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B.A. in Cinema and Media Arts

At the heart of every young filmmaker is the love of story. Learn to tell yours at the #1 Christian film school. In Biola’s cinema and media arts program, you’ll receive the instruction, mentorship, technical training and hands-on experience you need to become an exceptional visual storyteller.

As Biola’s primary film degree, the B.A. in Cinema and Media Arts offers you the opportunity to gain a solid foundation in all aspects of film creation and production, while still allowing you to focus your studies in specific aspects of film development.

In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s cinema and media arts program offers several key advantages as students prepare for work in the film industry:

  • A commitment to developing the whole filmmaker — craft and character.
  • A stellar reputation. Biola’s Snyder School of Cinema and Media Arts is the only member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) recognized as one of the best 50 film schools in the world by The Wrap. Variety has spotlighted Biola on its list of 21 "top film schools" in North America.
  • An intentional student art community. The essence of film production is collaboration, not competition. We are friends who work together, and this sense of community permeates your experience both as a student and alumni.
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment, including 6K cameras, full-range lens kits, lighting instruments, microphones and support gear. No need to wait years before touching equipment and making films. Our students have access to cameras and equipment to start creating right away!
  • 24-hour access to our 10,000-square-foot Studio Facilities, featuring a sound stage, recording room and over a dozen video and audio editing facilities — which you can explore through our virtual tour.
  • A location less than 20 miles from Los Angeles — the “entertainment capital of the world” — students have the ability to secure internships at Hollywood studios, television networks and entertainment companies.
  • Valuable student experiences through several off-campus programs such as Biola Sundance, Biola London, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, International Film Program and the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Over 200 industry professionals who support Biola's cinema and media arts program through classroom teaching, mentoring, internships, job contacts and financial gifts.
  • In Focus Forums, screenings and seminars. Located both on campus and at studio lots such as CBS Studios, these give students opportunities to interact with Hollywood directors, producers and other industry professionals.
  • Biola offers the Torrey Honors College, which can enhance your film studies. This unique honors program immerses you in discussion-based courses that will help you to become a great visual storyteller through engagement with influential and classic stories of the past.

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  • Cinematography
    Becoming a sought-after Director of Photography requires artistic vision, technical skill and a relentless passion for storytelling. That’s we offer hands-on, lab-based learning. You’ll collaborate closely with student directors. You’ll build industry-grade cameras from the ground up. You’ll delve into the intricacies of lighting, lenses, framing and motion. You’ll become equipped to lead one of the largest crews on set. And you’ll do it all while creating and capturing stunning shots that drive the story forward.
  • Creative Producing
  • Directing
    Directors don’t just imagine possibilities. They turn ideas into realities. To become one, you must integrate high-level vision-casting with incredible attention to detail. You must inspire and delegate. You must lead with clarity and maintain creative control. These skills require hands-on learning — so we make sure you can try your hand at bringing stories that matter to life. More than 80 student films go into production each year. We’re ready for yours.
  • Editing
    Editors stitch together moments, weaving snatches of story into stories that move people. You’ll need to become skilled in the art of the “final rewrite,” making pivotal decisions that serve the directors’ vision and maximize the story’s impact on its viewer. That’s why we match the theoretical with the practical. You’ll master nonlinear editing programs such as Adobe Premiere, Avid and Final Cut while delving into the theory of editing and storytelling — becoming equipped to create moments that matter in every scene.
  • Entertainment Business
    If you want to be involved in some of the biggest decisions within one of the most impactful industries on the planet, entertainment business may just be for you. Whether you’re commissioning scripts, hiring producers and directors, or sealing the deal once the film is complete, you’ll need to be equipped to make informed, high-level decisions. That’s why we partner with the Crowell School of Business. You’ll have all the knowledge and experience you need to become a development, production, marketing or distribution executive — bringing stories that matter to the people that need to hear them the most.
  • Production
  • Visual Effects & 3D Animation
    Often, crucial parts of a story can’t be recreated in real life. Developing expertise in visual effects will equip you to use computer graphics, motion capture and other technologies to render these impossibilities into seeming reality. By the time you graduate, you’ll be able to manipulate characters and environments — from minor character alterations to creating tsunamis — in ways that elevate each film’s storytelling.

