Documentary Studies Application Info | Media Studies

Application Instructions

  • The Certificate Program in Documentary Media Studies welcomes applicants whose education and experience demonstrate motivation and creativity, including recent college graduates, people working in related fields, and career changers. The only prerequisite for admission is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Enrollment is limited and selective, however, and a personal interview is required. The interview will be arranged after all application materials have been reviewed.

    Priority Application Deadline

    The priority application deadline is February 15 for the following fall semester. We are still accepting applications for the fall 2015 semester. All application materials must be received in the Office of Admission by the deadline date for priority consideration. Late applications may be considered at the discretion of the Admission Committee.

    The Office of Graduate Admission is available to assist you during the application process. Email Sarah VanHorn, the Documentary Studies admission liaison, at with any questions during the application process.

    How to Apply

    Plan ahead to meet the application deadline. It takes time for documents such as official transcripts to reach The New School. Your application will not be reviewed until all the required documents have been received by the Office of Admission.

    All applicants must use the online application. The application fee and most supporting documents can be submitted online with the application. The online application form includes detailed instructions for all the items described below. You can also download the instructions. Please read the instructions carefully before filling out the application.

    A complete application includes the following items:

    • Application
    • The $50 application fee (nonrefundable)
    • Transcripts from every college or university previously attended, including documentation of undergraduate degree completion or the U.S. equivalent
    • A statement of purpose—a 1,000-word explanation of your interest in and preparation for graduate study and documentary studies in particular
    • A one-page résumé or curriculum vitae
    • A creative portfolio, as described below
    • Two academic or professional letters of recommendation

    The portfolio and any other supporting documents not submitted online can be mailed to the Office of Admission with an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

    Creative Portfolio

    Submit a portfolio consisting of two samples of original creative work and a proposal for a short documentary project, as described below. Your name and New School ID (N plus eight digits, from the online application) should appear clearly on all portfolio materials you submit. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Admission. Like all other application materials, the portfolio will not be returned.

    Creative Sample 1

    Make a short video self-portrait (no more than three minutes long) revealing something interesting about yourself in relation to objects, places, activities, and/or people in your life. Think visually (show, don't tell), and in terms of a story. Submit your video with a Vimeo URL. Clearly label your work. Only Vimeo URL submissions will be reviewed.

    Creative Sample 2

    Provide a sample of any creative work over which you had primary artistic control, such as audio, video or film, creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, dramatic writing, or criticism), photography, drawing or painting, sculpture, or installation. You can upload a file to your online application or submit a Vimeo URL or links to a personal website. Clearly label your work.

    Documentary Project Proposal

    In two pages, double-spaced, describe an idea for a short documentary based in or around New York City, including human subjects, locations, and the social or intellectual issues you propose to address. Outline the activities or events to be filmed and the way they might be arranged into scenes and sequences.


    Unofficial Transcripts

    Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if they didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.

    • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
    • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. Institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
    • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
    • Do not mail materials that have been uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.
    • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript email with the subject line “Upload Transcript Issue” and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.

    The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

    Official Transcripts

    Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the U.S.) to The New School. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career.

    Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for their second semester of study until all official transcripts (including degree awarding transcripts) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

    Transfer Applicants

    Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for questions about transfer requirements.

    By Mail

    Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for supplemental application materials:

    The New School
    Office of Graduate Admission
    Media Studies/Media Management (NS 300)
    79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
    New York, NY 10003

    Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only):

    The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors in order of preference are

    • Parchment Exchange
    • Naviance by Hobsons
    • SCRIP-SAFE International
    • National Student Clearinghouse

    We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

    International Academic Credentials

    All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English language translation.

    International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits

    Applicants who would like to transfer academic credits earned at non-U.S. institutions are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), our preferred provider, or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. If using WES, visit for instructions and to begin the application process. The "Required Documents" section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for "New School Graduate" when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School. If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

    Test Scores

    Proof of English Language Proficiency

    All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 100, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 68. Our TOEFL institution code is 2554. The TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement may be waived for applicants who have earned a 4-year degree from a U.S. College or University, or for citizens of the following countries whose native language is also English: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, or Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago). Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the institution codes listed above. We accept scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test. For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

    Costs and Financial Aid

    Tuition is charged per credit. Go to the Registrar for current tuition and fee information and to Student Financial Services for estimated additional costs of attendance. Speak to an admission counselor if you are concerned about cost. All U.S. citizens and permanent residents who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are considered for loans and grants on the basis of need. (The New School's federal school code is 002780.) You do not have to wait for an admission decision to file the FAFSA. If you are a veteran or active member of the U.S. armed services, you may be eligible for education assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Additional Application Information

    Successful applicants will receive a letter of acceptance, including detailed information about and instructions for housing, tuition and fees, student visas (for nonresidents of the United States), and other matters.

    All materials submitted in association with the application for admission become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.

    Students can apply to only one department or program at The New School in any given term. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.

  • New_s feed

    See All Latest News


    See All Latest Events