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    Andrews University
  Jul 23, 2017
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Documentary Film BFA

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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.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Department of Visual Art & Design offers students an exciting opportunity to earn a collaborative Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA). The BFA degree encompasses four major areas: Design, Documentary Film, Photography, and Visual Art.

Each of the BFA degree emphases has a 5–part curriculum:

  1. Art History
  2. Common Core
  3. Studio Electives,
  4. General Education, and
  5. Portfolio Emphasis.

BFA : Bachelor of Fine Arts

Art History - 12 Credits

Studio Electives - 15 Credits

General Education Requirements

See professional program requirements  and note the following specific requirements:


professional degree requirements


professional degree requirements


professional degree requirements

Fine Arts/Humanities:

professional degree requirements

Life/Physical Sciences:

professional degree requirements


professional degree requirements

Computer Literacy:


Fulfilled through Internship component of the program.

Social Sciences:

professional degree requirements

Fitness Education:

professional degree requirements

Documentary Film Portfolio Emphasis

The Documentary Film track guides emerging artists in their exploration of film as a visual storytelling medium, helping them to identify, craft and share the stories that define our community.

45 Credits

Admission Procedures and Academic Standards

BFA Professional Degree in Design, Documentary Film, Photography or Visual Art

Students seeking to pursue the BFA Professional Degree in Design, Documentary Film, Photography or Visual Art 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 Common Core and the Studio Electives (typically at the end of the Sophomore Year) students must:

1. Apply for a BFA Review. All work created in the Common Core and Studio Electives program 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. 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 to these programs are outlined in the packet., And

2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in all coursework.

Transfer Students

Transfer students entering the BFA program must have a BFA Review. Students who have no previous work in art must complete the Common Core and Studio Electives and go through the BFA Review application process before they are officially in the BFA program. Students who are transfering in art courses will need to have their art courses evalutated by the department to verify equivalent course content (this may require the course description and course syllabus).

Academic Standards

Academic Standards apply to the BFA Professional Degree in Design, Documentary Film, Photography or Visual Art. No BFA courses with a final grade below C- will be accepted toward the completion of the BFA. A grade of less that C- requires the student to repeat the course before it can apply toward the degree. Students accepted to the BFA Professional Degree in Design, Documentary Film, Photography or Visual Art are expected, by the end of the BFA degree program, to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all BFA Emphasis coursework. Students whose GPA falls below this miniumum requirement are not allowed to graduate with the BFA. The completion of the BFA includes a senior thesis, senior exhibition and portfolio of the student’s work.

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