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Animation MFA

Striking a balance between technology and creativity, the Animation Workshop allows students to learn every phase of the filmmaking process, from scriptwriting to editing to sound design, allowing them to master a demanding craft and become master storytellers.

The UCLA Animation Workshop has been educating innovative and accomplished artists for 75 years, as the popularity and commercial impact of the medium has exploded. The Workshop is committed to excellence in defining, expanding, creating, and teaching animation. The Workshop has a “no house” style–in the spirit of “one person, one film”, every student is encouraged to set his or her own direction, exploring styles from conceptual to cartoon-y, from narrative to non-narrative, from cell to computer, from popular to experimental, and from traditional to interactive.

In the advanced Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio, students familiarize themselves with the latest CG innovations reshaping the animation landscape. Enrollment in specific animation modules is by instructor consent, ensuring each student receives a personalized, immersive experience during their three-year MFA program. The finished film belongs to the filmmaker.

Animation at the Workshop has only two limitations: one’s imagination and exhaustion.

World-Class Faculty


Minimum six quarters graduate residence in the department; maximum 12 quarters residence. Minimum total of 72 units (18 classes) for the degree. At least five graduate numbered courses (200,400,500 Level). Minimum course load is 12 units per quarter.

Maintenance of a B average GPA.


Required Courses:

  • C181A/481A: Introduction to Animation
  • C181B/481B: Writing for Animation
  • C181C/481C: Animation Workshop
  • C481C Animation Workshop
  • 484A: Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (drawing)
  • 488A: Interactive Animation
  • 489A: Computer Animation for Film and Video OR
  • 483A: Advanced Computer Animation Maya
  • 298A: Thesis Workshop
  • One live-action course in FTVDM
  • 596 OR Elective

These two classes from the Cinema Media Studies Program (CMS):

  • 210: Viewing and Reading Media (to be taken in the Fall of the first year)
  • 209D: Animation Seminar

One of these live-action courses:

  • 150: Cinematography
  • 483AB: Intro to Experimental Film
  • OR another approved course from the Production area (Directing)


  • 152: Film and Television Sound Recording
  • 188A: Real Time Animation: Puppetry Arts
  • 122N: History of Animation in America
  • 122J: The Disney Feature: Then and Now
  • 482A: Advanced Animation (Character Animation)
  • 482A: Advanced Animation (Writing for the Animated TV Series)
  • 485: Legal Issues in Animation
  • 488B: Advanced Animation (Layout)

This list is subject to change. Availability of courses is not guaranteed. Do not wait until your last quarter to fulfill requirements.

To graduate, an animation student will need to have finished:

  • One traditional film (C481C/181C)
  • One computer film (483ABC or 489ABA)
  • One interactive project (488A or B)
  • One thesis film (596), if needed