Marion Knott Studios, Dodge College, at night

Chapman’s Film School No. 4 in National Rankings COVID response, cutting-edge facilities and difference-making Careers Office are cited by the film industry publications as Dodge College continues its rise nationally.  

Faculty mentorship and diversity are praised as Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts jumps two places to earn its highest-ever ranking.

Praising Chapman University’s film school for its COVID-19 response and its investment in virtual production technology “worthy of ‘The Mandalorian,’” the film industry publication The Wrap has selected Dodge College of Film and Media Arts the No. 4 film school in the nation.

The ranking in The Wrap’s 2021 Top 50 U.S. Film Schools issue, released Nov. 2, means that Chapman remains in the top tier on the prestigious list. Dodge College is also No. 4 in The Hollywood Reporter’s 2021 national rankings, which were released in August.

“Plenty of schools gave the pandemic lip service, but [Dodge College] recently spent $4 million upgrading classrooms and $750,000 on COVID protections, compliance supervisors and a full-time COVID officer,” The Wrap said in its rankings cover story. “The better to sustain Dodge’s run of good fortune.”

Dodge film students shoot using LED virtual production wall
In its Top 50 U.S. Film Schools issue, The Wrap praised Chapman’s commitment to cutting-edge technology like the new LED virtual production wall in the Digital Media Arts Center.

The article noted that Dodge had “blossomed” and “shot up in several film-school rankings,” in part thanks to it’s mix of cutting-edge facilities and highly respected and diverse faculty members who remain active professionally.

Those industry connections extend to master classes, with The Wrap highlighting recent classes involving Stacey Abrams, Eva Longoria, Bong Joon Ho, Ted Sarandos, Bryan Cranston and others. The publication lauded Chapman for opening those classes to students at historically Black colleges in a program with Morehouse College.

The Wrap also praised the positive influence of Dodge College Dean Stephen Galloway, noting his expertise in developing mentoring programs and the school’s recent hiring of 25 adjunct professors of color as well as the addition of three Black professors to the full-time faculty. 

Dodge’s strong placement in The Wrap’s annual film school issue comes just a few months after Chapman jumped two places to No. 4 in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual rankings. That publication noted the difference-making new Dodge Careers Office, led by industry veteran Joe Rosenberg.

Alumnus Carlos López Estrada ’12, director of “Blindspotting” and co-director of the Disney animated feature “Raya and the Last Dragon,” says in the Reporter article that his “closest collaborators are still the peeps that I made my first film projects with more than 10 years ago.”

Chapman’s leap of two places in The Hollywood Reporter rankings “is a remarkable achievement for a film school that’s only 25 years old,” said Galloway, Twyla Reed Martin Dean’s Chair in Film and Media Arts and dean of Dodge College.

“None of this would be possible without the most extraordinary faculty and staff I’ve ever known, along with an exceptionally generous group of donors and — of course — the best students on the planet!” Galloway added.

Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa, Ph.D., said, “I want to congratulate Stephen and all the faculty and staff. This is a remarkable reflection of their dedication to our students. Stephen came to Chapman in March 2020 with a vision to lead our film school to a new level of excellence. His progress has been remarkable.”

Dennis Arp