Film & Animation (BFA)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Film & Animation at University of the Arts in Philadelphia allows you to study both ways to use moving images—whether you want to create narrative, documentary or experimental film, or traditional, stop-motion or computer-generated animation. You’ll learn film and animation techniques, explore various genres and styles, and create a capstone project that combines film and animation in innovative ways.

You'll also discover how your work fits into the canon of existing films and animations by studying the larger cultural, historical and aesthetic contexts of each field. Working closely with award-winning professional filmmakers and animators, and in collaboration with peers, major classes are a mixture of hands-on instruction, lectures, screenings and critiques. You can take advantage of internship and study abroad opportunities, and you'll graduate with the skills to confidently pursue creative careers in both fields.


In the Film and Animation program, you'll explore the possibilities of both film and animation. You'll hone your skills, advance your techniques and get to know diverse genres and styles. Your studies will culminate with a capstone project of your choosing that combines both fields in innovative ways.

Graduates of the Film & Animation program will demonstrate

  • Technical and aesthetic proficiency in creating films and animations.

  • A developed personal, artistic vision.

  • Professional film and animation skills in a collaborative environment.

  • Critical thinking skills and analysis of various genres, and historical and cultural contexts in film and animation.

  • An understanding of professional practices in the fields of film and animation.

Total credits: 120
Duration: 4 years, full time

Major requirements: 63 credits
Discipline history: 12 credits
Critical Studies: 30 credits
Free electives: 15 credits

To maintain academic good standing, undergraduate students must maintain both a cumulative and term GPA of 2.0. 

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First Year

First Year

Fall: 15 credits
Video Production (3 credits)
Principles of Animation (3 credits)
Character (3 credits)
The Art of Cinema (3 credits)
Writing Placement I (3 credits)

Spring: 15 credits
Intro to 2D Computer Animation (3 credits)
Intro to 3D Computer Animation (3 credits)
The Art of Editing (3 credits)
Color (3 credits)
Writing II Placement (3 credits)

Second Year

Second Year

Fall: 15 credits
Intro to Stop Motion Animation (3 credits)
Cinematography (3 credits)
Sound Design (3 credits)
Storyboarding (3 credits)
History of Narrative Cinema I OR II (3 credits)

Spring: 15 credits
Documentary, Narrative OR Experimental Video (3 credits)
Sophomore Piece (3 credits)
Critical Studies (6 credits)
Free elective (1.5 credits)

Third Year

Third Year

Fall: 15 credits
Take 3 credits from the courses below*
Visual development (3 credits)
Visual Effects Compositing (3 credits)
Writing for the Screen (3 credits)
Free elective (3 credits)


Spring: 15 credits
Documentary, Narrative OR Experimental Video (3 credits)
Animation & Film Workshop (3 credits)
Free elective (3 credits)
Critical Studies (3 credits)
History of Animation (3 credits)


*Take 3 credits in the below courses:

Advanced Cinematography
Film Special Topics
Image and Performance
Intro Film Design and Production
Design Analysis Production
Production Design
Film and TV Production Management
Writing the Short Film
Writing Comedy
Topics in Immersive Media

Fourth Year

Fourth Year

Fall: 15 credits
Animation Thesis I or Film Thesis I (3 credits)
Animation or Film Internship (3 credits)
Critical Studies (6 credits)
Free elective (3 credits)

Spring: 15 credits
Animation Thesis II or Film Thesis II (3 credits)
Critical Studies (9 credits)
Free elective (6 credits)

Explore the Full Curriculum

Faculty Spotlight

Mike Attie in a brown blazer and a blue vee neck shirt standing in front of a brown wall with a projection on it
Mike Attie

Film (BFA)
Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow
Chris McDonnell Headshot Animation Faculty
Chris McDonnell

Animation (BFA)
Animator, director and author/designer whose work has aired on Comedy Central, HBO, and Netflix
Headshot of Chris Mason Johnson
Chris Mason Johnson

Film (BFA)
Most recent film as writer-director a New York Times Critics Pick
headshot of Priyanjali Sen, seen against a background of leabes and wearing a yellow shirt dotted with small blue flowers
Priyanjali Sen

Visiting Professor of Film and Media Studies

How to Apply

UArts offers recommended priority deadlines; students who apply and submit all required materials by the priority deadline will receive first consideration for scholarship aid from UArts. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis. 

International students requiring an F-1 visa for study in the U.S. might be subject to earlier deadlines to provide time for completion of the visa process. Contact Admissions for guidance if you are an international student who wishes to apply after the priority deadline.

Spring 2024 priority deadline: Oct. 15, 2023

Fall 2024 priority deadline: Feb. 15, 2024

We cannot accept spring 2024 applications after Jan. 8, 2024, and cannot accept fall 2024 applications after Aug. 16, 2024.

We encourage students to complete the FAFSA by March 15, if possible.

Many students and families have encountered technical challenges while trying to complete the FAFSA this year. If this is the case for you, continue to utilize the FAFSA support resources until your issue is resolved. UArts will ensure that all admitted students who file the FAFSA are eligible for the same institutional funding to support your costs. 

Learn more

The following materials are required for your application.

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A completed application for admission

Start or resume your application. 

  • The application includes two required short-answer questions: What excites you about UArts? What inspires you?

A nonrefundable $60 application fee
  • If you qualify for a fee waiver from NACAC, CollegeBoard, UArts or another source, indicate that on your application. If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.

Official high school transcript

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from your school by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

  • International transcript requirements 

  • Transfer student transcript requirements

    • High school transcripts may be waived for transfer applicants who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework, including a minimum of 18 academic, non-studio credits.

    • Official college transcript(s)

      • Official transcripts must be sent directly from all the colleges you have attended by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

      • If you’ve attended college outside the U.S., you are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation of your college coursework sent to UArts. Additional guidelines for international transcripts are available

Your portfolio

A portfolio is required for all Art, Design, Film and Writing programs. Your portfolio may be uploaded during the application process or via your applicant status portal after submission. You must confirm when your submission is complete via the linked electronic form before your portfolio can be reviewed for admission.

Learn more about portfolio requirements. 

International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency
Optional letters of recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors are optional and may be submitted by the recommender via email to or by your high school through a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

About the School of Film

University of the Arts’ School of Film strongly believes in creative collaboration, self-expression and professional preparation through its programs in Animation, Film, Film and Animation, Film Design, Game Art, and Screenwriting.

It also offers minors in

  • Animation,
  • Film,
  • Film and Media Studies,
  • Game Art, and
  • Screenwriting.

The School of Film prepares students for careers in the film and entertainment industries via internships, networking events and an on-campus series with professional alumni. Our graduates become directors, editors, animators, game artists, cinematographers, art directors and screenwriters, working in the region and around the world.

Learn more about the School of Film.

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