Graduate Education

MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts

The Center for Documentary Studies cofounded Duke University’s first Master of Fine Arts program, the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts (MFA|EDA), which brings together the documentary approach and experimental production in analog, digital and emerging media technologies. This unique two-year program fosters collaborations across disciplines and media as it trains sophisticated, creative art practitioners.

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 of the program is the notion of creative engagement through the arts and the role of the artist in society. Visit the MFA|EDA’s website for more information.

Other Graduate Opportunities

CDS offers enrollment opportunities to graduate students enrolled at Duke University through graduate pairing numbers. Priority is given to graduate students in Duke’s MFA|EDA program.

The pairing system allows graduate students to take one or more courses at CDS for credit. Enrolled students will participate in courses with undergraduates but receive credit at the graduate level. Most of these courses will require additional work for graduate credit. Note that we offer no graduate certificate or degrees in documentary studies other than our collaborative offerings through the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts.

Interinstitutional Registration

Through an area interinstitutional program, students from the following universities may register for Duke courses, including those offered through CDS (listed as DOCST):

  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina–Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina–Greensboro

Students from these universities should first contact the university registrar at their home campus for details about the process before contacting CDS. Interinstitutional registration is limited to those courses where spaces are available after a host institution’s students have registered.

The procedure for non-Duke graduate students to enroll in CDS graduate-level courses is:

  1. If there is space available in the course after August 1 (for fall semester courses) or December 1 (for spring semester courses), contact the course instructor and request a permission number. As priority is given to Duke students, please wait until the dates above to request permission to enroll in the course.
  2. Bring the permission number to your home university’s registrar’s office and request inter-institutional registration for the course.