Interdisciplinary MA in Humanities in Film and Media Study

Still from Sing for Me - Sama Waham.

The Interdisciplinary MA in Humanities (MAH) with a concentration in Film and Media Study is particularly suited to students wishing to combine their interest in film and media study with a secondary academic area in the humanities.

This individually designed unique program allows a student to pursue up to 18 credits in Film and Media Study while also studying related interests in a secondary field. This degree allows for broad “crossover” research and is useful in many professional lines of work. The degree is also useful for students from other fields who wish to prepare for subsequent PhD work in the Department of Media Study. 

Learning Environment

Students have a large degree of freedom in choosing their individual program as they combine courses in film and media with a humanities discipline. Graduate courses in Media Study are small, and students have the opportunity to form an in depth working relationship with one or more faculty members who share mutual interests. DMS courses include: film and video production, film studies, media studies, interactive media, computational media and physical computing, media networks and web-based media. Students complete 12-18 graduate level credits in Media Study with an additional 12 credits from a secondary UB humanities department that complements the student’s interest in Film and Media Study. Students may also take several elective credits; the final six credits in the degree go to project supervision in which one faculty advisor from Media Study and one from their other area supervise the student’s culminating research project. Early in the program, students choose one faculty member in the Department of Media Study to be their primary mentor and advisor who will guide their coursework and research interests. Later in the program, the student picks a secondary faculty advisor from the secondary discipline. The relative freedom in choosing curriculum in conjunction with the close relationship with faculty combine to make this MAH degree a rewarding experience. While it is possible to complete the program in one and a half years (3 semesters), many students choose to take two years to finish.

Program Requirements

The MAH requirements sheet is a useful tool for helping students track their progress through the degree. See Media Study advisor for forms.

Students pursuing the MAH degree must complete 36 credits distributed as follows:

Film and Media Study (12 credits):  Students are free to pursue coursework in film and media production and/or film and media history and theory.  Students wishing to prepare a culminating project that is a film or video or other media format may use these courses to gain skills to create their project.  Other students may write a final research paper examining film and media history, interpretation or theory.  Courses offered by the English Department on film theory can also be used in this category.

Secondary Humanities Field (12 credits):  Students should pick a single non-DMS Humanities Department. A list of departments considered to be in the humanities: Humanities Interdisciplinary.

Electives (6 credits): This coursework should be related to either the primary field (Film and Media Study) or the secondary field. Ultimately, these elective credits should help students prepare for their final project or final paper.

Project Supervision (6 credits): This coursework will generally be taken in the student’s last semester. Students will take 3-credits of project guidance with each of their two advisors ­– one inside DMS and one outside. This capstone experience will lead to their finished culminating project or research paper (at least 25 double-spaced pages, exclusive of bibligraphy, etc.).

Learn more about the Department of Media Study Graduate Programs

For more information about Media Study Graduate programs, email