Animation (B.S.)



The mission of the animation program is to instruct students to become professionals who produce animation for broadcast, feature films, simulations, and interactive venues such as the web, video games and museum exhibits. Through a mix of projects ranging from abstract music-based compositions to fully articulated 3D characters, students combine their foundation in design with in-depth studies of motion, storytelling and the history of the medium. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from the animation program will:

  • Develop a rich and rigorous creative process for animated work.
  • Apply robust technical knowledge and a firm grasp of narrative and principles of design to the execution of animated work. 
  • Demonstrate professionalism and entrepreneurialism in the course of their animation careers.
  •  Analyze animated work with an informed understanding of history and culture.

Program Description

First-year students in animation are quickly immersed in the Philadelphia University design community, taking foundation classes with graphic designers, interactive designers, and fashion and textile designers. In their second year, students begin their studies in animation with introductory courses in animation, storytelling and storyboarding, and 3D modeling. They also continue to improve their design and communication skills with advanced foundation classes covering typography, hierarchy and image-making. One focus for third-year students is basic animated filmmaking. Using industry-standard software, students learn to design, model and animate compelling 3D characters and environments. They also use 3D imagery as an element in their study of motion graphics, combining them with video and 2D imagery to create uniquely designed visual narratives. Both areas of study are infused with a thorough understanding of the principles of animation design and regular screenings of historic and contemporary examples.

Several electives allow students to focus on areas of particular interest, including animation history, video, and animation for gaming and interactivity. Students are encouraged to supplement their education by taking advantage of internships, design job fairs, study abroad opportunities and memberships in professional organizations. Students also pursue studies that integrate their knowledge of animation with other aspects of contemporary culture and the needs of the modern marketplace.

Students in their final year continue in their advanced 3D and 2D studies as they plan and implement short films. These films encompass every phase of production and serve as the capstone to their animation education. At the end of the year, students publicly exhibit their films alongside the work of their fellow design colleagues.