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Certificate Program In Film

Challenge yourself beyond simply taking a filmmaking class or two. Our optional, non-degree Certificate Program in Film helps budding filmmakers advance from a beginning to advanced level, while supporting them in creating a portfolio of work that showcases their achievements as emerging filmmakers. Participants may be at any stage of their formal education (pre-college, in college, post-college, pre-graduate school). There are no prerequisites. See How and When to Apply below.

As a Certificate student, you will receive ongoing advising and mentorship from faculty and staff, and are invited to special Certificate Program events and screenings. Upon completion of the program, you will become eligible for mentorships, internships, and entry-level employment opportunities.

Move along at your own pace and take up to six years to complete the requirements below. The Certificate Program culminates with a public screening of your final film project in our state-of-the-art Whitsell Auditorium.


1) The core sequence

  • Art of Filmmaking I—two beginning-level film projects
  • Art of Filmmaking II—three intermediate-level film projects
  • Art of Filmmaking III—one professional-quality advanced film project

2) Six of the following elective classes

  • Digital Cinematography
  • Digital Editing
  • 16MM Cinematography
  • Narrative Production
  • Documentary Production
  • Screenwriting: Fundamentals
  • Screenwriting: Advanced
  • Dialogue Writing
  • Documentary Writing
  • Interview Techniques
  • Film Directing
  • Film Composing
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Art Direction
  • Post-Production Management
  • Multi-camera Production
  • Lighting on Location
  • Grantwriting for Film
  • and more

Several elective classes are offered each term. See our current offerings.

3) At least 15 hours of elective workshops

  • Basic Lighting
  • Sound Recording
  • Getting Your Film into Festivals
  • Casting
  • Media Management
  • Visiting Artist Workshops
  • and more

Several elective workshops are offered each term. See our current offerings.

How and When to Apply

First, set-up an appointment to discuss your interest with the Education Programs Manager by calling 503-221-1156.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Notification will be made within four weeks of receipt of application. Acceptance is based upon the clarity of your stated goals and whether they align with the Northwest Film Center mission and Certificate curriculum.

You are welcome to test the waters before diving in. Enroll in and complete ART OF FILMMAKING I and up to two Elective Classes prior to applying. Upon your acceptance, credits will automatically be transferred onto a Certificate transcript (a letter grade of B or higher is required.)