Launch Your Career

A Master of Fine Arts is the highest degree in animation. Our MFA offers three concentrations (3D Character Animation, Visual Effects, Video Games) that center around gaining intensive hands-on skills in the chosen concentration. This major focuses on increasing practical, visual, and creative skills to the highest level and provides students an opportunity to enhance their portfolios using twenty-first-century media and technologies. Prior to graduation, students are required to execute rigorous, in-depth thesis projects that demonstrate the skills learned in all of the classes in the curriculum. Upon completion, the thesis projects are exhibited in a public venue. Additionally, MFA students prepare portfolios and other materials necessary for job applications and interviews.

This 60-credit degree 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. A candidate for admission is encouraged to make a personal appointment with the Director of the Animation program in order to discuss admission eligibility, education plans, curriculum options, or to schedule a tour of the animation facilities.

All of the courses in this program are offered in a hybrid format, which allows students to decide if they would like to attend classes in-residence, remotely online, or a combination of the two. If you live locally, some weeks you may want to be in our state-of-the-art Animation Lab with the Professor while other weeks you may opt to join remotely to work around personal or family obligations. Whether you live near or across the globe, you can be in our Animation Master’s program and attend your classes in whichever way works best for you.


New enrollees can apply to begin in the Fall or Spring semester. Full-time students can complete this program in 2.5-3.5 years. Part-time students may take courses over multiple years until the required 60 credits are completed.


F-1 visa holders must attend all courses in-residence on a full-time basis.

Upon entry, students select one of these concentrations to be their area of focus.

3D Character Animation Concentration

In this concentration, students study in-depth techniques that focus on every aspect of animating characters. Through the use of software techniques, acute observation skills, and motion capture technology, they master the skills needed to portray a high level of detail in animating believable characters and creatures.

Required Courses (36 Credits)

Major Electives (24 Credits)

8 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

Visual Effects Concentration

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 (36 Credits)

Major Electives (24 Credits)

8 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

Video Games Concentration

In this concentration, students design and create animations that are intended to be utilized in video games, virtual reality, 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 (36 Credits)

Major Electives (24 Credits)

8 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

Other Animation Electives

MFA 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.

Contact Information
Derek G. Larson
Request login information to our cloud to upload your portfolio.

Requirements for Graduate Admissions

No Standardized Testing is Required

Completed FDU graduate admissions application

Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

Two letters of recommendation (from a professor, employer, or professional in the field familiar with the student’s strengths and abilities)

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)

Digital portfolio

Personal statement


“I was immersed in an inspiring environment created by passionate artists and dedicated professors who were very caring and patient. The FDU animation program provided me with the most up-to-date tools and knowledge to get my skills ready, whether it was for the professional world or academia.”

Truc Tran, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Animation, Western Kentucky University