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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 bachelor's degree or have an expected completion date for one of these degrees before the semester for which they are applying.

Applicants for the Masters of Science in Media Arts and Sciences (MAS) should have a Bachelor of Science degree and should have taken college-level linear algebra and statistics.  Applicants should exhibit strong academic potential for success in both the Media Arts and STEM fields. The application for this program will be available in early December.

Applicants for the Master of Arts in Humanities (MA) 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 (MFA) 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. A strong fit between the student and the department’s strengths is the most important criteria. 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 typically 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

December 1: PhD applicants wishing to receive consideration for the Presidential Fellowship and any applicant wishing to receive consideration for the Schomburg Fellowship. See detailed information about the Schomburg Fellowship below to find out more. All PhD students are strongly encouraged to submit their completed application by this date. 

January 5: All students wishing to be considered for TAships should submit their completed application by this date, if not earlier. 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.

MA students are encouraged to apply by January 5 if they are applying for the Fall semester. However, MA applicants may apply for either the Fall or Spring semester and will be considered on a rolling basis. Generally, MA 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.

MS students who apply before January 5 will be given priority, but admissions will continue on a rolling basis after that.

Dept. of Media Study 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 accompanied by unofficial transcripts for all undergraduate coursework and any graduate coursework. Also required is contact information for your references who will submit letters of recommendation (2 letters for MA applicants and 3 letters for MFA and PhD applicants). PhD applicants should send GRE scores to Institution Code 0370 SUNY U Buffalo Media Study. When applying, you will first create an account, and then choose your program of study from the drop down list. 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

MA applicants should upload attachments of the supplemental documents listed below to the online application. Applicants to the MA program are welcome to submit a website link or URL for an online creative portfolio, but they are not required to do so. All MFA and PhD applicants must submit a link or URL for their personal website including the materials described below. All non-portfolio required materials should be uploaded in your status portal in the online application. In addition to the requirements listed here, international applicants for any program should check the section for “Instructions for International Applicants”. Any questions about the application process may be directed to Bradley Hendricks. Supplemental materials, including unofficial transcripts, can be uploaded after you have completed the first part of the application. 


MS Applicants:  Supplemental Materials Required

1. Statement of Educational and Career Goals Usually one to two pages will be sufficient. Applicants should discuss their reasons for pursuing this unique degree blending STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and the arts.

2. Resume/ Curriculum Vitae

3.  GRE Scores


MA Applicants: Supplemental Materials Required

1. Statement of Purpose This should be a one to two-page outline of the student’s academic and research interests which they plan to pursue in the program. It is also beneficial for the student to include the secondary field related to Media Study that they plans to pursue in graduate work.

2. Curriculum Vitae

[3. Optional personal website - May include writing samples and creative work.]


MFA Applicants: Personal Websites Required and Must Include

1.       Statement of Purpose This should be a one to two-page description of the student’s creative and research interests. Students should indicate particular courses they plan to take or general resonances and interests they may have with the DMS 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 media/technology skills relevant to the department’s curriculum.

2.       Curriculum Vitae

3.       Portfolio Materials Students may include films, video, image files, audio files, written documents such as essays, theoretical or critical 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, Chrome and Safari. 


PhD Applicants; Personal Websites Required, Must Include:

NOTE: PhD applicants should send GRE scores to Institution Code 0370 SUNY U Buffalo Media Study.

1.       Statement of Research and Creative Practices This document should outline the student’s engagement with media, outline his/her intended research in media arts and articulate his/her creative practice. 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 that might be applicable to teaching assistantships.

2.       Curriculum Vitae 

3.       Portfolio Materials  Students may include films, video, image files, audio files, written documents such as essays, theoretical or critical 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. 

4.       Two Writing Samples These texts should demonstrate the student’s ability to express and articulate ideas concisely. Recent publications or publication quality papers are of particular interest. 


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

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 (IAFF).  Find this on the graduate school estimated cost of attendance website and look for International Financial Forms.
  • 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

See Brad Hendricks