B.F.A. Animation & Digital Media

Do you love to create your own characters or animated films?
Degree Type Bachelor of Fine Arts
Careers & Salaries Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation & Digital Media provides you with the skills and flexibility to succeed in a wide variety of animation-related careers, combining robust art foundations with discipline-specific courses in animation and design software. Students will produce individual and collaborative works to engage audiences in a variety of venues ranging from corporate and commercial to broadcast and streaming platforms.

You’ll graduate StoutProud with a portfolio showcasing your artistic voice, visual style and the ability to tell moving stories through animation. / UW-Stout

Our experienced faculty will introduce you to creative and critical thinking skills, principles of visual storytelling, character and environment design, traditional two-dimensional animation, three-dimensional modeling and animation, motion capture, real-time production and much more. 

Our program is an exceptional value compared to other regional and national animation schools offering: 

  • Industry-inspired animation studios, labs and technology 
  • Energetic and engaged faculty with wide-ranging professional experience 
  • A cross-disciplinary environment with frequent opportunities for collaboration  
  • Regional, national, and international internship opportunities 
  • A rigorous program advised by a board of industry professionals 
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Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements, and course descriptions for B.F.A. Animation and Digital Media.

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We’re looking forward to kick-starting your creative future in the fast-changing world of entertainment, animation, and digital media. 

"My work on my student thesis film Marcus The Teenager’s Never-Ending Quest for Popularity demonstrated clearly what I could do for potential employers. Suddenly I had this amazing conversation starter, and I landed my first animation industry gig before graduation!” 

-- Michael Hilliger
BFA Alumnus 

"I was very fortunate to work on the Memorial Student Center design team as a digital signage and animation designer. It gave me a taste of real world experiences, what it is like to work for clients with specific requests and visions."

-- Grace Raddenbach
B.F.A. Alumna

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation & Digital Media (formerly Entertainment Design).

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B.F.A. Admissions Requirements

New First-Year Students

Pre-BFA Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2023

First-year students admitted to the university prior to February 1, 2023 will be admitted into the Pre-BFA major they select on their application. 
First-year students admitted after the priority deadline may be admitted as Undeclared, and we cannot guarantee access to art and design courses in the first semester at UW-Stout.

The Pre-BFA priority application deadline applies to the following majors:
-    B.F.A. Animation & Digital Media
-    B.F.A. Game Design and Development – Art
-    B.F.A. Graphic Design and Interactive Media
-    B.F.A. Industrial Design
-    B.F.A. Interior Design
-    B.F.A. Studio Art

Students admitted as Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) students will join an exciting community of first-year art and design students with classes and events geared towards preparing you for a successful application to the intended BFA program. 

As a student accepted into one of the six BFA programs, please be aware of the following:

  • You will be required to submit a portfolio in the spring semester of your freshmen year to apply for acceptance into the intended BFA program. Portfolios will be evaluated by School of Art and Design faculty. Through your first-year experience, you will be given the tools and skills required to prepare and submit the portfolio, and the necessary support to navigate the application process.

Transfer Students

  • All transfer students will be admitted as a Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) student.  Upon acceptance information will be provided on how to submit a portfolio and essay to be reviewed by a committee of School of Art & Design faculty, who will determine direct admissions into the BFA major of your choice. The priority deadline is no later than 9:00 a.m. on October 1st for spring admission and 9:00 a.m. on March 1st for fall admission. 
  • Submissions may be made after the priority date; however, there is no guarantee when it will be reviewed for a decision nor what art-specific coursework you may be able to get into after the review is completed and whether or not registration for the next semester has begun.  There is a $10 application fee assessed at the time you electronically submit your portfolio.

Transfer students are considered both fall and spring. This includes portfolio and essay submission priority dates. Students applying for one of the BFA programs will remain admitted as a "Pre-BFA" student if you: 

  • do not submit a portfolio/essay
    or
  • apply after the BFA program has closed
    or
  • are not approved for the BFA program after submission of a portfolio/essay. 

You may then apply for a change of major in subsequent semesters, depending upon available openings in the program. If needed, BFA Foundations courses will be available to "Pre-BFA" students pending seat availability. 

