The BFA in Cinema and Television Arts is an intensive degree for students who want to go above and beyond what they are able to do in the normal sequence of classes within the major. The thesis project is the culminating experience for students in the BFA program, and should demonstrate advanced research, technical, and creative skills, fostered through experiential learning and one-on-one faculty mentorship. Students independently produce an original festival-quality television or cinematic work, script, or other media product. Working with a faculty mentor, students submit a proposal during their junior year that includes substantive written documentation explaining the goals and objectives of the project. Prerequisite: Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The BFA thesis project consists of:

  • 3-4 page written proposal based on the application guidelines
  • two consecutive semesters of COM 496 or COM 499 (2 sh/ea semester)
  • regularly scheduled meetings with the thesis project faculty mentor over two semesters
  • a fully developed production notebook including literature, film, and source material review, and reflection
  • midpoint review
  • substantial festival-quality project (nature and length to be determined with faculty mentor)
  • public screening/presentation and defense of project to faculty mentor and committee

BFA Proposal Application

Interested students should contact Staci Saltz, chair of the Cinema and Television Arts Department.


Junior Year – Fall

  • Envision concept for project
  • Establish faculty mentor

Junior Year – Spring

  • Work with faculty mentor on BFA proposal (all signatures due no later than April 15)

Senior Year – Fall

  • Enroll in COM 496, BFA Thesis Project
  • Meet weekly with COM 496 instructor or faculty mentor
  • Conduct review of pertinent motion pictures, artworks in other mediums, literature, including historic and journalistic sources, scholarly writing and creative works
  • Select two additional faculty committee members (at least one must teach in COM)
  • Complete pre-production of project
  • Complete production notebook that informs the project
  • Apply for grant funding, if appropriate
  • Begin production of project upon approval of pre-production documents by the faculty mentor
  • Mid-point review with faculty mentor and committee (no later than last day of final exams)

Senior Year – Spring

  • Enroll in COM 499, Research and Creative Activity
  • Meet weekly with faculty mentor
  • Complete production of project
  • Complete post-production of project
  • Delivery of 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 e-portfolio to include thesis project