Graduate Admissions

The Department of Media Study offers several degree options for graduate students: Students wishing to pursue a master’s degree should consider the MS in Media Arts and Sciences (MAS), the Interdisciplinary MA in Humanities concentration in Film and Media Study (MAH) or the Master of Fine Arts in Media Arts Production program (MFA). The department also offers a joint master’s degree with the School of Architecture through the Media Arts and Architecture Program (MARCH). For those who see themselves as artist scholars, the department also offers an innovative practice-based PhD in Media Study. 

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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. 

Applicants for the Master of Arts in Humanities (MAH) 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, MAH or MAS 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 positions as TAs 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.

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.

MAS students who apply before January 5 will be given priority, but admissions will continue on a rolling basis after that.  Spring Admissions are also possible for this program.

Spring Admissions

The Masters of Arts in Humanities (MAH) and the Masters of Sciences (MAS) programs are both able to admit students for the Spring term.  Students interested in Spring admission should apply by no later than December 1, while international students should bear in mind that earlier application will be necessary in order to allow for I-20s to be sent out and Visas to be processed.

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 MAH, MAS, 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 MAH applicants and 3 letters for MFA and PhD applicants).  GRE scores are optional for MAS and PhD applicants.  Applicants wishing to include GRE scores in their application 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 and Sciences - MS

·         Media Arts Production - MFA

·         Media Study - PhD

Supplemental Materials

MAH and MAS applicants should upload the supplemental documents listed below to the online application. Applicants to the MAH 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. 


MAS 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 are now optional and may be sent to to Institution Code 0370 SUNY U Buffalo Media Study


MAH 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 plan to pursue in graduate work.

2. Curriculum Vitae

3. Work Sample(s) This may be an online portfolio or simply submitted via Slate, but it should include at least a substantial academic writing sample and/or a portfolio with examples of the student's creative practice.


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 may send GRE scores to Institution Code 0370 SUNY U Buffalo Media Study if they wish to have such scores considered by the program.  However, these scores are no longer mandatory for the PhD program.

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

While no longer required, PhD and MAS applicants may include GRE scores if they feel that doing so will help their application.  If applicants for the MAH or MFA have already taken the test and wish to include their scores, they may, but MAH and MFA students are not encouraged to take the GRE for admission into those programs. 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) 

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