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Documentary Media (MFA)

Two women stood in front of a canvas mural on a wall

Program Overview

Format: Full-time, two-year

Degree Earned: Master of Fine Arts

Bridging the traditions of documentary practice with emerging approaches to non-fiction storytelling, this interdisciplinary program brings together students to explore documentary forms and strategies in the making of new documentary work. Working alongside artists, scholars and media professionals, students engage with the histories and theories of documentary, while working with the tools needed to complete their own major creative projects.

Our graduates may be found in diverse occupations including film and television production companies, arts administration, and freelance careers as filmmakers, photographers and new media producers. Other graduates have pursued studies at the PhD level and careers in education.

PDF fileDownload the program brochure

Graduate student standing in front of a wall mural, showcasing headshots

At a Glance

  • Completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00/4.33 (B or equivalent) in the last two years of study
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be academic
  • Portfolio submission

For detailed fees information visit Fees by Program.

  • 24/7 access to graduate labs/equipment
  • Extensive camera, sound and studio resources
  • Digital editing, printing and scanning facilities
  • Analogue resources

Professional experience

The DocNow Festival presents the thesis work of students in the program. Students collaborate on a citywide festival featuring screenings, exhibitions and events exploring a wide range of subjects and celebrating their creative achievements.

Admissions Contact

Graduate Studies Admissions Office
11th Floor, 1 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
Telephone: 416-979-5150
Fax: 416-979-5153

Program Contacts

Dr. Bruno Lessard
Graduate Program Director
Ph.D., Université de Montréal.
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 6860

Daniel Garcia
Program Administrator
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2763
Fax: 416-979-5153

“The collaborative nature of the program provided the space and creative community I needed to develop my ideas, and to critique and challenge my growing narrative. The master classes and guest lectures also provided industry dialogue, while acting as a hub for creative approaches to storytelling.”

Jordan Kawai, MFA graduate

Student Profile

Conor DeVries' (documentary media MFA student) documentary, "The Right to Learn", explores the real-world effects of increasing tuition in Canada.

student working at a desk

How to Apply

Once you’ve made an informed choice about which program(s) you are going to apply to, preparing your application requires careful research and planning.


At Ryerson, we understand that pursuing graduate studies is a significant financial investment. Funding comes from a combination of employment contracts (as a teaching assistant), scholarships, awards and stipends. There are a number of additional funding sources – internal and external – available to graduate students that can increase these funding levels.

Finding a Supervisor

Students should apply to the program first. Applications that meet the minimum requirements of the program will be forwarded to faculty members in the program for review. Successful applicants will be invited to visit the program and meet with faculty members that are interested in supervising them as a graduate student in their research group. A matching system is used to find the best students/supervisor match (using input from both applicants and faculty members). After a suitable match is determined, an official offer of admission will be sent with the supervisor named in the offer.