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New Transfer Student Academic Advisement

4. UAlbany Degree Requirements

Departmental Advice to Transfer Students

Documentary Studies


Welcome to one of the most interdisciplinary majors at the University at Albany – one that offers students an opportunity to explore diverse approaches to documentary work in photography, video/film, radio, nonfiction writing and print journalism, and hypermedia/multimedia. The Program includes instruction in Art, Communication, History, Journalism, and Music, and offers theoretical and practical courses in video/filmmaking, audio/radio documentary production, oral history, documentary writing and research, media history, photography, and multimedia authoring. As an interdisciplinary program, our courses are drawn from several different departments. These are supplemented with Program-initiated and identified courses (“DOC” courses -- created to fill in gaps in existing offerings). Our curriculum combines a solid grounding in the academic and theoretical literature of documentary media with intensive research and fieldwork, arming students not only with production skills but also the ability to critically analyze media in terms of both content and craft.

An understanding of documentary media in its many forms prepares students to more effectively engage in the media-infused global marketplace as citizens, consumers, educators, scholars, and practitioners. The major prepares students for employment in fields that require research and writing skills, including historical and archival research; the ability to analyze, critique, and produce visual and aural communications, such as for entertainment, education, or advocacy; and a broad understanding of fact-based communication that can be applied in a range of corporate, educational, service, or government settings. The major also prepares students for advanced study in journalism, history, media production, global studies, and education.

Registering for Classes

The MAP (Major Academic Pathway) shows how the Documentary Studies major might be completed in four years. As a transfer student it is important for you to use your Degree Audit Report (DARS) to determine what you’ve already completed and what is left for you to finish at Albany. As you do this, please consider the following information that we have found to be important to transfer students: 

(1)   The Major requires 36 credits distributed in the following way:

·         Required Core Course – A DOC/AHIS 251 Introduction to Documentary Studies (3 credits).  This should be taken as soon as possible, and is ONLY offered in the fall semester.

·         Core Theory & History Foundations Courses – 6 credits

·         Documentary Studies Fieldwork Seminar – 4 credits.  Plan to take in your final year.

·         Skills Courses – 12 credits

·         Electives – 11 credits

(2)   You must select a minor. Click here for the complete list and requirements of UAlbany minors.

(3)   We strongly recommend the following for your first semester:
* DOC 251
* Two other DOC courses – ideally theory/history courses
* Select 1-2 General Education courses, as needed (check your DARS audit to identify precisely which Gen. Ed. courses you need.

* Take one course toward your minor.

On-Line Registration Process

1. You are advised to complete and submit your Educational Plan as soon as possible, to maximize access to available seats. The plan does not have to be perfect or final.

2. Your Educational Plan will be reviewed by a member of the Documentary Studies faculty who will contact you by email with comments or questions. When your proposal is approved, you will receive an email with your AVN (Advisement Verification Number). You can expect to receive this by email within two weeks after receipt of your proposal. Please be sure to check your UAlbany email account. Your AVN will give you access to the registration system.

Technical Assistance

Contact Advisement Services Center 442-3960 or ITS Help Desk (442-3700).

Documentary Studies Advisor

Each student in the Documentary Studies Program will be assigned a faculty advisor. You are strongly advised to meet regularly with your advisor to discuss your program of study. You should check your MY UAlbany to find out which adviser you have been assigned; that information should appear there within two weeks after you register for classes online.







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