UCLA Extension



The Cinematography Certificate is designed for those who want to become cinematographers or camera operators. After taking a series of foundation courses, students gain skills in camera techniques and digital technologies while developing an individual aesthetic and artistic point of view.

Application & Candidacy Fee: $200*
Approximate Program Tuition: $8,505
Approximate Cost of Books and Materials: $550
Additional Required Materials: Cinematography students must have access to a digital video camera, light meter, and other photographic equipment. Students are responsible for their own production costs.
Duration: 3 quarters (Full-Time pace) to 3 years
Unit Requirement: 36
Minimum GPA Requirement for Certificate Completion: 3.0

*This program is open admission. The Application & Candidacy fee establishes your candidacy in a certificate for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and allows you access to a variety of program benefits.

Domestic students may begin the program in any quarter. F-1 Visa students are only eligible for entry in the fall or spring.

To apply for and establish your candidacy in the Cinematography Certificate click here!

Course scheduling and fees subject to change without notice.

Please note that required courses will only count once toward the overall unit requirement for the certificate program.

Click on a selection from the right navigation menu for complete program requirements and quarter by quarter enrollment recommendations.

Program at a Glance

2 Foundation Courses (8 units)

Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
FILM TV X 404 Pre-Production and Production for Film and Television 4 R/O/I I/O R/O/I/H(I) R/O/I
FILM TV X 476.581 The Language of Filmmaking 4 R/O/I I/O R/O/I I/O

6 Required Cinematography Courses (24 units)

FILM TV X 478.27A Introduction to Cinematography 4 I R
FILM TV X 478.27B Visualization and Exposure 4 H(I) H(I)
FILM TV X 478.283 Lighting for Emotional Impact 4 H(I) I
FILM TV X 479.302 Becoming Camera-Savvy: A Workshop for Today’s Filmmakers 4 O O
FILM TV X 478.301 The Role of the Digital Imaging Technician in Cinematography 4 O O
FILM TV X 478.282 The Craft of the Cinematographer 4 H(I) H(I)

Select 1 Elective (4 units)

Students must complete 1 elective (4 units) from courses numbered X 400-499 in Cinematography, Directing, Post-Production, Producing, Film & TV Development, Business & Management of Entertainment, or Acting. New electives are added regularly.

FILM TV X 478.9 The Craft of the Director 4 I/R I
FILM TV X 476.95 Directing Workshop I: Composition and Movement 4 I/R I/R I/R I/R
FILM TV X 475.44 Directing Actors for the Screen 4 I I/R I/R I
FILM TV X 479.613 The Art and Craft of Film Editing 4 I/R I/O I I/O
FILM TV X 477.84 Introduction to Adobe Premiere 4 I/O I/O I/R I/O
FILM TV X 499.2 Film and Television Internship 4 R/O/I R/O/I R/O/I R/O/I

Chart Legend: I = In-Person | R = Remote | O = Online | H (I/R) = Hybrid (In-Person/Remote)

Please note this is a new curriculum. If you need to refer to the previous curriculum, click here.

If you’re trying to decide which camera to purchase for your studies, we recommend you take a look at this seminar by our cinematography instructor, Jason Knutzen, on “Choosing the Best Camera for You”.