UNT establishes master's degree in documentary film

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Documentary filmmakers who want to teach their craftand professionals who want more experience in documentary production will soonhave another outlet for advanced education.

The University of North Texas Department of Radio, Television and Film will offera master of fine arts degree with an emphasis on documentary production and studiesbeginning in the fall 2004 semester. The three-year degree will require studentsto complete at least 60 hours of graduate course work.

The Department of Radio, Television and Film has offered master of arts and masterof science degrees with majors in radio, television and film since the 1980s.These programs, which differ from each other only by a foreign language studyrequirement, are designed for students who want to pursue research in mass communication.Areas of concentration within the program are media industry studies, documentaryfilm and video studies, and media history/criticism. Students must complete amaster's thesis to receive the degree.

The MFA program will emphasize production of documentary film. Students willalso take required courses and electives in media history and theory, said BenLevin, UNT professor of radio, television and film and director of graduate studiesfor the Department of Radio, Television and Film.

Levin said candidates for the degree will be required to complete a major documentaryproduction instead of a written thesis before graduation.

"The MFA is not for someone who eventually wants to earn a doctoral degree. Itis a terminal degree for those who want to teach production as a lecturer oradjunct faculty member," he said.

Levin said the degree is also aimed at those who earned bachelor's degreesin radio, television and film and want to extend their professional education.Those from other fields who want training and experience in nonfiction film productionwill also be considered for the program, he added.

"You may have someone with a background in gerontology who wants to produce videosabout the older population, or someone in biology who wants to produce environmentalfilms," he said. "We want to connect these students with UNT facultymembers who are experts in these disciplines."

For more information, contact Levin at (940) 565-2537 or levin@unt.edu.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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