Mar 02, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

3D Graphics and Animation Emphasis, Fine Arts BFA


Please click here  to see general Visual Arts information.

The 3D graphics and animation emphasis is a competitive and rigorous four-year curriculum focused on preparing students to work in a wide variety of fields that use animated digital computer graphics (CG), including entertainment, film and television, gaming, medicine, and science. 

Program Delivery

  • This is an on-campus program.
  • The 3D graphics and animation emphasis courses (DACD 2810-4820 below) are billed at a different rate than the standard course tuition due to the state-of-the-art technology used in the classroom. For more information regarding this rate, contact the College of Arts & Media at

Declaring This Major

  • Click here  to go to information about declaring a major.
  • Students who are applying for entrance into the 3D graphics and animation emphasis must submit a portfolio, as described below. The 3D graphics and animation emphasis accepts applications only once per year. Students who meet the requirements and are accepted will be able to register for advanced 3D animation courses.


Students are eligible to apply to the 3D graphics and animation emphasis after completing the following courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better each and a minimum overall animation course GPA of 2.8:

Please note that FINE 1810 and FINE 1820 are billed at regular tuition rates.


The student’s application must be submitted electronically no later than the last Friday of May. Detailed instructions are provided during the spring semester in either FINE 1810 or FINE 1820. Students can also contact the Director of the Digital Animation Center (Associate Professor Dane Webster at if they have additional questions. Selection for entrance into the 3D graphics and animation emphasis is a competitive process (by faculty review) that requires:

  • Submission by the candidate of a “Portfolio Demo Reel”. The reel must include original works from FINE 1810 3D Foundations and FINE 1820 Animation Foundations as well as representative works created in other visual arts courses completed during the first year of the program. The Portfolio Demo Reel must be turned in as a .mov (Quicktime, H.264, 1280x720 minimum frame size, 16:9 aspect ratio). Still work should be a component of the reel and should be on screen for at least 3 seconds but no more than 10 seconds. Name and contact information should appear at the beginning and end of the reel. The reel should not be greater in length than 1.5 minutes.
  • A “breakdown sheet”: the run time at which the work occurs, and which describes what work is included on the submission reel, and, if collaborative in nature, what aspect of the work shown was created by the applicant. Turn in a PDF file only please.
  • A one page double-spaced written statement regarding the applicant’s aspirations as a productive and contributing member of the 3D graphics and animation cohort and the CG community as a whole. Turn in a PDF file only please.

Students should show only their best work and show the very best work first. Students should be selective since reels may only be 3.5 minutes long. Music is not recommended for professional reels, but if music is used, students should choose wisely.

For more portfolio information, please see the College of Arts & Media 3D graphics and animation website and the Digital Animation Center website, or contact the College of Arts & Media at

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of C (2.0) is required for each course applied toward a College of Arts & Media major, minor or certificate requirement. A grade of C- (1.7) or lower will not fulfill a major, minor or certificate requirement. A grade of P is acceptable for courses in which the only grade available is Pass or Fail.
  2. All upper-division visual arts courses must be taken at CU Denver unless approved otherwise by Department of Visual Arts faculty.
  3. At least 27 semester hours of visual arts credits (at any level) must be taken at CU Denver.
  4. At least 24 semester hours of total visual arts courses must be upper-division.