The MA in Animation provides a combination of artistic and technical training that prepares students for a future in 3D character animation, computer game art, or visual effects.


Animator Concentration

The MA in Animation - Animator Concentration is for students who are interested in deepening their knowledge of 3D modeling and animation, with an eye towards a production career in 3D character animation, computer game art, or visual effects. Students in this concentration will receive intense and rigorous training in the history, critical artistic issues, and fundamental principles that are necessary for animation artists. MA in Animation - Animator students take many of the same courses as the MFA in Animation students, with the main difference being the absence of the year-long thesis film. Graduates will be prepared for the many varied career options available to animators, including storyboard artists, visual development artists, modelers, layout artists, character animators, effects animators, character riggers, motion capture artists, lighting artists, commercial animators, motion graphics artists, game artists, environment modelers and effects artists. This concentration is intended for those with undergraduate degrees in animation, film, game development, art, graphic design, illustration, architecture, industrial design and other related areas.

Technical Artist Concentration

The MA in Animation - Technical Artist Concentration prepares students for a range of roles, from the complex jobs of riggers, next generation modelers and motion capture artists to the hybrid specialization of the Technical Artist.

A game industry Technical Artist is an art department member who serves as a bridge between art and engineering. The art pipeline is the workflow of creating the art assets of the game: from concept to model to texturing to rigging to input into the game engine. The TA’s objective is to make the pipeline streamlined, efficient and documented. The TA diagnoses and debugs the technology used by artists. The TA specs tools that will help make the art department more productive, sometimes scripting the tools in the software and sometimes working with programmers to tackle more complex operations. The TA needs to understand the language of both art and engineering and act as a translator between the areas.

In the film and television CGI animation and VFX industries the Technical Artist is more commonly referred to as a Technical Director or Technical Animator. The TA in these fields shares many of the core responsibilities (pipeline, troubleshooting) and animation technical skills as the game TA.

The Technical Artist concentration is not solely for the person who wants to be a TA, since these disciplines are constantly evolving. It also prepares the student interested in technically demanding areas such as rigging, modeling and motion capture.

Technical Artists come from both art and programming backgrounds. It is recommended that someone entering the TA concentration have an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas: art, animation, game art, graphic design, illustration, game design, game programming, computer graphics, computer science, or interactive media.

Degree Requirements​ ​52 hours
   Total hours required    52 hours