Film Production FAQ | Media Studies | The New School

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  • General Questions

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  • What is the Film Production Certificate?

    Offered by the School of Media Studies, the Certificate in Film Production is awarded by The New School for the successful completion of a minimum of eight approved courses that guide the student through the art and craft of filmmaking, including a sequence of five production studio courses culminating in a finished final film project. Taught by our faculty of experienced teachers and working professionals, the courses explore all aspects of filmmaking and professional development, including pre-production planning, directing, writing, cinematography, editing, and producing. The certificate program is designed for the committed student with any level of experience. Upon successful completion of all courses, students receive an official certificate attesting to their expertise in the field. A detailed description and breakdown of the program's courses can be viewed here.

    How does this program differ from other programs offered at The New School?

    Unlike The New School’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the Film Production Certificate is a noncredit program with an open admissions policy; however, students must meet eligibility requirements and international students needing a visa must submit a form - see [link]. Students receive an official certificate, not a degree, upon successful completion of the program requirements.

    How long does it take to complete the program?

    Depending on the number of courses taken per semester, the program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. There is no time limit for completing the program, though five years is a reasonable maximum time. The following is the recommended course of study for a student enrolled in the program full-time:

    • Semester 1: The Art of Film, Filmmaking Studio 1, Elective + 3 corresponding CT LABS
    • Semester 2: Filmmaking Studio 2, Filmmaking Studio 3, Elective + 3 corresponding CT LABS
    • Semester 3: Filmmaking Studio 4, Two Electives + 3 corresponding CT LABS
    • Semester 4: Filmmaking Studio 5, Two Electives + 3 corresponding CT LABS

    All international students MUST be enrolled full-time every semester. Full-time status is defined in one of two ways: (1) three 3-credit-equivalent classes plus 3 CT LABS during the 15-week fall and spring sessions or (2) two 3-credit-equivalent classes plus 2 CT LABS during the summer session.  

    When do courses in the Film Production Certificate program begin?

    Courses follow The New School’s fall, spring, and summer semester calendars. Students can register for courses in the Film Production curriculum at the start of any semester, in accordance with the required sequence of courses. The New School’s university and school calendars can be accessed here. These calendars also provide information about registration deadlines and observed holidays for current and upcoming semesters. If students wish to complete the program in one year, they must begin the program in the summer and take classes in the following fall, spring, and summer terms.

    As a student in the program, do I have access to computer labs and software?

    Noncredit students can use classroom computers during non-class hours. Classroom schedules and availability are posted daily on The New School's website. Information Technology maintains an up-to-date list of all available software. Open the "Software Configurations" document under the "Locations" heading. Filter by Software and choose Avid from pull-down menu. Here is the direct link for your convenience.

    In addition, the School of Media Studies Edit Lab (2 West 13th Street, 10th floor, room 1011) is open during posted scheduled hours for certificate student use. Other campus classrooms are reserved exclusively for Film Production Certificate students. Hours change every semester.

    Noncredit students wishing to purchase or subscribe (monthly) to Avid Media Composer are entitled to an educational price discount.

    How much does the program cost?

    There is no flat-rate program tuition; rather, students pay on a course-by-course basis. Certificate students pay the noncredit tuition cost per course, plus a $80 registration fee per semester; required CT LABS carry no additional fee. The total cost of completing the program’s course requirements varies and does not take into account the cost of film stock, film processing, and other materials needed for student projects. Individual courses range in cost; costs are published along with course descriptions in The New School Continuing Education Course Bulletin, available in print and online here.  

    Do I need previous filmmaking experience to be eligible for this program?

    This is an open admissions program; no application or matriculation is required for a student to be eligible for registration, though international students have visa application considerations (please see information below under "Prospective International Students"). Committed students at any level of experience are encouraged to participate in this program.

    What kind of time commitment do the courses in this program require?

