Continuing Education


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NOTE: CDS Courses is on pause as we reimagine the program to best accommodate the needs and aspirations of our students and faculty. Look for further updates in fall 2022.



The Center for Documentary Studies offers a wide range (up to a hundred annually) of onsite and online courses, summer intensive institutes, and short workshops for adults who are interested in doing their own documentary work, whether starting a first project or refining an existing one. Most classes are offered during the evening or on weekends to accommodate the schedules of working adults. These hands-on courses, available via open admission and with reasonable fees, involve instruction in photography, video, audio, writing, and other creative media. Special topics integral to conducting and presenting documentary work are covered, such as documentary traditions, techniques, fieldwork theory, and ethics. This open-admissions adult education program includes the option of completing a Certificate in Documentary Arts; a two-year distance-learning certificate track is available for non-local students. View handouts on recommended equipment and Certificate requirements

Note: Duke University staff, faculty, students, and alumni receive 10 percent off fees for CDS Courses in the fall and spring. Email to obtain the discount code. On the Order Summary screen, type the code in the promotional code window, then click on "Apply to Total."


CONTACT: please call 919.660.3670, email, or schedule an online consult.


Cancellation and Refund Policy

Courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If a course is full, you may enter your name on the wait list. We will contact you if a space becomes available.

To register for courses, you will need to create a username and password. The email address you enter will be the primary method of contact. You can get updated course information and a record of courses completed on the site.

If a course doesn't meet minimum enrollment or is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, you will receive a full refund. You can choose to keep the refund as a credit on your account to be applied to future courses, or have it returned to your credit card. To receive a refund under other circumstances, we must receive a cancellation request at least two weeks before the course begins. No refunds will be granted after the start of a course. Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing to Refunds will generally be made in the manner of payment.

All refunds exclude a $3 transaction fee. There is a nonrefundable $40 deposit for courses under $500. Payment for institutes and workshops over $500 includes a nonrefundable deposit of 50 percent of the course fee.