The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Digital Arts is a unique four-year program, offered by the School of Cinematic Arts that combines a liberal arts background with the practice of animation to prepare students for a professional career in this field. Areas of concentration might include character animation, experimental animation, visual effects, 3-D computer animation, motion graphics, immersive media, interactive animation, documentary animation and science visualization.
Each fall, a class of 16 undergraduate animation and digital arts students is selected to begin the program. A total of 128 units is required for the completion of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; 61 of these units taken in a prescribed sequential order. There are no spring admissions.
Applicants must submit a supplemental application and materials to the Undergraduate Animation and Digital Arts Program in Slideroom via the Common Application. For specific instructions, contact the Cinematic Arts Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-8358 or online at cinema.usc.edu.
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. For more information about USC’s general education requirements, see General Education .
Four-Year Major Requirements (61 units)
Year One, Second Semester
Year Two, Second Semester
Year Three, First Semester
Year Three, Second Semester
Year Four, First Semester
Year Four, Second Semester
Two units must be selected from the following:
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – Physical Education
USC Kaufman School of Dance
USC School of Dramatic Arts
One course must be taken from the following list:
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.
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 BFA 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 110, CTAN 201, CTAN 202, CTAN 210, CTAN 220, CTAN 301, CTAN 320, 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 and above) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval from the School of Cinematic Arts.
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 cinema.usc.edu.