Logo - USC School of Cinematic Arts ANIMATION + DIGITAL ARTS Logo - University of Southern California
Logo - USC School of Cinematic Arts ANIMATION + DIGITAL ARTS

MFA Degree in Animation


Our three-year graduate program attracts advanced students seeking to further their animation knowledge and refine their production and motion design skills. Students are encouraged to explore a diverse array of techniques and tools in both theory and practice in preparation for their thesis film or project. We invite top tier guest lecturers to many of our classes to inspire our students and open doors to trajectories and pathways beyond their USC education.

.Character Design
Charlene Xu
."A Good Boy"
Kacey Layson
."Secret Handshake"
Ros Fiol

Students have opportunities to collaborate across the School of Cinematic Arts divisions as well as work in partnerships with other USC students from the Thornton School of Music, the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the School of Dramatic Arts, the Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Architecture to name a few. We highly encourage our majors to take advantage of the entire catalog of classes at USC during their time here.

."Gleipnir"
Xiaotong Wen + Curry Tian

MFA Curriculum

Year 1

Introduction to 3D Computer Animation Design Fundamentals for Animation Studio Careers: Story to Screen Animation: The Art and the Industry Fundamentals of 2D Animation Animation Production I Fundamentals of Storytelling for Animation Cinematic Ethics Fundamentals of 3D Animation

Year 2

Animation Design and Production Animation Storyboarding Practicum Animation Pre-Thesis Seminar The Business of Animation Animation Department Seminar (guest artists and speakers) Cinematic Storytelling for Animators

Year 3

Master's Thesis

."Monster In My Heart"
Yawen Zheng
."Disrupted"
Alicja Jasina
.Project Mentoring

Animation Electives

Students can take a variety of elective and master classes that focus on skill building and different areas of animation creation. Our faculty are accomplished digital and traditional artists and professional from the animation industry and independent media production.

Concept Design for Animation Cinematography for Animators 3D Animation for Motion Graphics (C4D) Organic Modeling for Animation Character Design Workshop Creative Production in Virtual Reality Motion Capture Fundamentals 2D Motion Graphics 3D Motion Graphics Visual Music Real Time Animation (Unreal Engine) Visual Effects Digital Lighting and Rendering Projection Mapping Design and Production Advanced Character Animation for Games Pipeline and Character Modeling for Animation Procedural Animation (Houdini) Production Design for Animation Experiments in Immersive Design The World of Visual Effects Digital Effects Animation Live Action Integration with Visual Effects

.Animating for
Immersive Design
.Thesis Production
Yizhou Li + Dustin Reno