Computer Animation Master's Degree Program

Your career in animation can be boosted with an master's degree in animation. This article introduces the ideas contained in a master's program, including typical courses and career outlook information. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Master's Degrees Can I Get in Animation?

You can earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Animation. While MFA degree programs typically focus on artistic training and culminate in a creative thesis, M.S. programs usually focus on technical training and research, culminating in a comprehensive exam or research project. M.S. degree programs can usually be completed in two years, while MFA programs commonly take three years. You can earn this degree on a traditional college campus or through a number of accredited distance-learning programs.

Degree LevelMaster's (M.S. or MFA)
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, portfolio
Common Classes2D and 3D animation, gaming animation, internet multimedia, digital page formatting
Median SalaryAccording to BLS, animators earned a median annual salary of $63,630 as of May 2014

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission into master's degree programs in animation, and some schools prefer candidates with degrees in related fields, such as graphic design, art or illustration. If you decide to apply to MFA programs, you may also need to submit a creative portfolio of work. Other application requirements could include college transcripts and letters of recommendation. You may also need to submit a personal essay. If you want to prepare for this program during your undergraduate tenure, consider completing internships in animation, game design or art.

What Courses Could I Take?

Coursework will likely depend on which type of degree you decide to pursue. If you enroll in an MFA program, you could take artistic classes in areas like drawing, illustration, coloration and painting. If you enroll in an M.S. program, you might receive more technical training. The following are examples of classes you could find in the curriculum:

  • 2D animation
  • 3D animation
  • Modeling spaces
  • Internet multimedia
  • Animation for gaming
  • Graphics development
  • Smooth surface modeling
  • Digital page formatting

How Much Can Animators Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that multimedia artists and animators earned a median annual salary of $63,630 as of May 2014. The top ten percent of professionals in animation made more than $112,030, while the lowest ten percent earned $35,510 or less, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

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  • The Art Institutes

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    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Master

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • American University

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    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

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  • Johns Hopkins University

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    • Master

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  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota:

    • Master

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  • Purdue University

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    Popular programs at Purdue University:

    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Southern Methodist University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Dallas
  • DigiPen Institute of Technology

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    • Washington: Redmond