Documentary, M.F.A.

Graduate Program

About the Program

Study documentary production in a cross disciplinary program that combines cinematic arts with journalism.

The M.F.A. program in Documentary offers a curriculum with combined focus on both cinematic arts and journalistic approaches. Immersed in a variety of documentary styles and approaches, such as observational, expository, reflexive, performative, participatory, and poetic, students are encouraged to experiment with the goal of producing content that serves best the story they want to tell.

Preparatory coursework includes techniques of cinema, photojournalism, reporting, broadcasting, and podcasting, while students have the opportunity to take courses in topics that interest them across the university. The program emphasizes the social responsibility of the storyteller, knowing that journalistic standards and ethics are the bedrock of public discourse. Graduates of the M.F.A. in Documentary will be experts at casting light on under-represented issues or topics of social relevance in ways that are visceral and impactful.

Anchoring the first year of studies is the International Production Outreach Program, a one-week, study abroad experience in the spring semester. Students are paired with a non-profit group in Central or South America. The goal of the international production outreach program is for local changemakers to have an opportunity to communicate a social message or tell a relevant story by collaborating with the University of Miami students on short, non-fiction films. For information on the 2023 program visit the Guatemala Production Outreach Program.

Students benefit further from the School’s academic strengths in Interactive Media, Strategic Communication, and Communication for Global Social Change

Sample courses

  • Documentary Production
  • Documentary Photography
  • Advanced Audio Video Narratives
  • Nonfiction Film
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Sound Production and Location Sound
  • Public Affairs Research and Reporting
  • The Independent Producer
  • Seminar in Visual Storytelling
  • Law and Ethics in Journalism
  • Global Issues in Filmmaking
  • Science Documentary
  • Writing for the Screen through Editing
  • Podcasting storytelling


Our faculty count among their awards Emmys, Tellys, Peabodys, a national Edward R. Murrow Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

Faculty work has screened at HotDocs, DOC NYC, Docaviv, Berlin Film Festival, Moondance, Mexico International Film Festival, Sundance, Imagen, Harlem International Film Festival, London International Filmmakers Festival, and Busan International Film Festival.

Student films have been recognized by Sundance Documentary Lab, Sundance Film Intensive Fellowship Program, Suncoast Regional Emmys, Miami Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, New York Latino Film Festival, and Oaxaca FilmFest.

Students are eligible for:

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