Movie Animation Degree Programs and Courses

Read about the coursework in a movie animation bachelor's and master's degree program. Research the range of animation careers in movies and movie tie-in media like video games. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are programs for animation at both the undergraduate and graduate level. With an undergraduate degree, animators typically pursue a career in advertising or video game production. In order to obtain a position with a movie studio, a graduate degree will most likely be necessary.

Degrees Associate's, Bachelor's and master's degrees
Courses In an undergraduate program: fundamentals of computer imaging, script writing, history of animation, the theory of animation. In a graduate program: editing, game development, digital sound design, project development and management.
Career OptionsConcept artist, visual effects artist, storyboard artist, character designer, game developer, project manager, producer

What Undergraduate Degrees Can I Earn in Movie Animation?

In a bachelor's degree program, you may have the option of choosing between specializations in traditional animation, computer animation or video production. You can also learn about video game development and the 3D animation used in games. These programs will often give you the opportunity to produce short films. You'll learn to work through the production process from conception to finished project. A certificate, an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects may be available. Additionally, you could enroll in a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Animation degree program.

What Master's Degrees Can I Earn in Movie Animation?

A master's degree program can help you learn the technical skills needed to produce and direct an animated film. These programs focus on 3D modeling, animation, lighting and visual effects. An introduction to screenwriting and the history of animation is often part of graduate-level movie animation programs. You'll learn the art of visual storytelling and develop technical skills using modern animation software. Thesis projects are often based on the production of a professional film that shows your ability to create a film using the skills and techniques learned in the program.

Some options include a Master of Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects. You could also find a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Animation degree.

What Will I Learn?

Bachelor's degree programs include courses on the fundamentals of computer imaging, single-frame motion, script-writing and production. You'll study animation history and theory. You'll learn how to use animation software to develop characters and animate them. You'll have the opportunity to work with industry-standard digital art applications and participate in sound and digital imaging labs. You'll develop a portfolio of your work that can be used to help you get into a graduate program or find work after graduation.

Master's degree programs include a variety of cores classes, including courses in editing, game development and digital sound design. The majority of your time, however, will be spent working on a variety of short and possibly feature-length films. You'll learn about the workflow process of an animated film from budgeting to the final cut. In addition, you'll learn how to develop and manage a project based on client input, research and client communication. These course topics might also be covered:

  • 2D/3D animation
  • Animated acting principles
  • Concept and character design
  • Animation writing
  • Visual storytelling
  • History of animation
  • After effects for animators
  • Pre-production techniques

What Can I do After Graduation?

You'll find job opportunities in the entertainment and advertising industry with post-secondary training in film animation. You'll be prepared for work as a 2D and 3D modeler, compositor, concept artist, visual effects artist, storyboard artist or character designer. You may wish to start a career as a game developer, creating characters, visual effects and landscapes used in video games. If you earn a graduate degree, you'll be familiar with the business skills that will help you to work for a movie studio as a project manager or producer.

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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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • American University

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  • Independence University

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  • Maryville University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • New England College

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  • Regent University

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