School of Communications

BFA Thesis Project

The BFA in Cinema and Television Arts is an intensive degree that concentrates on developing research, technical and creative skills in cinema and television through experiential learning and one-on-one faculty mentorship. The thesis project is the culminating experience for students in the BFA program. Students independently produce an original festival-ready television or cinematic work. Working with a faculty mentor, students submit a proposal by the end of the junior year that includes a preliminary outline and substantive written documentation explaining the project’s significance. 

The BFA thesis project consists of: 

  • 3-5 page written proposal with brief literature review and bibliography of 3-5 sources
  • two consecutive semesters of COM 496 (2 sh.), BFA Thesis Project (4 sh. total)
  • regularly scheduled meetings with the thesis project mentor over two semesters
  • 10-15 page fully developed written paper with extensive literature review
  • substantial festival-ready television or cinematic work (nature and length of the project to be determined in consultation with thesis project mentor)
  • public screening/presentation and defense of project to faculty jury


Junior Year – FallJunior Year – Spring
• Envision concept for project
• Establish mentor
• Work with mentor on BFA proposal
(all signatures due no later than April 30)
Senior Year – FallSenior Year – Spring
• Enroll in COM 496, BFA Thesis Project
• Meet weekly with mentor
• Conduct review of pertinent literature, including scholarly writing and creative works
• Select two additional faculty committee members (at least one must teach in COM) 
• Complete pre-production of project
• Apply for grant funding, if appropriate
• Complete 10-15 page paper that informs the project
• Mid-point committee review (no later than last day of fall classes)
• Enroll in COM 496, BFA Thesis Project
• Meet weekly with mentor
• Complete production of project
• Complete post-production of project
• Delivery of final project to faculty mentor and committee (no later than April 15)
• Thesis defense with committee (no later than May 1) 
• Public presentation/screening of thesis project
• Update ePortfolio to include thesis project


Interested students should complete the BFA Thesis Proposal Application. For more information, contact Harlen Makemson, professor and associate department chair, or Jessica Gisclair, associate professor and department chair.