Magazine finds arts degree from Buffalo State is among least valuable in America

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Atlantic posted a list of the least valuable colleges and majors in America, and Buffalo State College made the list for its arts degree.

According to data collected from PayScale, an arts degree from Buffalo State gives a person a negative $122,000 net return on their income.

At the top of the list was an arts degree from Murray State University, closely followed by a degree in Humanities and English from Florida International University.

You can see the full list here.

Buffalo State College is responding to the magazine’s rankings and points to the analysis of PayScale’s data. “PayScale’s data only reflects self-reported data from an unknown number out-of-state graduates of Buffalo State art majors,” said Benjamin Christy, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Buffalo State.

“It seems inappropriate for subsequent reports to cast such a broad brush on our arts programs when the analysis only looks at out-of-state graduates—a group that represents less than three percent of our student body,” Christy said. “The Atlantic’s report neglects to mention Buffalo State’s incredibly affordable tuition or the thousands of graduates who have majored in the arts and done quite well in careers spanning from law to filmmaking.”


Not only does SUNY Buffalo State offer the largest number of visual arts programs in the entire SUNY system, our graduates have gone on to become celebrated artists and designers with exhibitions at world-famous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Castellani Art Museum, and the National Academy of Design.

Additionally, Buffalo State arts faculty members work with students on ways to make a decent living after graduation.

“Our students have access to career planning courses, departmental internships, undergraduate research opportunities, and seminars with professional artists,” Christy said. “And Buffalo State now offers an Entrepreneurship in the Arts Certificate program that provides essential knowledge for creating and operating an arts enterprise.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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