Documentary Production Minor

What do Man on Wire, An Inconvenient Truth, The Fog of War, The March of the Penguins, Born into Brothels, and Bowling for Columbine have in common? They are all Academy Award winning documentaries. They are all powerful and compelling stories based on real life ideas and issues and people, and they move us and enlighten us in ways that fiction film does not.

Have you ever looked at the photographs of Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, W. Eugene Smith, or Henri Cartier Bresson? Have you visited Check them out, and be prepared to be blown away.

The Documentary Production Minor will prepare you to be a part of the tradition, history, theory, and production of Documentary forms and modes of expression. That means film, video, audio, web, photography - any medium with which you can examine the wonder and complexity of the real world.

Our focus is on bringing high level production and analysis together to produce theoretically informed work. Students will gain a cutting edge understanding of the challenges of representing reality. We will screen the best works of the present and the past, work in teams to create short and long form documentaries, and interact with the best of contemporary documentarians. Graduates of the minor will be prepared for success in the world of the documentary, whether it is in Journalism, Public or Cable Television, or Independent or Feature films.


The Minor in Documentary Production is jointly administered by the Department of Media and Information within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and the College of Arts and Letters. The Department of Media and Information is the primary administrative unit. The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor's degree programs at Michigan State University. Students in the Department of English; the School of Journalism; the Department of Media and Information; and the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture may find this minor of particular interest.

Prerequisite Courses

There are no prerequisite courses for this minor.

Application Process

Students who are interested in the minor are eligible to apply if they are in good academic standing. Applications will be reviewed prior to annual enrollment.

Online Documentary Studies Minor application

Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with a ComArtSci advisor to discuss the Documentary Production Minor.

Program Requirements

Once accepted to the minor, students will meet with the Documentary Production Minor advisor to plan future enrollment. With the approval of the department that administers the student's degree program, courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor's degree. The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor for the minor.


Bob Albers
404 Wilson Road, Room 275
Communication Arts & Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI  48824
(517) 355-6559

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