How to Apply

Applications and portfolios for Fall 2024 matriculation were accepted October 15, 2023 - January 31, 2024. Submissions are now closed.

Please contact with admissions inquiries.

Applying to the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts is a two-part process, consisting of 1) the Graduate School Application and 2) Slideroom Portfolio Submission. Information and guidelines are below. 

Duke MFA|EDA is pleased to share the news that four scholarships are available to incoming MFA|EDA students. Learn more about the The David and Elizabeth Roderick Scholarship Fund here.


A unique initiative, the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts couples experimental visual practice with the documentary arts in a rigorous two-year program. For more than three decades, Duke has demonstrated leadership in documentary arts, film and video, and visual studies. Drawing upon this commitment to the arts, as well as the University’s existing strengths in historical, theoretical and technological scholarship, the MFA|EDA offers a distinct learning environment that sees interdisciplinary education as a benchmark for significant innovation.

The MFA|EDA requires fifteen courses over four semesters: nine core courses in prescribed sequence and six elective courses. Guided by first-year advisors and a faculty thesis committee, students explore a curriculum that blends studio practice, fieldwork, digital media and critical theory, culminating in the completion of a thesis paper and MFA exhibition. Students work with faculty from the program’s three founding units—the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies; the Center for Documentary Studies and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image—as well as from the University at large.

MFA|EDA students will create work that has impact, including pioneering hybrids of documentary expression, experimental media, and new technologies. The program seeks applicants from across the arts spectrum, whether based in traditional fine arts such as painting, sculpture, documentary arts, writing, photography and film, or so-called experimental practice such as computational and new media, sound work, performance and installation. Successful candidates will be well versed in their existing practice, and will be eager to push the boundaries of their work via interaction with cohorts from diverse backgrounds.

Graduates will support themselves with employment as leaders in higher education, filmmaking, media production, entertainment, journalism, the art world, and related fields, demonstrating the role of the arts both in the academy and in society at large.


Program Director:
Tom Rankin

Executive Committee:
Directors of AAHVS, CDS, Cinematic Arts, and MFA|EDA

Visiting Artists:
Noah Angell, John Akomfrah, Evgenia Arbugaeva, Ephraim Asili, Richard Ashrowan, Claire Beckett, Ruth Behar, Doug Block, Bill Brown, Bill Burke, Keith Calhoun, Vince Cianni, Nancy Cohen, Steve Cossman, Marshall Curry, David Degner, Earl Dotter, Nathaniel Dorsky, Jim Dow, Thomas Drysdale, Eliot Dudik, Cheryl Dunn, Geoff Dyer, Lisa Elmaleh, Erin Espelie, Kevin Jerome Everson, Helga Fanderl, Kianga Ford, LaToya Ruby Frazier, David Gatten, Jon Sesrie-Goff, Peter Goin, Sam Green, Ruxandra Guidi, Sky Hopinka, Henry Horenstein, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, Peter Hutton, Bruce Jackson, Erin Johnson, Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Kim Knowles, Michael Kruger, Nate Larson, Larissa Leclair, Laida Lertxundi, Lynn Marshall Linnemeier, Jen Liu, Jack Loeffler, James Longley, Ava Lowrey, Deborah Luster, Mark McElhatten, Jonna McKone, Chandra McCormick, Dana Miller, Darius Clark Monroe, Bill Morrison, Zanele Muholi, Stanley Nelson, Mariette Pathy-Allen, Jenelle Porter, Megan Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Laura Poitras, Lucia Small, Renee Stout, Mary Virginia Swanson, Jared Ragland, Dominick Rapone, Vic Rawlings, Leslie Raymond, Lauren Redniss, Steve Roden, Libi Rose, RaMell Ross, Bayete Ross-Smith, Euphus Ruth, M.J. Sharp, Shahzia Sikander, Mark Steinmetz, Deborah Stratman, Tamiko Thiel, Naomi Uman, Wu Wenguang, Yvonne Welbon, Ryan White, Marco Williams, Susan Worsham, Karen Yasinsky, Chi-Hui Yang, Robert Yeoman


Contact Us

Duke University
MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts
1509 Campus Drive
Campus Box 90800
Durham, NC



Our Collaborators

Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Center for Documentary Studies
Duke Cinematic Arts
Power Plant Gallery
Duke Arts
Rubenstein Library Archive of Documentary Arts



2023-24 Tuition and Fees
  • Tuition: $50,924
  • Transcript Fee $120
  • Activity Fee $37
  • Grad Student Service Fee $22
  • Recreation Fee $342
  • Health Insurance $3375

Estimated Living Expenses can be found at The Graduate School Cost of Attendance page



More Information