• Film students working on a project at Chapman University
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

BFA in Film Production

» Film Production

In this program, you’ll build a foundation in all aspects of filmmaking, as well as expertise in a specific area of your choice. And you’ll do it all in professional-level facilities with state-of-the-art equipment.

Everything you learn will be used to create a thesis film in your senior year. This film will be a key part of your professional portfolio and serve as a calling card to the industry. 

Perhaps best of all, at Dodge you’ll own all the rights to your projects.


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Program Overview

You’ll receive a solid foundation in all aspects of filmmaking—writing, directing, cinematography, editing, production design, sound design and more. Our award-winning faculty, many of whom still work in the industry, will guide you through every milestone in the program:

  • End of your sophomore year: you declare an area of specialization in directing, cinematography, editing, sound design or production design.
  • Your junior year: you collaborate on a 10-minute Advanced Production project with students from different areas of specialization. 
  • Your senior year: your education culminates with the creation of your own thesis film. 

In addition, you’ll receive a liberal arts education at Chapman. This will give you a broad base of knowledge and the opportunity to learn things outside your major. This includes subjects outside film that interest you and could influence your work.

To learn more about the classes you’ll take in the Film Production program, view degree requirements and electives in our course catalog. 

Senior Thesis

Our faculty and your fellow students will be assisting you throughout the creation of your own film. And once you’re done, we’ll help make sure your work gets noticed:

  • Awards and grants are available to assist you with costs producing and distributing your thesis.
  • At the end of the spring semester, we’ll celebrate your work with a screening in our 500-seat Folino Theater.

You can view a selection of award-winning student work on our Dodge College Vimeo account.


Where This Degree Will Take You

After finishing the program, you’ll be prepared to succeed in the film industry. This is because you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of visual storytelling, story structure and story analysis.
  • Understand the essential functions and roles on a film set—and have the ability to work collaboratively in that structure.
  • Show technical proficiency in a specific filmmaking discipline (directing, editing, cinematography, sound design or production design).
  • Speak and write fluently in film language, developed through critical essays and visual production exercises.

We’ll also make sure you’re prepared to share your stories with the world. Our Film Festival Office helps you navigate the complex festival and distribution world.

Our Dodge College career advisor helps both students and alumni. For more information on career options and outcomes, visit our Film Production Career webpage.
The Duffer Brothers sitting in chairs on stage
Alumni Highlight: The Duffer Brothers ‘07
Film Production Alumni
Twin brothers Matt and Ross Duffer created the hit science-fiction/horror series Stranger Things. In 2017, they came back to Chapman to teach a master class and offer advice to students on how to navigate the industry.

Student Showcases

After you create your film, we’ll help you share it with the world. We offer several student showcase opportunities to recognize our students’ amazing work.


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Leo Freedman Foundation First Cut

A collection of narrative, animation/VFX and documentary student films selected for our annual Leo Freedman Foundation First Cut event.

2019 Chapman Showcase

Our annual Chapman Showcase honors selected student films with screenings around the country. Recent locations include New York, Chicago and Seattle. In fall 2019, two films directed by Film Production students were selected for Chapman Showcase:

  • Grenadine (Directed by Corentin Leroux, Film Production ’19)
  • See You Next Summer (Directed by Scarlett Turner, Film Production ‘19)
Students work on the set of Calamity Falls
Thesis Spotlight: Calamity Falls
Senior Thesis Film
For her fantasy drama Calamity Falls, Hadly Hillel (Film Production ‘18) created a film set that included a 500-pound backdrop, a lifesize greenhouse and a large flower constructed by industry veteran Cleve Hall.

Program Faculty & Visiting Filmmakers

Dodge College faculty draw on vast industry experience as they help you develop your storytelling and technical skills. Not only will you be in contact with your professors for classes, you are also assigned a faculty member as a Dodge College adviser.

In addition, you’ll learn from our Filmmaker-in-Residence. Every semester, renowned Hollywood professionals come to campus to spend 15 weeks with our students. These filmmakers screen their films and participate in post-screening discussions with Dodge students. They also work individually with groups of selected scholars.

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Core Film Production Faculty and Expertise

For a full list of Dodge College faculty, visit our faculty directory.

Industry Internship Opportunities

Internships are a great way to earn academic credit and gain professional experience. Our dedicated Dodge College Career Advisor will help you find and land the position that best suits your interests and goals.  

With our close proximity to Hollywood and connections through faculty, alumni and staff, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to choose from. 

Dodge’s Study Abroad Programs

Stories are everywhere, so Dodge has developed study abroad programs for you to gain filmmaking experience around the world. Our Interterm (January semester) programs are popular short-term options; semester and year-long options are also available.

To provide these experiences to as many students as possible, we offer scholarships to help cover the costs of studying and shooting in another country.

Dodge College’s International Opportunities >>


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Additional Study Abroad Opportunities

Chapman’s Center for Global Education offers thousands of courses in hundreds of locations around the world. Visit their website to learn more about all the opportunities available.

Chapman’s Center for Global Education >>


Student Clubs and Organizations

Joining a student club or organization is a great way to build your community and develop your skillset. Chapman has more than 230 options. You can view Dodge College’s clubs here.

Below is more information on Delta Kappa Alpha Professional Cinema Fraternity, which is especially relevant for Film Production majors:


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Delta Kappa Alpha

DKA is a cinema fraternity that fosters lifelong character, collaborative and creative storytelling, ethical and productive business practices, philanthropic action and fraternal bonds by and between students of the cinematic arts.


Admission & Tour Information

All applicants are required to submit the Common Application and a Creative Supplement.

You can learn more about applying here.

While you consider Chapman, we hope you’ll come visit us in person! You can:

  • Take a tour of Dodge College. These 45-minute tours are given by current students. They cover all academic programs, give you an inside look at our facilities and provide opportunities to ask questions.
  • Take a tour of Chapman. You will get to see more of campus and the residence-life area. You can take this tour back-to-back with a Dodge College tour.

Related Programs

Chapman encourages you to explore your interests wherever they take you. Many students interested in Film Production are also curious about:

You can explore all of Chapman’s undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.

Dodge College Blog


Film student at Chapman University

Get the latest info on the people (students, alumni, faculty, guests), events and projects that make our school an amazing place.

Dodge College Facilities


Film student at Chapman University

We’ve replicated the facilities where leading industry professionals work—and these areas are open to students 24/7.