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Master’s Degree Programs in Animation Overview

Majors Overview July 1, 2015

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

Master’s Programs in Animation

Few schools, if any, offer specific graduate-level animation degrees; they are only available at schools with extensive film and television programs. As similar to most master’s degree programs, admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree; applicants are also required to hold a portfolio and prior work experience.

A range of unique subjects in computer graphics, the media arts, and film production are in a master’s degree program in animation. Students learn about animation history, techniques used in stop motion and computer animation, criticism, and special effects. Several original projects and works are expected to be produced by program graduates. In some schools, basic courses in animation are expected to be taught by graduate students to undergraduates.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, in addition to displaying some artistic ability in the film or visual arts fields. Most schools require the submission by students of a portfolio of work built during professional experience, undergraduate education or an incoming student’s own time. The most successful applicants possess some entertainment industry experience with production companies or publishing houses.


Coursework includes theories and techniques related to production, management, and business. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Animation production techniques
•Business entertainment law
•History of Animation
•Film criticism
•Directing animation features

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers in the entertainment industry, working on the technical aspect of animation or pursue possible job positions such as:

•Production Assistant
•Screen executive

Job and Wage Outlook

The appearance of movement is given to 2D or 3D images in a process called animation. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, multimedia artists and animators are expected to see a job growth of six percent (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $61,370 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Film institutes and certain private and public universities offer a doctoral degree for program graduates seeking continuing education. With an animation doctoral degree, graduates can seek careers in research, government, and academics.

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