Documentary Studies Certificate

Documentary Studies

Professors: Douglas Challenger (Certificate Coordinator), Lou Bunk, Melinda Jetté, 
Associate Professor: Richard Roth

As of the fall semester 2021, the undergraduate program in Documentary Studies is no longer offering a Certificate. Courses that this program offers in the General and Liberal Education program will continue to be offered, along with a limited number of electives.

The Documentary Studies Certificate is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be good documentary storytellers, an expertise that is increasingly important in many different professional disciplines and careers. The Certificate in Documentary Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which students learn the craft of producing non-fiction films and audio documentaries. 

Through studying the documentary tradition, students learn to research and gain access to subjects’ lives, create video and audio recordings, edit and refine their work through analysis and storytelling structure, and show their finished work in various formats from radio and the internet to broadcast and the big screen. Borrowing from a variety of disciplines—art, drama, literary, sociology, anthropology, oral history, video and audio production— students produce a professional, intimate, humanistic body of work that better equips them to perform in their chosen field.



Students intending to complete the Documentary Studies Certificate are expected to complete 15 credits of course work. An audio and a video track are offered.

Required courses for both tracks include:
DS101 Introduction to Documentary Studies 3 credits
DS491 Documentary Studies Project Seminar I 3 credits
HP310 Oral History or 3 credits
EN209 Intro to Creative Non-fiction 
In addition, two courses are required in either:
Audio Production:
MU120 Recording Techniques I
MU220 Advanced Recording Techniques
Video Production:
COMM120 Introduction to Media Production 
COMM321 Single-Camera Production

Though not required, students might consider taking other courses to supplement their skills as a documentarian such as:
MK304 Advertising
AN105 Culture Through Film
COMM324 Audio Production