MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts

The Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts at Duke University brings together two forms of artistic activity — the documentary approach and experimental production in analog, digital, and computational media — in a unique program that fosters collaborations across disciplines and media as it trains sophisticated, creative art practitioners. Successful completion of the program requires the development of a complex understanding of documentary practices and traditions as well as creative skills in experimental media and new technologies.

The philosophy of the program is guided by a belief in the intersection of personal artistic work with interpretive knowledge and of the relevance of the individual documentary/experimental artist within the cultural history and life of communities. A key component to the program is the notion of creative engagement through the arts and the role of the artist in society. Graduates are expected to generate work that has impact both within and outside the academy.

MFA Requirements

  • 2-year degree program requiring 15 courses over 4 semesters
  • 10 required courses in prescribed sequence and 5 electives
    • 5 studio courses: Documentary Fieldwork, Experiments in the Moving Image, Computational Media, Thesis Writing Workshop and Thesis Project Workshop
    • 5 seminars: Continuity and Change in Experimental and Documentary Arts, Critique I-IV
    • 5 electives
  • Present project in a second year Spring MFA Exhibition
  • Written thesis

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