Emerging Media MFA – Animation and Visual Effects is a specialized program designed to emulate both the professional and independent studio environment, providing opportunities to assume an artistic leadership role. Principal emphasis is placed on narrative film structure and entrepreneurial aspects of animation as related to independent filmmaking, studio employment, and job creation.

Promo Reel 2019

Designed to prepare students for careers in animation, courses provide students an understanding of the collaborative function of a commercial studio during the first year production courses as well as the development of their unique style of independent filmmaking during preproduction and production of their thesis film over the course of the three year program. In addition, opportunities are available to co-direct a team of undergraduate character animation students, adding toward our canon of award-winning films. Labs and studios are equipped with industry-standard software and hardware. Faculty members have extensive professional, industry experience.

The program allows students to create their own animation and/or visual effects thesis. Students are encouraged to develop visual storytelling skills while using a variety of techniques, including traditional hand-drawn, stop-motion, 2D computer, and 3D computer animation.

Graduates are well qualified to enter the teaching and academic professions and have a competitive edge within the animation, visual effects, and simulation industries.

This Emerging Media MFA track builds upon the legacy of the BFA Character Animation track, where alumni are working for major animation and gaming companies such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, PIXAR Animation Studios, Blue-Sky Animation Studios, Weta Digital, Framestore, Lightbox, MPC, Titmouse, Netflix, Genius Brands, Reel FX, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Blur Studios, Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Riot Games, Turtle Rock Studios, and Blizzard Entertainment or creating simulations for organizations including the U.S. Navy, NASA, DISTI, and Lockheed Martin.

View the Spring 2020 premiere films here!


Please Note

All Emerging Media BFA and MFA Animation programs have moved to UCF’s main campus as of Fall 2019. For more information, contact Cheryl.Briggs@ucf.edu.



Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in animation, visual effects, emerging media, art, film, theater, computer science, graphic design, illustration, creative writing, mass communications, game design or related field and must demonstrate, through a portfolio of work and writing, that they are currently proficient in the area of animation. Applicants are expected to already know how to animate and/or create visual effects.

Application Materials

  • Transcript
  • Portfolio of artwork demonstrating life drawing, design, art, and animation abilities.
  • Original Animation/VFX Production concept demonstrated in a treatment with accompanying storyboards, character designs, and production designs for a 2-3 minute concept that could be developed into your thesis film. A treatment is written in short story format.
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Résumé


January 15: priority and international deadline
May 1: deadline for admissions consideration



Cheryl Briggs
Campus Location: OTC5189
Phone: 407-235-3611
UCF Catalog
Program Flyer