MFA in Documentary Film

Chapman University

Program Description

MFA in Documentary Film

Chapman University

Passion with a purpose—that’s the quality that drives documentary filmmakers.

If that defines you—a desire to tell compelling stories about the world’s most difficult problems, to probe the greatest thinkers and trends of our time, to make a difference in ways that matter—then the M.F.A. in Documentary Filmmaking program is the place where you will can develop and nurture your documentary storyteller voice.

If you have the passion, we will help you identify and develop the stories you want to tell—to observe, advocate, explore or express. Whatever your interests, working in documentary film can carry you into an exciting new world of meaning and purpose.

What makes our program unique is a focus on feature-length documentary storytelling and on the marketing and distribution strategies that will get your work seen—because reaching people with your work is why documentaries matter. The M.F.A. in Documentary Filmmaking has been designed to jumpstart your career in feature documentary.

In Dodge College, you will get 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, interdisciplinary research and development process.

You will see the world as you never have before as you explore the ethics and politics of representing real people on film. You will discover your own strengths and develop new ones as you learn to use the tools of producing, cinematography, editing and sound to tell your stories effectively.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the degree

  • Complete 48 credits at the 500 or 600 level.
  • Successfully complete a two-part thesis project.
  • Pass an oral defense of the thesis project.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate 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.

Students will demonstrate mastery of documentary craft skills including shooting, editing, and sound recording, and the associated technology required for each.

Students will demonstrate the ability to make informed decisions about representational and ethical matters regarding the subjects and/or events presented in their documentary work.

Students will demonstrate the ability to fully and effectively research and develop their documentary projects prior to production.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 11, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
Part time
Full time
805 USD
Start date Sept. 2017
USA Orange, California
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration Request Info
Price 805 USD
per credit.