• MFA Documentary Filmmaking
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

MFA in Documentary Filmmaking

» Learn to create, market and distribute documentaries

The two-year MFA in Documentary Filmmaking is a program that is uniquely focused on documentary storytelling. In this program you will gain hands-on production experience, learn about the history and aesthetics of the documentary form, study documentary genres, and learn how to develop compelling, original content through a rigorous and creative development process.

In your first two semesters, you learn the fundamentals of the complete documentary production process from concept to distribution. In your last year you will collaborate on the production of a documentary project under the mentorship of accomplished documentary filmmakers. You will graduate with a compelling documentary and a thorough knowledge of the business to jumpstart your career in documentary filmmaking. 

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Learning Outcomes

In the MFA in Documentary Filmmaking program, students will demonstrate:

  • A mastery of documentary directing and storytelling skills, including the ability to visually and aurally tell a coherent and engaging story with a clear argument about real-world subjects and/or events.
  • A mastery of documentary craft skills including shooting, editing, and sound recording, and the associated technology required for each.
  • The ability to make informed decisions about representational and ethical matters regarding the subjects and/or events presented in their documentary work.
  • The ability to fully and effectively research and develop their documentary projects prior to production.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Filmmaking degree are held to the University's Academic Policies and Procedures. In addition these specific degree standards apply:

  • Complete 48 credits at the 500 or 600 level.
  • Minimum grade "C+" or above required in all coursework.
  • Maintain 3.000 GPA in the degree.
  • Successfully complete a two-part thesis project, DOC 697, DOC 698.
  • Pass an oral defense of the thesis project.

The following courses make up the MFA in Documentary Filmmaking curriculum:

First Year (24 credits) - Fall Requirements (12 credits)

First Year (24 credits) - Spring Requirements (12 credits)

Application Requirements

In order to apply to the Documentary Film graduate program, you must submit the required application materials, as well as a Creative Supplement. The application will go live in July, and more instructions on the application process will be updated on our website soon.


  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Creative Supplement

Other Required Materials:

  • Official copy of your undergraduate transcript from your degree granting institution

No additional information should be sent to Dodge College or the Office of Admissions outside of what is required on the application. Any outside work sent to either office will not be reviewed as part of the admission process.

View additional application details

Contact Dodge Admissions

Phone: (714) 997-6996


Info Sessions

Dodge College is hosting both in-person and online informational sessions for prospective graduate students.

Learn more and register