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Learn advanced techniques from award-winning faculty using the latest technology to bring your ideas to life.

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See the benefits.


Starting with the 12 fundamental principles of animation and developing the skills that are foundational to the industry, you’ll deep-dive into the disciplines prevalent in today’s animation industry. Villa Maria’s animation program is actively centered on helping you hone the skill set behind your passion and offers multiple tracks of specialized study to help you prepare for a career after graduation.


Our faculty have decades of industry experience and they continue to work professionally, meaning they constantly keep up with industry trends and the latest technology. Small class sizes and the faculty passion for both teaching and animation mean you can get all the individualized attention you need.

Work Opportunities

Animation is an international industry and a quick look at job listings shows opportunities across the country and worldwide; there are jobs in studios of all sizes and jobs in many different specializations. That could mean moving to Los Angeles or working remotely from wherever you choose to live. Western New York is also fertile ground for animators: companies like Fisher-Price, dPost and Pegula Sports & Entertainment are centered in and around Buffalo.


Animators do not exist in a vacuum and the ability to work effectively with others is one of the keys to sustained professional success. Villa Maria’s animation curriculum grounds you in group productions early and often, first in your sophomore and junior years and then with additional opportunities as electives. You’ll work with external clients and find your place within a production pipeline that scales to professional studios of any size.

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See for yourself.

Animators belong at Villa. Look around: Animation is everywhere—movies and TV, advertising, video games. Future animators are curious, creative, and embrace technology in meaningful ways. But most importantly—they’re storytellers. They have rich imaginations and take inspiration from other disciplines like photography, music, and film. At Villa, you’ll channel what you discover to create characters and environments that capture the interests of a range of audiences.

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The Career Potential

Animation is everywhere – from movies and TV to the internet, video games and advertising. When you graduate, you’ll have personalized your education to meet your interests and needs – to target your niche within the broad animation industry.

Some of the career paths you could pursue with a BFA in animation:

  • 2D or 3D character Animator
  • Character Designer
  • Concept Artist
  • Writer
  • Director
  • Editor
  • Background/Environment Artist
  • 2D or 3D Character Rigger
  • Texture Artist
  • Motion Designer

More Details

The program of study is intensive, but it’s also fun. What’s under the hood?

  • A focus on professional preparation with internship opportunities, demo reel development and plus-sizing your technical and soft skills
  • Regular critiques in class and frequent feedback sessions outside of class
  • Figural drawing classes each semester
  • That track system mentioned above lets you dig deep into your preferred specialization
  • Multiple portfolio reviews from both faculty and industry professionals
  • A juniors’ and seniors’ field trip to the Ottawa International Animation Festival
  • Villamation 24-hour animation competition
  • A student-led animation club
  • Junior and senior years culminate in public screenings in Buffalo theaters

The Facilities

Cutting edge animation studios primed for 2D and 3D animation are at your fingertips:

  • 4 studios equipped with 65+ workstations and industry-standard software and hardware:
    • Autodesk Suite
      • Maya
      • Mudbox
    • Adobe Suite
      • Photoshop
      • After Effects
      • Premiere
      • Illustrator
      • Audition
      • Substance 3D Painter
    • Toon Boom Harmony
    • Toon Boom Storyboard Pro
    • Maxon ZBrush
    • Wacom tablets and monitors
    • Makerbot SKETCH 3D printers
  • A stop motion studio equipped with Dragonframe stop motion software and dedicated camera and lighting systems.
  • Access to Villa Maria’s Art Shop for fabrication of stop motion puppets, sets and props.
  • HD video cameras, Nikon digital still cameras, tripods, traditional animation light tables.

The Requirements

Future animators are curious and creative and embrace technology in meaningful ways. Perhaps most importantly – they’re storytellers. Villa’s animation program allows you to focus your education and tailor it to your interests with five different tracks of study: 3D Animation, 2D Animation, Pre-Production, Writing, and Animation Generalist. You must earn a grade of C or above in all animation courses for successful completion of your Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Animation curriculum requirements.

2022 Animation Student Showcase

Student Work

Watch some selected pieces from the projects our students have produced in the animation program.

Our Faculty.

Assistant Professor, Animation & Game Design
Chair of Digital Media Arts
Jeffrey Werner

[email protected]

Assistant Professor, Animation
Josh Muntain

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Instructor, Animation Pre-Production
Joseph Giardina

[email protected]

Join the family.

There’s a lot of pressure to know what’s next. We’re here to say, it’s OK if you’re still figuring it out. In fact, it’s great. Villa is a place where that kind of continual discovery is prized. Because going to college isn’t about having it all figured out. It’s about inventing who you’re going to become. You’ll see.

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