May 24, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Animation and Digital Arts (BA)*

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The Bachelor of Arts in Animation and Digital Arts is a unique four-year program granted through the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. Students study within the framework that combines a broad liberal arts background with specialization in a profession. Areas of concentration might include character animation, experimental animation, visual effects, 3-D computer animation, science visualization and interactive animation.

Undergraduate students take their pre-professional courses in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, including the general education requirements. Major courses are selected from the curriculum of the School of Cinematic Arts. The degree requires 128 units, including a minimum of 16 lower-division units and a minimum of 26 upper-division units in Cinematic Arts.

General Education Requirements

The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program is effective for all students entering USC in fall 2015 or later, or transfer students beginning college elsewhere at that time and subsequently transferring to USC. It requires eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies) and two courses in writing. See the General Education Program  for more information.

Additional Requirements

Areas of Concentration

Areas of concentration might include character animation, experimental animation, 3-D computer animation, visualizing science, interactive animation and visual effects. Students work in consultation with the undergraduate coordinator and faculty to help them decide their course of study while at USC.

Senior Project

In the spring semester of their third year students develop their senior project through CTAN 336 Ideation and Pre-Production  under the guidance of the lecturer. This project will focus on an area of concentration studied throughout the BA by the student. At the end of this class, students present their senior project concepts for review to the Division of Animation and Digital Arts faculty. Progression into CTAN 401a , CTAN 401b  is contingent upon faculty committee approval.

In the final year, students concentrate on their senior projects, completing production and post-production. The student’s project will be presented to the committee upon completion.

Completion is defined as a fully rendered, animated piece with a completed sound track. In the case of installation work, the piece must be mounted in a suitable space with all sound and animated components completed and functional.

In the case of an interactive work, the piece must be fully functional with completed animation, sound and interactivity.

In addition to completion of the senior project, the student must provide the faculty committee with written and visual documentation of the research. This can be documented as a publishable paper (2,000 words), Website or interactive DVD.

Grade Point Average Requirements

A minimum grade of C, 2.0 (A = 4.0), must be earned in all required and prerequisite courses. A grade of C- (1.7) or lower will not fulfill a major requirement.

Students who do not earn the minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTAN 101 , CTAN 102 , CTAN 201 , CTAN 202 , CTAN 301 , CTAN 302  or CTAN 401a , CTAN 401b  after repeating these requirements will be disqualified from the program.

Limitations on Enrollment

Registration in graduate level courses (numbered 500) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval from the School of Cinematic Arts.

Curriculum Review

Cinematic arts majors are expected to meet with an adviser every semester to review their progress. Contact the Cinematic Arts Animation and Digital Arts Division Office, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-3986, or online at

International Program

John C. Hench Animation and Digital Arts offers a fall semester abroad at Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. BA students will be required to take equivalent classes in animation and digital media while also benefiting from the wide range of liberal arts courses offered at SACI.

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