How Original Can You Get?

It starts with an idea, then a sketch. What's next? We got you. You won't believe what you'll be able to create. Let's go.

Division of Communication & Creative Media 
On-Campus Employment Opportunities
Study Abroad
Portfolio Requirements 
Creative Studio Experience 
Emergent Media Center 

Bring your art to life.

Animation is as deeply technical as it is creative. Unlike other Animation programs, Champlain’s BFA is designed with the next era of digital arts, media, and storytelling in mind, challenging you to transform your imagination into animation using advanced tools and technology, fine arts training, theory, and more.

Some of the skills and techniques you will learn can be applied to animate cartoons, 2-D and 3-D movies, video games, and more, including:

  • 3-D animation, 2-D animation, and motion capture animation
  • Green screen staging
  • Character development, storyboarding, and screenwriting for television, web, and film
  • Post-production editing and compositing
  • 3-D modeling, drawing, illustration, and stop-motion
  • Using industry-standard animation and visual effects software, virtual production using game engines, and sound mixing

What Is Animation?

At its core, animation is the art of turning characters and scenes into moving pictures. In the past, animation was done by hand-drawing each individual frame and playing them in rapid succession to imitate motion and fluidity. While some animators, like claymators for example, still use traditional practices, modern technology allows for many ways to animate using software.

Why Study Animation at Champlain?

Our signature Upside-Down Curriculum offers immediate experience—like learning the principles of animation in your first semester—so you can begin identifying your creative interests and strengths right away. From there, our expert faculty provide individualized space and support to help you focus your talents, refine your skills, and stand out in a competitive industry.

Our faculty—who hail from Warner Brothers, HBO, and National Geographic, among other big visual brands—understand that those “how’d they do that?” reactions don’t just happen—they need some magic. That’s why collaboration is the cornerstone of our highly interdisciplinary Animation BFA program. In immersive, studio-like environments, you will be producing projects alongside Filmmaking, Game Art, Graphic Design & Visual Communication, and Interaction Design majors to build a portfolio of professional-level work and experience by the time you graduate.

Game art student smiling at screen while working on a project

Different By Design

No Wasted Time

Take critical foundational courses in animation in your first semester. There’s too much to learn both artistically and technically to not start your animation classes right away. Take intro to animation and intro to filmmaking classes in your very first semester and take courses in 2-D or 3-D animation in your second.

Rigorous Learning for A Competitive Industry

Pairing fine arts, rigorous studio experience, and historical underpinnings with systems-based thinking, industry agility, and digital proficiencies, the BFA in Animation is uniquely designed to give you an ambitious edge in media art.

The Art In “State-Of-the-Art”

You’ll have access to the same advanced game engines, production equipment, motion capture equipment, and green screen technology that have made Champlain a top school for game art and filmmaking.

Montreal: International Animation Hub

Our international campus in Montreal, Canada, puts you right in the center of a hotbed of animation and visual effects studios. In this artfully innovative and culturally rich city, you can get hands-on experience at powerhouse studios and gain valuable industry insight. Other study abroad options can send you to places like Japan, the epicenter of animation drawing.


According to, animation professionals earn competitive salaries, reflecting the high demand for their specialized skills.


Job growth for animators and visual effects artists expected between 2021 to 2031 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Most

Champlain was named as “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News & World Report in its “America’s Best Colleges” 2024 ranking of universities in the North.

Sample Courses in the Animation Major

The Upside-Down Curriculum helps you get started fast, pairing academic instruction with the hands-on experience needed to start a career in animation.

You might also be interested in:

Based on your interest in the Animation major, we thought you also might like to check out these other academic programs and opportunities.

Animation Admissions Requirements

The Animation major at Champlain College is a visual art program focused on the creation of 2-D and 3-D art assets and animation for games. To be successful, students must enter the program with a strong aesthetic ability and a passion for creating visual art using both traditional and digital media. As part of the application for admission into the Animation major, Champlain College requires the submission of a portfolio.

See our portfolio requirements for more specific information on what to submit.

Suggested Areas of Study

We anticipate that our Animation students will come in with basic drawing skills. It is valuable for you to have experience creating in a range of media. Here are some suggested areas of study and exploration that are helpful, but not required:

  • Traditional drawing and painting including the human figure and perspective
  • Art History
  • Film and Animation History
  • Sculpture, traditional or digital
  • Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop
  • Any digital painting tools
  • Maya, Blender, 3DS Max, Z-brush or any other 3D package

Sign Up To Get Stickers + Helpful Info

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Ready to be inspired? Fill out the form and sign up to receive helpful information about Champlain College—plus, we’ll send you a full sheet of high quality stickers designed by one of our Graphic Design & Visual Communication graduates.

Career Success

Build animation skills and hone your craft while learning to collaborate and contribute to large-scale projects with complex teams, just like you will after graduation.

By the time you graduate, you will …

  • Develop and present a professional portfolio of your work;
  • Identify industry standards and apply those standards to your own work;
  • Render an image from observation, applying the concepts of perspective, anatomy, color theory, movement, and composition as appropriate;
  • Articulate, analyze, and evaluate the meaning of your work and understand the social context in which the work exists; and
  • Synthesize trends, theories, and movements in the development of new ideas.

You’ll Find a Career In…

  • Visual effects (VFX) artist
  • Virtual production artist
  • Motion graphics animator
  • Marketing and advertising creative
  • Virtual environment designer
  • Stop-motion animator or claymator
  • Web and mobile designer
  • professor instructing students how to animate a walk cycle
    Pre-College Summer Program: Animation Academy

    The Animation Academy provides rigorous instruction for high school students interested in creating animations. Utilizing proven methodologies for animation learning, students will be exposed to the tools and techniques that professional animators use every day.

    This program is for students entering grades 10–12 and recent high school graduates.

    Learn More on the Pre-College Summer Program Website

More Inside Animation