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August 1999, Week 3


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Mark Langer <"mlanger@ccs"@CCS.CARLETON.CA>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 17 Aug 1999 02:23:34 -0700
TEXT/PLAIN (109 lines)
On Sun, 15 Aug 1999, RUBEN GARCIA-LOUREDA DIAZ wrote:

> HI,
> the Magazine "US NEWS" (
> publishes the following ranking of Film Universities. I hope this helps.
> ,-)

Lists of this sort should be approached with extreme caution.  Can a
ranking difference based on the distinction between a 4.5 and a 4.4 be
taken seriously?  Upon what is the ranking of a school's reputation based?
And does reputation depend on present quality, or something else?  What
determines quality? Who is being surveyed to determine the schools'
reputations?  What kind of research have those surveyed done on the
variety and quality of film programs?  How much does a school's reputation
depend on film, and how much on other fine arts? Somehow, I find it hard
to believe that U.S. News and World Report has a better idea of where the
best film schools are than professionals in the field.  Perhaps it is
time for a Screen-L poll on the top film schools? :-)

I also find it absurd that one school would be rated better than another
on an absolute score.  Most of us know that different schools have
different strengths or specializations.  What a student might want
from a particular school might differ in no small measure from the
school's actual virtues.  For example, while Columbia University might
rank high in terms of certain areas within filmmaking, a student who is
interested in scholarship would not be particularly well served there.
(I'm picking Columbia because I am an alumnus, and don't want to be flamed
for bias.) Yet many of the top schools for more academic pursuits
(Pittsburgh, Iowa, etc.) don't even make the list.

In terms of production, one also has to question the selection criteria.
To take one example, the top North American school for studying animation
production doesn't even make this list, and several high ranked American
animation programs are nowhere to be found here.  Similarly, if a student
is interested in new media, documentary, etc., just picking from the top
of the list might not be the smartest strategy.  But does U.S. News and
World Report inform the consumer of this?  I somehow doubt it.

Mark Langer

>   Search this section or the entire site.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Film - Master of Fine Arts (1997)
> Top Schools | Methodology | FAQ | Back to the Arts
> Rank/School Average reputation score (5 = highest)
> 1. New York University  4.5
> 1. University of Southern California  4.5
> 3. University of California–Los Angeles  4.4
> 4. American Film Institute (CA) 4.1
> 5. California Institute of the Arts  4.0
> 6. Columbia University (NY) 3.7
> 7. School of the Art Institute of Chicago  3.6
> 7. University of Texas–Austin  3.6
> 9. Florida State University  3.5
> 9. Northwestern University (IL) 3.5
> 9. Temple University (PA) 3.5
> 12. Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) 3.3
> 12. San Francisco Art Institute 3.3
> 12. University of California–San Diego  3.3
> 15. San Francisco State University 3.1
> 15. University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee 3.1
> 17. Ohio University 3.0
> 17. Southern Illinois University–Carbondale 3.0
> 17. Syracuse University (NY) 3.0
> © U.S.News & World Report Inc. All rights reserved.
> Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
> At 16:58 12/08/99 +0200, Belandean ----- wrote:
> >I am very interested in this line of discussion, but I would like to know
> >more about the programs available for film theory and/or history. I am
> >currently a graduate student (in English, but I have discovered film and am
> >concentrating my study in film theory) and I am seriously considering
> >continuing on to a doctoral program. I love film and would love to spend my
> >life teaching film theory. But, as everyone knows, the job market for those
> >with an English/Literature degree is not the best. I am curious about the
> >opinions of those on the list who are teaching film-- is it worth the effort
> >to continue on?
> >D. Olson
> >Central Washington Univ.
> >
> Ruben Garcia-Loureda Diaz
> [log in to unmask]
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama:

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