Mar 02, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog

Interdisciplinary Documentary, BA

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The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Documentary facilitates a deep exploration into the diverse and innovative ways we collectively craft truth in story, image and sound. This program utilizes curriculum and faculty from a variety of disciplines including cinema, creative writing, journalism, photography, radio, and television. The resulting field of study draws students interested in a comprehensive education in all forms of nonfiction storytelling.

The Interdisciplinary Documentary Program creates new opportunities for complex collaborative skills, expanding students’ connections to the narrative, technological, business, and marketing skills in the documentary industry. The program facilitates creative collaboration and interactivity between Columbia College students, faculty, alumni and industry professionals in all facets of documentary processes, practices and studies. Undergraduates who successfully complete the program will have a wide knowledge of documentary theory and practice and a portfolio of nonfiction work that spans disciplines and media formats. This program aims to prepare graduates to work in a world that is already converged, where the expectation is that media makers are adept, flexible, skilled in multiple areas, and able to work with others who are similarly trained.

The program’s courses are based on a three-level approach: a core that includes methods and concepts from each discipline, followed by concentrations in two disciplines that allow students to develop a variety of intermediate and advanced skills. A capstone experience brings together the various disciplines to work on a high-level research intensive interdisciplinary nonfiction project.

As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:

  • apply the technical and creative skills learned in the program to produce a portfolio of creative work (individual and collaborative) across a variety of media forms (video, audio, podcasting, photography, journalism, creative nonfiction, interactive documentary, and/or hybrids of the above);
  • analyze and interpret the aesthetic, historical, and conventional aspects of various nonfiction media forms, traditional and emerging;
  • demonstrate an understanding of legal and ethical issues of documentary media creation, and apply this knowledge to your work;
  • create comprehensive proposals for individual and interdisciplinary documentary projects, including research, planning, budgeting, interviewing, fund-raising, grant writing, audience engagement and distribution plan;
  • develop individual voice and display in a variety of written, visual and audible forms, including documentary video, written nonfiction forms including journal & memoir writing, video or photo essays, experimental documentary forms, interactive documentary, journalism, autobiography, and hybrids of these forms; and
  • create documentary content and tools that address social issues and further a civic agenda, individually and/or in collaboration community organizations.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS - 53 credits required


Complete two areas of study.

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