School of Filmmaking
Undergraduate BulletinSchool of Filmmaking
Overview of School
Overview of School
The School of Filmmaking offers a four-year undergraduate program in motion-picture production, preparing students for careers in the moving image arts and industries. The faculty consists of film and television artists-in-residence as well as professional scholars, all of whom are dedicated to instilling in our students the importance of telling stories that speak to the human condition. We are committed to nurturing the “complete” filmmaker ― a storyteller of vision and insight who knows and appreciates the myriad components that are essential to the creation of the entire spectrum of moving images, whether fiction or nonfiction, animated or live-action, series television, music videos, commercials, industrial shorts, or other new media. We are a training ground for young artists, giving them the freedom to explore their creative ideas within a carefully structured environment that strives to mirror the collaborative creative process of the professional world. The relationship between our faculty and students is one of individualized mentorship, involving close collaboration in all aspects of the development, production, and exhibition of our students’ digital video or film projects.
Essential to the development of young artists is the exposure to all the performing arts, as well as a strong background in liberal arts studies. Our students benefit greatly from living and working in a closely-knit community of artists from the Schools of Dance, Design & Production, Drama, and Music. Their education is enriched by a liberal arts curriculum that is fully integrated into the School of Filmmaking BFA program. We expect our students to have or to develop a strong base in the liberal arts and humanities, as well as in the physical and social sciences, with additional intensive coursework in film history, aesthetics, and analysis.
The School of Filmmaking offers concentrations in the areas of Animation, Cinematography, Directing, Picture Editing & Sound Design, Producing, Production Design, and Screenwriting. In the first year of the program, all students are required to write, direct, produce, shoot, edit, and design films, whether they feel artistically inclined and qualified in those areas or not. This approach gives students a foundation of general skills and knowledge prior to specializing in one area of focus.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
A. Physical and cognitive abilities
Students must, at a minimum, possess functional use of the somatic senses, have adequate motor capabilities to manage situations in which these senses would be employed, and be able to integrate data acquired via these senses. The School of Filmmaking embraces inclusivity and will provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.
B. Required GPA and Test Scores
The School of Filmmaking has minimum high school GPA and SAT/ACT requirements. See Admissions pages for further information.
C. Transfer Students
Transfer credits for liberal arts classes taken at another institution are subject
to the general policies of the Division of Liberal Arts.
Transfer credits in lieu of film classes in the School of Filmmaking will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if the student has earned a grade of B or better for the course, and if the course meets faculty approval (based on review of the syllabus and course description).
Our curriculum from Year One onward is sequential, collaborative, and intensive, and therefore it is generally not advantageous for applicants to transfer in at an advanced level. However, we will evaluate each applicant’s transcript and creative portfolio to determine whether or not transfer credit and/or advanced standing can be awarded. Please follow the guidelines for Transfer Applicants in the Admissions section of the UNCSA website.
Continuation in the program from year to year is based upon a number of factors, including: the student’s grades, reflecting both artistic and academic performance; assessment of the student's portfolio; and their ability to interact appropriately and productively within the School community. Particular emphasis is placed upon the professional demeanor and creative discipline exhibited by the student, and the demonstration of collaborative skills in both classroom discussions and on the set of student productions. Please see UNCSA’s Undergraduate Policy on Student Probation and Continuation.
A. End-of-the-Year Portfolio Review
At the end of every Spring semester, the faculty will review each student’s portfolio from that academic year. This review consists of a general discussion and assessment of all aspects of the student’s coursework, practicum experiences, and their creative development across the year.
B. Class Placement and Concentration
At the end of a student’s first year, they may request a Portfolio Review for acceptance
into either the Animation or Production Design department, each of which is a three-year
At the end of Year Two, those students who are not in Animation or Production Design will schedule Portfolio Reviews with the faculty of their 1st and 2nd choice disciplines, selected from among the following options: Cinematography, Directing, Picture Editing & Sound Design, Producing, or Screenwriting, each of which is a two-year program. In accepting or placing a student within a discipline at the end of the Year 2 Portfolio Review process, the faculty will take into consideration each student's grades, artistic portfolio, and professional demeanor, in order to help each student maximize their creative potential.
C. Minimum Grade Point Average, Probation, and Non-continuation
Students in the School of Filmmaking are expected to meet or exceed a minimum cumulative
Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.7 each semester, as delineated in the Institutional
Policies section of the UNCSA Bulletin.
Students who fail to meet this minimum GPA will be placed on probation; students who fail to raise their GPA to the requisite 2.7 by the end of the subsequent semester may, by UNCSA policy, be continued on Probationary Status for another term, or be discontinued from the School of Filmmaking.
See the GPA chart and policies at this link: https://www.uncsa.edu/bulletin/current/undergraduate/institutional-policies.aspx
D. Division of Liberal Arts (DLA) Requirements
School of Filmmaking students pursuing the BFA must complete a 30 credit hour Liberal Arts (General Education) Core, plus an additional 6 credits that may be earned either from two more Liberal Arts courses taken beyond the Gen Ed Core and/or any permitted courses from the Schools of Dance, Design & Production, Drama, or Music. Transfer credits or AP credits may also apply.
It is recommended that students with no transfer or AP credits complete at least 9 credit hours of Gen Ed requirements (at least three courses) each year in order to be on track to graduate by the end of their fourth year.
E. Additional School of Filmmaking Policies
Students must read and comply with all policies and procedures in the School of Filmmaking Student Handbook and the School of Filmmaking Safety Handbook (available online at the Film School Art Hub). Because all filmmakers must understand the importance of safety, not only for their own sake but also for their fellow crewmembers in all production situations, students must take and pass the safety exam in the Fall Semester of each year before being allowed to work on any productions. Students must also sign a Student Agreement of Understanding at the beginning of each school year verifying that they have read and accept the policies of the School of Filmmaking.
Additional costs, materials, and equipment
A. Computer and Software Requirements
Each incoming student is required to purchase an Apple MacBook Pro with the latest operating system and Final Draft screenwriting software. Students will also be using Adobe Creative Cloud, the license for which is provided by UNCSA at no additional cost. The 14” Macbook Pro is recommended for editing. You should purchase the model that has the Apple M1 Pro with 8-core CPU, 14-Core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine with 1TB SSD Storage or better and 16GB of unified memory.
The less expensive 13" MacBook Pro can be used also. If you choose to buy the 13" model, choose the Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, and 8-core GPU, and 16 core Neural Engine with 1TB SSD Storage or better and 16GB of unified memory.
We also recommend that all incoming students purchase a Tripp-Lite U442-DOC 1 USB-C Docking Station (or an equivalent) to provide substantially more connectivity for their laptop, as well as an external USB3 hard drive (at least 1 terabyte) with USB-C or USB3 interface, for editing and backup purposes (the link is provided below). We strongly recommend adding the AppleCare warranty option to protect your computer investment.
B. Tools and Equipment
Students are also required to purchase several items in order to work on set safely and responsibly. A list of these tools is available at this link:
All of these items are available for purchase in the Winston-Salem area, but we recommend you buy these essential tools of the filmmaking trade in advance.