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Department of Art & Design

Animation & Illustration

Student drawing caricatures
Department of Art & Design

Animation & Illustration

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

Explore your passion for design and storytelling. Learn from with gifted, Christ-centered faculty. Prepare for careers in animation, illustration, visual arts, design, 3D multimedia, and storytelling.

Animation and illustration might be the right degree for you if you:

  • have a passion for art and design
  • enjoy working with technology
  • want the flexibility to work in different industries

Why study animation and illustration at Northwestern?

Deepen your skills built by professionals from PIXAR and other major film studios. Work with professional grade tools in Northwestern’s design lab, including:

  • Unreal Engine
  • Maya
  • Mudbox
  • Motionbuilder
  • Adobe After Effect
  • InDesign
  • Illustrator
  • Lightroom
  • Premiere
  • Photoshop

Learn aesthetic concepts and use visual and audio technology to create animated designs. Tour local art and design centers with classmates. Take advantage of networking opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving art and business industries.

What will I learn?

You will develop critical thinking skills, learn to analyze, and become focused on technical production.


of Northwestern’s Art and Design graduates felt professionally prepared by their education


of seniors view faculty as available and accessible


of seniors would advise a friend to attend UNW

Careers in animation & illustration

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in animation and illustration.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Digital animation or graphics
  • Multimedia presentation and development
  • Film titles or design
  • Television titling or graphics
  • Video game animation or titling
  • Computer graphics
  • Advertising or marketing presentation graphics
  • Motion graphics or animation
  • Website design and development
  • Interactive media development
  • Self-employed, contract, freelance work

Who employs people with this degree?

  • TV and cable companies
  • Online/print publishers of all types
  • Federal, state, & local governments
  • Businesses & trade associations
  • Colleges, universities & schools
  • Non-profit & special interest groups
  • Public relations & advertising firms
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Commercial agencies
  • Internet and e-commerce sites
  • Digital Media production companies
  • Any company that maintains a sophisticated website or creates digital media

Strategies for success:

  • Develop excellent computer skills in a variety of platforms and design software. You will need to be updating your skills for your entire career.
  • Joining a professional association and reading trade publications is crucial.
  • Gain relevant experience through part-time jobs and internships. Participate in contests locally and nationally.
  • Volunteer to create websites or other interactive media for a student or local community organization.
  • To work in this industry, consider relocating to where the jobs are.
  • Stay current with media and cultural trends.
  • Be prepared to start entry-level and work your way up the career ladder. Take a first job based on the industry and type of design you desire to work with, because work from your first job will comprise your professional portfolio.
View Career Guide

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