The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation at UMass Amherst provides students with the experience and training needed to excel in the animation and motion graphics industry and as independent animators. Grounded in the rigorous academics of traditional fine arts, students develop conceptually driven animations that showcase an understanding of the Principles of Animation while exploring the artistic and aesthetic possibilities of each animated medium.

After completing first-year Foundations courses, students choosing to pursue an education in animation begin with Introduction to Animation. Here, students study the building blocks of character animation and believable locomotion while learning 2D digital animation programs. Over the next two years, students take classes in Stop Motion Animation, Experimental 3D Animation, and Media and Motion Graphics, practicing all parts of the animation pipeline, including concept development, pre-production, post-production, and project management. 

In their fourth year, students engage in a semester-long independent or collaborative animation project in any animated medium of their choosing, building skills in all aspects of creative design and production while honing their individual styles and interests. As preparation for entering the working world, the Advanced Animation course covers written and oral presentation skills, film festival submissions, demo reels, and involves extensive research. 

All BFA students may choose to complete a senior thesis project in their final year, combining a cohesive exhibition or screening of work, a significant piece of writing, and an oral defense, all directed by a faculty committee. Faculty also provide support to students wishing to engage in practicums and internships, both inside and outside the university.

Both current students and alumni have won countless national and international awards for their films and have been employed on such projects as the Harry Potter and Star Wars films, for Jim Henson and Nickelodeon, and at renowned production companies like Lucasfilm.

Check out examples of student work on the UMass Animation Vimeo page.
Get involved with the UMass Animation Collective.

Please visit our Resources page, or click here to view the Animation Discipline Requirements sheet.