The Computer Science Animation and Games Emphasis gives students the opportunity to learn both the technical and artistic side of creating and implementing digital animation and games, preparing them for technical careers with animation and game programming studios. Students in the program collaborate regularly with students in the Animation BFA. Students and faculty who work on both the CS emphasis and the Animation BFA are part of BYU’s Center for Animation.

The BYU Computer Science Department has a long history of contribution to the field of computer-generated animation. BYU Computer Science students have been instrumental in the production of each of BYU's celebrated animated shorts. These short films have been widely heralded by the animation industry, including: "Lemmings," "Petshop," "Faux Paw," "Turtles," "Noggin," "Las Piñatas," "Lion and the Mouse," "Pajama Gladiator," "Kites," and "Xing,". They have garnered ten "College Television Awards" or "Student Emmys" from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as four "Student Academy Awards" from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Applying for the Major

The Computer Science Animation and Games Emphasis is a limited-enrollment major. Students interested in participating in the program must be at least enrolled in the current semester in the prerequisite courses (CS 111, CS 235, DESAN 101 and CSANM 150) to apply for the emphasis. You can apply in the semester that you are taking a prerequisite class (put "currently enrolled" for your grade, and we will pull it ourselves when grades post). For additional questions about the application, please reach out to the CS Undergrad Advisor Lynnette Nelson (

Application deadlines are April 15 and December 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Please reference these application instructions when preparing your application.. Please note: Our office closes at 5 p.m.. You will not be able to get any questions answered after that time.

Transcripts do not need to be official.

About the Major

The Animation and Games Emphasis combines a computer science degree with specialized preparation needed to design and develop animated games and films. Students begin by taking fundamentals in computer science and animation, then must apply to the program. After admission, students take additional courses in computer science fundamentals, graphics, and animation. Students can choose electives from both the computer science catalog and specialty courses in animation and games.

Each year, students in the Animation and Games Emphasis collaborate with students in the Animation BFA to create both an animated film and an animated game. These films and games have won many awards. Often students are able to work on a film or a game in multiple years during their time in the program.


A valuable feature of the Animation and Games Emphasis is that students earn a degree in computer science. This qualifies them for software development in a wide variety of areas.

Many of the alumni from this program have accepted positions at animation studios. Alumni are employed with some of the top studios in the industry, including Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney Animation, EntertainmentArts, Industrial Light + Magic, Avalanche Studios, and LucasFilmsAnimation. Alumni students have contributed to a number of recent blockbuster films, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Dead Man's Chest, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Cars, Ratatouille, Shrek 3, and Transformers. Recently, one computer science alumni, Jason Smith, who is currently employed as a technology lead at Industrial Light + Magic, was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the industry's "Brightest and Most Talented 35-and-Under Artisans."

During a speech given at BYU in 2008, Ed Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Disney Animation, lauded the work in animation at BYU. He remarked, "over the years, Pixar has worked with a lot of different universities around the country and hired people. One of the interesting things is, all of a sudden, in the last few years, we found that BYU has risen to the top." Later that afternoon in a press conference, Dr. Catmull told journalists that BYU students hired as interns "come in and do production work right away and do a fantastic job." He continued, "it's amazing to suddenly see that BYU is producing the best in the industry. It's the perception not just at Pixar, but also at the other studios that something pretty remarkable is happening here."


Requirements can change from year to year. When you declare a major, you follow the requirements that were in force that year. You can see an advisor to switch to the current requirements if desired.