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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree in Animation

Majors Overview May 18, 2014

Graduates of degree programs in animation will be prepared for artistic careers in film, electronic media, print, or television. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Graphics and Animation, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Animation and Visual Effects, and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Animation are some general programs that are offered in the animation field.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree Program in Animation

Pursuing a degree in animation at a four-year university, college, or institute of the arts would benefit individuals interested in storytelling, computer graphics, and drawing. A strong emphasis on computer animation is placed by most animation degree programs, in keeping with the current demands of a technological-savvy industry. However, students enrolled in the majority of animation programs are still required to develop the basic technical competency, in addition to drawing and sketching abilities required to capture motion on paper.

During the course of a bachelor’s degree program in animation, students are taught about the computer software employed in the creation of 3-D and 2-D images for video games, computer games, films, and television shows.

They are taught to create and develop characters for these mediums, develop and follow stories, and manage a concept from the time of the creation to the post-production phase. Coursework in most animation majors combines computer laboratory experience, studio experience, and classroom lectures.

Education Requirements

Students who want to earn an animation degree are required to have a strong aptitude for computer technology, the arts, and drawing. Admission criteria in most four-year colleges and universities also require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Submission of a portfolio of previous work is required of students seeking enrollment to some animation programs before they are allowed to begin core coursework as an animation major.


Coursework in a degree program in animation mainly covers the physical aspects of drawing, in addition to the technical aspects of computer animation. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Life drawing
•Studio techniques
•Advanced modeling
•3-D animation
•2-D animation
•Animation fundamentals
•Production studio
•Design principles
•Digital imaging
•Texture and lighting

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete an undergraduate degree program in animation can choose from a variety of entry-level career choices such as:

•Prop modeler
•Composite artist
•Game designer
•Concept artist
•3-D animator
•2-D animator
•Flash/web animator
•Animation scripter

Job and Wage Outlook

A slower-than-average job growth rate has been predicted for multimedia animators and artists over the 2010-2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these workers banked an average annual wage of $61,370.

Continuing Education Options

Those who want to pursue continued education in animation may choose to earn a master’s degree with a particular concentration in the field, such as a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Video Game Design and Animation or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Interactive Technology and Animation. Numerous opportunities for portfolio-building work and advanced technical seminars are provided by these programs.

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