IMPORTANT: In accordance with Duke University's current policies and guidelines related to coronavirus / COVID-19, all on-site CDS Courses (continuing education) classes are canceled or postponed until at least May 7. Online courses will continue as scheduled. In menu to the left, go to All Courses and/or Timetable of Current Courses to see updates on individual classes.


The Center for Documentary Studies offers a wide range (up to a hundred annually) of onsite and online courses, summer intensive institutes, and short workshops for adults who are interested in doing their own documentary work, whether starting a first project or refining an existing one. Most classes are offered during in the evening or on weekends to accommodate the schedules of working adults. These hands-on courses, available via open admission and with reasonable fees, involve instruction in photography, video, audio, writing, and other creative media. Special topics integral to conducting and presenting documentary work are covered, such as documentary traditions, techniques, fieldwork theory, and ethics. 

This open-admissions adult education program includes the option of completing a Certificate in Documentary Arts; a two-year distance-learning certificate track is available for non-local students. View handouts on recommended equipment and Certificate requirements. Note: Duke University staff, faculty, students, and alumni receive 10 percent off fees for CDS Courses in the fall and spring.