Public Engagement


  • The Certificate in Documentary Media Studies is awarded for successful completion of six courses (five required and one elective; a total of 18 credits) in documentary history and theory and video production and post-production. During one year in residence, students produce, direct, and edit an original short documentary video based on a subject in or near New York City.

    Classes and other program-related activities occupy a minimum of three weekdays each week. In addition, students must devote significant time outside of class to their documentary project, as well as to assigned readings and papers. In the fall semester, production shooting typically includes weekend days as well. (We recommend that students with jobs not work more than 10 hours weekly.) Students typically work in crews of three and contribute to their crew-mates' documentary projects as directors of photography, sound recordists, or production assistants. Students have access to state-of-the-art HD cameras, lighting kits, sound kits, and editing stations. All necessary technical skills are taught as part of the core production. The production period concludes in December, and post-production is the focus of the spring semester.

    All students are required to attend bi-weekly Doc Talk events, which feature filmmakers, editors, sound designers, indie lawyers, festival programmers, distributors, researchers, and archivists, among others.