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Bachelor of Arts Animation

For international students: this is a STEM-designated program, which can qualify you to extend your post-graduation stay in the United States.

The BA in Animation emphasizes animation principles and animation production within a broad liberal arts context. Students in the Animation BA will be able to produce creatively innovative connections between animation and other subjects of inspiration. This is an extremely flexible degree with an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and self-directed exploration, and is especially valuable for students bringing transfer credits from another school or interested in a double major. This program emphasizes the art of animation, creativity, and critical thinking. Students are introduced to the foundation skills of animating, and utilize these in the production sequence, in which they are expected to bring a broad intellectual and creative viewpoint, influenced by their liberal studies courses and electives, to their work. Students can experiment with the latest in animation software, tools, and technologies including professional-level animation and effects software, Cintiq labs, 3D printing, stop motion stages and fabrication studios, 3D motion capture, motion control, and sophisticated sound studios.

Alumni of our program have been hired in animation roles at a wide variety of companies, including DreamWorks Animation, LAIKA Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, Bioware, Iron Galaxy Studios, The Mill, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, ShadowMachine, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, and Cartoon Network, to name just a few.

Learn more about the portfolio requirements for applying to this program.

Degree Requirements

Nationally Recognized Programs

  • #15 animation program in the US and #1 in the Midwest according to Animation Career Review (2024)
  • A Variety Top Film School in North America (2022)
  • #14 film school in the US by the Hollywood Reporter (2023)
  • Steve Socki

    Steve worked in TV Animation at Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, & Disney TV. His new animated film is currently showing in over 30 international film festivals.

  • Brian Ferguson

    Brian is a 25-year veteran Walt Disney Feature Animation character animator whose filmography includes Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan.

  • Amy Lockhart

    Amy’s animations have screened at festivals nationally and internationally, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the International Animation Festival in Hiroshima, Japan.

Animation Faculty

DePaul has one of the largest full-time Animation faculties in the country. Their filmography includes Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, The Simpsons, Futurama, and Rugrats. Our instructors come from diverse backgrounds in feature and TV animation, commercial production, game development, motion graphics, CGI, and art exhibition. They have worked at major animation and game studios including: Disney Feature Animation, Fox TV, Fox Kids, JibJab, Will Vinton, Sesame Street, NBC Studios, Nickelodeon, Calabash, Rough Draft, WMS, RoboModo, Wideload, and Day 1, and have exhibited internationally at galleries and film festivals.

students working on Octodad video game 

Game Development Teams

Students interested in game art can take advantage of CDM’s large and active game development program by working with game design and programming students on game projects. These projects take many forms: multi-disciplinary team courses, game development contests run by the student organization DeFRAG, and extra-curricular special projects. Your project may join our many award-winning student games, including the indie game hit Octodad.


LA Quarter

Animation students have the opportunity to study and intern in Los Angeles for three months through DePaul’s innovative LA Quarter program. Students accepted into the program earn degree credit while living in the center of the animation, film and game development industries. LA Quarter students have interned at many studios including DreamWorks Animation, Bix Pix Entertainment, Duck Animation Studios, and Nickelodeon Animation.


Visiting Artists Series

This series brings innovative practitioners and industry leaders to the DePaul campus for film screenings, on-stage conversations, and professional panels. Past visiting artists include legendary Russian animator Yuri Norstein, stop-motion animators The Brothers Quay, Disney features writer/director John Musker, experimental 3D animator David O’Reilly, Pixar director Doug Sweetland, Pixar character designer Chris Sasaki, Disney Feature Animation storyboard artist Lissa Treiman, Pixar Writer/Director Adrian Molina, and many more.


Premiere Film Festival

Our annual Premiere Film Festival showcases the best of student work in cinema and animation with awards covering all facets of filmmaking, from screenwriting to post production. Jury members include industry insiders, festival programmers, and filmmakers from around the country.

DePaul Animation Lodge logo  

Animation Lodge

Animation Lodge is a student organization for both animation majors and enthusiasts. The Lodge provides a space for members to discuss animation trends and techniques, network with one another and professionals, and help build each other’s portfolios through critiques and group projects. Animation Lodge hosts Mayday, a weekend-long animation marathon where students, alumni, and faculty create films based around a designate theme, annually.


Project Bluelight

Project Bluelight is a professional, educational, and community outreach program where students receive hands-on experience in motion picture production. The award-winning stop-motion/live actor project Speed Dating was recently created as part of this program.

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