CSUN is ranked one of the top universities for students interested in pursuing a flourishing career in Animation. We offer three essential animation tracks; 2D Design, 3D Animation and Game Development with access to our computer labs featuring state-of-the-art, industry standard software and equipment.
Our campus, located just minutes from world-renowned animation and game studios, provides students with access to a highly respected, industry experienced staff of full-time and adjunct professors. Our unique studio relationships help to place students into critical internships and post graduate employment. We also provide opportunities for student participation through industry and studio events, organized studio tours, and ongoing collaborative educational partnering with DreamWorks studios and Seoul Institute of the Arts.
CSUN animation has two outstanding award winning student run Animation clubs, the Animation Students League of Northridge, or our Game Development Club. These organizations provide additional opportunities to help our students build their networking, communication and organizational skills, while meeting and interacting with industry guests through our supplemental lectures and workshops series. We also have a very active and robust alumni organization that participates and supports our annual career day and portfolio review as well as our semester and year end CSUN Animation Student Shows.
Cal State Northridge is an excellent place to begin your animation career.
Animation Area Clubs
The Art Education program at CSUN is designed to prepare pre-service students to teach art to students in Prekindergarten - Grade 12. Anchored in the California Arts Framework for Public Schools and California Arts Standards for Public Schools, the Art Education program consists of studio, art history, and art education courses focused on content-based curriculum, skill development, and cross-cultural connections.
Students seeking a multiple-subject elementary credential or a single subject credential in art develop art curriculum and explore approaches to teaching art in CSUN's art education courses, providing a foundation for their future teaching experiences.
The Art Department offers art history courses in the areas of African, American, Asian, European (Ancient and Modern), Latin American, Native American, and Oceanic art. In addition to introductory surveys and more specialized upper division courses, we also offer advanced graduate seminars.
While promoting growth in conceptual, technical and aesthetic approaches, the Ceramics area of concentration offers instruction that includes a wide base of processes and techniques designed to encourage individual expression. The program aims to develop students who are aware of contemporary standards to produce challenging work.
Courses in the Drawing area of concentration present both traditional and contemporary approaches in a variety of media. Drawing also functions as a service within the Art Program, as students who are majoring in Animation, Illustration, Painting and Printmaking often take Drawing courses for the purpose of developing their draftsmanship and art fundamentals skills.
First and foremost, the CSUN Department of Art and Design’s Communication Design program both challenges and prepares students to become informed, critical-thinking designers working creatively and collaboratively as problem solvers.
Effective communication is required in order to meet the evolving demands of commerce, community, and culture. For this reason, the designer’s role has substantially expanded. Students must learn to craft impactful and appropriate messages within a broad range of design media and emerging technologies.
Ourcurriculum is built on big ideas and the process of interpreting messages through a myriad of media channels, using research, data, and strategy to achieve and measure real-world results.
Communication Design coursework involves exploring, researching, strategizing, and developing solutions through a creative process. Courses in our program include in-depth study of communication design theory, design history, visual design, illustration, photography, typography, motion, interaction, and user experience while utilizing the latest technology and
design management tools.
Career opportunities for graduates of the program span a wide range of careers in the advertising, design, entertainment, marketing, publishing, public relations, and technology industries.
- Brand/Creative Strategy
- Communication Design
- Entertainment Advertising
- Motion Graphics
- Web Design
Illustration can be seen in many businesses including entertainment, publishing, merchandising, advertising and galleries. In this area of concentration, you will study illustration as both an art form and as a profession. Topics cover historical and contemporary illustration and its evolving styles and technologies.
Professional preparation topics include portfolio and website development, goal setting, researching employment opportunities, self-promotion and business and trade practices. Students learn methods for creating new ideas and for the effective visual communication of those ideas. Projects emphasize a wide range of technical skills in fine art and digital media, conceptual problem-solving abilities, composition and design, self-expression and the development of a personal artistic vision.
CSUN's location within the greater LA basin places our painting program in the heart of the international art world. Easy access to world class museums like LACMA, MOCA, the Hammer, the Getty, and the Norton Simon, as well as close proximity to major gallery districts like Culver City, Chinatown, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica ensure that our students are up to speed on both historical and contemporary aspects of painting, our students see the real thing, up close and personal. Guest artists, field trips, and required gallery excursions take full advantage of the Los Angeles market, and expose students to real world issues that they will face upon graduation. As such, all painting faculty at CSUN are working, exhibiting artists with national and international exhibition histories. As students begin the Painting program, they are introduced to the basic fundamentals of painting. As students progress, the curriculum focuses on historical and contemporary tropes in painting, while maintaining an emphasis on refining skills and critical thinking/problem solving. In the upper division and graduate painting students are introduced critical theory and learn to contextualize their work within the larger context of contemporary discourse. Students explore diverse modes of creative practice while developing a mature portfolio of their own work, outside of assignments. Ultimately, each student will be guided in the development of his/her own individual artistic style.
The Photography/Video area at CSUN offers a beginning class that provides strong visual and technical skills and upper division courses on analog and digital platforms that allow students to explore lens based media. To accommodate the greatest breadth in training, students are encouraged to enroll in both Photography and Video classes. Video classes incorporate live projection and multi-channel installation as well as training in Adobe Creative Suite software. Advanced students are invited to explore concept and portfolio development. Shooting, editing, and compositing both stills and video allow students to explore different ways of creating meaning. Non-Art majors may earn a Photography/Video Minor with a minimum of 18 credit hours. Photography/Video courses are comprised of:
- Black & White Darkroom Photography
- Color Darkroom Photography
- Digital Photography
- History of Photography
- Narrative Digital Photography
- Video/Digital Art
- Video for Visual Artists
- Photography/Video Lighting
The printmaking area offers traditional and experimental, cross-disciplinary exploration of the four major printmaking media—intaglio, relief, serigraphy, and lithography. Technique development and understanding the principles of the media are stressed in the beginning as a base for investigation into self-directed, personal content.
Printmaking is a versatile medium accepting multiple working methods, including historical to contemporary, handmade to computer generated marks, two-dimensional to three-dimensional, easily incorporating approaches from other art disciplines.
Theories behind the process of printmaking and those relevant to contemporary printmaking are taught so that curiosity is sparked and investigation ensues. Through class discussions and group critiques students learn how to talk and think critically about art, becoming versed in the language of their medium. The Northridge campus is within reach of the offerings the greater Los Angeles cultural scene has to offer. From visits to studios, museums, and galleries, to visiting lecturers and workshops, students see the trajectory of the art world first hand.
Students develop a solid foundation, individual approaches to form and content, and understanding of how their artwork fits into both a contemporary and historical context, so they are prepared to pursue their professional goals outside the doors of CSUN's classroom.
Printmaking Club Instagram
The Sculpture area encourages creativity and critical thinking by offering access to a wide variety of processes. Our supportive faculty provide students with the tools necessary to discover their own hand and sense of visual poetics.
Connecting this personal touch with the history of art and culture in an increasingly globalized and contemporary world is our objective. We push the interdisciplinary aspects of the field while encouraging cross-pollination within various disciplines.