MFA in Animation Degree

Florham Campus, Madison, NJ
Visual & Performing Arts Department

A Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree in animation. Our MFA offers three concentrationsText with strong emphasis (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 Text with strong emphasis. It also offers students the opportunity to participate in group projects and requires them 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 Text with strong emphasis and other materials necessary for job applications and interviews. Before exiting the program, they are required to present their portfolios via mock interviews to a panel of professionals who will review, critique and provide feedback on their work.

This major accepts recent undergraduates, masters 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 60-credit (two-year) degree that spans six semesters. The fall and spring semesters are attended in-residence and the summer semesters, as well as the Thesis courses, are completed online. Part-time students may attend courses over multiple years until the required 60 credits are completed.

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

3D Character Animation Concentration Requirements
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)
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
ANIM 7250 Lip-Syncing
ANIM 7425 Motion Capture
ANIM 7650 Thesis I
ANIM 7750 Thesis II
ANIM 7850 Thesis III
ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation
Major Electives (24 Credits)
8 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 (36 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
ANIM 6700 Animating Fluids
ANIM 6800 Motion Tracking
ANIM 7650 Thesis I
ANIM 7750 Thesis II
ANIM 7850 Thesis III
ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation
Major Electives (24 Credits)
8 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, 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)
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
ANIM 7525 Virtual Reality
ANIM 7600 Video Game Team Project
ANIM 7650 Thesis I
ANIM 7750 Thesis II
ANIM 7850 Thesis III
ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation
Major Electives (24 Credits)
8 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 6900 Digital 2D Game Creation
ANIM 7100 3D Character Animation - Weight, Overlap and Follow through
ANIM 7200 Character Animation - Emotion and Personality
ANIM 7300 Animation with Hair/Fur
ANIM 7400 Animation with Cloth
ANIM 7550 Internship I
ANIM 7700 Faculty/Student Research I
ANIM 7775 Internship II
ANIM 7800 Faculty/Student Research II

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.

Submit Portfolio

Email robinb@fdu.edu and we will reply with login information to our cloud to upload your portfolio pieces.

Graduate Admissions

No Standardized Testing is Required.

Requirements

  • 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