Southern Oregon University’s New BFA Expands Access to Affordable Film & Video Education

SOU’s Production-Oriented Degree is the First BFA in Film & Video at a Public University in the Pacific Northwest

Continuing to build its booming curricula in film & video production, the Communication, Media & Cinema program at Southern Oregon University secured final state approval for a new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Digital Cinema Production Arts in April, 2023. The BFA debuts starting in Fall, 2023.

The new degree builds on SOU’s existing BA/BS offerings in Digital Cinema, providing further opportunities for aspiring film professionals to make their creative and professional mark. Both the current Digital Cinema concentration and the BFA focus on production skills and practices needed by working crews in film & video.

Several production assistants and an audio operator circle a camera operator working on a film/video project at an outdoors location
Southern Oregon University’s new BFA degree in Digital Cinema Production Arts connects creativity and crew skills relevant to contemporary media industries/Photo by Avery Jackson

Meanwhile, the new degree helps aspiring filmmakers launch their journey to creative leadership roles such as Director, Director of Photography, Producer, and Screenwriter.

“The faculty at SOU are excited to offer the first filmmaking BFA degree at a public university in the Pacific Northwest,” said Andrew Gay, chair of the CMC program at SOU. “The new degree will have concentrations in Directing, Producing, Screenwriting, Documentary, Cinematography, Animation, and more, providing the most comprehensive film education in this part of the country.”

The BFA calls students to study aspects of film and media production, including sound design, screenwriting, and cinematography. In the course of completing 90 credits of study, BFA students will take on the extra commitment of fulfilling a leadership role in the form of an advanced Capstone project such as a student film or screenplay.

Many of SOU’s faculty and staff are established industry professionals. This program will be the first of its kind in Oregon, helping to meet the needs of the thriving film industry across the state.

The Digital Cinema Production Arts degree aims to enhance learners’ creativity and technical skills through a combination of traditional and non-traditional teaching styles, including labs, lectures, and hands-on filmmaking experience. The program also teaches students how to communicate their ideas to an audience and learn from feedback.

Along with the BFA, the CMC program is launching a bumper crop of new certificates in film production. BFA students will each be required to complete at least one of the certificates as a concentration. Meanwhile, at 24–36 credits, these certificates provide opportunities for learners to enhance their practical skills in film & video production without necessarily enrolling in a four-year degree program.

The new concentrations/certificates include:

  • Directing Scripted Narrative for the Screen
  • Screenwriting & Story Development
  • Producing & Production Management
  • Documentary Production
  • Cinematography & Production Technology
  • Media Post-Production
  • Sound Design
  • Scenic & Environmental Design
  • Animation & Motion Design

Alongside the new 90-credit BFA degree, the CMC program will continue to offer its 72-credit BA/BS program, serving students who aspire to crew roles in film & video.

Story by Ripley Pierotti, Community Manager for the Communication, Media & Cinema Program at Southern Oregon University.



Comm, Media & Cinema @ Southern Oregon University

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