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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Animation

Majors Overview June 15, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in animation and their educational requirements, coursework, and career choices.

Graduate Programs in Animation

Students keen on learning about specific aspects of animation have many graduate programs to choose from. The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Animation is a type of degree commonly offered at the graduate level. Coursework in the program is devised to arm students with a resource for more advanced technical and creative skills. Students enrolled in many degree programs at the graduate level are allowed to choose specific focus areas, including cinema and film, interactive media, visual design or game design.

The specific tracks are devised to enable students to devote their time to gain expertise in in-depth animation techniques, such as scripting for nonlinear animation formats and human movement modeling, among others. Students also learn about developing interactive gaming communities, designing animations for navigation devices and using animation as a tool for experimental learning techniques.

Students enrolled in most master’s degree programs in animation complete them in about two years; including independent research and studio time. A thesis project or final project is a requirement, displaying the area of animation in which the student has specialized. Further investigation or exploration into specific aspects of animation is also facilitated by the thesis projects.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria most commonly require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree; in some undergraduate programs, coursework covers art, animation, computer graphics, drawing, film studies, visual design, and interactive media. Students seeking enrollment to many schools may have to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and a portfolio of previously completed works.


Coursework in a graduate degree program in animation is a combination of seminars and extensive studio time, augmented by independent research. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Narrative structure
•Stop motion animation
•2D animation
•Experimental animation
•Advanced drawing for animation
•3D animation
•Interactive media
•Documentary animation

Career Choices

Holders of a graduate degree in animation can seek entry-level and advanced positions in game design, film production, computer technology, and television, among others. They may choose from popular job options such as:

•Motion graphics designer
•Motion capture
•Video game designer
•3D animator
•2D animator
•Special effects artist
•Digital colorist
•After effects artist

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