Animation & Illustration Degrees

Sample Animation Storyboard

The Animation & Illustration program at the San José State University offers two degrees:

  • BFA in Animation & Illustration
  • BA in Design Studies, specializing in Animation & Illustration

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.

BFA Animation & Illustration (Professional Degree)

The award-winning program prepares students for careers in feature film animation, games, television, and any other media that uses animation and storytelling as a core communication tool.

The curriculum combines both traditional and innovative educational strategies, including color theory, design, perspective, and conventional and digital painting. Additionally, students will study the principles of both traditional and 3D animation, physics of motion, modeling, storyboarding, character design, and visual development. Upper-division classes offer students an opportunity to specialize in their area of choice.

Note: All students must pass a milestone portfolio review to remain in the BFA program. Students who do not pass the review will be changed to the BA-Design Studies major.

BFA Animation & Illustration students are recommended to complete a professional internship.

BA Design Studies (Liberal Arts Degree)

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 ANI. This specialization provides instruction in ANI foundation skills, supplemented by studies in design, film, photography, and theater arts.

Students in the Design Studies for Animation & Illustration program will receive basic preparation for entry-level jobs in the entertainment industry; optionally, they can later apply to a graduate program in Animation & Illustration or similar fields of study.

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.

BA Design Studies

Upon completion of the program, students will

  • utilize knowledge gained in the classroom to develop discipline-based skills in materials and techniques;
  • demonstrate professional depth of knowledge within their field of study;
    engage in global views and weigh design decisions within the parameters of ecological, socio-economic, and cultural contexts;
  • demonstrate all aspects of the design process to identify complex problems and generate solutions that optimize human experiences;
    engage in multi-disciplinary collaborative work team structures;
    demonstrate discipline-based design ideas verbally, visually and digitally.

Current Forms

Visit the Department's Forms page. For more information on course requirements in this major, visit the SJSU catalog's pages on BFA Animation & Illustration and BA Design Studies.