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What will I study as a cinema and media arts major?

Throughout the cinema and media arts program, you will have numerous learning opportunities that focus on equipping you to serve as an observer, interpreter and creator of mass media through a Christian worldview. There are four areas of study to select from: game design and interactive media, production, writing for the screen and entertainment producing. Learning topics and course highlights include:

  • Visual storytelling
  • Writing for television and film
  • Integration of faith and filmmaking
  • Exploring truth and beauty through art
  • Cinematography and lighting
  • Casting and set design
  • Documentary production
  • Business practices in the entertainment industry
  • New and emerging media
  • Marketing and distribution

Bible and Theology Coursework

As part of Biola’s commitment to a biblically centered education, most undergraduate students complete 30 credits of biblical and theological studies as a part of their degree program. Learn more about our Bible and theology core.

Career Outlook and Preparation

What can you do with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Arts?

Many career opportunities in film, television, research or business await future graduates of Biola's cinema and media arts program. As a well-equipped professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in professions such as:

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Screenwriter
  • Editor
  • Sound Design
  • Music Video & Commercial Directing

12% job growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for film and video editors is projected to be much faster than average between 2021 and 2031.

BLS projections are not specific to Biola University students or graduates.

Bailey Captain

Biola CMA allowed me to focus on what I was passionate about, personalized my education, and just allowed me to turn into the young professional woman I am today.

Video Editor, JUV Consulting
Cinema and Media Arts, B.A. '22
Nathan Mielke

The CMA Department created a safe environment where I was able to connect with equally aspiring filmmakers and figure out exactly what I wanted to do. CMA put a camera in my hands and let me experiment and learn through my mistakes and successes.

Nathan Mielke
Cinema and Media Arts, B.A. '10


Admissions Process

Learn about Biola’s admissions requirements, steps to apply, application deadlines and more at our Undergraduate Admissions page.

Program-Specific Admissions Requirements

Admission into Snyder School of Cinema and Media Arts is a separate process from applying to the university. Learn more about the admissions process for the B.A. in Cinema and Media Arts.

Explore the Admissions Process

Schedule a Visit

Learn more about this program by attending an upcoming event for prospective students and parents, or by scheduling a personalized visit.

Visit Biola

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attaining a degree from Biola is more affordable than you might think — dramatically lower than the “sticker price” in most cases — with 100% of incoming undergraduate students receiving some form of financial aid.


Learning Opportunities

Screenwriting Contest

Every year, admitted and current Biola students can enter the screenwriting contest for a chance to win $10,000 in scholarships.

Biola Film Camp

The Biola Film Camp is open to high school students to participate and learn about the movie-making experience.

Additional Learning Opportunities

Learn about other learning opportunities for students in the B.A. in Cinema and Media Arts program.

Explore Additional Learning Opportunities


What is a film degree?

A bachelor’s in film is a degree obtained through the study of the field of film creation and management including specific areas such as editing, directing, script writing, animation and marketing.

What can you do with a film major?

Students graduating with a degree in film are well versed in technical and aesthetic aspects of motion-picture photography and can pursue careers and job opportunities in a range of fields including directing, editing, entertainment producing, film writing, production, animation, entertainment business and more.

Is a film degree worth it?

Depending on your goals and the film program you attend, a film degree may be very worthwhile. Biola's Cinema and Media Arts degree is a unique opportunity among film degrees to collaborate in small groups, utilize top equipment, and create irreplaceable connections in the heart of the film and tv industry.

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You'll study in person at Biola University's campus in Southern California.

Total Credits

Total program credits include major-specific courses and Biola's core curriculum.

Standard Completion Time

This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.


Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.