Specialize Your Skillset With a Digital Animation Degree Emphasis Program
Digital design and animation is an exciting field of study for students who wish to use their artistic abilities while learning marketable technical skills. The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation at Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a modern program that guides students in developing their technological knowledge and creative thinking skills in the field of digital design and animation. Offered online and on campus by the College of Arts and Media, this digital animation degree provides a comprehensive framework for the next generation of multimedia artists.
A degree in design and animation allows students to examine the interplay of light, color and texture in visual arts. Explore the technical capabilities and creative possibilities of motion graphics, typography, 2D animation and 3D modeling. GCU is known for our creative and welcoming community. Digital animation students are encouraged to collaborate with their peers via the Digital Design Club, which fosters the pre-professional development of visual communication.
Earn Your Bachelor’s in Digital Design and Animation Degree from GCU
GCU is pleased to provide flexible learning options, including on-campus and online degree programs. This digital web design bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Students taking online courses can expect the average length of a class to be seven weeks. Due to the technical and hands-on nature of this degree program, digital design students are required to have a working laptop available, along with an active subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Other supplies and software programs may be needed on a course-by-course basis for the digital design and animation program.
The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation degree takes students through a progression of learning from basic skills to advanced knowledge. You will study all aspects of digital design including the principles of drawing, color, typography and animation. Students explore advanced elements of storytelling and animation production while working through a hands-on curriculum. Our digital animation students also learn to become skilled communicators, ethical leaders, creative thinkers and efficient problem solvers.
If you’re interested in pursuing a motion graphics degree, this well-rounded digital design program includes in-depth motion graphics and motion design courses. Students create many assets for their portfolio throughout the program.
Learn Creative Design Skills and Theories in Your Digital Design and Animation Degree Program
The BA in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation program prepares students to work as entry-level designers in a variety of exciting industries that use motion graphics including advertising, marketing, social media, journalism and corporate communications. The job opportunities for students with these skills span all sectors of the economy and will offer growth opportunities well into the future.
Students learn the design process, including concept development, visualization techniques, stylistic trends, composition, typography, color theory, image creation, and static and sequential composition using industry-standard motion graphics software. While building all these skills, students create dynamic visual content in every studio course. Motion graphics pervade digital advertisements, social media videos and brand experiences.
The bachelor of animation and digital design courses fall into three categories: foundational creative and skill development, motion graphics, and portfolio development. A mid-program portfolio focuses on preparing students to pursue internships and the fourth-year portfolio prepares students for employment and continued education. Students are expected to make these portfolios both industry-ready and innovative in nature.
GCU is committed to teaching students to think critically and creatively about using their skills to improve and enrich society and to build a creative community that is connected to the local and national design industry. The GCU Design Club (a multifaceted student design organization) and the student chapter of AIGA (Professional Association for Design) both provide opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular design events and career networking.
GCU seeks to graduate well-rounded students who have a keen understanding of business practices and the essential elements of motion graphic design. Some of the courses in this degree program include:
- Motion Graphics 1, 2, and 3
- Motion Technologies
- Typography 1 and 2
- Advanced Motion Design 1, 2 and 3
During their senior year, students create their own professional portfolios to showcase their skills and talents to prospective employers. Throughout this BA in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation, students develop their design skills, communication skills, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking capabilities. They explore the fundamental principles of ethical leadership, keeping the Christian worldview in mind.
Find a Career in Digital Animation of Motion Graphics
Job candidates with a bachelor's in animation are prepared to pursue careers in a variety of digital design and animation outlets that require technical expertise combined with a creative flair. Digital design graduates can pursue careers in:
- Advertising agencies
- Marketing agencies
- Social media companies
- Corporate offices
- Software services companies
- Nonprofit groups
Some jobs that may be related to a digital animation degree include the following:
- Graphic designer
- Special effects artist and animator
- Art director
- Postsecondary art, drama and music teacher
As of September 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for special effects artists and animators to increase by about 16% from 2020 to 2030, faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 9,900 jobs in the field.1
BA in Digital Design and Animation Degree FAQs
1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, the data shown is based on September 2021, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Special Effects Artists and Animators, retrieved in July 2022.
2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Special Effects Artists and Animators as of May 2020. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as special effects artists and animators. It does not reflect workers’ earnings in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. The median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.