We find and develop our identity in the stories we hear while growing up–whether they be about our family or our faith, about country or community. Increasingly, film is the medium of choice through which these stories are expressed, and in the nonfiction realm it inherently carries the capacity to examine our past while also exploring the pressing topics and ideas that define the present. The Documentary Film program at Andrews University was designed for the student who embraces the role of the nonfiction storyteller and visual communicator, for the student compelled to inform and engage audiences with deeply affecting narratives on important issues.
Film exists only through the advent of technology, so initial courses in the program will introduce students to the cameras, lights, computers and software that will enable them to explore their craft. Simultaneously, students will be taking a selection of BFA core courses which provide a broad base of art experiences in drawing, design, web development, digital media, photography and art history. With this foundation, the curriculum moves to immerse students in the art of directing, producing, writing, cinematography and editing. Included are courses in film history and film theory, as well as a periodic rotation through special topics such as international film production, social documentary, ethnographic film, non-profit video, environmental film production, and personal narrative films.
Whether learning how to light beautiful scenes with the latest film cameras, or editing sequences together that move audiences to tears, students will develop both a competence in the tools of the trade as well as the thoughtfulness to approach filmmaking with creativity and integrity. At the completion of their BFA in Documentary Film, majors will have finished several projects, including a thesis film that they will be able to share with audiences, and market themselves professionally.
Studio Electives - 9
Choose 3 classes from the following list:
Major Requirements - 63
- FILM 105 - Intro to Filmmaking Credits: 3
- FILM 225 - Screenwriting Credits: 3
- FILM 275 - Post-Production Credits: 3
- FILM 350 - Cinematography Credits: 3
- FILM 355 - Sound Recording and Editing Credits: 3
- FILM 398 - Directing the Documentary I Credits: 3
- FILM 399 - Directing the Documentary II Credits: 3
- FILM 486 - Senior Project II Credits: 3
- FILM 490 - Producing Practicum Credits: 3
- ART 207 - Basic Design I Credits: 3
- ART 485 - Senior Project Credits: 3
- ART 487 - Internship Credits: 1–3 (3 Credits Required)
- PHTO 115 - Photography I Credits: 3 or Credits: 3
- PHTO 200 - Advanced Photography I Credits: 3
- PHTO 380 - Lighting I Credits: 3
- With an additional 18 credits to be chosen in consultation with your academic advisor from ARCH, ART, ARTH, DSGN, & FILM. Up to 9 credits may be taken in ANTH, COMM, ENGL, JOUR, PLSC, PSYC, & SOCI courses.
General Education - 36
Please note: The General Education requirements for Professional Degree Programs is 42 credits, 6 of the 42 credits are fulfilled through the Studio Elective and Major Requirements.
Admission Procedures and Academic Standards
BFA Professional Degree in Design, Documentary Film, Illustration, Fine Art, and Photography
Students seeking to pursue the BFA Professional Degree with majors in Design, Documentary Film, Fine Art, Illustration, or Photography must first submit an Andrews University undergraduate application for acceptance to the University. Students admitted to the University on regular standing are eligible to begin the first two years of the BFA degree.
Upon completetion of the the first two Pre-Professional Years (typically at the end of the Sophomore Year) students must apply for acceptance into their respective BFA Professional Degree Programs which includes:
- Completion of the Application. The application packet may be obtained from the Department Office and must be submitted directly to the Department Office by the application deadline. Minimum requirements to be considered for admission are outlined in the packet.
- The BFA Review. All work created in Pre-professional Years One & Two should be available for review. The BFA review is a critique of the student’s portfolio by the faculty of the Department of Visual Art & Design.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in all coursework.
Transfer students seeking advanced placement in a chosen BFA program must have a BFA Review. Students who have no previous coursework in art are not eligible to apply for advanced standing. Transfer coursework must be evaluated for content equivalency and students may be asked to provide course descriptions and syllabi.
Students accepted to a BFA Professional Degree program is expected to in Design, Documentary Film, Fine Art, Illustration, and Photography are expected, by the end of the BFA degree program, to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all BFA major coursework. Students whose GPA falls below this miniumum requirement are not allowed to graduate with the BFA. The completion of the BFA may include a senior project, senior exhibition, internship, and portfolio of the student’s work.