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. Students who learn in the DAC graduate with an understanding of advanced technology and software, ready to work in cutting-edge studios. 




Top Ranked Program

CU Denver's 3D Graphics & Animation Program is named a Top 20 Animation Program in the country among public colleges by Animation Career Review in the 2020 Animation Program Rankings. Check out the stats for the highly ranked CU Denver program:

  • Top 20 Nationally among Public Schools and Colleges (#19, top 20%)
  • Top 5 in the Southwest region (#5)
  • Top Public College Animation Program in Colorado

Complete ranking information can be found on the Animation Career Review website.

Where Do 3D Graphics & Animation Graduates Find Careers?

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.

Student Work

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

Check out the graduating class of 2020 thesis work on the BFA Thesis Webpage!


The BFA 3D Graphics and Animation Degree requires 120 total credit hours to complete the degree. Most of these credit hours are visual arts courses and general education requirements that cost the standard CU Denver amount per credit hour. However, 33 of the required credits for the degree are upper-level 3D Graphics and Animation courses that bill at a higher tuition rate. These 11 courses all have the DACD prefix. Students generally start taking some of these courses during their second year in the program. The additional cost of these courses is to ensure that our students are using state-of-the-art technology in the Digital Animation Center. Exact information about the cost per credit hour of general CU Denver courses and the DACD courses can be found on the CU Denver Bursar's website here


For more information about the 3D Graphics & Animation emphasis, email the College of Arts & Media at or call 303-315-7487.

For full information about degree requirements and curriculum, visit the portfolio review page.