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Graduate Admissions

Admission Requirements

The University at Buffalo requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and all applicants must either hold a BA, BFA, or BS or have an expected completion date for one of these degrees before the semester for which they are applying.

Applicants for the Master of Arts in Humanities should show strong academic potential and a desire to combine the pursuit of knowledge in media arts with substantial coursework in a secondary field.

Applicants for the Master of Fine Arts degree should have strong artistic goals as well as strong academic ability. Although most successful applicants will have a creative portfolio of work samples, students from all majors are encouraged to apply. The admissions committee does not exclude candidates based on what school they come from or what grade they got in a certain class. More important is a strong fit between the student and the department’s strengths. Students are advised to visit the department’s faculty research page.

Successful applicants for the PhD in Media Study will meet the same requirements as those for MFA students, but will also have an MFA, MA or MS and an established creative media practice. The Department of Media Study is committed to recruiting women and minorities into the field of media arts.  

Application Deadline

Completed applications (with all supporting materials – including portfolios) are due by January 5.

January 5: All applicants for MFA or PhD degrees. This will allow students to be considered for financial aid, including Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships, including the Schomburg Fellowship (see below for further information on the Schomburg Fellowships). While there may be some flexibility for students not wishing to be considered for funding, additional applicants after this date will be considered on a space available basis.

MAH students are encouraged to apply by January 5 if they are applying for the Fall semester. However, MAH applicants may apply for either the Fall or Spring semester and will be considered on a rolling basis. Generally, MAH students will have greater success if they apply at least two months before they intend to enter the program, while international candidates should apply earlier to assure they have an opportunity to apply for a visa if accepted.

Application Instructions

Applicants may apply to only one degree at a time within the same department. 

Students who wish to pursue an MA, MFA or PhD degree in the Department of Media Study must submit an online application via the GrAdMIT system accompanied by unofficial transcripts for all undergraduate coursework, as well as any graduate coursework completed, and contact information for references who will submit letters of recommendation (2 for MAH students and 3 for MFA and PhD students). To access the application, students should go to and select the program of their choice. Programs are listed in alphabetical order under the following names:  

  • Humanities Interdisciplinary: Film and Media Study (MA)  
  • Media Arts Production (MFA) 
  • Media Study (PhD)

Supplemental Materials

Domestic MAH applicants only need to complete the instructions above. In addition, all MFA and PhD applicants should submit a URL link to their personal website including the materials described below. PhD students should also send GRE scores to Institution Code 0370 SUNY U Buffalo Media Study. International applicants at any level should check the “Instructions for International Applicants” section below. 

For MFA students, personal websites should include: 

  1. Portfolio Materials Students may include films, video, image files, audio files, written documents such as essays, theoretical papers, poetry, fiction/nonfiction, software/algorithms (excluding executable code), or equations. Materials must be viewable across multiple platforms and operating systems (win/mac/linux). The department supports the newest versions of the following browsers: Firefox, Explorer and Safari. 
  2. Curriculum Vitae  
  3. Statement of Purpose This should be a one page description of the student’s interest in creative production and research. Students should indicate particular courses they plan to take or general resonances they may have with the curriculum and any specific faculty whose research interests overlap with their own. To assure full consideration for teaching assistantships, students should indicate their areas of expertise and skills as they apply to the department’s curriculum.

For PhD students, personal websites should include:  

  1. Portfolio Materials  Students may include films, video, image files, audio files, written documents such as essays, theoretical papers, poetry, fiction/nonfiction, software/algorithms (excluding executable code) or equations. Materials must be viewable across platforms and operating systems (win/mac/linux). The department supports the newest versions of the following browsers: Firefox, Explorer and Safari. 
  2. Curriculum Vitae 
  3. Two Writing Samples These texts should demonstrate the student’s ability to articulate ideas concisely. Recent publications or publication quality papers are of particular interest. 
  4. Statement of Research Interests and Abilities This document should outline the student’s engagement with media and his/her intended research in media arts. It should articulate the research topics and questions the student might pursue in the program. Students should mention any specific faculty whose research interests overlap with their own, or with whom they have had contact regarding their plans. Students should also describe their particular skill sets, software and technology skills etc., as these skills may be applicable to teaching assistantships.

Testing Information

The department requires the GRE for PhD students but not for master’s students. Send GRE scores to Institution Code 0370 SUNY U Buffalo Media Study.

Schomburg Fellowship

In order to be eligible for the Schomburg Fellowship, you need to be either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above.  

If you would like to be considered for a Schomburg Fellowship, please upload a written statement to your online application  (maximum of 500 words) describing how you will contribute to the diversity of the student body in your graduate or professional degree program, including by having overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education. 

Please note that such categorical circumstances may include academic, vocational, social, physical or economic impediments or disadvantaged status that students, as evidenced by their performance as undergraduates, have been able to overcome, or other characteristics that constitute categorical underrepresentation in their particular graduate program such as gender or racial/ethnic status. 

Application Fees

The graduate application fee is $75 U.S. (payable online or by check or money order made payable to the University at Buffalo). After you formally submit your application, you will receive an email with additional instructions for submitting your payment. Currently, UB accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

ePay Links

Master's Application Fee Waiver

Applicants to master's-level tracks who reside in New York State are eligible to apply for an application fee waiver courtesy of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, provided they have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and meet the admissions deadlines.

If you meet the criteria and have submitted the fee waiver application, please contact the Bradley Hendricks, assistant to the chair for student programs after you formally submit your application so that we can process the waiver.

International Applicants

UB requires international applicants to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. In addition to the above application materials, international applicants must also submit the following:  

  • TOEFL Scores. Request an official copy from ETS and use Institution Code: 2925. Official electronic scores will be automatically linked to your online application.  
  • Passport Bio-Page 
  • International Applicant Financial Form Download pdf (IAFF) [link to PDF International Applicant Financial Aid Form] 
  • Financial Documentation (Per the IAFF instructions) 

Undergraduate Admissions

Step 1: Apply to the University at Buffalo

Incoming freshmen or undergraduate transfer applicants who are interested in pursuing a BA in Media Study, a BA in Film Studies, a Certificate in Game Studies or a Minor in Media Study must first apply and be accepted to the University at Buffalo. Students who have identified Media Study as their area of study will be listed as intended Media Study majors at the time of acceptance. 

All relevant information, including admissions criteria; the online application; dates and deadlines; and standardized test score requirements, can be found by visiting UB Undergraduate Admissions.

Step 2: Apply to the Media Study Major

To be accepted into the Media Study Major, students must complete at least three Media Study courses with a minimum of a C- in each and have a total of at least 50 credit hours with a 2.5 GPA. If you are an intended Media Study Major, you should be automatically switched to accepted status upon completion of these requirements. 

Current UB Students Applying to the Major

If you meet the prerequisite requirements upon application to the major, you will be immediately listed as an accepted major. If you are lacking any of the requirements, you may be listed as an intended major. 

Transfer Admission

Students entering the University with at least 3 courses in Media Study who have also met the other prerequisite requirements may petition for acceptance into the major. Those who have not completed these requirements will be listed as intended majors.   

How to Apply

To declare a major in Film Studies or Media Study (Production or Critical Studies) or a Minor in Media Study, or to begin pursuing a Certificate in Game Study, please complete the appropriate form below. When applying, please take a moment to decide which concentration within the major is correct for you, whether it is Production, Critical Studies or the Film Studies Major. The previous links, as well as other information on this page, can help you decide which concentration is appropriate for your future goals. When you have finished the form, please either submit the form to the Department of Media Study in 231 Center for the Arts or e-mail the electronically filled out or scanned form to

Application Forms