Recent Updates: The university is welcoming back visitors to campus. More information can be found on our COVID-19 Community Guide.

  • Documentary Media Studies (Graduate Certificate)

  • Take the Next Step

  • Contact Us

    Admission Contact
    Karl Ramos
    79 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
    New York, NY 10003
    [email protected]
    212.229.5150 x2330

    Program Contact
    School of Media Studies
    79 Fifth Avenue, 16th Floor
    New York, NY 10003
    [email protected]
    Phone: 212.229.8903

  • Immerse yourself in documentary filmmaking — production and theory — in New York City, the world's documentary capital. The Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies is an intensive professional education program for prospective documentarians. In the course of one year, you develop, shoot, direct, and edit an original short documentary film on a New York City-related subject. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and submit a portfolio; previous study of filmmaking is not required.

    • Program Type Advanced Certificate
    • Credits 18
    • Format Full-time, on campus
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start Term Fall

    Program Highlights

    • Stories with Impact

      Engage with pressing social issues while developing your own bold, original approach to documentary filmmaking.

    • Screening Opportunities

      Showcase your work at our annual festival through public screenings and discussions between the filmmakers and faculty.

    • Scholarly Insights

      Inform your production work with courses on the history and theory of documentary filmmaking.

    • Diverse Student Backgrounds

      Collaborate with students from all walks of life who have varied educational and professional experience in communications and media fields and beyond.

    Learn from Professional Filmmakers

    Central to the intensive one-year curriculum is Doc Talks, a monthly screening series. Doc Talks invites guest artists and professionals in the field of documentary cinema to share insights on their work and on the media industry with Documentary Studies students. Additionally, every spring, as part of the Dorothy H. Hirshon Residency, a distinguished filmmaker leads master classes to which certificate students are invited.

    Read more about the curriculum

    Truth Be Told Festival

    The Documentary Media Studies program culminates in a student documentary festival, Truth Be Told, at the end of each school year. At the festival, certificate students' films are publicly screened and discussed by the filmmakers and faculty. The films are the products of students' yearlong study of documentary production, history, and theory.

    Visit the Truth Be Told website

    Career Paths

    Certificate holders are qualified to become documentary editors, field producers, cinematographers, directors, and researchers and take up related positions in media distribution, museum programming, festival organization, and broadcast productions. All 2018 graduates were employed or pursuing further education within 12 months of graduating.

    Some students continue their graduate studies in pursuit of a master's or PhD. Students who complete this certificate are invited to apply for the MA in Media Studies or MS in Media Management programs. If admitted, students who complete this certificate can transfer all credits from the certificate, provided that grades of B or better were received in the courses.

    Read alumni news on the program blog

  • Students in this program receive personalized mentorship from a faculty that includes award-winning and professional documentarians from around the globe.

  • Since its early days, documentary has been on the forefront of challenging our knowledge about the world. In response to the current crisis of trust in information, our students tap into the rich history of nonfiction filmmaking to enact the struggle for truth.

    Amir Husak, Director of the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies Program
  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.