Deciding between BFA and MFA in Animation.


#1

Hi everyone,

I would like to get into an animation program, but I’m struggling with the process. I currently have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field and have little experience with animation. I understand that you don’t need a MFA in animation to get a job, so really I’m up for any kind of program that has a strong curriculum and will help prepare a good portfolio for when I apply for jobs (again, I know it’s about my own attitude and how much I put into the work when I take the classes). I’ve heard of Animation Mentor, but it doesn’t teach you the actual animation production process right? Plus, I may be able to create a good portfolio, but given that it’s online, it’s harder to network and make good contacts, right?

My specific questions:

What are good BFA programs that take existing general ed credits. I don’t want to spend my time learning other non-animation related classes.

On the other hand, do you know of ANY MFA programs that isn’t so thesis-driven and spends maybe the first year getting their students to solidfy their animation skills before focusing on their final thesis project?

Thank you.


#2

I’m in the Visual Effects BFA program at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia (They also have a popular Animation BFA). I transferred 55 credits from a small 2 year school (I do still have to take some general drawing/color theory/art history, but only because I didn’t take those during my associate’s degree).

They do have a MFA program here but I don’t know how it’s structured.


#3

You might want to look into the Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree at the Univ. of Utah. It appears they have both a bachelors degree and masters degree.

U of U EAE program


#4

Hi Quinn, so is that BFA program 3 or 4 years? and how long will it take for you to graduate? I have looked at SCAD, which looks like a good school for animation/VFX but I’ve heard folks say that the location of the school isn’t ideal. Do you feel that, aside from the strong academic program (unless you would like to share what its weaknesses are), SCAD is strong in other aspects too such as a strong faculty, resources, industry connections etc?


#5

Thanks for this information. I hadn’t heard of this program, although it seems to lean more toward the game industry based on the degrees it offers.


#6

The program is 4 years normally, and I should graduate in mid 2017. (I started this Winter, I’m taking classes this summer, and planning on internships the two following summers)

There definitely aren’t any big studios nearby so location isn’t nearly as good as San Francisco/Hollywood etc. The city is pretty cool though, weather is great, good for biking. They also have a student only bus system that goes to every building. The non major-specific classes so far have been pretty demanding, with lots of homework projects.

Every instructor I’ve had so far definitely knew what they were talking about. I’ve been especially impressed with the building used for the VSFX/Animation/Motion Media/Game Design classes. It’s 4 stories with hundreds of workstations, a render farm for student use, and Cintiq monitors all over the place. They’ve got light tables and Animation-specific stuff on the 3rd floor, and a motion capture studio on the 1st floor.

For industry connections, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I volunteered at their career fair last quarter (open to Students/Alumni only) where they had something like 150 total companies coming in. I helped with the Method Studios booth, MPC was right next to me, and I think Double Negative was on the other side of the room. I know senior/junior students in the visual effects program have recently done internships at Pixar, MPC, Method, Framestore, etc.

Every quarter they also have companies coming in to talk about internship programs (I went to presentations by Pixar and Dreamworks last quarter, they also had Nickelodeon and some others).


#7

Thanks for taking time to write all that out!

Yeah, SCAD’s location might not be the best, but the other aspects you described do help to compensation for the fact. Besides, I would think housing would be cheaper than in a place like LA.


#8

Yeah hopefully some of that info helped! Housing is definitely cheaper, I’m in a good size 1 bedroom apartment in easy biking distance to the building and it’s $625/month with all utilities included. (The SCAD dorms are significantly more expensive though)


#9

I currently have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field and have little experience with animation. I understand that you don’t need a MFA in animation to get a job, so really I’m up for any kind of program that has a strong curriculum and will help prepare a good portfolio for when I apply for jobs

hi, it’s alright to get any qualification you want i think, but you might want to think about the different areas of animation you can explore for future career options because animation courses are wide in general and there are also areas you can choose to specialist in later.

feel free to take a look at any institutions in the U.S or outside the U.S to see which is suitable for you and if the tuition fees are affordable, at moment im doing that as well


#10

hi , I am facing the same issue now. I have a bachelors in a completely unrelated field which is not helpful for animation. Could you suggest what steps u took so that it would be helpful. Did you choose a BFA or MFA or any other certifications?