institute for documentary studies


  • Who applies to Salt?
    All kinds. Graduates, Undergrads, and some in between. Some come as a complete change of direction, others come to build upon what they’ve been studying or practicing elsewhere. No matter what, we find that our students are some of the most passionate, creative, and motivated people you’ll ever meet. And there’s no doubt about it, they’re crazy about documentary.
  • When can I come to Salt?
    We have Fall & Spring semesters.
  • What do students do after they graduate from Salt?
    Salt attracts an eclectic student body with various academic, job, and life experiences, and we find that the career paths that students pursue following their time at Salt are just as diverse. Our alumni have entered careers in photography, journalism, radio, freelance writing and shooting, documentary film, and education to name a few. Furthermore, many students use Salt as a foundation for further graduate studies, law school, social work, midwifery, you name it!
  • What are the classrooms like?
    Each classroom is a bright, cozy space designed specifically for your track and equipped with new iMac computers w/ all the latest software, built-in desks for work mode, common tables for conversation and class discussion, dry erase boards, lcd projectors, cubbies for all your gear, and lots of outlets to charge up. The building has wireless internet throughout, as well as many data ports to plug in to. You’ll spend plenty of time cooking and hanging out in the kitchen, reading or napping in the library, and chatting about days’ events in our meeting-of-the-minds room. Twice a week, all tracks meet together for New Media class in the Red Room – where you may also find a good spot to read the paper or catch up on some work.
  • What will I earn upon successfully completing the program?
    Students attend Salt for one semester only. Undergraduate students who attend Salt while matriculated elsewhere can earn a semester’s worth of undergraduate credits through setting up a host consortium agreement between Salt and their home university. Graduate students (those who have already completed an undergraduate degree) may be able to transfer Salt credits to a graduate program with the help of an advisor. If you are interested in either option, contact us to proceed.  You do not need to currently be enrolled in an academic program to apply to Salt.


    Students also leave Salt with a portfolio of the documentary work they completed during the fifteen-week program.

  • I have already earned my undergraduate degree. Can I attend Salt even if I am not enrolled in a graduate program?
    Yes, you may attend Salt even if you are not enrolled in a graduate program. In fact, many of our students fall into this category. You are considered a graduate student if you have already received your baccalaureate degree, not because you are enrolled in a graduate program elsewhere.
  • I have never been to college. Can I attend Salt even if I have never enrolled in another undergraduate program?
    Yes, so long as you have graduated from high school, you are eligible to attend Salt as an undergraduate student.
  • Does Salt offer internships?
    Salt does not offer internships.
  • Can I work while I attend Salt?
    Yes. Some students do work part-time jobs while attending Salt. Most often, our students have found flexible part-time work in foodservice and childcare. Salt also infrequently offers work opportunities for students. However, given the high demands of the program, working as few as ten hours a week can be challenging, and working full-time is not possible.
  • Does Salt accept international students?
    International students are responsible for securing the proper visa; Salt cannot do this for the student. Otherwise, the admissions process is the same for an international student as it is for the rest of the student body. International students attend the same program for which they pay the same tuition and fees as any other student.

    The credit transfer process for international students may be different than that for those in the United States – please contact for more information.

  • What is Salt's immunization policy?

    In 2008, the Portland chapter of the Center for Disease Control contacted Salt regarding a new mandate that requires all post- secondary students to have proof of a two shot series of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine. Before attending classes at Salt, you must provide Salt with an official vaccination record. Anyone who fails to do so will not be permitted to attend class.

    You most likely had an MMR vaccination when you were one-year-old or older. If this is the case, you will need a booster or second shot. You will then need to provide Salt with documentation of the original vaccination as well as the booster or second shot. This documentation must state the month, day, and year of the shots and the type of shots given.

    If you did not have an MMR shot as a baby, you will need to have two shots — the first shot by the first day of class, and the second shot twenty-eight days later. Again, this documentation must state the month, day, and year of the shots and the type of shots given.

    Your health care provider may administer the vaccine. If you are unable to see your health care provider or you do not have a health care provider, there are a number of health clinics that administer the vaccine in Portland, such as:

    Bayside Employee Health Center (207) 780-6631
    Portland Community Free Clinic (207) 874-8982

    Please contact the health care provider/clinic that will administer your shot to find out what, if any, paperwork you will need to bring to your appointment.

    please note »
    Maine state law makes very few exceptions. In the case of sincere religious or philosophical objections, or if you are pregnant, please contact Salt staff.

  • Does Salt offer health insurance?
    Salt does not offer health insurance, and although we are an affiliate of UNE and UMF, Salt students are not able to purchase either UNE’s or UMF’s health insurance. If you need health insurance, you may want to check out, which provides information regarding short-term health coverage.
  • I'm an alum - how do I get my transcripts from Salt?
     If you attended Salt as an undergraduate student, your credits were transferred through UMaine-Farmington; if you came to Salt as a grad student ,they were transferred at the University of New England. In either case, to obtain your Salt transcript, contact the school that processed your credits to receive a transcript in the mail.