Program Details

Digital design is an exciting field of study for students who wish to use their artistic abilities while learning marketable technical skills. Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation is a modern program t
Phoenix, United States
Program Type:
Full Degree
Degree Level:
Graphic Design & Multimedia, Graphic Design & Multimedia

Program Overview

Program Description:

Digital design is an exciting field of study for students who wish to use their artistic abilities while learning marketable technical skills. Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation is a modern program that guides students in developing their technological knowledge and creative thinking skills. Offered online and on campus by the College of Fine Arts and Production, this degree in animation provides a comprehensive framework for the next generation of multimedia artists.

Examine the interplay of light, color and texture in visual arts. Explore the technical capabilities and creative possibilities of motion graphics, typography, 2D animation and 3D modeling. GCU is known for our creative and welcoming community. Digital animation students are encouraged to collaborate with their peers via the Digital Design Club, which fosters the pre-professional development of visual communication.

Why Earn Your Degree in Animation at GCU?

GCU is committed to improving accessibility and flexibility in higher education. Students pursuing a degree in animation may choose to enroll in courses on campus or online via our dynamic learning platform. Either option enables students to benefit from collaborative exchanges with their peers and fully qualified instructors. Available on campus and online, the digital animation degree in animation requires a total of 120 credits for graduation. Most online courses are seven weeks long.

The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation degree takes students through a progression of learning from basic skills to advanced knowledge. You will study all aspects of digital design including the principles of drawing, color, typography and animation. Students explore advanced elements of storytelling and animation production while working through a hands-on curriculum. They also learn to become skilled communicators, ethical leaders, creative thinkers and efficient problem solvers.

If you’re interested in pursuing a motion graphics degree, this well-rounded digital design program includes in-depth motion graphics and motion design courses. Students create many assets for their portfolio throughout the program.

What Is a Digital Design Degree?

Digital design is a dynamic specialization that focuses on creating professional, real-world design solutions. Grand Canyon University’s digital design degree programs teach students to be visual designers who use their skills to enrich, engage and communicate in our information-driven society. Students will become digital design generalists, with the ability to further refine their career by choosing one of four degree paths, including an emphasis in animation.

Throughout the program, students learn general design foundations and techniques, including research, strategy development and creative brief development. As students dive deeper into their areas of interest projects become progressively more complex and self-driven.

Other core areas of instruction include production methods using industry standard software while applying the principles of design, color, composition and typography. The Design Thinking cycle emphasizes iteration through prototyping and responding to the feedback loop. Students learn how to "fail faster" while discovering creative and commercially viable design solutions. Additionally, the program includes a mid-program portfolio class to increase job-readiness skills, and a senior-level portfolio course to refine skills for a professional and successful job search.

Explore Coursework for a Degree in Animation and Digital Design

The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation program prepares students to work as entry-level designers in a variety of exciting industries that use motion graphics including advertising, marketing, social media, journalism and corporate communications. The job opportunities for students with these skills span all sectors of the economy and will offer growth opportunities well into the future.

Students learn the design process, including concept development, visualization techniques, stylistic trends, composition, typography, color theory, image creation, and static and sequential composition using industry-standard motion graphics software. While building all these skills, students create dynamic visual content in every studio course. Motion graphics pervade digital advertisements, social media videos, and brand experiences.

The design courses fall into three categories: foundational creative and skill development, motion graphics, and portfolio development. A mid-program portfolio focuses on preparing students to pursue internships and the fourth-year portfolio prepares students for employment and continued education. Students are expected to make these portfolios both industry-ready and innovative in nature.

Grand Canyon University is committed to teaching students to think critically and creatively about using their skills to improve and enrich society and to building a creative community that is connected to the local and national design industry. The GCU Design Club (a multifaceted student design organization) and the student chapter of AIGA (Professional Association for Design) both provide opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular design events and career networking.

GCU seeks to graduate well-rounded students who have a keen understanding of business practices and the essential elements of motion graphic design. Some of the courses in this degree program include:

    Motion Graphics 1, 2, and 3
    Motion Technologies
    Typography 1 and 2
    Advanced Motion Design 1, 2 and 3

During their senior year, students create their own professional portfolios to showcase their skills and talents to prospective employers. Throughout this BA degree in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation, students develop their design skills, communication skills, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking capabilities. They explore the fundamental principles of ethical leadership, keeping the Christian worldview in mind.

GCU is pleased to provide flexible learning options, including on-campus and online degree programs. This digital web design bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Students taking online courses can expect the average length of a class to be seven weeks. Due to the technical and hands-on nature of this degree program, digital design students are required to have a working laptop available, along with an active subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Other supplies and software programs may be needed on a course-by-course basis.
Explore a Motion Graphics Career

Job candidates with a BA in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation are prepared to pursue careers in a variety of digital design and animation outlets that require technical expertise combined with a creative flair. Digital design graduates can pursue careers in:

    Advertising agencies
    Marketing agencies
    Social media companies
    Corporate offices
    Software services companies
    Nonprofit groups

Some jobs that may be related to a digital design degree include the following:

    Graphic designer
    Content creator
    Motion graphics designer
    Art director
    Creative director

Additional Program Information

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

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