Character Study

An animator is an actor with a pencil. –Chuck Jones

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Design with a concentration in Animation prepares students to solve complex, dynamic, and diverse design and communication problems with moving images. 

Courses begin by building a solid grounding in the principles of animation, visual problem solving, visual communication, strong drawing skills, and design thinking. Students explore techniques of traditional 2D hand-drawn animation, as well as the technical skills of modern 3D animation. Learning continues through hands-on experience with traditional and digital techniques with an emphasis on character animation, worldbuilding, and narrative. Students explore the many professional applications of animation including storytelling, editorial, advertising, education, and game design. As skill-levels grow, students apply their technique on larger projects to develop experience with production skills, project planning, and working as part of a design team, culminating in a capstone animation project. 

Course Listing :: Degree Plan


Graduates of the Animation program are well-prepared for a variety of careers in animation or special effects field. Possible career paths include Animator, Concept artist, Game artist, Games developer, Graphic designer, Illustrator, VFX artist. With a strong emphasis on practical skills and a portfolio of work, students are positioned to enter the job market with confidence.


The small studio size of 15 to 20 students provides personalized instruction and fosters the chance to develop a network of friends and future colleagues.
Job Market Growth. Overall employment of special effects artists and animators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. US Bureau of Labor.
About 9,400 job openings for special effects artists and animators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. US Bureau of Labor.


Develop your visual voice and skillset to tell compelling visual stories.

Through a structured progression of studio projects, coursework, and career-oriented experiences, you will enhance your abilities as an animator and gain valuable insights into creating effective, accessible, and inclusive solutions for diverse audiences.

The program places a strong emphasis on problem-solving and mastering the principles of motion at every stage, ensuring that you develop a versatile and enduring skill set that extends beyond current digital tools. By exploring various methods and techniques, particularly focusing on narrative and character animation, the program nurtures your visual style and equips you with the skills to craft captivating visual narratives.


Explore Animation Curriculum

Cut paper person with dog


The opportunities to expand your skillsets through hands-on discovery are built into the learning experience.

The Animation and Illustration programs share dedicated computer labs and additional design department labs are equipped with the software and hardware necessary to create imaginative studio projects.   

Virtual and augmented reality labs allow students to learn how to develop immersive visual experiences. 

Bookmaking, print, and finishing labs allow students to create 2D and 3D creative projects, books, posters, and more. 

Photography facilities are equipped with an extensive variety of professional-grade cameras, studio lighting, and sound equipment.  

Digital fabrication labs include CNC routers, laser cutters, robotics, and other machine-driven tools. 

See all Facilities

Students working with lecture on screen