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) or PhD in Media Study 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.

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 for fall semester, but applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until June 1st. International candidates should apply by March 1st to ensure they have an opportunity to apply for Visas if accepted.

MAS students who apply by 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 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).  

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

Applicants must submit all supplemental materials through their status portal on SLATE and should upload each material under its appropriate heading. Applicants submitting a portfolio may either upload their media directly to SLATE, or they may upload a link to a website where their portfolio is available. Students linking to a website should be sure to do so by clicking on the “Upload Link” link under the “File Sizes and Types” heading and providing their url rather than putting their url on a document and uploading the document, as the latter will not allow faculty to access the page. 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 Danielle Lewis. 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 (Personal Statement) 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


MAH Applicants: Supplemental Materials Required

1. Statement of Purpose (Personal Statement) 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 Supplemental Materials Required

1.       Statement of Purpose (Personal Statement) 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 Supplemental Materials Required:

1.       Statement of Research and Creative Practices (Personal Statement) 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. 

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.

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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