The bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree program in computer art and animation is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of digital media within a fine art, exploratory, and culturally aware setting. The program provides instruction in multiple art media where the computer plays the primary role.

Admission + Portfolio Requirements

These media include computer-generated images, 3D computer animation, physical computing, creative computer programming, computer gaming, computer music, and sonic art. Students are mentored to become highly skilled critical thinkers producing art in individual and collaborative contexts.

In your first year, you build a strong foundation for working within the digital realm while developing an artistic voice engaged in the language of the medium. During the second year we investigate the diverse possibilities of computer art, the intensity of which is oriented by the inclination of the student and tailored through mentorship. In the third and fourth years, we bring these skills into creative focus, demanding a professional art practice that is both technically sophisticated and critically engaged.

Computer art and animation majors may travel to Los Angeles for a two-week industry immersion in animation and film. The themes of self-development, persistence, and networking are presented as you visit such studios as Filmworks FX and Method Studios to see their incredible special effects work on productions for major films and commercials.

Within the Department of Transmedia, computer art and animation is integrated with film, art video, and art photography, allowing for a practice that is tightly focused but free to traverse a network of related disciplines. This network expands into the rest of Syracuse University, challenging you to further develop the intellectual resources needed to inform your work. Through this process you synthesize a perspective that is shaped within a web of mutual influence and discourse.

The computer art and animation program boasts alumni who are placed at some of the most prestigious animation and visual effects companies in the world—Pixar, Cartoon Network, Filmworks/FX, LucasArts, Tippett Studio, and Sony Pictures Imageworks—along with creative representation at galleries and media art festivals internationally. The program’s alumni and faculty have consistently pushed the edge publicly as to what it means to be a computer artist and continue to maintain that intensity today.

Recently our program was ranked among the top 50 animation programs in the country by Animation Career Review.

Student Work Playlist

This is a playlist consisting of nine videos of computer art and animation student work. Work ranges from modeling and texturing, concept art, animated shorts, Maya script demos, and more.

[Above, a playlist of animated student work.]


Below are the general program requirements for computer art and animation.

View official major requirements.

Transmedia core: 24 credits
Required major: 18 credits
Menued major studios: choose 12 credits
Menued studio electives: choose 12 credits
Free studio electives: 9 credits
Menued studies in culture electives: choose 12 credits
Free studies in culture electives: choose 9 credits
Required writing courses: 6 credits
Academic electives: 18 credits
Total Credits: 120