Fairleigh Dickinson University logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: $ 46.8k / 1
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 469pts.
  • Duration:
  • 1 year

    Our Master of Arts degree in Animation offers three concentrations (3D Character Animation, Visual Effects, Video Games) that center around gaining hands-on skills in the chosen concentration. This major is designed for students who possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, college or art school who are looking to further sharpen their skills and increase their understanding of the discipline. It accepts recent undergraduates, master's level transfer students, working professionals who want to grow their animation skills, as well as people who desire a complete career change.

    As a full-time student, this major is a 36-credit (one-year) degree that spans three semesters. The fall and spring semesters are attended in-residence and the summer semester is completed online. Part-time students may attend courses over multiple years until the required 36 credits are completed.

    Some courses in this program require basic prerequisite skills. If students do not possess the prerequisite skills upon entry they should acquire them independently or by completing undergraduate course(s) either prior to entering the program or while in the program. A candidate for admission is encouraged to make a personal appointment with an admissions counselor in order to discuss admission eligibility, education plans and/or take a campus tour. Prospective students may also arrange a meeting with the Animation Program Director to discuss the curriculum options and tour the animation facilities.

    3D Character Animation Concentration Requirements

    In this concentration, students give personality and emotion to digital 3D characters. Through the use of software techniques and acute observation skills, they show their ability to portray convincing and engaging performances in their animated characters and creatures.

    Required Courses (18 Credits)

    • ANIM 5300 Storytelling
    • ANIM 5400 Character Design
    • ANIM 6100 Digital Sculpting
    • ANIM 6150 3D Character Texturing
    • ANIM 6300 3D Character Animation
    • ANIM 7000 Advanced 3D Character Animation

    Major Electives (18 Credits)

    6 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

    Visual Effects Concentration Requirements

    In this concentration, students animate illusions and tricks of the eye to simulate imagined events in stories and computer-generated environments. Along with enhancing and manipulating digital imagery created in a variety of 3D and 2D software programs, they also learn to integrate and composite believable components and visual effects into live action footage.

    Required Courses (18 Credits)

    • ANIM 5300 Storytelling
    • ANIM 5500 Digital 2D Animation
    • ANIM 5600 Advanced 3D Layers in After Effects
    • ANIM 5700 Dynamic Effects and Particle Systems in After Effects
    • ANIM 5800 Compositing in After Effects
    • ANIM 6350 3D Particle Systems and Effects

    Major Electives (18 Credits)

    6 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

    Video Games Concentration Requirements

    In this concentration, students design and create animations that are intended to be utilized in video games and interactive media. They learn how to optimize the visual data, bearing in mind the limitations of the platform that will be delivering it, in that the device will be dynamically rendering the incorporated assets in real time.

    Required Courses (18 Credits)

    • ANIM 5400 Character Design
    • ANIM 5500 Digital 2D Animation
    • ANIM 6100 Digital Sculpting
    • ANIM 6400 3D Animation for Games
    • ANIM 6600 Game Creation
    • ANIM 7500 Advanced Game Creation

    Major Electives (18 Credits)

    6 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

    Other Animation Electives

    • ANIM 5100 History of Animation & Special Effects
    • ANIM 5200 History of Video Games
    • ANIM 5600 Advanced 3D Layers in After Effects
    • ANIM 5750 3D Character Modeling
    • ANIM 5850 Advanced Digital 2D Animation
    • ANIM 5900 Expressions and Scripting in After Effects
    • ANIM 6700 Animating Fluids
    • ANIM 6805 Motion Tracking
    • ANIM 6900 Digital 2D Game Creation
    • ANIM 7100 3D Character Animation - Weight, Overlap and Follow through
    • ANIM 7200 Character Animation - Emotion and Personality
    • ANIM 7250 Lip-Syncing
    • ANIM 7300 Animation with Hair/Fur
    • ANIM 7400 Animation with Cloth
    • ANIM 7425 Motion Capture
    • ANIM 7525 Virtual Reality
    • ANIM 7550 Internship I
    • ANIM 7600 Video Game Team Project
    • ANIM 7650 Thesis I
    • ANIM 7700 Faculty/Student Research I
    • ANIM 7750 Thesis II
    • ANIM 7775 Internship II
    • ANIM 7805 Faculty/Student Research II
    • ANIM 7850 Thesis III
    • ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation

    MA in Animation degree applicants must digitally submit a portfolio of 10-15 creative pieces as part of the application process. Acceptance is based on the quality of the work as well as meeting all of the other academic admission requirements of the university. The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content and will evaluate the portfolios to determine if the applicant qualifies to enter the program based on their artistic skills. If the submitted work infringes on copyright laws or is copied from other sources the applicant will be denied admission.

    USA requirements for international students

    Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

    After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

    Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.



    • Completed FDU graduate admissions application
    • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point ratio (CGPR) of 2.70 (applicants with a CGPR of less than 2.70 may be admitted on probation)
    • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    • Digital portfolio
    • Two letters of recommendation (from a professor, employer, or professional in the field familiar with the student's strengths and abilities)
    • Personal statement
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    Similar programs: