CMU Animation Program BFA/BAA FAQ Sheet
CMU Animation offers two different animation majors: The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the less intensive Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA). Which one is right for you depends on your particular goals, how much time you have to focus on your animation studies, and your personal cirumstances.
The good news is that the first steps to both majors are identical. This means that in the short term, if you need time to work out your gameplan, the Animation BAA is a safe place to begin without the risk of taking classes you won't need in the future.
The following information is meant as the beginning, and not the end of a conversation you should have with your faculty advisor.
What should I know about the Animation BAA? (click here for the BAA Animation 4-Year Curriculum Map)
- The BAA does NOT require a portfolio review of any kind. You can be signed on as an Animation BAA major as soon as you know that you want to pursue animation as a degree at CMU.
- The first two years of the Animation BAA is designed both as a preparatory on-ramp to the Animation BFA and as a less intensive stand-alone major.
- At 57 credits the Animation BAA requires that students graduate with a minor. There are a number of excellent complementary minors such as Game Design Thinking, Computer Science and Multimedia Design to mention just a few.
- The Animation BAA is limited to 300-level skill development classes in animation and does NOT include the 400-level Production Studio and Senior Thesis experience.
- The Animation BAA is a good choice for students who are limited in the time they can devote to an animation major or are interested in animation that is supported by other interests.
- Animation BAA majors are encouraged to focus on a particular skill-set in animation (like storyboarding, 3D modeling, character animation, or concept design) in contrast to the broader production experience offered in the Animation BFA.
What should I know about the Animation BFA? (click here for the BFA Animation 4-Year Curriculum Map)
- The Animation BFA is dthe best path to prepare students to pursue a career in the entertainment industry or as an independent gallery artist.
- The Animation BFA is a production intensive 2-year experience that builds on the Animation BAA foundation requiring a total of 78 credits.
- Acceptance into the Animation BFA is contingent on a portfolio review. Students may apply for acceptance when they have completed ART 207; and three of the following courses: ART 220, 224, 228 308 and 309. The application process takes place mid-spring semester in what is typically the sophomore year.
- Criteria for the Animation BFA acceptance portfolio turns on the applicant showing a strong understanding of animation principles at a practical level, and displaying a production-ready animation skillset in either 2D (Toon Boom Harmony), 3D (Maya) or traditional media (stop motion/experimental media).
What should I know about Transferring into the Animation BFA major?
- A newly accepted Animation BFA student is expected to be a production-ready on day one in the fall 420 Animation Studio I class.
- Transfer students will most likely require a 1-year lead-in to acquire the skillsets necessary to gain admittance into the major.
- Students planning to transfer into the Animation BFA or Animation BAA majors should meet in advance with a faculty advisor for a portfolio review and to set up and plan.
For more information visit the CMUleeper Advising Page