Learn More and ApplyAnimation (BFA)


CDM-2024 - Animation_2

The BFA in Animation provides students with a solid foundation in the art of animation and its history combined with insight into the latest techniques used in the rapidly-moving fields of high end 3D animation in the film, television, and game development industries.


3D Animation

T​he area of 3D animation dominates the film industry—five of the twenty-one top grossing films of 2017 were 3D animated, and eight of the top ten were heavily dependent on 3D animation for special effects.

Cinema Concentration

The technically demanding art of modern 3D character animation is grounded in the core fundamentals of animation mechanics, visual storytelling and acting. Right from the start, students in the Cinema Animation concentration gain hands-on experience bringing digital characters to life. They are given in-depth instruction in the most up-to-date software and technology available, including motion capture and green screen, but the emphasis is always on creativity, experimentation and expression.

Game Art Concentration

Becoming a game development artist requires a solid foundation in animation, visual design principles, color theory, and drawing. Students in the Game Art concentration also receive in-depth instruction in the latest advanced game modeling and animation technology and practices, including motion capture, rigging and digital sculpting. They learn about real-world problem-solving, team dynamics, and pipeline requirements while working alongside programmers and game designers on cross-disciplinary game development projects.

Motion Graphics Concentration

Motion Graphics, sometimes known as Motion Design, involves putting graphic forms, text, and photographic elements into motion using the principles of animation. These are almost always paired with sound and music for a specific purpose, such as in advertisements, educational and industrial videos, films and television titles, visual effects, and video games. Chicago is a major center for commercial advertising production, and Motion Graphics is a significant part of the commercial production and post-production process.​

Storyboarding and Character Design Concentration

Storyboard artists are in demand in the television and feature film animation industries. A storyboard artist can also find work storyboarding live action films, visual effects, and commercials. The skills of the storyboard artist can also be applied to graphic novels and comics. Character design is a much sought-after role in animation, game art, live action film, comics, and children’s literature. Both disciplines share a requirement for strong traditional drawing skills.

Visual Effects Animation Concentration

The VFX Animation concentration in the Animation BFA deals with the artistic creation and animation of computer-generated 3D creatures, vehicles, objects, and environments for use in the live action film and television industries.  Think of the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, the AT-ATs of Rogue One, or the future Los Angeles of Blade Runner 2049.  The concentration combines a solid animation foundation with specialized VFX courses.  VFX careers in live action film and television require skills ranging broadly from live action compositing to 3D character animation. Skilled VFX artists are in high demand within the feature film, television, commercial, and new media industries. This concentration complements the VFX concentration in the Film & Television BFA, which is balanced more towards live action production.

Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Liberal Studies Requirements 52
Major Requirements 138-142
Open Electives 18-22
Total Hours Required 208

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a solid foundation in design and traditional studio art, and will be able to use these skills in order to communicate effectively through visual means.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of animation through written critical evaluation of animated films and be able to analyze work in a historical context.
  • Acquire animation skills necessary for careers in game development, 3D and 2D anim​ated films, television or effects animation.
  • Implement the use of storyboarding, animatics, and essential pre-production techniques to develop a film concept.
  • Develop research practices as a foundation for their own art and design.
  • Utilize their skills to produce a number of animated films culminating in a thesis animation in the media of their choosing.

Liberal Studies Requirements

Honors program requirements can be found in the individual Colleges & Schools section of the University Catalog. Select the appropriate college or school, followed by Undergraduate Academics and scroll down.   

Plan of Study Grid
First Year ProgramHours
Chicago Quarter
LSP 110
Focal Point
Not Required
Quantitative Reasoning
Sophomore Year
Race, Power, and Resistance
Junior Year
Experiential Learning
Required 4
Senior Year
Required in major 1

Students must earn a C- or better in this course.   


Readiness for MAT 120 is determined by the math placement test taken online after admission. Students may need to take developmental coursework prior to MAT 120. Students who complete MAT 120 and both a Computational Reasoning course and a Statistical Reasoning course in the Math and Computing Learning Domain take one less Learning Domain course. Students may not apply the course reduction to any Domain where only one course is required, and cannot be applied to the Scientific Inquiry Learning Domain.  The MAT 120 requirement may be waived by passing a dedicated proficiency exam or it may be fulfilled by credit for advanced math coursework earned  in-residence at DePaul (MAT 135MAT 136MAT 147MAT 148MAT 149MAT 150MAT 151MAT 152 MAT 155MAT 156MAT 160MAT 161MAT 162 MAT 170MAT 171MAT 172, or equivalent) or earned externally either as transfer credit from another college/university or as test credit through AP, CLEP, IB, or International A and A/S Level exams. Calculus course(s) may be used to fulfill any of the three QR/MCD requirements.

Learning Domains

Arts and Literature (AL)

Historical Inquiry (HI)

  • 1 Course Required

Math and Computing (MC)

  • Not Required

Philosophical Inquiry (PI)

  • 1 Course Required

Religious Dimensions (RD)

  • 1 Course Required

Scientific Inquiry (SI)

  • 1 Lab Course Required

Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI)

  • 1 Course Required


Specified required courses within Liberal Studies may have grade minimums (e.g. C- or better). Please consult your advisor or your college and major requirements.​​

Courses offered in the student's primary major cannot be taken to fulfill LSP Domain requirements. If students double major, LSP Domain courses may double count for both LSP credit and the second major.

In meeting learning domain requirements, no more than one course that is outside the student’s major and is cross-listed with a course within the student’s major, can be applied to count for LSP domain credit. This policy does not apply to those who are pursuing a double major or earning BFA or BM degrees.  

Major Requirements

Students must complete the requirements from one (1) of the following concentrations: 3D Animation, Cinema, Game Art, Motion Graphics, Storyboarding and Character Design, or Visual Effects Animation

Degree Requirements

Students in this degree must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 208 credit hours.
  • Earn a grade of C- or higher in WRD 103WRD 104, and all Major and Minor courses.
  • Earn a grade of D or higher in all other Liberal Studies and Open Elective courses.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

​Concentration Requirements

Concentrations, tracks and specializations provide focus to the major. In addition to any college core requirements, liberal studies requirements and major requirements, students are required to choose one of the following: