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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): Computer Animation Degree Overview

Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation can lead to many careers in the digital media industry. Find out more about the technical skills you can acquire, what's normally required for admission and what specific job titles are available.

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Essential Information

Many Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation programs combine knowledge in computer animation history and theory with skills in framing, compositing and visual effects. In addition to a high school education, program candidates may need to show a portfolio.

Students may have opportunities to apply fine arts aesthetics and skills, such as drawing, painting and sculpting, with digital design techniques to create a portfolio of work. Most programs offer students an array of software to learn on and use, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the field. Along with individual projects, students may have the opportunity to collaborate with other individuals, emerging as programmers and artists.

Educational Prerequisites

Individuals interested in applying to computer animation programs are usually expected to submit transcripts or the GED equivalent. Some colleges also require the submission of SAT and ACT scores. Many programs ask applicants to submit portfolios of work, as well.

Course Topics

Most computer animation programs provide curricula that offer information on principles and techniques in the field. Students may develop skills in drawing, design and technical aspects. Course topics may include the following:

  • Motion graphics
  • Tone and color
  • Character design
  • 3-D animation
  • Storyboarding
  • Digital concepts
  • Figure drawing
  • Computer graphics
  • Programming

Popular Career Options

Obtaining a BFA in Computer Animation can lead to careers in the film, game or art industries. With knowledge of design principles and with skills in drawing and technical aspects, individuals may pursue jobs as one of the following:

  • Concept artists
  • Storyboarders
  • 3-D modelers
  • Animators
  • Technical artists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multimedia artists and animators should expect to see a six percent increase in employment between 2012 and 2022, which is slower than average. In May of 2013, the BLS estimated that these professionals earned a median salary of $64,470 annually.

Continuing Education

Individuals interested in continuing their education may choose to pursue master's degrees in computer animation or a related field. These programs expand on knowledge learned in a bachelor's degree program and may lead to higher-level positions in the professional field.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Illinois (1)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Visual Communications: Video and Animation Production
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Visual Communications: Graphic Design
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Visual Communications: Game Design

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
        • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
        • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operations
        • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
        • Printing Management
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Rochester Institute of Technology include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • American Sign Language - ASL
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
        • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
        • Computer Typography and Composition
        • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operations
        • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
        • Printing Management
      • Public Relations and Advertising
      • Publishing
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Sam Houston State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
        • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at East Tennessee State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
        • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects

Popular Schools

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics