• Learn and practice the fundamentals of art, animation design, and visual effects (VFX)

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Animation & Visual Effects Bachelor of Applied Science


Program Overview

The Animation & Visual Effects Bachelor's Degree program focuses on the foundations of visual effects, designed to get the student into the field in as few is 32 months.


Degree Progression

Each academic year you'll be immersed in project-based, hands-on courses while gradually accruing your general education requirements.

Freshman Year: Mathematical Concepts, Drawing Bootcamp, Design Basics, Media Sound & Visual 1

Sophomore Year: Concept & Imaging, Compositing 1, 3D Modeling 1, Concept Art, Introduction to Animation

Junior Year: Current Industry Techniques, Dynamic Effects, Motion Studies, Character Rigging, Creative Pre-Production

Senior Year: Animation Body Mechanics, Facial Animation & Lip Sync, Live Action Compositing, Reel Production, Popular Culture

Bachelor's of Applied Science students will be required to complete 36 credits of General Education classes including: Communications & Critical Thinking, Mathematical Concepts, American History, Creative Writing, and more.


Bachelor's of Applied Science Degree in Animation & Visual Effects

  • Emeryville, CA


Technical and Professional Skills

  • Motion Capture
  • Texture and Lighting
  • Storyboarding
  • 2D Animation
  • Video Editing
  • Compositing
  • Live Action Film
  • Visual Effects
  • Commercials/Advertising
  • Architectural/Interior Visualization
  • Previsualization
  • Science and Medical Simulation
  • Virtual Reality
  • Forensic Visualization
  • Concept Art
  • Professional Life Skills

Your learning experience

  • A common core curriculum providing you with instruction in digital media literacy and 21st century design.
  • Work with artists, designers, web, mobile and games developers, film makers, and animators.
  • Build your knowledge and skills on, and have access to, industry standard equipment.
  • Be part of a team that nurtures your talents, and encourages you to reach your learning potential.
  • Practical training in digital video, audio, and design paired with guided development such as critical thinking, résumé writing, and job interview practice.
  • Create a series of projects and assets throughout the program specially developed to demonstrate knowledge to prospective employers.


Career Options

  • Compositor
  • Rotoscope Artist
  • Rotoscope Technician
  • Matchmove Technician
  • Lighting Artist
  • Look Development Artist
  • Effects Arts
  • 3D Artist
  • 3D Modeler
  • Concept Artist
  • Character Artist
  • Hard Surface Modeler
  • Environment Artist
  • Render Wrangler/Manager
  • CG Artist
  • Character Rigger
  • Technical Director
  • Texture Artist
  • Matte Painter
  • Shading Artist
  • Animator
  • Motion Capture Technician
  • Level Designer
  • Quality Assurance
  • Production Assistant

Key facts


    32 Months


    Jul 2017

    Sep 2017

    Sep 2017


    Enroll By: 10 Jul 2017

    Start Date: 10 Jul 2017

    End Date: 25 Apr 2020



Entry requirements

For entry requirements, please see our Admissions section.

Fees and Payments

Tuition: $94,400.00
Textbooks/Art Kits included
Technology Fee: $1,196.00



Tuition may be paid by cash, check, money order, or bank transfer. SAE Expression College also offers monthly payment plans with no interest or finance charges. These payments comply with state and federal requirements.

Class Schedule

126 Credit Hours / 32 Months

SAE Expression College is available to students and staff on a 24-hour basis. Access to all studios, labs, audio and video suites, Meyer Performance Hall, library and classrooms is subject to the booking process of the SAE Expression College Master Scheduler. Access to offices, copy room, and all building maintenance and storage rooms is not available to students.

Most classes occur between the hours of 8:00AM - 11:00PM. However, labs may periodically be scheduled outside of these hours. Distance education courses are asynchronous. The labs and facilities are open for student use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For every 15 contact hours of theory class, students are awarded 1 semester credit. For every 30 hour of lab class, students are awarded 1 semester credit. For 45 contact hours of internship, students are awarded 1 semester credit.