About Television and Film Arts
Buffalo State’s television and film arts (TFA) bachelor of arts degree combines coursework from the Communication, English, and Theater departments, as well as several courses designed specifically for the major. This program is housed within the Department of Communication and has a singular purpose: Creating great storytellers — regardless of the medium. The program's interdisciplinary nature ensures that students receive a broad-based curriculum, preparing them for a variety of careers in the entertainment industry. The emphasis is on hands-on training through internships and professional networking.
In addition to required courses, TFA offers electives related to two professional tracks:
Writing and storytelling: This track is designed for the TFA major who wishes to pursue a career as a screenwriter. Students write a full-length feature screenplay and immerse themselves in the history of motion pictures and theater.
Directing and producing: This track is designed for the TFA major who wishes to pursue a career as a director or producer. Students write, produce, direct, and edit advanced video projects and learn set design and the business of performing arts.
TFA majors are prepared to explore exciting, challenging, and rewarding entertainment industry positions as screenwriters, producers, directors, agents, managers, and network/studio executives. Some job titles obtained by TFA majors include:
- Casting director
- Costume designer
- Film director
- Film producer
- Lighting specialist
- Makeup artist
- Network/studio executive
- TV producer
- TV studio manager
- TV writer
Honor Society: The Communication Honor Society is a student organization open to upper-division majors who meet eligibility requirements.
Stripes Media: Stripes Media is the hub for the Communication Department's student organizations.
Toronto Film Festival: Every year TFA students travel to the annual Toronto International Film Festival (a 90-minute drive from Buffalo) with a faculty member. They get to attend world premieres and Q&A sessions with the industry’s leading filmmakers.
Friday Night Live: FNL is open to all students who would like to create 90 minutes of improvisational sketches most Friday nights during the academic year.
The Visual Arts Board: This student-run board strives to circulate artistic ideas and visions hoping to be put forward on campus and throughout the community.
Study Abroad Opportunities: Numerous study-abroad and exchange programs are offered through Buffalo State, SUNY, National Student Exchange, and other institutions.
WBNY 91.3FM: This student-operated, 24-hour radio station is owned by the student government and provides alternative music and information.
BSC-TV: The campus TV station provides programming to dorms, classrooms, and offices with campus news and sporting events, as well as syndicated programs of interest to students.
Since 2009, more than 60 TFA students have enjoyed internships and full-time positions at leading entertainment companies, including:
20th Century Fox
TFA Semester in New York initiative: In 2013, Buffalo State launched the TFA Semester in New York initiative, which pairs students with internships at high-profile networks such as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Along with connecting students with internships, the New York City semester includes two courses, The Business of Television and The Business of Film.
Tell Your Story
Are you a passionate storyteller? Are you a movie buff who sees life in pictures? Do you love to create, direct, or deliver compelling narratives? You might be the perfect fit for our Television and Film Arts Program.
The TFA faculty is composed of seasoned industry professionals with real-world experience in the entertainment industry.
The TFA program only accepts 15 students each year, classes are small, and students receive plenty of individualized attention.
Our TFA students receive an excellent preparation for the film and television industries at less than half the cost of many U.S. university film programs.
A Network of Pros
Buffalo State has produced several graduates who have pursued highly successful careers in the entertainment industry. These alums stay in close contact with their alma mater—regularly supporting the college's programs, activities, and students.
TFA Night at the Oscars
Each year, TFA students host a multimedia, red carpet gala on campus showing the nationally televised awards show and showcasing their own short films.
TFA majors can show their work on a dedicated student YouTube channel.
Chances for Exposure
Each semester, TFA students organize public showings of their films, giving them exposure and a chance to discuss their work in a public forum.
Free Equipment Loans
Students may check out cameras, microphones, and more on campus.
Jacob Kolenberg landed a temporary position as a production assistant on The Amazing Spiderman 2, which filmed in Rochester in June 2013.
“Having the TFA program in New York has better positioned the college to teach students the realities of the TV and film world."
“The TFA program has really allowed me as a filmmaker to learn about and practice multiple disciplines of filmmaking."
“Night at the Oscars gives students the opportunity to use the kind of planning skills they would need for the opening of a film or TV show."
Tom Fontana, ’73
Writer and producer of television drama series including St. Elsewhere, Oz, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Borgia, has received numerous awards including three Emmys and four Peabody Awards.