Animation / Illustration (Professional Degree)

About SJSU Animation/Illustration

The Animation/Illustration Program at San José State University was originally created to give local students a chance to compete for careers in the screen arts; it now attracts students nationally and internationally. Positioned at the center of Silicon Valley, the program has developed tight bonds with industry partners over the last 25 years. Guest speakers from big name corporations like Disney, Hallmark, the Cartoon Network, and many more are often invited to speak on campus in order to provide students with the latest trends and shifting demands of the industry. The strong sense of community within the program is a product of the dedication our faculty reserves for students. As a result, recruiters have continually sought out our graduates for job opportunities and long term positions. Incoming students can get a feel for this welcoming atmosphere during one of the tours of our facilities that the program provides.

The program’s accomplished faculty prepares students for life after graduation by holding them to professional standards. From working on projects they might encounter in the professional world to improving their specific personal artistic interests, students are often emboldened by the idea that there is great power in what they can create through the skills they’ve obtained from the program. Our graduates complete the program with a sense of pride in their work and reinforced awareness of globalization that allows them to help connect people from all over the world. Together, our community of faculty, students, and alumni work as a team to build a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

Explore the work of our graduating Spring 2020 Animation / Illustration Seniors here:

Learning Outcomes

BFA Animation/Illustration 

Upon completion of the program, students will:

  • understand the principles of color, design, optics, perspective, and the physics of motion;
  • develop proficiency in life drawing, and have knowledge in both digital and traditional painting;
  • be familiar with principles of sequential narrative, as well as be able to create and develop original narrative, sequential projects—short films and tests that incorporate visual development, modeling, storyboarding, and animation;
  • have the ability to work cooperatively in a team;
  • apply professional standards and practices including proficiency in visual development, modeling, animation, or storyboarding;
  • understand art, film and animation history, theory, and criticism from a variety of perspectives, including those of art historians, animators and filmmakers.

Note: Admission to the BFA Animation/Illustration Program is determined when students apply for admission to the university. There is no internal transfer into the program.

Additionally, students who were admitted as BFA Animation/Illustration and did not pass portfolio review will continue as BA Design Studies majors with a specialization in A/I.

Drawing of a Wooden ConstructDrawing of a Fish Shack on the Beach

Drawing of Black-Haired GirlIllustration of Man with Index Finger Raised

Goldfish Merry-go-RoundIllustration of Woman Crossing the Sidewalk