Master the art of filmmaking. This program will teach the craft of directing through producing an original short film.

This program is perfect for...

  • Aspiring directors looking for a hands-on education to learn the art of making movies
  • Self-taught filmmakers who want to build upon their skills with formal training and mentorship
  • Entertainment professionals looking for a career transition into directing
  • Individuals passionate about storytelling and independent filmmaking

What you can learn.

  • A comprehensive understanding of the filmmaking process, including image composition and lighting, camera movements, editing, sound, budgeting, and scheduling
  • Responsibilities of the director in relationship to pre-production, production, and post-production
  • How to work with actors, and the directorial skills required for a successful artistic collaboration
  • How to combine key elements to communicate the themes, conflict, and story arcs that create compelling narrative for a visual medium
  • How to prepare a film for shooting, such as script analysis, casting, camera blocking, planning the shot list, photographing the subtext, film grammar, visual composition, the role of music, and sound effects

About this program.

With a focus on independent filmmaking, the Directing Certificate teaches the essential principles of the art and craft of directing. Our instructors mentor students in the role of story, directing actors, and the aesthetics of filmmaking, as well as the practical responsibilities of the director in relationship to key positions on a production. Using the student’s own equipment, directing workshops offer a comprehensive hands-on component. Beginning with simple exercises, students progress to directing an original short film that is screened for an invited audience.

What our students say about our certificates.

What our certificates have done for our students.


feel a certificate helped them enhance their careers

1 in 4

received a salary increase after starting a certificate program


switched careers after completing a certificate program


recommend a certificate program to others

Source: UCLA Extension Certificate Graduates Survey


Click below to view the required and elective courses, if applicable, for this program.

Required Courses
FILM TV X 479.613
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
FILM TV X 475.44
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
FILM TV X 476.12B
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
FILM TV X 476.243
Typically Offered: Winter, Spring, Summer
FILM TV X 476.271
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
FILM TV X 476.581
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
FILM TV X 476.95
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
FILM TV X 476.95B
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
FILM TV X 478.9
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
see all courses
Elective Courses

Complete 1 elective (4 units) from courses numbered X 400-499 in Film & TV and Screenwriting, or from the list of suggested electives below. 

Suggested Electives
FILM TV X 477.84
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
FILM TV X 479.613
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
MUSC X 484.31
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring
MUSC X 482.8
Typically Offered: Fall
FILM TV X 476.6
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Domestic students may begin the program in any quarter. International students (F-1 student visa) are only eligible for entry in the fall or spring.

Estimated Cost Breakdown

All courses in this program are paid for individually, unless otherwise noted. An application form is required to establish candidacy in this program. From the 'Apply Now' button, complete the online application and pay the application fee if applicable.

Application & Candidacy Fee


Estimated Program Tuition


Estimated program textbook/materials


*The Application & Candidacy Fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits.

**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

An internship in film and television can provide you with practical experience in a variety of job functions. Certificate students must complete a minimum of 12 units of program curriculum (3 courses) before completing the application for approval to enroll in an internship.

Learn More

The Certificate in Directing is approved for international students (F-1 student visa). 

International students may begin the certificate program in fall or spring quarters only.

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting test scores from either TOEFL, IELTS or iTEP. Some applicants may be exempt from this requirement if certain criteria are met. 

English language proficiency (minimum*):

  • TOEFL iBT: 83
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall
  • iTEP Academic-Plus: 4.5 
*Admitted international students whose test scores are below 100 on TOEFL iBT, 7.0 on the IELTS Academic, or 5.1 on the iTEP Academic-Plus will be required to take 1-2 supplemental English as a Second Language courses.


Learn more:

Academic Requirements & English Language Proficiency

International Students: How to Apply

Please Note

Directing students must have access to a digital video camera and computer with editing software. Editing software and hardware is available at a discount for UCLA Extension certificate students at the UCLA Store.

Certificate completion requires the production of several five-minute scenes and a short, thesis film. Students are responsible for their own production costs.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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