Bachelor of Arts in Documentary Studies and Production

Mead Loop, Associate Professor and Program Director

The Roy H. Park School of Communications offers an interdisciplinary B.A. in documentary studies and production, which is a four-year curriculum designed to prepare students to become documentary filmmakers as well as to understand the growing and complex world of documentaries, drawing on existing courses in the television-radio, cinema and photography, and journalism programs. This is a broad, liberal arts-based curriculum. Requirements are divided into two areas: studies courses and production courses. Open electives enable students to tailor their own programs.

Academic Policies

Majors, including freshmen, are required to maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 2.50. All majors must complete a minimum of 60 credits outside communications, which includes the minor requirement, and a minimum of 75 percent of their credits (normally 90 credits) in courses designated as liberal arts. Transfer students applying to the B.A. in documentary studies and production must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher to have their application considered; however, this minimum does not guarantee acceptance to the degree program. This policy applies to all applicants to the degree program, including students transferring from another major in the Park School or at Ithaca College and those applying from other academic institutions.

Requirements for the Major 2014-2015


  Credit Hours 
 Communication Course Requirements 49
 Minor Requirement


 Electives 46-53

(Total credits to include 60 liberal arts credits and
60 credits outside the Roy H. Park School of Communications)


Communication Course Requirements

  Credit Hours 
 GCOM 13000 S’Park!: Igniting Your Future in Communications (F) 1
 JOUR 11100  Introduction to Journalism* (F-S) (ICC-CLA) 4
 JOUR 11200  Journalism Research* (F-S) (ICC-CLA) 4
 CNPH 14100  Introduction to Photography (F-S) (ICC-CLA)
 TVR 29900  Nonfiction Production  (Y)
 CNPH 30100  History and Theory of Documentary* (S) (ICC-WI)
 TVR 31200  Government and Media* (F-S)
 TVR 49600  Documentary Workshop (Y)
 GCOM 43000 Connecting the Dots: General Education Integration (F-S) (ICC-CP) 1
 Choose one course of the following three-credit courses:  
   CNPH 10100  Introduction to Film Aesthetics and Analysis* (F)  
   TVR 12200 Introduction to Media Aesthetics and Analysis* (F-S)
 Choose one course of the following four-credit courses:  
   CNPH 11100 Cinema Production 1 (F-S)  
   TVR 11500 Introduction to Field Production (F-S)
 Choose two courses of the following three-credit courses:  
   JOUR 21300 Journalism Ethics* (F-S)  
   CNPH 24000 History of Photography* (S)  
   TVR 25100 Critical Thinking in Mass Communication* (F-S)
 Choose one course of the following four-credit courses:  
   CNPH 32200 Advanced Cinema Production: Nonfiction (S)  
   CNPH 30402 Special Topics in Cinema Production: Photojournalism (IRR)  
    CNPH 30404  Special Topics in Cinema Production: Documentary Photography (IRR)
 Choose one course of the following four-credit courses:  
   TVR 49100 Senior Media Thesis (F-S)  
   CNPH 42000 Thesis Cinema Production (F-S)  
   CNPH 44300 Photo Workshop (F-S)  4
 Total Communication Course Requirements 48 

* Indicates courses with liberal arts designation.

(F) course offered Fall semester only; (S) course offered Spring semester only; (F-S) course offered both Fall and Spring semesters; (IRR) course offered irregularly


ICC-CLA indicates a course that fulfills the complementary liberal arts requirement of the Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC); ICC-WI indicates a course that fulfills the writing intensive requirement of the Integrative Core Curriculum; ICC-CP indicates a course that fulfills the capstone requirement in the ICC.


Minor Requirement

Documentary Studies and Production majors are required to choose a minor outside the Roy H. Park School of Communications.  Documentary Studies and Production majors may not have a minor in business, accounting, finance, marketing, or management without undertaking additional liberal arts courses.  Total credits in the minor must be 18 to 25 and may not include courses offered within the Roy H. Park School of Communications, except for the Park School courses required for the minor in culture and communication.

Integrative Core Curriculum Requirements

All students at Ithaca College must complete the Integrative Core Curriculum listed below (full details are available at the Integrative-Core-Curriculum):

 Themes and Perspectives  
     Ithaca Seminar (ICSM 1xxxx)  4 credits* 
     Creative Arts (CA) course  3 credits
     Humanities (HM) course  3 credits
     Natural Sciences (SC)  3 credits
     Social Sciences (SO)  3 credits
Complementary Liberal Arts (CLA)   12 credits

(Fulfilled with core requirements JOUR 11100, JOUR 11200, and CNPH 14100 for majors in the B.A. in Documentary Studies and Production)


WRTG 10600   3 credits**
Writing Intensive (WI) course   3 credits***
Diversity (DV) course   3 credits
Quantitative Literacy (QL) course   3 credits****
ICC Capstone (CP) 0-3 credits   1 credit for Park School degrees (fulfilled by GCOM 43000)
Total Integrative Core Curriculum   31-41 credits

* Incoming freshmen will register for an Ithaca Seminar their first (fall) semester at Ithaca College.  Transfer students will register for a seminar (ICSM 20500) designed specifically for transfer students to fulfill this requirement.

** You may also receive credit for completing this requirement by scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP examination in English Literature & Composition or English Language & Composition.  The following Ithaca Seminars also fulfill this requirement:  ICSM 10800 or ICSM 11800.

*** You must fulfill the First-Year Composition requirement before enrolling in a Writing Intensive course. Park School courses that fulfill the WI requirement are CNPH 30000 Fiction Film theory, CNPH 30100 History and Theory of Documentary, JOUR 21100 Visual Journalism, and STCM 33200 Writing for Public Relations. 

**** Mathematics Competency
After you decide to attend Ithaca College, you will complete an online assessment of the mathematical skills necessary to succeed in courses with a Quantitative Literacy (QL) designation. If you do not pass the assessment, you’ll be required to complete a mathematics course designed to prepare you for Quantitative Literacy courses before you can complete your Quantitative Literacy requirement. Park School courses that fulfill the QL requirement are JOUR 48400 Mass Media Research, STCM 28800 Research and Statistics for Strategic Communications, and TVR 26300 Mass Media Research Methods.



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