have been told you are guaranteed to create 2 films in your first year, whereas that amount is not guaranteed at Ryerson.)
- Actually nice dorms
- Art school environment (I am a visual artists as well, meaning I would appreciate being around creative people who can draw, paint, etc.)

Ryerson Qs:
- Is the first year very general, and you can specialize later?
- How much technical training do you receive?
- Do you graduate with a decent reel?
- Is learning analog at all useful?
- Do Ryerson graduates really get a good rep?

Sheridan Qs:
- Is it possible to study abroad?
- Does the BFA actually produce leaders, or only crew people?

I've also heard that Sheridan is more for people who are interested in Hollywood and film abroad, whereas Ryerson is aimed more towards Canadian film and television (such as CBC), but please correct me if I'm wrong! Personally I'm more interested in film over television and broadcasting, so that's why I'm a little more hesitant towards Ryerson.

Any help at all will be greatly appreciated, I've very desperate, and need to make me decision asap!!

Chris W

Get Busy Living
Staff member
Good list of pros and cons. Although I don't have experience with either of those school since I'm in the US.... Maybe I can offer some other things for you to think about which will help you with your decision.

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Ideally what would you like to be doing and which school do you think will help you the most in that regard.
  • Tuition? How do the schools compare tuition wise. How much debt will you be in? Always get to minimize that if possible.
Working with old school analog film would definitely be neat and fun. (That's what I did in Film School 20 years ago) Although it would not be very useful from a technology perspective as not many films are shot using film anymore.

But what it would be very good with is making it so you have to plan every shot much more carefully and think things through a lot more.... As it's not like you can just delete a file and shoot things 1 million times with digital if you need to. This would force you to do a lot more forethougt and planning with what you shoot.

And studying abroad is highly recommended! It's what I did in school and it was one of my best experiences.

The solid theoretical base in your pros for Ryerson sounds good. I wouldn't worry as much about dorms (Sheridan) as much as I would worry about how this education will put you where you want to be 10 years from now.

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