Apr 21, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog 
2019-2020 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Animation, BFA

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Karl Staven, Program Director



Animation is now, more than ever, ubiquitous in our daily lives. From the fantastic stories that entertain us at the movies, on television and mobile devices, to the interactivity of characters in games and new immersive media, to the motion graphics and visual effects of every video production, advertisement, and graphical user interface, an animator’s skills have been utilized to produce them. The Animation program prepares students to create innovative work in computer, traditional, stop-motion, and experimental animation. The basic principles of animation can be applied to all forms of image and object manipulation. The program grounds its graduates in a strong understanding of timing and motion, a thorough awareness of the wide variety of techniques available to current professional animators, and knowledge of the history and potential of the medium. Animation majors obtain a solid background in life drawing and traditional modes of animation, as well as 2D and 3D computer animation. Students choose an emphasis to focus on one of three areas: 2D, 3D, or Stop-Motion/Experimental as they design and complete short films in their sophomore and junior years before their capstone senior thesis animated film.

Program Objectives

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation will:

  • Develop the ability to articulate and realize a strong personal artistic vision - combining informed meaningful content creation with unique visual approaches to produce engaging sound/image work.
  • Master both traditional and digital animation skills and concepts; utilizing motion and time understanding with drawn, stop motion, and computer generated creative practices.
  • Demonstrate critical and analytical thought couched within a historical context; and be able to communicate this using written, visual, oral, web or hybrid means.
  • Learn to collaborate with artists, peers, and professionals; effectively managing time, planning, and work relationships. 

Program Requirements (120 credits)

Discipline History (12 credits)

Critical Studies (30 credits)

Composition (6-9 credits)

Students are placed into one of the following composition sequences after the completion of a writing placement exam. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA.

Critical Approaches to the Arts and Culture (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Thinking Through Science (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject ANTH, PSYC, SOCI, or SCIE

Critical Studies Electives (9-12 credits)

Students who complete the developmental composition sequence complete 9.0 credits of CS electives; all other students complete 12.0 credits.

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
  • Select courses from  : Art History or Critical Studies Elective.

Electives (15 - 16.5)

Animation students who complete the Stop Motion/Experimental Emphasis must complete 16.5 free elective credits. Students who complete the 2D or 3D Emphasis must complete 15 free elective credits.

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