Where Truth & Storytelling Connect

Southern Oregon University’s new 36-credit Documentary Production certificate gives non-fiction filmmakers the tools they need to tell stories that matter about our world’s most pressing challenges.

Young woman with camera in Guanajuato, Mexico

The Documentary Production program is designed for both non-degree-seeking students and traditional degree-seeking students majoring in other disciplines. The certificate serves anyone who aspires to take on documentary production targeting social issues, or who has a passion for non-fiction media production specific to their studies.

The certificate includes hands-on technical training in audio/visual production in both studio and field settings, plus visual storytelling and post-production. Students also explore documentary methods, ethics, and conventions, and the creation of multimedia journalism.

“Aspiring filmmakers and audiences all over our region will benefit from a program dedicated to storytelling in non-fiction form,” said Senior Instructor Chris Lucas. “It’s a relatively low-budget style of filmmaking, it’s very popular with film festivals, and the skills are transferable to other kinds of work like social media marketing, broadcasting and journalism.”

Required courses in the certificate include:

  • DCIN 200 — Storytelling Foundations or COMM 206 — Multimedia Writing (4 credits)
  • DCIN 216 — Studio Production for Film & Television (4 credits)
  • DCIN 313 — Design Problems in Sound & Light (4 credits)
  • COMM 326 — Multimedia Storytelling or COMM 472E — Advanced Broadcast Journalism Production (4 credits)
  • DCIN 363 — Film Theory & Practice: Documentary (4 credits)
  • DCIN 472A — Advanced Documentary Production (4 credits)

Prerequisite courses for the certificate include:

  • DCIN 101 — Production Tools 1: Audio (2 credits)
  • DCIN 102 — Production Tools 2: DSLR Video (2 credits)
  • DCIN 103 — Production Tools 3: Non-Linear Editing (2 credits)

Students with technical experience in the Production Tools courses may apply for Credit For Prior learning to fulfill their prerequisite requirements.

Students must also select a concentration and complete 12 elective credits from one of the following eight disciplines:

  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Environmental Science & Policy
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
  • History
  • Native American Studies
  • Outdoor Adventure Leadership
  • Political Science
  • Sociology & Anthropology

Those credits count both in the indicated majors, and in the Documentary Production certificate, providing degree-seeking students a fast path to advanced media skills.

“There are a bunch of good arguments for going after this certificate right now,” added Lucas. “Non-fiction formats are a large and growing part of the media business. A lot of that comes from their popularity on the big platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Curiosity Stream, and other streamers like that.”

Story by Kelli Albert, Community Manager for the Communication, Media & Cinema Program at Southern Oregon University.



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Comm, Media & Cinema @ Southern Oregon University

Comm, Media & Cinema @ Southern Oregon University

Earn BA/BS Degrees and Certificates in Communication Studies, Social Media & Public Engagement, or Digital Cinema @SOUAshland. #ThatIsSOU