photo from summer institute in 2023 young student standing with camera on tripod and headphones

Summer Institute Filmmaking

July 8–July 26, 2024

Three weeks
Three college credits
Monday–Friday,  9 a.m.–5 p.m. & evening studio hours

Registration for this program is full but we encourage you to check out our Screenwriting program.


This immersive, three-week experience will introduce students to the fundamentals of filmmaking, with classes on cinematography, sound, editing and directing taught by UArts faculty and using cutting-edge digital cinema technology. 

Each participant will develop, direct and produce their own short film—narrative or documentary—that can be the center of a strong college portfolio. The program also teaches the importance of community and collaboration, with students collaborating on one another's projects and, in the process, honing their filmmaking skills. Supplemental workshops will focus on screenwriting, nonfiction story filmmaking, storytelling in virtual reality and site visits to local studios.



Learn from professional filmmakers, who will help to expand your understanding of the filmmaking process and guide you in developing your creative voice. Learn filmmaking skills, digital cinema technology and explore a range of workshops in fields like screenwriting and storytelling in virtual reality.

At the end of this program, you will

  • create your own short film that can be part of a strong portfolio.

  • create collaborative work with a network of peers while holding multiple roles across projects.

  • expand vocabulary and technical skills in digital filmmaking.


Core Classes  

You’ll take the following courses.


Work across themes, styles and genres by leading the creative strategy in collaborative projects.


Explore lighting, exposure and composition for motion pictures while learning about strategies for camera movement.

Sound for Film

Introduction to sound editing and design for motion pictures. Complete exercises in post-production sound acquisition, editing and mixing.


Improve and expand your digital-editing capabilities through creative assignments relating to the logic of shot relationships.

A Week in the Life

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View a sample schedule.


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4 p.m. Directing & Producing

Tuesday & 

  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Screenwriting

  • 1– 4 p.m.  Cinematography

  • 4– 6 p.m. Optional film screenings


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4 p.m. Editing


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Screenwriting

  • 1– 4 p.m. Editing/Post-Production

  • 4– 6 p.m. Optional open studios


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Sound Design 

  • 1–4 p.m. Film Analysis & Field Trips


  • Optional off-campus field trips

Note: Students break for lunch between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. every day. Some evening activities are part of this program’s curriculum. Commuters should plan accordingly.


Students in the Filmmaking program work with professional filmmakers. Many of our faculty members teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert instructors are seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy sharing their expertise and collaborating with the next generation of filmmakers.

How to Apply 

Start your application.

Registration for this program is full but we encourage you to check out our Screenwriting program.

Application priority deadline Saturday, April 13 2024. 

Application Requirements

  • Complete the Summer Institute application.

  • Submit an essay or portfolio. Students applying for a scholarship must submit a portfolio.

    • Essay

      • Include an essay of 300 words maximum that explains why you want to attend the program and what you hope to gain from the experience.

    • Portfolio

      • Upload four to eight examples of your artwork. Your portfolio can include 2-D, 3-D, time-based media or screenwriting. For time-based media, include a YouTube or Vimeo link.

  • Pay the $15 application fee.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition: $3,400
Program fee: $150  
Housing and meals: $1,500

Commuter total: $3,550
Residential total: $5,050


Students are expected to bring supplies with them or purchase them once they arrive on campus. Supply lists will be shared a month before the program starts, with cost estimates.

Spending & Miscellaneous Expenses

Students spend an average of $80–$100 per week on additional items including laundry, snacks, personal spending and non-required supplies.


Scholarships for the Summer Institute are awarded to students in high academic standing with significant creative potential and financial need. Scholarship awards are competitive. Students are able to apply for either a merit- or need-based scholarship. 

Learn about Summer Institute scholarships


Request more info

Contact Pre-College programs, 215-717-6430, Pre-College Programs, 211 S. Broad St., Terra Hall, Room 910, Philadelphia, PA 19107