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Creative Studies, M.S.

About the Program

The Creative Studies Department and its International Center for Studies in Creativity credential creativity through a diverse menu of programs that cultivate skills in creative thinking, innovative leadership practices, and problem-solving techniques. The department, through the process of creative thought, enhances an individual’s ability to imagine new ideas by learning how to envision that which cannot be immediately seen. This internationally recognized academic department offers a series of courses that lead to a master of science degree in creative studies or a graduate certificate in creativity and change leadership (see next program). These unique graduate programs attract students from business, education, and many diverse fields. Short summer institutes in combination with distance courses now make the graduate certificate and full master’s degree available to busy professionals both within and outside Western New York. Students from across the U.S. and international students from such countries as South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Italy, England, Pakistan, and Singapore have participated in these programs.

The combination of required and elective courses make this graduate program ideal for educators who seek permanent and professional licensure through a degree that offers a unique and valuable set of knowledge and skills (consult with Buffalo State’s Teacher Certification Office for specific issues regarding licensure in New York State). Teachers who hold Master's degrees in Creative Studies work in school districts throughout Western New York.

The required courses give all students an opportunity to develop practical leadership, facilitation, training/teaching, and problem-solving skills, while the selection of electives allows students to concentrate on acquiring knowledge and skills in another area of specialization (e.g., education, business, organizations, communications). The creative studies program challenges students to develop their creative talents and to become leaders of change in their professional lives.

Introductory-level graduate courses may be taken by students from other departments at Buffalo State to enrich their majors. Students from business, education, and a variety of other disciplines find this coursework useful. Multidisciplinary degree students integrate creativity courses to fulfill part of their requirements for a master’s degree.

The master’s degree program consists of three major strands of coursework. The Foundations of Creativity strand surveys various approaches to assessing and defining creativity, as well as a variety of models and theories associated with understanding the nature of creative behavior. The introductory course to this strand is CRS 560. The Creative Problem Solving and Facilitation strand emphasizes ways to deliberately foster creative potential by helping the student to learn, apply, and teach specific creative problem-solving tools. The introductory course to this strand is CRS 559. The third strand, Research, Development and Dissemination, includes involvement with the department’s program of research, development, and dissemination. Students pursue a master’s project or thesis that makes a contribution to the emerging discipline of creativity studies. The introductory course to this strand is CRS 580. Students may opt to complete a comprehensive examination and portfolio review in place of the project or thesis.

The department hosts an annual conference called the Creativity Experts Exchange. Participation is open to all and provides an excellent venue to deepen knowledge in regard to emerging creativity topics and to meet the Creative Studies community.

To explore some of the topics covered in the Creative Studies curriculum view the Creativity 101 video series developed by the department.

About the Center for Studies in Creativity Department

244 Chase Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6223
Fax: (716) 878-4040

Admission Requirements

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale). Preference is shown to those with GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

2. A written statement of the applicant’s professional or educational goals and how a degree in creativity studies supports these goals. The recommended length for the letter of intent is two to three pages.

3. Brief biographical sketch, one to two paragraphs, that provides a summary of the applicant’s accomplishments, areas of expertise, and experiences.

4. Two letters of reference (forms provided by department or download from

5. Five years of professional experience (distance program applicants only; distance students must begin with the certificate program).

In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in the Graduate Catalog.

Graduate Certificate Program and Distance Graduate Program for Professionals
Those interested in pursuing any one of the program strands but not the full master’s degree may complete the graduate certificate program in creativity and change leadership; see next program. Certificates are issued upon completion of at least 18 credit hours (six courses).

Program Requirements

Required Courses 21 credits
CRS 559 Principles in Creative Problem Solving
CRS 560 Foundations of Creative Learning
CRS 580 Creativity Assessment: Methods and Resources
CRS 610 Facilitation of Group Problem Solving
CRS 625 Current Issues in Creative Studies
CRS 635 Creativity and Change Leadership
CRS 670 Foundations in Teaching and Training Creativity

Elective Courses 6-12 credits
Master’s Project, Master’s Thesis, or Comprehensive Exam 0-6 credits
Select one option:
Comprehensive Exam (0)
CRS 690 Master’s Project
CRS 795 Master’s Thesis (6)

Total Required Credit Hours 33 credits

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

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