Jun 14, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Animation, BFA

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Chris McDonnell, Program Director



Learn more and apply to the Animation program.


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 the 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 design and complete 2 short films in their sophomore and junior years before their capstone senior thesis animated film, giving them 3 opportunities to go through the entire animation pipeline as they hone their storytelling skills.

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)

Writing (6-12 credits)

Students are placed into one of the following writing 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.


Increased Support

CRIT Choice (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Critical Studies Electives (12-15 credits)

Students who complete the increased support or ESL writing sequence complete 9-12 credits of CS electives; all other students complete 15 credits.

  • Though not representative of all options, students can select from the following subjects:
    • ​AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • AMSL (American Sign Language), FRCH (French), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
    •  : Critical Studies Elective.

General Electives (15 - 18 credits)

Animation students who complete the Stop Motion/Experimental Emphasis must complete 18 free elective credits. Students who complete the 2D Emphasis must complete 15 free elective credits. Students who complete the 3D Emphasis must complete 16.5 free elective credits.


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