Master of Design, Specialization in Animation

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With a focus on animation content development and digital technologies, the Master of Design (MDes) with a Specialization in Animation is the perfect incubator for your creative ideas and animation career. Two years and 60 units to complete this degree.

The MDes program with a specialization in Animation is a rigorous graduate program aimed at students and professionals who have achieved a solid command of their areas of interest, and want to further develop their portfolios, intellectual property (IP) potential, artistic voices, as well as their technical skills. 

Our program benefits from a close relationship with various games, VR, AR, and animation studios in California and beyond. As a student, you have access to tremendous opportunities for learning the latest techniques, portfolio review, and networking with professionals in the industry. You will experience expanding your creativity, exploring ideas through project-based learning leading to the production of original IP content, and employment in feature film animation, TV, games, and virtual and augmented reality studios. 

Program Snapshot




per unit*



*Fee listed will increase by 5% next Fall. SJSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum; however, fees listed in published schedules may need to be increased to maintain the high quality of education we offer and are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, or the campus President, as appropriate.

Career Opportunities

  • The BLS reports that about 6,700 openings for special effects artists and animators are projected each year over the next decade.
  • San Francisco and Los Angeles are listed as the top two cities for animation careers in North America according to
  • mentions that some of the top-grossing movies in 2021 were animated films according to Box Office Mojo.

San José State University has a reputation for producing friendly, hardworking, respectful, super-talented artists in the filmmaking industry.

Don Tam

Apply To The Program

Learn more about how to apply below.

  • Admission Requirements
    • Minimum GPA 2.5
    • Portfolio of work
    • Official transcripts
    • A personal statement
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • A resumé
    • A “pre-proposal” with an indication of the type of project you want to develop while in the MDes program
    • International students must demonstrate English language proficiency

    * Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

  • How to Apply
    • Step 1: Apply to Cal State Apply and submit the required documents

    • Step 2: Submit an online portfolio of work and additional documents to the Department of Design via a Slideroom portal, available in Fall.

    For details on the application process visit the Master of Design page.

  • Application Deadlines

    Fall 2025

    • Application is expected to open on October 1, 2024
    • Application deadline: March 1, 2025

    *These dates are not final and are subject to change.

  • FAQ

    For a full list of FAQs please visit the Master of Design page.


Webinars are held each semester. Check back for updated event information.

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