In order to help meet the rising demand for animators, DePaul University in Chicago recently launched two degree programs in animation through its College of Computing and Digital Media’s School of Cinema & Interactive Media (CIM). Since January, DePaul students have had the option to major in a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science undergraduate program in animation.
DePaul, which had only two courses three years ago, saw nearly 40 students declare majors in animation this spring, and expects approximately 60 animation majors to enroll by this fall. More than 500 students are currently enrolled in the 25 different animation courses offered this quarter.
‘We’re really in an ideal situation, since our digital cinema, computer game development and interactive media programs are all fields that have a strong need for animation,’ says Scott Roberts, associate professor and one of the program’s lead faculty members. ‘So when we originally started offering animation courses, they filled up quickly.’
The bachelor of arts degree in animation is a broad-based exploration of
different animation techniques including 3D, hand-drawn, stop-motion
and Flash animation that also offers electives in experimental animation methods and imparts a basic art foundation.
The bachelor of science degree contains many of the same foundational components, but is more intensely focused on 3D computer animation and modeling. The program is also a part of DePaul’s Game Dev, a team-based multidisciplinary approach to game development, where students work side-by-side with game programmers and designers in project-based courses.
The most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that jobs for multimedia artists and animators are expected to increase by more than 47 percent during the next eight years. DePaul’s efforts to feed the workforce include investing more than $1.3 million in state-of-the-art labs, facilities and specialized equipment over the past two years alone. The University’s College of Computing and Digital Media currently serves 3,079 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information on the animation degree programs, go to www.cim.depaul.edu or GameDev.depaul.edu.