Why study Games and Animation?

Formal games have a 5,000-year history, and recorded animation, if we take cave paintings found at Lascaux into account, dates back 17,000 years or more. These media are not new, but the design renaissance of the past century –– from Elizabeth Magie and Winsor McCay, to Respawn Entertainment and PIXAR –– is ever-evolving. Games and animation permeate every aspect of our culture. Games implement and model systems; animation models movement in space. Animation can be found in games, film, and television, but also marketing, motion graphics, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). Games can be found everywhere there is a way to implement rules and set a goal, from education to corporate salesrooms. Being able to animate or create games in a production environment is not only necessary, but invaluable. Games and animation  now have festivals, major awards, and galleries around the world devoted to them, as well as career paths and lifelong, fulfilling job prospects. 

Taught by industry veterans in games and animation, this program straddles between the production side of media creation and the expressive “auteur” models. Games and Animation (henceforth GAA) students will learn what it takes to be in the production of a television series or feature film, or how to produce their own work for galleries or film festivals. Students can try out many different digital tools of animation and game design as well as long-tested analog techniques, all implemented through cycles of development reliant on playtesting and iteration.  

In the University of Cincinnati BFA in Games and Animation, there is no artificial separation between theory and practice, between art and industry, between conception and production. 

The goals of the BFA-GAA Program at the University are to provide an opportunity for students wanting to pursue a career in Animation, Video Game Designer, or related fields to have a competitive program in Ohio. The curricular structures are separated into four years, and programmatic student learning outcomes (SLOs) are listed following the summaries. 

Admission Requirements

Information for Freshman Students.

The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati seeks to attract, enroll, and graduate academically talented students of varied and diverse backgrounds. Success in our programs is largely dependent upon sound academic preparation. In multidisciplinary programs like those in DAAP, students’ insight and perspective are greatly enhanced by exposure to students from different backgrounds, geographies, and co-curricular interests. DAAP has an admissions review process to support these goals. Please note that it’s impossible to predict – or guarantee – what credentials a student will need to gain admission into DAAP, because the size and quality of the applicant pool varies each year.

People who are successful in the fine arts tend to have visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning styles. Fine artists are creative, imaginative and visionary, and possess good hand-motor skills. They learn by doing and relish integrating various elements into a cohesive whole. Fine artists are open-minded and interrogative — questioning everything. They have a passion for creating their art and a heightened intellectual and visual perception. Fine artists provide original views and interpretations of the world and its inhabitants, giving us a greater appreciation of the character and values of society and culture. A sense of humor often enhances their work.

  • 2D Animator
  • 3D Animator
  • Level Designer
  • Systems Designer
  • 2D Character Artist
  • 3D Character Artist
  • 2D Environment Artist
  • 3D Environment Artist
  • Visual Development Artist
  • Concept Artist
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • Graphics Programme
  • Rigging Artist
  • Shader Developer
  • User Interface Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Quality Assurance Tester
  • Game Tester
  • Cinematics Animator
  • Cinematics Directo
  • Virtual Reality Developer
  • Augmented Reality Developer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Multimedia Animator
  • Simulation Software Developer
  • Simulations Engineer
  • iOS Game Developer
  • Android Game Developer
  • Game Producer
  • Animation Producer
  • Hard Surface Modeler
  • Organic Modeler
  • VFX Artist
  • Special Effects Animator
  • Narrative Designer
  • Game Writer
  • Motion Capture Animator
  • Motion Capture Director

Prospective students are encouraged to explore the information on our website and contact DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or daap-admissions@uc.edu with questions. 

Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students in this program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific recommendations for hardware and software. Please note that these recommendations may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.

Computers & Supplies

Students must obtain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 and, in addition, must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the senior year to be eligible for graduation. In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have completed at least 60 semester hours in the college and have earned at least a 3.6 grade point average.

Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transfer into a DAAP program should submit a Transfer Application. Transfer students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

DAAP Student Affairs
P.O. Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
(513) 556-1376

Find related programs in the following interest areas:

Program Code: 23BAC-GAA-BFA