Director’s Welcome

Documentaries are more important than ever. There are so many stories that need to be told and so many avenues in which to tell them. Immersed in a small cohort environment, our students forge lifelong professional relationships, develop their voices as artists, and learn to navigate an evolving media landscape.

Our program is built on six core courses, where students are challenged to create innovative new work. Students then choose from a wide range of electives within the Department of Radio/TV/Film and across the University. Our MFAs build a significant portfolio composed of at least one short documentary, one narrative film utilizing documentary techniques, and one interactive project rooted in reality. In the second year, students direct an ambitious year-long thesis project. Each student also completes a professional internship in a media hub such as Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago.

We award all students $5,000 to help finance their thesis films, along with a guaranteed graduate assistantship for one academic quarter — be it TA-ing or assisting faculty with media projects or research. Additional funding is often available thanks to the Hoffman Documentary Media Graduate Scholarship Fund and the Time Warner Foundation’s Next Generation Grant.

Whether you want to make traditional documentaries or projects that incorporate fiction and interactivity, our MFA program will serve you well. We look forward to receiving your application. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’re excited about this program and hope you are too,

Debra Tolchinsky
Director, MFA in Documentary Media
docmedia@northwestern.edu