Social Documentation Double Major Program

Social Documentation Double Major Program

Tell Stories That Matter

We have more ways of sharing stories than at any other point in history. From feature films on the big screen to 15-second TikTok videos, we are surrounded by the most profound to the most mundane insights into other's lives. How do you cut through the noise? How can we uplift voices to help make the world better? How can we create content that is meant to solve problems instead of create them?

The social documentation double major program at Clarkson University trains you to not only tell stories that matter but to reach audiences where they can have the most impact. Offered by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Communication, Media and Design, this program combining two majors gives you the research tools and production skills to create a portfolio of your work based on your interest in social justice issues.

Upon the program's completion, students receive a BS in Communication and a bachelor's degree from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Why Double Major in Social Documentation at Clarkson?

Whether you want to launch a podcast focused on environmental policy or direct a documentary on LGBTQ+ members in the Adirondacks, you need both the research skills and technical expertise to produce your and others' stories. The social documentation double major program delivers a strong foundation to help you achieve these goals.

Students in this track combine a major in the social sciences or humanities with a second major in communication. Your studies in the social sciences and humanities provide greater insight into cultural and social issues. Your communication classes then complement this knowledge base with cutting-edge applications and media technologies.

The curriculum is flexible enough to give you the freedom to focus your attention on the topics and media possibilities that captivate you the most. Following graduation, you will be ready to tell stories through social media, video, audio, design and more platforms.

What You'll Learn

The social documentation double major represents 67 of the 120 credit hours required for graduation. In addition to our two required courses — History of Social Documentation and Major Research Seminar or Major Research Project — students take classes in film video production and digital design.

Some of our courses include:

  • Audio Production
  • Documenting Social Activism
  • Environmental Policy
  • Feature Film Screenwriting
  • Food and Society, or What to Think About What You Eat
  • Introduction to Web Design
  • Sex and Commerce
  • The History and Art of Animation
  • Typography and Design
  • Women and Religion

Social Documentation Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:

  • Social Documentation
  • SD200 History of Social Documentation

Professional Experience

Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:

  • SD480 Major Research Seminar
  • and SD490 Major Research Project

Social Documentation Core Electives

Students must complete the following electives:


Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • FILM226 Short Film Screenwriting
  • FILM230 Cinemas of Resistance 
  • FILM235 Crossing Borders 
  • FILM240 Films From Fiction 
  • FILM250 Dystopian Visions in International Cinema 
  • FILM322 The Hollywood Cinema 
  • FILM326 Feature Film Screenwriting 
  • FILM340 World in a Frame 
  • FILM344 The History and Art of Animation 

Video Production and Digital Design

Students must complete two of the following courses:

  • COMM1002D Digital Design 
  • COMM320 Digital Photography 
  • COMM322 Typography and Design 
  • COMM327 Digital Video Production I 
  • COMM341 Introduction to Web Design 
  • COMM360 Audio Production 
  • COMM427 Digital Video Production II 
  • DA110 Drawing 
  • DA120 Elements of Design

Social Documentation Electives

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

Students will have at least 15 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

You don't have to wait to land a job to get real-world experience. Take advantage of our partnerships near campus and beyond to put your skills to work in a co-op or internship. Some places our students have worked include:

  • Biodiversity Heritage Library at Harvard University
  • Champlain College - Emergent Media Center
  • InVentiv Creative Studios
  • Title IX office

Learn more about co-ops and internships.

At Clarkson, your classroom projects can have legs. Our students have designed VR components for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and built campus-wide social media campaigns, had their films accepted to the Lake Placid Film Festival and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) and are helping design a collaborative VR environment for learning about neuroscience, funded by Unity and Meta (Facebook's parent company).

Learn more about research at Clarkson.

Pick the brains of industry experts who routinely visit campus to share their knowledge with our students. Get a real-time look at the industry, ask questions and network with leading figures such as:

  • American game designer Brenda Romero
  • Crowdfunding experts Shawn Neal and Jeff Wenzel of the Woodshed Agency
  • Digital artist Jonathan Monaghan
  • Emmy award-winning filmmaker Tony D’Annunzio
  • Marketing expert David Meerman Scott
  • OK Go musician Damian Kulash

You don't have to work hard to get involved — over 200 clubs and organizations are waiting for you to explore. You could go on-air with our student radio station, shoot and edit video for our student-run TV station or work on real-world client projects for our web-development team.

Explore Clarkson's clubs and organizations.


Understanding other cultures gives you a better perspective on your own. As an anthropology minor, ask how other societies raise children, grow food, handle gender differences and apportion power. Learn about the anthropology minor.


As a creator, learn quickly how important it is to become a businessperson. This minor explores topics in accounting, economics, finance, law, organizational behavior, operations management and marketing. Learn about the business minor.

Product Development and Marketing

Explore the concepts and tools that bring new products to market — and convince people to buy them. Build a portfolio showcasing your ability to identify opportunities and reach consumers. Learn about the product development and marketing minor.

Literature and the Arts

We've expressed the human condition through literature and the arts for thousands of years. Explore books, films and dramas to get a better understanding of different cultures and points of view. Learn about the literature and the arts minor.

War Studies

What causes war? How has it affected societies throughout history — and how can we use those lessons to shape policies and decisions now? The war studies minor gives you the research, analytical and communication skills valued by government, media organizations, NGOs and other employers. Learn about the war studies minor.

Be an eyewitness to the stories taking place around the world. Spending a semester overseas can broaden your perspective and expose you to a wide variety of views and voices.

Learn more about Clarkson's study-abroad opportunities.

Career Possibilities

Media is one of the most powerful and potent tools we have at our disposal to effect real change. The social documentation double major prepares you to use it for the greater good.

This degree equips you for roles such as:

  • Content creation for the public and private sectors
  • Consultant work
  • Data visualization
  • Digital content curation
  • Employment with social justice organizations
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) creation
  • Leadership in media-oriented firms
  • Museum installation work
  • Nonprofit creation and leadership
  • Public or private radio or television broadcasting
  • Social media advocacy
  • Support and outreach for NGOs
  • Web-based education and outreach
  • Web-based training content creation

Recent Employers

Our students use their unique skills to develop content and tell stories for corporations, media companies, law offices, nonprofits and even their own startups. Some decide to pursue graduate studies to further their education. Some of the places where fellow Clarkson alums have launched their careers include:

  • AllianceBernstein
  • AmeriCorps
  • Epsilon
  • Johnson Controls
  • Message in a Bottle Productions
  • NBA

Center for Excellence in Communication Lab

Our Center for Excellence in Communication (CEC) lab got a $200,000 overhaul in 2022. Work with the latest software for digital design, audio and video editing, 3D modeling and more media. Dedicated spaces provide facilities for user experience design and usability testing, sound design and advanced 3D animation.

Contact Us

Department of Communication, Media & Design
Phone: 315-268-6484

Want to learn more about the social documentation double major program? Contact the Department today with your questions.

Learn More About Social Documentation at Clarkson

Our Center for Excellence in Communication (CEC) lab got a $200,000 overhaul in 2022. Work with the latest software for digital design, audio and video editing, 3D modeling and more media. Dedicated spaces provide facilities for user experience design and usability testing, sound design and advanced 3D animation.

Find Your Voice

Have a story to tell? The social documentation double major program from Clarkson can show you how. Reach out to us today to take the next step.