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About the Social Documentation M.F.A. Program

SocDoc is a one-of-a-kind program designed for future documentarians committed to social change and to documenting communities, cultures, issues, and individuals who are marginalized in our current landscape of representation. SocDoc goes beyond the story. That's our motto and our practice: to go beyond story-telling into the intimacy of people's lives, the causes underlying social injustice, the issues too pressing to ignore. There's a story, too, but we think that should be the beginning, not the end, of the matter.

With training from professionals outstanding in their fields, students gain the skills and confidence to enter the increasingly sophisticated world of documentary production. Students train in production, creating projects on their own as well as in a group to learn what works and gain experience. Lighting, cameras, locations, subject and character choices, all come into play. So do editing techniques, motion graphics and animation, trailers and websites. As important as training in equipment is training in world-view, from the ethics of documentary to perspectives of narrative,and markers of evidence. SocDoc is a laboratory of discovery for students and professors alike, as we search for the best pathways to make a difference in the world through videography, photography, audio, and words.

Founded in 2005, SocDoc has a contemporary view of documentary that sets it apart from traditional approaches. Students considering enrollment should have a clear idea of a project, a commitment to social justice and human rights, and a desire to study their subject areas in depth. We prepare graduates for careers in independent media, documentary, human rights work, and creative contributions to a range of fields.


Social Documentation Program Learning Outcomes

Students who earn an M.F.A. in Social Documentation will gain the skills, knowledge, and understanding that will enable them to:

1. Critically analyze social issues pertaining their documentary subject matter by applying social science methodologies and will implement ethically sound community negotiation and professional and interpersonal interaction in documentary fieldwork.

2. Acquire analytical writing skills, produce advanced project proposals and develop creative treatments.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of historical models of documentary practices and demonstrate by using those idea in their own practice uses those ideas.

4. Demonstarate expertise in documentary project planning.

5. Shoot documentary video and photography with various cameras and in a variety of contexts.

6. Implement professional lighting and sound recordings in a variety of settings and with diverse equipment.

7. Understand and implement video and sound editing, logging and transcribing.

8. Implement post-production video, audio and photographic output.

9. Demonstrate an ability to analyze their field recordings according to story structure and character development in order to develop their own work.

10. Implement motion graphics and documentary animation.

11. Implement distribution, social media and transmedia applications to their documentary projects.


For More Information - Please see the attached article below

PDF icon IDA Profile- SocDoc MA_8.pdf158.62 KB