MA in Animation Degree

Florham Campus, Madison, NJ
School of the Arts

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 degree. 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.

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

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 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 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.

Submit Portfolio

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

Graduate Admissions

No Standardized Testing is Required.


  • 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