Undergraduate Overview

Student working with virtual reality equipment.

The Department of Media Study has a broad focus so that students can learn about media in its varied forms. Students learn about documentaries, film, games, websites, sound, and other types of media. Further, students learn about these media from different perspectives, including how to make them, how to analyze them, and how they interact with today’s society. The department has several different concentrations and certificates, as well as a minor, to allow students to choose their own path to expertise in the media of their choice.  

Areas of Study


Students in this concentration learn to make everything from films, videos and documentaries to computer games and interactive gizmos. You don’t have to have any previous experience with film or video or any other form of media to join our department. Our courses take you from the very basic to the most sophisticated. When you finish you will have practical skills in things like web design, computer programming, and video production which are valuable in many areas. Making things is fun and creativity is a joy. You knew this when you were five. Maybe you forgot. But it’s still true. We believe that fun and learning can hold hands.

Critical Studies

Critical Studies courses involve students in many traditional and new methods for analyzing the meaning of narrative and documentary as well as experimental and iconic modes of image/sound composition. It is also particularly appropriate for students interested in careers as producers and writers in the media industry.

Film Studies

Throughout the Film Studies curriculum, students approach film critically. They acquire historical, theoretical and intercultural tools to study films from around the world and become capable of reading the art of cinema as cultural critics. Screenings, film festivals, the Buffalo Film Seminars and film studies conferences are offered to enrich students' critical film expertise in Buffalo. Those students wishing primarily to produce film should consider the production major, as filmmaking is only a small, optional portion of the Film Studies major.

Game Studies

This program combines an experimental approach to technology and game design with a critical stance toward the impact of games and gaming. Increasingly, video games are a technology and research driver. Scholars, educators and artists want to know how games work; why they work; what their effect is on society, on culture, and on the psyche. This certificate is designed for undergraduates who want to deconstruct, experiment with, and revolutionize gaming paradigms; who want to explore alternative realities, interfaces, and narrative forms. 

Minor in Media Study

Students in the Media Study minor gain experience in production, interpretation and analysis of media while exploring how it interacts with society and culture. The minor pairs particularly well with majors such as Communication, English, and Computer Science, although majors in any field are encouraged to apply to the minor.

The Learning Environment

Production classes are small, usually limited to 15 to 18 students. As a result, you get to know your teacher and your teacher gets to know you. And because you will be working on projects with other students you get to know them as well. We teach the use of technologies, including computer programming. Almost half our faculty are women. We don’t believe in stereotypes. In fact, we actively work against them. So if you are looking for something that will challenge your idea of your limits – or someone else’s idea of your limits – you’ll find it here.

Finally, making things is fun and creativity is a joy. You knew this when you were five. Maybe you forgot. But it’s still true. We believe that fun and learning can hold hands.

Contact us. We’ll arrange for you to tour the department and visit a class.

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