MFA Documentrary

New York Film Academy
United States
Master's Degree
Study mode
2 years
January September
Tuition fee (local)
Information not available
Tuition fee (foreign)
Information not available

Entry Requirements

  • Students must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution recognized by the United States Department of Education or a college or university outside of the U.S. that is recognized as a degree-granting institution by their respective governments. The ideal applicant must demonstrate a sincere passion and aptitude for visual storytelling and the ability and desire to pursue graduate-level work and scholarly research in his/her chosen discipline.

English Language Requirements:

  • A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 or higher (213 for computer-based test or 79 for internet-based test); IELTS 6.5 or the equivalent.
  • A report from a valid English Language School verifying completion of course level equivalent to a 550 Paper-based TOEFL Score.
  • In the case that the documentation is not available, a New York Film Academy representative will use a phone or in-person interview as an opportunity to determine whether or not the applicant has the necessary English language proficiency.



In Year One, students undergo a thorough regimen of class-work and film production that builds the groundwork for a professional life in the art and craft of documentary filmmaking. Starting the first day of class, students are immersed in a hands-on education and an environment that empowers them to artfully tell their stories. Through a sequence of workshops, students begin to work through a number of visual, dramatic, and technical challenges. They rapidly learn the fundamentals of creative and technical skills they need to make a documentary. All students participate in an intensive series of courses such as Producing, Directing, Writing & Research, Cinematography, Lighting, Production, and Post Production Sound, and Digital Editing to prepare them for more advanced topics and projects in Year Two.

Based on an academic year, the curriculum is divided into three semesters. During the first semester, students will learn the art and technique of visual storytelling through class instruction, lectures and hands-on workshops. As the year progresses, students will produce films of increasing complexity and depth. By the end of the third semester, students will have produced eight documentaries and a short based on a topic of their own choosing. While the emphasis of the program is on hands-on immersion in the art of documentary filmmaking, students will also receive instruction on new media, film studies and the business side of the industry. 


Coursework in the second year includes a series of highly specialized classes and workshops designed to further develop students’ knowledge and skills as professional documentary filmmakers. Students produce a promotional film for a non-profit as a group. They spend time perfecting their research and development skills as well as creating a business and marketing plan. Students learn professional techniques such as graphics, titles, animation, color correction and using a score. The final thesis is intended to reflect the student’s strengths as a documentary filmmaker and should be of professional quality. All students are expected to have a role in multiple thesis productions, besides their own.


  • Documentary Craft I
  • Film Dynamics
  • Introduction to Entertainment Law & New Media
  • Documentary Production Workshop
  • Cinema Studies I
  • Camera and Lighting I
  • Introduction to Editing
  • Writing for the Documentary I
  • Sound I
  • Documentary Craft II
  • New Media II
  • Entertainment Law II
  • Writing for the Documentary II
  • Documentary Producing
  • Cinema Studies II
  • Advanced Editing
  • Camera and Lighting II
  • Sound II
  • Final Documentary Workshop
  • Final Documentary Film Project.
  • Proposal Development / Grant Writing
  • Directing
  • Thesis Development: Advanced Research
  • HD, RED Epic & 35mm Workshop
  • Master’s Seminar: Industry Perspectives
  • Advanced Post Production
  • Cinema Studies III
  • New Media: Content in the Digital Age
  • Thesis Documentary Workshop
  • Thesis Documentary Production A
  • Thesis Documentary Post-Production A
  • Thesis Crew Participation

Film Projects:

  • Project 1: Observational Film
  • Project 2: New Media
  • Project 3: Character Film
  • Project 4: Investigative Film/Social Issue
  • Project 5: New Media II
  • Project 6: Final Documentary Film Project

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