    Your workload and time commitment will depend on how many courses you take during a semester. Most classes meet once per week, and all certificate students must register for the CT LAB section of every required and elective class in which they are enrolled. The CT LAB accounts for the minimum of five hours per week outside of class that students are expected to work on graded assignments required by the instructional sections. The CT LAB carries no formal schedule, and you can manage these five weekly hours per class on your own.

    As a student in this program, do I have access to filmmaking equipment?

    Registered students have access to dedicated equipment reserved for the class in which they are currently registered. Policies, procedures, and equipment reservations are made available by the Media Studies and Film Production Office.

    Is the staff at the Media Studies and Film Production Office available to train me in the use of filmmaking equipment?

    No, the Film Production Office staff are responsible only for taking equipment reservations and checking equipment. They are not responsible for personal property, telephone calls, or additional instruction. The instructors and teaching assistants of your filmmaking courses are available during class time to teach you how to use the equipment and how to troubleshoot. Instructors are responsible for outlining the technical needs of the class, and students are entitled to the equipment designated specifically for the class.

    How do I register for classes in this program?

    Registration each semester can be completed online via the Continuing Education website. Full payment is due at the time of registration. Film Production students can register for courses online here.

    Students must  select "Certificate" when prompted to select course status. This will ensure that their registration as certificate students is recognized. Certificate students pay the noncredit tuition cost per course, plus a $80 registration fee per semester.

    All certificate students must register for the CT LAB section of every required and elective class in which they are enrolled. A grid of coordinating instructional sections/CT LAB sections will be available every semester. The CT LAB carries no formal schedule.

    How will I be graded for the classes I take in this program?

    Students must receive an "AP" in all of the required courses in this program to be granted the Film Production Certificate. In order to receive an “AP,” students must have the equivalent of a B or higher grade. Courses taken toward a Film Production Certificate cannot be used toward matriculation or retroactively granted credit.

    What is the difference between the Documentary Media Studies Certificate and the Film Production Certificate?

    The Documentary Studies Certificate is a credit-bearing graduate certificate. It is a one-year intensive daytime program with a minimum entrance requirement of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a portfolio including a video self-portrait, a creative sample, and a treatment for a documentary project. The Film Production Certificate is a noncredit certificate.  

  • Prospective International Student Questions

    What are the eligibility requirements for pursuing a Film Production Certificate at The New School?

    International students must go through an official admissions process first through the Office of Admission and then through the International Student Services (ISSS) Office. The application is available from the Film Production advisor at .

    How long does it take to complete the Film Production Certificate program?

    Currently the program takes a minimum of four (4) semesters to complete. International students must maintain full-time student status while participating in the program as a stipulation of their visa. Full-time status is defined in one of two ways: (1) three 3-credit equivalent classes plus three CT LABS during the 15-week fall and spring sessions or (2) two 3-credit equivalent classes plus two CT LABS during the summer session (though summer might not be required). 

    Where can I get information and advice about the U.S. visa application process?

    For more information about requirements for international students, please visit the International Student and Scholar Services website.  ISSS provides expertise and support throughout the U.S. visa application process and offers advisement on the maintenance of U.S. legal status, employment, reinstatement, change of status, program changes, and other immigration-related matters.

    How long does it take to acquire a U.S. visa?

    The visa application process varies from country to country and can take from one day to many weeks for processing, so please plan ahead. All international students must submit their application in full, including transcripts and language proficiency scores, by the following schedule of deadlines:

    • Fall Term Applicants: June 1

    • Spring Term Applicants: November 1

    • Summer Term Applicants: April 1

    For how long will my U.S. visa be valid?

    Your U.S. visa will be valid for one year, beginning at the time that it was issued. To complete the Film Production Certificate, you need to request an extension on your U.S. visa. This request can be made at the ISSS Office. You should plan to allow enough time for your extension to be processed before the validation of your U.S. visa expires.

    How long does it take to acquire a student visa?

    This varies from country to country and from person to person. Processing can take one day or many weeks. You can apply for admission at any time, but in thinking about when to start taking courses, you should keep in mind the time it may take for you to receive your visa.