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 a three-member thesis committee

BFA Proposal Application

Interested students should complete the BFA Thesis Proposal Application (Deadline April 30). For more information, contact Vic Costello, associate professor and associate department chair, or Jessica Gisclair, associate professor and department chair.


Junior Year – Fall

  • Envision concept for BFA thesis project
  • Establish a faculty mentor in the Department of Communications. The faculty mentor also serves as chair of the three-member thesis committee.

Junior Year – Spring

  • Work with mentor on development of the BFA proposal (Deadline: proposal with all signatures due by April 30)

Senior Year – Fall

  • Enroll in COM 499 Research and Creative Activity or COM 496, BFA Thesis Project (2 sh). Consult with your mentor for more information
  • Meet weekly with mentor
  • Conduct review of pertinent literature, including scholarly writing and creative works
  • Select two additional committee members with the approval of the thesis committee chair. One member must teach in the School of Communications and hold faculty rank of assistant professor, lecturer, or higher. The other member may be from outside the School of Communications and is not required to hold faculty rank. However, any non-faculty member of the committee must have at least a four-year undergraduate degree and relevant experience or expertise related to the BFA project being undertaken.
  • 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)

Senior Year – Spring

  • Enroll in COM 499 or COM 496, BFA Thesis Project (2 sh). Consult with your mentor for more information.
  • Meet weekly with mentor
  • Complete production of project
  • Complete post-production of project
  • Deliver final project to faculty mentor and committee (no later than April 15)
  • Schedule the defense with the thesis committee (no later than May 1). The thesis committee determines whether or not the thesis project satisfies the requirements for awarding a BFA degree.
  • Public presentation/screening of thesis project
  • Update ePortfolio to include thesis project