3D Graphics & Animation


The 3D Graphics & Animation program at CU Denver, recognized as one of the top 25 national programs by Animation Career Review, trains students to be 3D digital content creators—in film, entertainment, medicine, and science. Students graduate with instruction in arts aesthetics, critical thinking, and communication skills while providing an intense level of expertise, instruction, and immersion in digital 3D animation and graphics.

The program develops creative professionals by training students in the innovative, state-of-the-art, Digital Animation Center (DAC). The DAC provides the labs and technological core of the academic program, while creating a community of student collaboration. Most professional digital content creators work as many as 500 other artists; the DAC is one of the only college level programs preparing students for this environment, focusing on individual artistry while simultaneously fulfilling the broader vision of a final production. Sophisticated tools support visualization, modeling, representation of complex data, simulation, and the manipulation of a virtual reality. Students who learn in the DAC graduate with an understanding of advanced technology and software ready to work in cutting-edge studios. 


Graduates of the 3D Graphics & Animation are making significant contributions in the areas of architecture and urban planning, motion picture and television production, advertising, product simulation, industrial design, litigation support, print and electronic media, visualization, engineering and natural and health science illustration and animation. Graduates are currently employed by LucasArts, Pixar, and Sony and supported into careers by a pipeline of prestigious internship placement.



Senior students films are an 18-month, capstone experience, which begin development in the junior year. During this highly collaborative project, students work across College of Arts & Media Departments and with external partners to author the story and  develop assets, soundtrack, sounds effects, and motion graphics to create outstanding and award-winning films.

These animated short films have been in over 300 national and international film festivals in 22 countries. Our student films have been see by 100’s of thousands across the globe winning more than 75 Best Animated Short awards in non-student categories.

Check out the most recent film, Bamboo, a 2018 Semifinalist for the Student Academy Awards.

View previous senior student films!



Students interested in the 3D Graphics & Animation program must first be admitted to CU Denver. After enrolling and completing prerequisite courses, students will submit a letter of intent and a portfolio for review before being entered into the program. For full information about program eligibility and portfolio submission requirements, please visit the 3D Graphics & Animation Portfolio and Application Requirements page.



The 3D graphics and animation emphasis courses are billed at a different rate than the standard course tuition due to the state-of-the-art technology used in the Digital Animation Center. First year courses will be billed at a lower rate to allow interested students to sample the first year of the animation career path without a large financial commitment. Students are able to evaluate their level of interest and compatibility with the demands of this degree emphasis and the DAC curriculum to see if this emphasis is the right fit. For the degree there are a total of 11 required DAC courses that bill at the higher tuition rate.

For more information regarding this tuition structure, email the College of Arts & Media at CAMinfo@ucdenver.edu or call 303-315-7487.