2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Apr 17, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Documentary Film and History, MA (Not admitting students as of Fall 2018)

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This program will no longer be accepting new students as of Fall 2018.


Richard Breyer, Co-Director
315-443-9249 rlbreyer@syr.edu

Norman Kutcher, Co-Director
315-443-1264,  nakutcher@maxwell.syr.edu


Richard L. Breyer, Richard Dubin, Tula Goenka, Sharon R. Hollenback, Norman A. Kutcher, Patricia H. Longstaff, Gladys McCormick, Evan Smith, Junko Takeda, Margaret Susan Thompson, Robert J. Thompson, Donald C. Torrance

The documentary film and history master’s program is a cross-disciplinary program with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. It is designed for those interested in studying the documentary from various points of view–production, distribution, new media, applications to education at all levels. This master’s degree also offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of history at the same time that they acquire the practical skills of the filmmaker’s craft. Documentary film and history students prepare to work as writers, editors, directors, designers, and executives at independent production companies and organizations, such as The History Channel, Learning Channel, and Public Broadcasting Stations. Graduates also teach media and history.

Student Learning Outcomes in Documentary Film & History

1. Law: Identify the principles and laws associated with free speech and press for the US, as well as compare the American system of freedom of expression with others around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances.

2. Critical Thinking: Critically, creatively, and/or independently consider problems and issues relevant to the communications professions.

3. Research: Conduct research and/or evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions.

4. Writing: Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.

5. Critical Evaluation: Evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.

6. Technology: Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.

7. Documentary Storytelling:  Produce films that tell stories using best practices in documentary filmmaking.

Program Requirements

The program’s curriculum stresses three general areas of study: writing and production, research, distribution and funding of documentaries and other nonfiction media.

Students in the program begin their studies with an intensive summer experience in July and finish with an internship and production of a documentary the following summer.

This 38-credit program leads to a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Documentary Film and History.


Total: 38 Credits

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