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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Visual Effects & Motion Graphics Degree Program

Majors Overview April 16, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in visual effects and motion graphics and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics

Bachelor of Visual Effects & Motion Graphics programs are devised to teach students the techniques necessary for creating animations and special effects with computers. Those who graduate out of these programs can expect to become adept at using advanced software, such as Adobe After Effects and Maya, and in design techniques used in the creation of the “magic” behind visual effects, video games, and animations in movies.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Schools may also require prospective students to demonstrate artistic ability by submitting a portfolio or completing high school arts courses. Students enrolled in most programs are required to complete foundational or general studies coursework before allowing them to begin core coursework.


A degree in special effects and animation can be gained by taking core courses such as:

•Digital lighting
•Video production
•Storyboard creation
•Visual effects programming
•Color theory
•3-D animation
•Motion media design

Career Choices

Armed with a B.A. in Motion Media or Visual Effects, graduates can seek production-oriented employment in the video game, television, or motion picture industry. They may choose from career options such as the following:

•Concept artist
•3-D modeler
•Motion media designer
•Visual effects artist
•Digital compositor

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, slower-than-average job growth rate of six percent have been predicted for multimedia artists and animators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $61,370.

Continuing Education Choices

Students interested in graduate-level courses may pursue Masters of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree programs in Visual Effects, Animation, or Media Design, among other related areas, wherein they can develop technical and artistic mastery.

These terminal degrees are devised to equip students with the educational foundation necessary for pursuing careers in academia in the digital arts or visual arts fields. Alternatively, students may seek out apprenticeships in order to continue their education while supervised by experienced professionals.

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