Objectives & Outcomes

Upon completion of the proposed B.F.A. in Animation and Digital Media, graduates will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply knowledge, techniques, and methods necessary to become a successful production artist.
  2. Understand the collaborative, multidisciplinary nature of art and design through exposure to faculty and students from multiple design disciplines.
  3. Define, understand, and identify the elements and principles of art and design and apply them to a variety art and design solutions.
  4. Understand, analyze and integrate art, design and technology within a historical, cultural and aesthetic context.
  5. Communicate successfully using various means including speaking, writing, and graphic communication including the discipline specific communication of technical information.
  6. Apply art and design solutions in relationship to various social, behavioral, and cultural factors.
  7. Utilize industry-standard software, equipment, production technologies and materials.
  8. Apply methods and theory (best practices) through all research and development phases of the art and design process.
  9. Apply and demonstrate visual storytelling techniques and cinematic structure to a variety of creative problems/projects.
  10. Understand and apply standards of practice for the entertainment design profession including ethics, professional development, and business models.
  11. Draw, model (three-dimensionally) and illustrate using a variety of traditional and computer-based tools.
Animation & Digital Media Careers

Positions

  • Animator (2D or 3D)
  • Digital Illustrator
  • Concept Artist
  • Creative/Art Director
  • Producer
  • Stop Motion Animator
  • 3D Modeler
  • Game Designer

Employers

  • Ziba
  • Flurry Animation Studio
  • Puny Entertainment
  • Larsen Design
  • Studio 150
  • Raven Software
  • Disney
  • The Nerdery
  • Fantasy Flight Games
  • Kuryakyn

Salaries

  • Animation & Digital Media Salaries (Animator, Digital Artist, Digital Cinema)
  • Entry-level salary $27,000 – $34,000
  • Average mean salary in the Minneapolis area $53,300 – $55,200
Animation & Digital Media Advisory Committee

2022-23 Animation & Digital Media Advisory Committee

Industry Representatives

Betty Chin-Wu Motion Graphic Artist Target
Chris Grun Head of Matte Painting Dreamworks Animation
Kate Hadley Senior Content Producer / Filmmaker Don't Blink
Gus Hinton Associate Producer / Animator Weber Shandwick
David Lund Multimedia Designer Siteimprove
Stephen Nicksic Senior Designer Trane / Ingersoll Rand
Mike Owens Director, Animator Mike Owens Productions
Grace Pedersen Animator / Illustrator Ordinary Folk
Rachel Rohe Look Artist Gasket Studios
Jayson Slinger Creative Director Ghost Productions

Student Representatives

Theo Phan BFA ENT: Animation, Senior  

Faculty Representatives

 
Shannon Brady Lecturer Dept. of Art & Art History
Jim Bryan Professor Dept. of Art & Art History
Holly Clark Lecturer Dept. of Design
Kimberly Delain Lecturer Dept. of Design
Cyndi Greening Lecturer Dept. of Design
Michael Heagle Assistant Professor Dept. of Design (ADM)
Gus Hinton Lecturer Dept. of Design
Karl Koehle Lecturer Dept. of Design
Kim Loken Former ADM/ENT Program Director Dept. of Design (GDD-Art)
Shelley Pecha Chair Dept. of Design
Darren Tesar Lecturer Dept. of Art & Art History
Andrew Williams former ENT Program Director Dept. of Art & Art History
Jesse Woodward Lecturer Dept. of Design
BFA Entertainment Design student work example of a stuffed toy.

Student Gallery

Our students gain experience working on real-world projects with a unique combination of art and technology. We'll teach you the foundations to create both 2D and 3D animations for fine art, film, games, and visualization. You'll explore everything from visual storytelling to stop-motion modeling and concept design to 3D printing. Check out the student gallery of recent work.

View Student Gallery

Photo of game design studio

Studios, Labs & Galleries

Modern studio classrooms provide open, creative environments for learning. Extensive open studio hours allow access to these spaces outside of class periods.

Two galleries are housed in the School of Art and Design, a student gallery and the John Furlong Gallery. These, along with other spaces on and off campus, provide student, faculty and outside exhibition opportunities throughout the academic year.

Take a 360-degree Interactive Studios & Galleries Tour


Animation & Digital Media

All Animation & Digital Media News
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Student’s Paul Bunyan, Babe design wins shirt contest for annual race

A UW-Stout student has been named a winner in the annual Carson 5 and 10 in Eau Claire even before the foot race begins.
Motion Capture Studio partners with At Your Angle founder Anderson to animate 3D dance app Featured Image

Motion Capture Studio partners with At Your Angle founder Anderson to animate 3D dance app

Outside client chooses School of Art and Design as dance partner
Full STEAM ahead: K-12 summer camps invite students to discover careers, build friendships Featured Image

Full STEAM ahead: K-12 summer camps invite students to discover careers, build friendships

Opportunities in STEAM, athletics, music and adventuring abound