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Information on Master of Computer Animation Degree Program

Majors Overview June 22, 2015

This article talks about master of computer animation degree programs and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Computer Animation Programs

Computer animation finds uses in animated movies and computer game development. Students enrolled in a master’s degree program in this field can learn advanced skills leading to a career in this specialty. Hands-on training in computer graphics is in these master’s degree programs accompanied by courses in technology, art history, and theory.

Students enrolled in the program learn programming languages related to computer animation and algorithms used in design and art. Critical-thinking, business, and writing skills may also be developed by them. Students typically learn about storytelling, character development, and storyboard development, in addition to 3-D and 2-D animation. Enrollees in most programs are required to complete a thesis project, wherein students will develop a portfolio for exhibition and write a paper.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, though they may need a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) for admittance to some programs. They must also submit an official transcript of completed coursework, a portfolio of artwork or designs created by them, in addition to meeting a grade point average (GPA) standard in completed coursework.


Coursework in these master’s degree programs is often 33 units, and students can complete the program within two years. Students can choose from various elective courses, such as animation, 3-D modeling, and digital video. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Artificial intelligence
•Character animation
•Advanced animation and 3-D modeling
•Critical thinking in the arts
•Theory and esthetics
•Art and technology history
•Web technologies
•Operating systems
•Game hardware architectures
•Game design

Career Choices

A bachelor’s degree suffices the need of those who seek careers in graphic design (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Graduates of the master’s degree program can seek a leadership position as a studio director or project manager. Job responsibility of a project manager includes ensuring that budget constraints are met by projects and that they are on time. Studio managers handle the day-to-day business of incoming projects, public relations, and client relations. Program graduates may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Junior designer
•Software quality assurance engineer
•Development director
•Market research analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 6% has been predicted for multimedia artists and animators (BLS). In May 2012, animators brought in an average annual wage of $61,370 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates can opt for continued education by enrolling in a doctoral program that could lead to a career in academia or research. They could also choose to enroll in a certificate program to avail specialized training in specific software applications, including Maya, among others.

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