Course Requirements

Animation Electives

Animation electives include any graduate level ANI, DC, GAM, GD, GPH, HCI or VFX courses.

MFA Thesis

The MFA Thesis Animation is the culmination of graduate study in the MFA. Students work on an animated film for the three quarters of their third year, and meet periodically for critiques with peers and faculty. Students also produce a written analysis of their work. Students must complete their thesis project and the degree within a total of five years from their first quarter in the program.

Student's MFA Advisor Committee and Thesis Timeline

During the Fall quarter of their second year, all MFA students must form an MFA Advisor Committee. The committee is comprised of three full-time DePaul faculty members, and at least two of the three must be members of the Animation MFA Committee. Students must consult with their Advisor Committee throughout the Thesis project, including during  ANI 639 MFA Pre-Thesis. During the final quarter of their Thesis project, the MFA candidate must schedule a meeting with their Advisor Committee to screen the work, and defend the project and thesis paper before the committee. The MFA Advisor Committee decides whether the MFA candidate should be awarded the degree, and if not, what must be done in order for them to receive it.

MFA Thesis Screening

At the end of the third year students present their thesis exhibition in an appropriate venue (a theater or gallery).

MFA Thesis Defense

In order to receive their MFA degree, students must defend the thesis project and the written analysis of their work before their MFA Advisor Committee.

Degree Requirements

Students in the MFA in Animation degree program must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 79 graduate credit hours in the designated degree program.
  • Complete all graduate courses and requirements listed in the designated degree program.
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses of the designated degree program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Satisfactorily complete the MFA thesis as determined by the student's MFA Advisor Committee.
  • Students cannot count credit earned towards a previously awarded master's or MFA degree toward the completion of this MFA program.

For DePaul's policy on repeat graduate courses and a complete list of academic policies see the DePaul Graduate Handbook in the Course Catalog.

ANI 460

ANIMATION GRADUATE SEMINAR

This seminar will explore the animator's role in contemporary culture, including careers in entertainment, art, game development and education. A combination of guest speakers, critical readings, animation analysis and group discussion will help students lay a foundation for their graduate study in the field.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 421

ANIMATION MECHANICS

Students in this course will rigorously investigate the foundational aspects of animation through traditional and digital methods. Basic principles, including timing, spacing and the abstraction of movement, will be analyzed and questioned through experimentation. Students will experience how the process of making work can be used to generate emergent ideas, and be challenged to push the art form beyond the accepted conventions. PREREQUISITE(S): None
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 425

VISUAL STORYTELLING

This class focuses on storyboarding and animatics as key pre-production tools for animation, film, and game development projects. Areas of focus include narrative development, drawing, performance, and editing. Students will apply these techniques to create an animatic: a comprehensive time-based draft for a short film. PREREQUISITE(S): None
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 422

ANIMATION STYLES & TECHNIQUES

The history of animation is explored with a focus on inspiring the students' own work. Students will be involved in an intense study of animation throughout history and around the world, and are required to view a large amount of work outside of class. Animations will be grouped by time period, theme, and/or technique. Through writing and group discussions they will examine the significance of the technique and subject matter. They will put this study into practice by creating short animated films based on their reactions to the films. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 421
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 440

COLLABORATIVE SHORT ANIMATED FILM

Students will work in small groups to produce short animated films from concept to completion using the media of their choice. Emphasis is placed on a collaborative environment for pitching ideas, visual development and creative problem-solving during production. Different studio methodologies and techniques will be discussed. Each team will face various technical and aesthetic challenges to complete a finished film. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 421 or ANI 453
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 466

CINEMA, ANIMATION AND ART

This seminar course focuses on animation and cinema from the standpoint of Modern and Contemporary art. Students study the major styles and themes of historical experimental film and video, and relate these topics to contemporary animation and independent cinema practices. Emphasis is placed on theory and criticism, and how it informs experimental work. Students are expected to discuss work and theory in a seminar setting, and to engage the class material in several research papers.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 540

ANIMATED SHORT FILM PART I

This course and its continuation, ANI 541, will concentrate on facilitating the graduate students' production of a short, independently animated project. The topics of idea generation, experimentation, problem solving, planning and time management, and the process of critical analysis will be applied to the students work, with the choice of animation technique, content and form left to the individual. We will have technical demonstrations on an as-needed basis, depending on the nature of your animations. This course must be taken consecutively with ANI 541 Animated Short Film Part II. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 440
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 415

AUDIO FOR ANIMATION

This class will explore concepts and practical techniques students need in order to address many of the unique challenges associated with creating audio for animated films. Students will begin with an introduction to audio production before moving on to build practical skills for both field and studio recording. Lectures, readings, and hands on projects will give students a working knowledge of how to approach and create the immense range of styles of audio for animated films, from classic cartoon soundtracks to the live action style mixes of many of today's animated Hollywood blockbusters. Students will complete several audio projects including a multi-track mix for an animated short. PREREQUISITE: None
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 541

ANIMATED SHORT FILM PART II

This course is a continuation of ANI 540 Animated Short Film Part I. Throughout the quarter students will continue working on their films, meeting with the instructor for advising, and other students for group critiques. Students will also learn effective post-production strategies as they near completion of their first film. This course must be taken consecutively with ANI 540. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 540
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 560

GRADUATE TEACHING SEMINAR

This seminar exposes students to effective methods and professional practices of teaching undergraduate and graduate students. A variety of approaches to course materials and projects will be introduced and discussed in detail. In addition to work in class, students will work closely with a faculty member in order to gain first-hand knowledge, including class observation, of practical aspects of creative and academic instruction. PREREQUISITE(S): none
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 639

MFA PRE-THESIS

In this course the MFA student will develop the concept and pre-production of their thesis animation through workshops, critiques and assignments. Students will create inspiration and concept art, write a treatment, create a storyboard and animatic as well as research design options to be used on their final film project in ANI 640 MFA Thesis Animation. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 442
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 640

MFA THESIS ANIMATION

This course is a three quarter class that will concentrate on the graduate students' production, post-production and completion of their final thesis project. Students will have regular critique sessions with their three Thesis Advisors from the animation faculty. The student's project will be presented to the committee upon completion. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 639
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

ANI 405

3D ANIMATION SURVEY

This course is intended as an intensive overview for graduate students with NO prior 3D experience. Topics include polygonal modeling tools, texturing, principles of 3D animation, basic rigging, camera, lighting and rendering. Animation graduate students with proof of previous 3D experience should consult their advisor to substitute any Major Elective for this course. PREREQUISITE(S): None