2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Emerging Media MFA, Animation and Visual Effects Track

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College: Arts and Humanities Degree: MFA
Department: School of Visual Arts and Design Option: Thesis
Program Websites: https://svad.cah.ucf.edu/program/animation-and-visual-effects/
Graduate Program Handbook

Track Description

Housed in the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD), the Emerging Media MFA - Animation and Visual Effects track is a specialized program designed to emulate the professional studio environment, providing each student with an opportunity to assume an artistic leadership role. The principal emphasis is placed on narrative film structure and the entrepreneurial aspect of animation as related to studio and job creation. Courses are designed to give students the ability to understand the collaborative function of a commercial studio, which is necessary in order to prepare students for careers in animation. Labs and studios are equipped with the same industry-standard software and hardware used in professional studios.

Students desiring admission to the Emerging Media MFA - Animation and Visual Effects track should be primarily interested in the opportunity to create or direct their own animation and visual effects. In this program students are encouraged to develop their visual storytelling skills while using a variety of animation and visual effects techniques, including traditional hand-drawn, stop motion, 2D computer, and 3D computer animation.

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 and successful in the area of Animation.

The Emerging Media MFA - Animation and Visual Effects track is a competitive program whereby students receive the best instruction from professors who have had extensive professional industry experience. Drawing on the expertise of the current faculty, graduates are well qualified to enter the teaching and academic professions. SVAD graduates have a competitive edge for greater opportunities within the animation, visual effects, and simulation industry.

Current SVAD alumni work in creating simulations for the U.S. Navy, NASA, DISTI, Lockheed Martin and other local and regional companies. In addition, SVAD alumni are currently working nationally and internationally for major animation and gaming companies such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Reel EFX, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, Riot Games, and Blizzard Entertainment.


The Animation and Visual Effects track in the Emerging Media MFA program is a full-time three-year program (six full-time semesters excluding summers in most instances) and students must progress through the program by taking required classes in particular semesters. The program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours including a thesis project. All courses must be approved by the Graduate Program Director. The thesis consists of producing a short film and thesis document

Total Credit Hours Required: 60 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA in all course work to complete the program.

Thesis: 12 Credit Hours

The thesis consists of a short film production and thesis document.

The final oral review before the supervisory thesis committee occurs at the end of the sixth semester. At the same time, the graduate student presents a short film production. Students are required to submit an electronic version of the thesis to the UCF College of Graduate Studies. After approval by the UCF College of Graduate Studies, the UCF Library will add it to its archives and make the electronic version of the thesis accessible on the web. The required thesis is created during the independent learning experience in the degree program.

  • DIG 6971 - Thesis 12 Credit Hours

Course Schedule

The Emerging Media MFA -Animation and Visual Effects track is a full-time, three-year cohort program that requires students to abide by the following course sequence. Students must remain with their cohort in order to remain in good academic standing and graduate.

Equipment Fee

Students in the Emerging Media MFA program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.

Independent Learning

A thesis is required.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Applicants to the MFA program normally must hold an earned bachelor’s degree in one of the areas below or equivalent and must have exhibited, through portfolio of work or writing that they are currently proficient and successful in the area of Animation.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) for each college/university attended.
  • A bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas or equivalent:
    • Animation
    • Art
    • Emerging Media
    • Film
    • Theatre
    • Computer Science
    • Graphic Design
    • Illustration
    • Creative Writing
    • Mass Communications
    • Game Design 
  • Statement of purpose: In your own words, submit a 500-to-700 word statement of why you are interested in the Emerging Media MFA -Animation and Visual Effects track and what your intended focus might be. Tell us a little about yourself and professional goals. 
  • Three letters of recommendation preferably from people who have a personal knowledge of your abilities and scholarship such as educators/faculty members, employment supervisors, organizational leaders or industry professionals with whom you have worked. 
  • Resume: Please submit a one to two page resume documenting your educational credentials, relevant professional and internship experience, academic achievements,honors, exhibits, publications, memberships, and interest including volunteer work. 
  • Original Animation/VFX Production Concept for a one to five-minute project:
    • A full storyboard
    • A full script treatment for that storyboard
    • Visual Development drawings of characters, setting, and production design reflecting research and technique
  •  Other Creative Work:
    • A portfolio of ten to twenty pieces of traditional or digital work.
    • For each item submitted, include the title, media, date of completion, and size or length of piece.
    • Some examples of work that could be submitted include:
      • 2D Design: Painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, fashion design, character design, illustrations, graphic designs, game or film visual development artwork.
      • 3D Design: Sculpture, theatrical design, architectural renderings or models, 3D computer models, and installation pieces.
      • Drawing from life: Human and animal drawings, quick sketches, long poses, and perspective drawing.
      • Time Arts work (less than 3 minutes of work): Animation pieces, flip books, and live action reel.
      • Storytelling: Script or fictional narrative writing, sequential art illustration, comic book and graphic novel illustration and writing, book illustrations, and additional storyboards. 
  • A computer-based score of 230 (or 89 internet-based score) on the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL) if an applicant is from a country where English is not the official language, or if an applicant’s degree is not from an accredited U.S. institution, or if an applicant did not earn a degree in a country where English is the only official language or a university where English is the only official language of instruction. Although we prefer the TOEFL, we will accept IELTS scores of 7.0. 
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee admission to the MFA program. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, the applicant’s potential for completing the degree, and the current applicant pool. A strong emphasis is placed on the review of the portfolio of original creative work and the letter of research intent.

Application Deadlines

Animation and Visual Effects *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1    
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15    
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Cheryl Briggs MEd, MFA
Associate Professor
Telephone: 407-235-3611
OTC 500, RM 189

Graduate Admissions

Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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