M.F.A. in Documentary Expression
Minimum Total Credit Hours: 30
The M.F.A. in documentary expression requires 30 hours of coursework: 21 hours of content-based classes and 9 hours of thesis credit. M.F.A. students must complete S St 601 (Graduate Seminar I), S St 533 (Fieldwork & Oral History), S St 610 (M.F.A. Seminar), and S St 633 (M.F.A. Fieldwork). They must complete at least one of the following: S St 534 (Documentary Photography), S St 537 (Documenting the South in Film), or S St 538 (Advanced Documentary Film). They must also complete 3 credit hours of S St 699 (M.F.A. Critique). Students who enter the program with an M.A. in Southern studies from UM may apply 6 hours of that degree for S St 533, 534, 537, 538, or 601, but they may not repeat classes taken for credit while earning the M.A.
Students may begin taking thesis hours upon arrival, provided that the Admissions Committee finds their project idea to be sufficiently developed. M.F.A. students complete a written prospectus (12-15 pages, plus bibliography) and have it approved by their three-person supervisory committee by the end of their second semester in the program. Final projects may take the form of still photography, film, oral history, audio recordings, or some combination thereof, plus a written component, approximately 50-75 pages in length, that both addresses the writer’s process and situates his or her project within relevant scholarly discourse. As with the M.A., students pass an oral defense in order to complete the degree.