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 (formerly Entertainment Design) provides you with the skills and flexibility to succeed in animation. Our concentration in animation includes collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects that combine art and technology. You'll explore two-dimensional, three-dimensional, character and stop-motion animation techniques.

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 industry renown faculty will teach you how to create imaginative characters and visuals to tell original stories that move an audience emotionally and intellectually. Our program is an exceptional value compared to other animation schools offering you a strong foundation in art and design, as well as:

  • Focus on both storytelling and technique
  • Modern animation studios, labs and technology
  • Domestic and international internship opportunities
  • Energetic, engaged and innovative faculty
  • Rigorous program with a strong professional advisory board
  • Great value compared to other animation schools in the region
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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 here to help you become an innovative, creative leader in animation. There are no limits to how far your imagination will take with an entertainment design degree.

"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

Students will be admitted as a Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) student. As a Pre-BFA participant, you 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

Animation & Digital Media Advisory Committee

Dave Beck Director School of Art & Design
Chris Grun Art Director Dreamworks Animation
Gus Hinton   Weber Shandwich
Karl Koehle Lecturer Department of Design
Brenna Lesnar Student  
Kim Loken Program Director Department of Design
David Lund   Siteimprove
Stephen Nicksic   Trane / Ingersoll Rand
Mike Owens   Mike Owens Productions
Danielle Pedersen Student  
Julie Peterson Department Chair Department of Design
Kristen Prothroe Student  
Joshua Seaver Assistant Professor Department of Design
Jayson Slinger   Ghost Productions
Andrew Williams Associate Professor Department of Art and Art History
Jesse Woodward Lecturer Department 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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Six films honored at Red Cedar Film Festival

A University of Wisconsin-Stout student film won the Best Student Short award at the Red Cedar Film Festival held July 29-Aug. 1.

New introductory program opens doors to more students interested in art, design careers

Pre-BFA program guides students through first-year experience