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Animation and Visual Effects, BFA

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 48 months
, CA,
The School of Animation & Visual Effects BFA program provides students with the skills necessary to master today’s digital technology. Students choose one primary area of emphasis between visual effects, 3D modeling, 3D animation, 2D animation and stop motion, and storyboarding.


Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication and Problem Solving

  • Design elements for film, television, or game
  • Make effective design choices to support narrative, character, and/or mood
  • Demonstrate the ability to research for inspiration, reference, accuracy, and incorporate findings into design solutions

Technical Skills

  • Demonstrate facility and flexibility with animation and/or VFX technology and software
  • Demonstrate facility with digital media

Professional Readiness

  • Assemble a professional demo reel or portfolio demonstrating an understanding of the target market
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the production pipeline through successful participation in the collaborative / pipeline process.
  • Clearly express creative thought processes, concepts and strategies using industry-standard vocabulary

Specialty skills: Storyboarding

  • Create and pitch stories and concepts through the use of sequential imagery
  • Produce work that demonstrates an understanding of cinematic continuity
  • Demonstrate proficient drawing skills: composition, perspective, proportion, and anatomy

Specialty Skills: 2D Animation and Stop Motion

  • Apply the principles of animation to effectively communicate character action, emotion, and mood
  • Demonstrate facility with hand skills in drawing, painting, and sculpture
  • Demonstrate facility and flexibility with both digital tools and fabrication tools and materials

Specialty skills: Modeling

  • Model with appropriate use of form, proportion, weight, anatomy, gesture, and facial expressions
  • Create and apply textures consistent with the overall look of the project

Specialty skills: 3D Animation

  • Apply principles of animation
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and interaction of moving objects

Specialty skills: Visual Effects

  • Design and generate digital elements and effects that meet the needs of the imagery
  • Combine digital effects and elements from different sources with live action media to a fine degree of visual believability and consistency.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    132 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Introduction to Computer Graphics for Animation
  • Cinematics for Animation & VFX
  • Introduction to Animation Principles & Techniques
  • Sketching for Communication
  • Computer Animation Production
  • Preproduction Principles
  • Producing for Animation & Visual Effects 1
  • Figure Drawing
  • Composition for the Artist
  • History of Animation

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 2

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 2 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • Application form or online application
  • $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts from your undergraduate college/university showing completion of an undergraduate degree
  • One page essay explaining personal goals for graduate school or essay related to a topic as required by the Department
  • Resume: Describe your educational and professional experience
  • Portfolio/Demo reel: A portfolio with detailed descriptions in your chosen discipline is required.
  • Additional materials may be required.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    26147 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 26147 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    26147 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 26147 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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