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Department of Visual & Media Arts

Animation and Motion Media (BA, BFA)

Sam Perzanowski '09 is a user interface artist

Animation major Sam Perzanowski '09 works for a company that is part of Warner Bros. creating game menus. (Filmed and edited by Emerson College students.) 

The specialization in Animation and Motion Media focuses on computer animation, film animation, motion graphics, visual effects, and compositing techniques. Students can take a broad range of courses and will produce original work in digital 2D animation, 3D modeling and animation, and frame-by-frame film animation. Students will be more prepared for careers in the movie, gaming, and television industries. Students pursuing an Animation and Motion Media specialization are encouraged to look into the ProArts Consortium at www.proarts.org.

Credits: 44 for BA, 60 for BFA (both degrees also include 8 additional upper-level liberal arts credits)


I. Visual and Media Arts Foundations (12 credits)

The Visual and Media Arts Foundations offer students a broad theoretical, historical, and practical introduction to the visual and media arts.

Required Courses

VM 100 History of Media Arts I
VM 101 History of Media Arts II

one of the Following:

VM 102 Dimensions of Creativity
VM 120 Foundations in Visual and Media Arts Production

II. Introduction to Disciplines (16 credits minimum)

At the Introduction to Disciplines level, students explore one or more of the department’s main discipline areas.

Required Courses

VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory

At least one of the following:

VM 220 Writing the Short Subject*
VM 221 Writing the Feature Film
VM 222 Writing for Television

*Writing the Short Subject is the preferred course.

At least one of the following:

VM 204 Topics in Media Arts: Practice
VM 230 Introduction to Film Production
VM 231 Intermediate Film Production
VM 240 Introduction to Video Field Production
VM 241 Introduction to Studio Television Production
VM 250 Introduction to Sound Principles and Audio Production
VM 251 Location Recording
VM 260 Introduction to Interactive Media
VM 331 Topics in Visual and Media Arts: Practice
VM 364 3D Computer Gaming

III. Specialization

Required Courses

VM 261 Computer Animation
VM 303 Studies in Digital Media and Culture
VM 363 Advanced Computer Animation

At least one of the following:

VM 360 Film Animation
VM 362 Motion Graphics
VM 470 Advanced New Media Projects

At least one of the following:

VM 402 Seminar in Media Arts Topics
VM 409 Seminar in Western Art
VM 410 Seminar in Non-Western Art

In addition to the General Education and major requirements, all students are required to complete at least two courses at the 300 or 400 level from the following Liberal Arts areas:

  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Ethics, Philosophy, or Religion
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • TH 304, 313, 315
  • VM 315, 409, 410

Recommended Electives

VM 262 Drawing
VM 375 Advanced Interactive Media
VM 401 Aesthetics and History of New Media
VM 463 Graphic Design for Digital Media
VM 464 Programming for Digital Media

Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop

Students may apply to take the Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop. Two semesters are mandatory for BFA. Optional for BA.

For specific course prerequisites, please consult the Undergraduate Catalogue.

Emerson Minds

Emerson College classmates Alan Schoolcraft '95 and Brent Simons ’97 wrote the screenplay for the #1 movie in North America, Megamind. The Dreamworks film made $43.7 million at the box office in the first weekend.

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