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Addition of a baccalaureate Motion Design program makes 20 majors for Villa Maria College


Students interested in studying motion design at the collegiate level have new option to do so right here in Western New York. Villa Maria College announced today that it has added a Motion Design BFA to its roster of majors, expanding the small, private college’s offering to 20 academic programs in all.  

The program was developed in response to the evolving role digital media technology plays in all industries, especially visual communication and arts, and that it strongly complements some of the college’s most popular majors. “Simply put, Villa Maria’s new Motion Design program combines elements of graphic design and animation,” said Dr. Ryan Hartnett, Villa Maria’s vice president for academic affairs. “The college’s 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and hands-on learning environment supports students as they develop their ability to make traditional design more effective by adding movement, thus making it more impactful and more effective.” 

The program consists of a 27-credit base in the elements of Motion Design: Animation and Graphic Design, including pre-production, advanced animation, three-dimensional computer design, motion graphics and editing, special effects, and typography. It also includes 24 credits specifically focused on motion design, providing further specialization in the discipline. The curriculum is rounded out by Fine Arts, Film and History courses.  

The Motion Design program calls for 40 credits of core curriculum in general education and electives that allow students to further explore those areas and topics relevant to their particular learning and career objectives. “This enables students to delve into their interests and further develop their specialties,” said Hartnett.  

As students work their way through the program, they will become proficient in the same technology that is utilized by professionals. This includes Adobe After Effects, Adobe Media Encoder, Adobe Premiere, the Adobe Creative Suite, and most other industry standard software, which are all available to students in Villa Maria’s state-of-the-art computer labs. 

During their senior year, students will have two capstone experiences: both an internship and a thesis project. “The internship requirement will allow Motion Design students to strengthen their classroom education by applying what they’ve learned in a professional setting,” said Hartnett. “Internships will be completed alongside experienced professionals who are well-versed in the industry’s expectations. This enables students to expand their education by putting into practice all they’ve already mastered while they learn the important nuances that can only come with practical experience.” The senior project will give students an opportunity to focus on an intensive piece of independent work. 

Job opportunities for motion designers seem to be plentiful. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for employment in the motion design industry is on track to increase until at least 2029. “The data shows there will be numerous opportunities and our graduates will be prepared for them,” said Hartnett. “Upon completion of the program, we expect to see students move right into professional roles as 2D and 3D animators, interactive multimedia designers, production specialists, and more.” 

To learn more about Villa Maria College’s Motion Design program, visit www.villa.edu/academics/motion-design. To schedule an individual visit with an admissions counselor, visit visit.villa.edu.