UCLA Extension

Film Scoring



One of the top film scoring programs in the world, the Film Scoring Certificate gives students opportunities to score cues for films, television shows, and video games. Instruction emphasizes maximizing a project’s budget by composing music both electronically using MIDI and using professional union musicians. Students learn the essential creative, business and technical skills needed for a successful career in film scoring. By the program end, participants have composed and produced many pieces suitable for their professional reels.

Application & Candidacy Fee: $200*
Estimated Program Tuition: $14,556
Estimated Cost of Textbook/Materials: $550
Additional Required Materials: Film Scoring students must have access to a sequencing workstation in which audio can be recorded and synched to video (a sequencing workstation is software that combines audio and MIDI recording, editing, and a variety of other tools for working with music and sound on a computer). Computer hardware and software is available at a discount for UCLA Extension certificate students at the UCLA Store.
Duration: 1 year (Full-Time pace) to 3 years
Unit Requirement: 48
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.

Prerequisites: Students who wish to take courses in the Film Scoring certificate program should have a basic musical background and should possess the following skills before beginning any coursework:

  • Ability to read music: the musical staff and clefs, notes in both treble and bass clef, notes on the piano keyboard, accidentals, rhythmic values (i.e. whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, dotted values, etc.), simple and compound meters
  • Music Theory Fundamentals: major scales, all forms of minor scales (i.e. natural, harmonic, melodic), major and minor key signatures, the circle of fifths, intervals and interval inversions, interval qualities (i.e. perfect, major, minor, diminished, augmented), chord qualities and inversion symbols, triads (major, minor, diminished, augmented), seventh chords (i.e. dominant sevenths, half diminished, full diminished, etc.)

Domestic students can begin in any quarter. F-1 Visa students are only eligible for entry in the fall quarter.

To apply for and establish your candidacy in the Film Scoring 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

Harmony Requirement (4 units)

Select 1 harmony course (4 units) from the list below.

Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
MUSC X 403.52 Harmony I: Crash Course in Composing for Tonal Music 4 I
MUSC X 403.53 Harmony II: Techniques for Composing Contemporary Music 4 I
MUSC X 403.51 The Art of Counterpoint 4 I

Software Requirement (4 units)

* All film scoring certificate students must be proficient in a digital audio workstation or DAW. Students should select either MUSC X 480 Introduction to Logic Pro or MUSC X 479.12 Introduction to Pro Tools to fulfill their software requirement. If you are already proficient in another DAW such as Digital Performer or Cubase, you may petition to waive this course requirement by emailing entertainmentstudies@uclaextension.edu.

Select 1 software course (4 units) from the list below.

MUSC X 480 Introduction to Logic Pro 4 O O O O
MUSC X 479.12 Introduction to Pro Tools 4 O O O O

Practical Requirement (4 units)

Select 1 practical course (4 units) from the list below to be completed in the 3rd or 4th quarter of study.

MUSC X 498.3 Fundamentals of Conducting: From the Symphony to the Scoring Stage 4 I I
MUSC X 483.12 Writing and Scoring for Strings 4 I

8 Required Courses (32 units)

MUSC X 483.43 Instrumentation and Introduction to Orchestration + 4 I
MUSC X 449.91 The Art and Craft of MIDI † 4 I I  
MUSC X 483.2 Advanced Orchestration: Applied Techniques for the Studio and Scoring Stage 4   I  
MUSC X 449.41 Recording, Mixing, and Editing Techniques for Film Composers 4 I
MUSC X 483.3 Score like the Masters: Contemporary Techniques † 4   I  
MUSC X 483.1 Film Scoring on a Budget † 4   I
MUSC X 448.171 The Business of Film Music 4 I   I
MUSC X 498 Advanced Film Scoring Workshop * † 4 H(I) H(I)

Select 1 Elective (4 units)

Students must complete 1 elective (4 units) from the above list or other Film ScoringMusic Production, or Music Business courses numbered X 400-X 499. Below is a list of suggested electives. New electives are added regularly.

MUSC X 478.52 Composing Music for Video Games 4 H(R)
MUSC X 482.3 Bringing the Power of Music to Film 4 I
MUSC X 484.931 Put Your Music to Work: Composition for Commercials † 4 H(I)
MUSC X 485 Composing Music for Animation † 4 I
MUSC X 482.8 Anatomy of a Film Score 4 I
MUSC X 499 Music Industry Internship 4 R/O/I R/O/I R/O/I R/O/I

+ Should be completed within the first 2 quarters of study.

* Should be taken in the last quarter of the program.

† Courses require access to and some proficiency in a sequencing workstation in which audio can be recorded and synced to video (a sequencing workstation is software that combines audio and MIDI recording, editing, and a variety of other tools for working with music and sound on a computer).

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