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Degree Requirements

The program in Social Documentary Film provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of non-fiction filmmaking, as well as an immersion into the critical and analytical processes necessary to conceptualize and develop film projects with content of significant social relevance. This program represents the convergence of journalism, social activism and the art of filmmaking.


The first year of study offers a core curriculum devoted to mastering tools and techniques while studying the history of film practice as it relates to documentary. Each student will complete five- and ten-minute short documentary films. The second year focuses on the thesis project and courses address various filmmaking concentrations, such as directing, producing and editing. Each student will direct his or her thesis film and serve as a key crew member on at least one other thesis project.


General Requirements 

  • Successful completion of 60 credits, including all required courses and the thesis project. Documentation of all thesis projects must be on file with the MFA Social Documentary Film Department to be eligible for degree conferral. 
  • Meet all academic and administrative requirements. 
  • Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in order to remain in good academic standing. 
  • A matriculation of two academic years is required. Students must complete their degree within four years, unless given an official extension by the provost.


Note: Departmental requirements are subject to change by the department chair if the chair deems that such change is warranted.

  • First Year Requirements

  • Second Year Requirements

  • General Course Listing - MFA Social Documentary Film