Behind the scenes of a video crew filming an actor.

Bachelor of Arts

Interdisciplinary Studies - Documentary Studies

Program of Study


Introductory courses will help you explore the history and theory of documentary expression across multiple platforms including print, audio, still and motion picture photography, and the web.

From there, you can explore your special interests by choosing electives designed to hone your skills and knowledge in a variety of areas -- from nonfiction writing and documentary photography, to audio and video production and web design. The BA degree requires a fieldwork seminar and practicum, which serves as the program's capstone.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Documentary Studies
  • Documentary Studies Seminar and Fieldwork Practicum (senior capstone)


36 credits in select courses in topics, art, art history, communication, documentary studies/history, journalism and music.

Skills Courses 

Choose 4:

  • Intermediate Photography and Digital Imaging
  • Intermediate Digital Imaging
  • Advanced Photography and Digital Imaging
  • Advanced Digital Imaging
  • Advanced Film Production
  • Communication on the Internet
  • Narrative Journalism 
  • Foundations of Documentary Filmmaking 
  • Introduction to Documentary Photography
  • Foundations of Documentary Web/Hypermedia Production
  • Photojournalism
  • Workshop in Oral History
  • Readings and Practicum in Aural History and Audio Documentary Production
  • Practicum in Historical Documentary Filmmaking
  • Readings and Practicum in Digital History and Hypermedia
  • Readings and Practicum in Nonfiction Media Storytelling 
  • Transmedia Storytelling
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Digital Media Workshop I: Web Publishing
  • Digital Media Workshop II: Desk-Top Publishing
  • Digital Publication
  • Music Composition in Electronic Media I 
  • Sound Design and Multimedia 

Applied Learning

Participate in on-campus and off-campus internships to gain valuable experience working alongside faculty and other professional practitioners. Some of the specific possibilities include recording podcasts or web videos, working at a local radio station or broadcast TV channel, editing a documentary piece and creating a virtual museum.

UAlbany's proximity to local museums and archives, such as the New York State Museum and the Albany Institute of History and Art, provides many such opportunities to extend your studies and build your professional network.

Person using a video camera
Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

You can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework while still enrolled as an undergraduate student. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you’ll complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately. 

Combine your Documentary Studies degree with the MS in Information Science program. This ALA-accredited master's program covers a broad range of interdisciplinary topics related to library science, information processing, information management and data analysis.

UAlbany graduate at Commencement

Career Paths

The bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in documentary studies puts you on track for an MA, MFA or PhD in the field, or for the pursuit of many career options.

Potential job titles include:

  • Associate Producer
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Communications Director
  • Publicist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Program Coordinator
  • Reporter
  • Secondary School Teacher


Nature photographer at work

"I appreciated how available the professors were and how they helped me understand the work ethic of being on-time and prepared in the real world of filmmaking. They  always provided me ample resources on how to get my films made and edited."

- Desiree Shepherd, Class of 2018

What Makes The University at Albany Great

Student move-in day.

Living-Learning Communities

Live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share your personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

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Study Abroad

Become a global citizen: international experience is crucial to success in business, education, research, and public policy.

A student conducting undergraduate research.

Undergraduate Research

Research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University at Albany is an option for all students, across all academic disciplines. You will be able to learn more about a specific academic field or career path all while building a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a faculty member or principal investigator.

Explore Minors

Build competency in a passion or strengthen your resume.

A minor consists of 18–24 graduation credits which must include a minimum of 9 graduation credits of advanced coursework at or above the 300 level. Most undergraduate degrees require completing a minor and it has to have a different title from your major.

Full List of Minors
  • Acting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Bioethics
  • Biology
  • Broadcast Meteorology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication (Fully Online Option)
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Studies (Fully Online Option)
  • Cybersecurity (Fully Online Option)
  • Documentary Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Film Studies
  • Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (Fully Online Option)
  • English
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Game Design and Development
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geography
  • Globalization Studies
  • Hebrew
  • History (Fully Online Option)
  • Informatics (Fully Online Option)
  • Instrumental Performance
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Journalism (Fully Online Option)
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Law and Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Legal Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Library and Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Music
  • Musical Performance
  • Musical Theatre
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • Pre-Education
  • Psychology (Fully Online Option)
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Social Welfare Studies
  • Sociology (Fully Online Option)
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre
  • Theatrical Design/Technology
  • Urban Studies and Planning
  • U.S. Latino Studies
  • Vocal Performance
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies