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Frequently Asked Questions

When is your next application period?

The application cycle begins in Ocotber and, typically, closes January 15th.

How do I apply?

Applications are completed online through the UCSC Division of Graduate Studies. For information about the application process, visit the Division of Graduate Studies website. If reapplying to the program, a new application must be submitted.

Can I apply mid-year or apply for admission to winter or spring quarter?

No. Students are admitted into the program only once per year, into the fall quarter only.

How long does it take to go through the program?

Two years.

Can I attend part-time?

No. Full time enrollment in the program is a requirement. NO EXCEPTIONS!

What is your policy on deferral?
We cannot defer admission. An applicant who is unable to accept admission for the year in question can reactivate the application for the following fall term. However, while the applicant has a very good chance of again being offered admission, there is no guarantee this will happen.

Do I need to have experience in documentary production?

Yes. You need to have some production experience in film/video production, photography, or new media/digital media. Experience in radio/audio, museum installation, oral history or creative non-fiction/ethnography may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Will a documentary sample be required when I apply to the program?

Yes. You are required to submit a sample of your best documentary work in the genre of your concentration when applying to the program.

Can my letters of recommendation come from professional rather than academic sources?

The Social Documentation program is academically rigorous and letters of recommendation are weighed heavily in determining your academic preparation for the program. Therefore, we recommend that at least one and preferably two of your letters of recommendation come from persons who can best speak regarding your academic abilities.

What kind of job can I get with this degree?

Upon completion of the program, Master of Fine Arts Degree holders will be qualified to enter documentary related professions such as documentary directing, producing or editing. Degree holders may work within industries such as public television, public radio or the documentary film business, as independent producers and artists, or for archival centers or museums. Degree holders may also choose to pursue a PhD in a related field in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences.

Do you provide financial support?

The department provides limited financial support to students in the program who remain in good standing. For more information about types of support, please read our financial support section.

What is the cost of the program? Current information on Resident and Non-Resident Tuition can be found at

Do you provide funding for project production?

No. At this time, the department is not able to offer production funding to students. We do, however, make every effort to help our students find and apply for appropriate grant funding, both on campus and through external organizations.

How many students do you admit to the program each year?

Between seven and ten students have traditionally been admitted into the program each year.

How many people apply to the program?

On average, the program receives about forty applications per year.

Can I attend one of your classes?

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the program in mid-November. Please contact the graduate coordinator for more information.

Can I talk to the faculty?

You are welcome to contact any of our faculty by email. Faculty contact information can be found in our online directory. If you would like advice regarding faculty contact, you can email the graduate coordinator for recommendations.

What if my questions weren't answered here?

You can contact the graduate coordinator with specific questions at any time. Faculty can also be contacted about academic and research questions.

For More Information - Please see the attached article below

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