American Film Institute Conservatory Graduate Program Reviews

86% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
91%
of students recommend
(3.78 out of 5.0)
School rating based on 22 respondents

School Highlights

Most
Affordable
Regionally
Accredited
Non
Profit
High
Grad. Rate
Has Online
Degrees
Find an Online Degree:

School Ratings

Quality of Instruction
Student Financial Services
Satisfaction With Degree
Earning Potential
Prepared for Career

School Information

  • Website: Visit College Website
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • Campus Setting: City: Large
  • Student Population: 338
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: ---
  • Graduate Attendance Status: 1% part-time, 99% full-time
  • Annual Tuition: $55,402
Source: NCES

Student & Graduate Reviews

2.0 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2016

If you have money to burn and are not expecting much of an education or a diverse enough portfolio to be competitive professionally then by all means go here. This school is charging top dollar for their name. Their equipment is old, their academic rigor in several disciplines is non existent. The teachers are not properly equipped to be successful and there is not enough of them or much substance to the program outside of shooting cycles. You are giving them money to shoot films, which you can do on your own. They do not prepare their students for realities in the industry, there is an extreme lack of diversity in the upper echelon of the staff and thought that permeates the program. Chapman utilizes a similar approach and has better equipment, facilities, and support, and is less expensive.
1.4 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2017

Coming into AFI I thought it was my dream school. I was so proud when I got in and I had such high hopes. It was such a huge disappointment and one that I will be in debt for for a very long time. The school is so poorly run. There is no curriculum. It feels like a cult, teachers tell on you constantly to the dept head. If you ask a question they often don't answer the email or it gets forwarded to the track head and treated like you should already know the information that you are paying their bills to learn. They send formal progress reports for absences, lateness etc. People you've never personally interacted with grade you on your personality. Most of the faculty like keeping up some sort of hazing facade of military level sternness and are belittling to try to "break you". It's a creatively unfulfilling place. You have school 7 days a week with no breaks and the faculty never let up with constant assignments/deadlines and research papers during this schedule. You are always exhausted and have no time to study or do reading if you want to sleep at all. The positives do not outweigh the mental torture of this school. People usually won't talk about how terrible this school really is because they want to keep up the facade themselves for spending this much money -so somehow the reputation remains intact, despite the reality of the institution. Just shoot, get on sets -get on AFI sets if you don't believe me-around mid-Spring of the 1st year's cycle 3's and see those thousand yard stares of the cinematographers for yourselves. Run. far. away. Save yourselves.
4.2 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2015

AFI is a transformative graduate film program that will enable you master the craft of your chosen discipline. Its transformative because you get to grow personally and professionally, learning how to multi task in a stressful environment, as well as enable you to learn form not only the industry professionals but also your fellow fellows who are truly talented and diverse.
5.0 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2019

From the moment I was accepted, AFI went above and beyond in informing me and preparing me for a new life in Los Angeles, California. The welcome packet they sent was highly informative, giving me information on important contacts in my program, as well as helpful information on life in LA. The courses are challenging and the material rigorous - AFI's sole focus is to make you the expert of whatever your discipline is; mine is screenwriting. They train you to be capable not only within your chosen field but the collaborative nature of the film projects that you engage in stresses cooperation with your fellow filmmakers. This is absolutely essential in this industry, as filmmaking is such a collaborative art. The instructors all seem genuinely interested in you as a person and as a writer - and because it is a small program, they are able to follow you and track your progress from day one. This is invaluable in guiding your journey to becoming a better writer and filmmaker as a whole. Additionally, the professors are highly accessible and always happy to help. The same goes for your peers, no matter that you are in different disciplines. Again, the small exclusivity of the program allows personal connections to be grown with your classmates, providing valuable networking opportunities for the future. Overall, I feel strongly that AFI is preparing me for a successful career in film.
4.25 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Fine Arts
Graduation Year: 2016

The program is the best of its kind. It prepares students through advanced courses in their discipline and allows for technical and artistic mastery of the craft.
4.25 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Fine Arts
Graduation Year: 2015

The American Film Institute is a european style conservatory program that is discipline specific in multiple areas of filmmaking. I my self am in the directing discipline which only allows me to direct through out the entire program. Teaching me the best possible approach to creatively collaborate with leaders from the other disciplines. Specific focus, and collaboration are the corner stones of this unique program. The conservatory style teaching keeps you on your toes 7 days a week, with multiple projects over lapping each other, classes, seminars and future career preparation all happening throughout the entire 2 years of the program. I read somewhere that in the 2 year program of AFI you get almost double the amount of classroom and hands on filmmaking experience then USC and NYU in their 3 year graduate programs. Even if I never made another film outside this program, the life changing experience of going through the process has been more then worth it.
2.83 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2015

The pros of this program include the enormous network of working professionals that are your peers and your mentors. Moving to LA it is really valuable to establish a solid network of talented people. Cons include the price of the school which hardly gives out any financial aid.
3.33 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Communications
Graduation Year: 2015

AFI is truly an amazing, transformative experience, but the cost and loan debt is overwhelming. At over $50,000 per year (it's a two year MFA program) you have to push yourself to make sure you get everything out of your time at the conservatory possible. The other fellows are amazing. The camera and lighting gear is very good and the Conservatory encourages on location shooting, but the campus lacks a professional studio space for project shoots.
3.58 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2015

It's a very ambitious graduate program and helps fellows connect to professional people in the film industry outside of the school. It's very expensive and financial aid is not enough for me.
4.5 out of 5.0
-
Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2015

This program is amazing! but since being a conservatory it demands your 24/7 attention, you must dream about your work, and what you have to do next, and that is both a pro, and con.
86% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
Disclaimer: GraduatePrograms.com makes student reviews available via this site. The views expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the views of GraduatePrograms.com. GraduatePrograms.com takes no position with respect to the information or opinions expressed in the user comments/reviews and is not responsible for their content. For additional information, refer to our Review Guidelines.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the school of this site. With the exception of the recommend rate percentage (which is the average based student-submitted ratings to our site), all of the data is sourced either from the National Center for Education Statistics or from an official representative of the school. NCES data is updated annually to reflect the most current available data, and student review information is updated in real time. For additional information, refer to our School Data Methodology.
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.