Cinematographers do much more than simply shoot films; they are responsible for the lighting and camera crews, working closely with directors to achieve their artistic vision of the movie prior to the editing process, and they develop the look of historical periods by changing the temperance of the movie as it is being made according to the director's instructions. Getting a master's in cinematography will enable you to work in the motion picture industry in these respects, creating cinematic masterpieces.

Boston University College of Communication

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Boston University College of Communication offers a Master of Science in television and a Master of Fine Arts in film. Both degrees offer separate concentrations in screenwriting, film production, and film and television studies. However, graduate students receive an education in all three departments. The school's website states that once enrolled into one of the master's programs, students will engage in an in-depth study of the literature and history of their selected field. They will investigate its creative and technical development, its role in communications, its organization, economic impact and its cultural and social implications.

University of California, Los Angeles

Not too far from the heart of Hollywood, UCLA offers a Master of Fine Arts degree in production with an emphasis in cinematography. The program takes four years to complete and covers all the bases in the technical, aesthetic, and organizational components of cinematography. UCLA's program is extremely competitive as they only admit two-to-three applicants into the program each year with up to 10-to-15 students enrolled at a time. According to UCLA's website, only 2 percent of all applicants were accepted into the program during its first year, but as the course has gained great popularity over time the acceptance rate has dropped even lower.

New York Film Academy

If you dream of being behind the camera in New York City, attending the New York Film Academy would be a great choice. The school offers a rigorous two-year, Master of Fine Arts in cinematography and combines instructor-led workshops with self-directed projects in order to instill creative vision and to train students in the technical mastery needed to have a career as a cinematographer. Students enrolled in the program learn a variety of camera systems used by contemporary cinematographers and become masters at creating various lighting formats.

University of Southern California

USC is another large university based in Los Angeles. Their Master of Fine Arts in cinematic arts, film and television production does not require a thesis, but the college's website does state that a minimum of 52 units in cinematic arts at the 400 level or higher is required. Students are accepted for the fall and spring semesters where they will begin a curriculum in a number of courses, including Production I and II, Concepts of Cinematic Production, screenwriting, Creating the Short Film, Visual Expression, Advanced Motion Picture Script Analysis and a number of other courses including multiple workshops.