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Prospective Students

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BYU's Center for Animation is multi-disciplinary in that it is made up of students and faculty from multiple colleges on BYU campus. The Animation Design Program and the Computer Science: Animation & Games Emphasis are nationally recognized. These programs focus on in-depth, realistic training for entry into the animation, gaming, and visual effects industries.

Both programs are closed-enrollment, where applications are carefully and thoughtfully reviewed by board members. Smaller class sizes allow for greater interaction between teachers and students, and student collaboration is an integral part of Animation program curriculum.

To be admitted into either program, prospective students are to complete the following steps:

Step 1. Once accepted to Brigham Young University, declare pre-major intent in either Design: Animation or Computer Science (CS): Animation & Games.
Step 2. Both Design and CS Animation students must take DESAN 101 and pass a review of their work in order to be moved into the pre-major status.
Step 3. Finish Design or CS Animation prerequisite classes and submit a portfolio for review by the board.
Step 4. Pass the Portfolio Review to be accepted into the Major.

Use 'How to Apply' links below for more detailed information.

Design: Animation (BFA)

Animation Major

Computer Science: Animation and Games (BS)

CS Major with emphasis on Animation

  • PLEASE NOTE: Acceptance to the animation program must first be preceded by acceptance to Brigham Young University (Provo, UT). A link to the BYU Admissions Services page may be found here.

    You do not need to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) to be accepted into BYU or into the BYU Animation Program; However, if you are non-LDS, you will still be required to live the BYU Honor Code and complete the University General Education requirements. Such requirements include various math, English, history, and religion courses.

    The Course Map, which outlines requirements for both the Animation Program and University, can be found here. Many students, both LDS and non-LDS have been a part of the Animation Program and continue to make great contributions to the program and to the industry.

    Once accepted into Brigham Young University, you must follow the steps under How To Apply in order to be accepted into the Animation Program. If you have any questions about how to go about this process, you may either contact Stephanie Miller (the Design Department Secretary) or reach out to CFAC Advisement at (801) 422-3777 or
  • For developing skills on the 3D side, some programs you might consider familiarizing yourself are Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, and perhaps Zbrush. All Autodesk programs may be downloaded for free as a student license on the Autodesk website. Photoshop, along with all other Adobe Products, may be purchased at a monthly discounted student rate via Adobe Creative Cloud. However, out of all the programs one can learn before entering the program, Photoshop and Maya will get you the furthest, and we recommend you stick to those at first. There are plenty of tutorials, forums, and videos available on the internet for pretty much anything you would want to do in either Photoshop or Maya, and physically being in the animation lab to ask other students for help will be extremely useful for you. If you are interested, Pluralsight is a tutorial database that has great, in-depth tutorial videos on nearly every topic you would need. Upon entrance to the program, you will receive a Pluralsight account for free provided by the BYU Center For Animation.

    For developing skills on the 2D side, we strongly recommend that you practice drawing as much as you can. Gesture drawing, as well as the ability to draw in multiple styles, will be an essential skill no matter what field of animation you choose to pursue. One of the best ways you can improve your drawing skills is by doing style emulations of professional artists in the industry. (Some recommendations include Cory Loftis, Borja Montoro, Maxime Mary, Pierre Alary, Nico Marlet, Claire Wendling, Shiyoon Kim, or any other professional industry artist.) Familiarity with Photoshop and After Effects will also help you immensely as students in the program use these frequently. Storyboard artists and animators also use Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony, programs which can be accessed in the WCCB animation lab.
  • The BYU Animation Program is one of the best programs you can be part of in terms of student hire rates, recognition from major studios, student problem-solving skills, and preparation for the industry. While it is a smaller program in comparison to major art schools and does not have the same resources in faculty and number of classes, it is structured in a way to give you maximum freedom to mold it into what you specifically need or are interested in. Please know that this program is not designed to teach you step-by-step processes and that teacher instruction is minimal—it is just enough to get you started, and you will be expected to put in the time and work to learn the programs and create your work. While many students find this hard at first, after a couple semesters they tend to become very grateful for this structure and eventually become very valuable assets to the studios that hire them. Learning how to problem-solve for yourself, whether with design or computer problems, is one of the core fundamental aspects of this program that make our students successful. In short, you get out of the program what you put into the program. Success comes to those who work the hardest!

    We would also like to stress the fact that the best students are the ones that are motivated by faith and not by fear. Our goal as an Animation Program is to put more good and wholesome media into the world, and those who are motivated out of faith and love for what they do are the ones that make the greatest impact and generally do the best. Animation students can often become fear-driven and overly stressed when they lose sight of this perspective, and we hope that you keep this in mind as you become more involved in the program.
  • If you are planning on deferring enrollment for missionary service, this will not affect your acceptance into the BYU Animation Program. Whether you apply before or after your mission is a very personal decision, and it can also depend on your mission departure/arrival dates. Because you can apply winter semester of your freshman year, you are welcome to apply before you leave. This means that you would not have to worry about putting together your application/portfolio while on your mission.

    Please DO NOT choose to forego serving a full-time mission because of the Animation Program. The Animation Program will still be here upon your return, and your artistic abilities will not decrease as a result of serving a mission. Because faith and striving to do good are such important values in the Animation Program, we advise you serve a mission so that you can do better in the industry. Students who have served full-time missions tend to do better in the program and in the industry, and we as faculty have frequently observed an individual’s faith as being a strong indicator for their future success.

    Serving a mission is still, of course, a very personal decision. Please consult with your bishop, your parents, and your Heavenly Father as you make this important decision.