Distance Learning Animation Master's Degrees & School Options

Find out about online animation courses and in which master's degree programs they're offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

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Essential Information

A handful of schools offer online master's programs in animation. These programs are fully online, so they require specialized animation software and associated hardware. Students gain a strong background in the design, art and technology used for both 2D and 3D computer animation. Some of the topics covered may include storyboards, visual development, artistic concepts and visual effects. Previous artistic background is sometimes required for these programs. Graduate applicants are expected to have some traditional and digital artistic competency.

Program Information and Requirements

Students in this online program interact with instructors and peers through live chat forums, and they collaborate with other students to work on special projects. Courses also make use of instructional videos. Throughout the program, students work on developing a digital portfolio of professional-quality work.

Students may be required to utilize specialized software that can be operated on either a Macintosh or PC. Online animation students are encouraged to visit school websites for software and hardware requirements before purchasing new computers.

Course Topics

Below is a list of some of the course topics covered in this distance learning animation program:

  • Cinematography
  • Animation layout design
  • Visual elements for stories
  • Visual effects
  • Texture design
  • Animation mechanics
  • Character animation
  • Animation and modeling using Maya software
  • Digital animation

The Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University is one of the few schools to offer an online animation master's degree program. Students are allowed to choose whether to take courses full-time or part-time and can complete the program in a self-paced manner.

The online component of the Academy of Art University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The online MFA in Animation & Visual Effects is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Individuals looking for master's degree programs in animation have a few online options, such as The Academy of Art University. Students must have necessary hardware and software; they study character, design, and visual storytelling in the context of animation.

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