Documentary Studies at Lehigh

Minor in Documentary Storymaking

The minor exposes students to the world of documentary and digital storymaking. It focuses on analyzing the genre, its history, and evolving styles; developing visual literacy skills; and gives students an opportunity to create their own films.

The minor requires a total of 5 courses. Required courses:

DOC 150 - Introduction to Documentary Storymaking- an interdisciplinary hybrid course offered each fall, involving digital collaboration as well as face to face meetings across three campuses, providing a survey of documentary traditions, idioms, and ethical issues, as well as an introduction to documentary practices and methods. In 2016 this course meets at Lafayette College.

DOC 250 - Legal and Ethical Frameworks in Documentary Storymaking- a fully online course examining the ethical and legal issues inherent in documentary representation. Offered Spring term 2016-17.

DOC 370 - Capstone in Documentary Storymaking- a hybrid, blended course in which students bring to completion a final community-based documentary project culminating in a public presentation of their work.

Additionally, students complete 2 electives (at least one emphasizing documentary production in any media type) on any of the collaborating campuses. Approved Spring 2017 courses and more information can be found here.

Graduate Certificate in Documentary Film

Designed to augment social science and humanities graduate students' education and training for employment inside and outside of the academy, this certificate program covers 1) the historical development and distinctive attributes of documentary film, including the genre's impressive capacity for drawing large viewerships and, with that, communicating research-based knowledge to general publics; and 2) the production of documentary text--from conceiving of a topic and "storyboarding" a narrative; to taking interviews; to composing and filming a variety of shots; and to editing visual and audio material into final digital form. The program broadly defines documentary film to facilitate understanding and production of texts from YouTube-like social media to feature-length theatrically-released films.

The program is open to students seeking a graduate degree in any department or program in Humanities and/or Social Sciences.  It works in collaboration with support services on campus such as the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and the Digital Media Studio.

Completion of 12 credits, no more than 6 credits at the 300-level. Required courses:

AMST 425 Community Study through Documentary Film (3)

AMST 433 Documentary Film Production (3)

Additionally, students complete two elective courses in consultation with the Graduate Certificate Director. Possible courses include:

HIST 438 -Techniques in Public History:Legal and Ethical Concerns in Documentary Work

COMM 318 - Globalization and Communication

HIST 305 - Public History

HIST 336 - Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley

HIST 337 - History and Community Memory

JOUR 325 - New Media and Social Change

For more information about the minor or the graduate certificate, please contact Lehigh program advisor Professor Tamara Myers at