Unleash your creativity and bring your imagination to life with our Bachelor of Science in Design – Digital Animation program. Dive into the world of computer-generated imagery, visual effects, character animation and storytelling. Gain hands-on experience in industry-standard animation software and develop a strong foundation in design principles. As a digital animator, you will have the opportunity to work in animation studios, gaming companies, advertising agencies and film production houses. Join us and become a visionary artist, creating immersive digital experiences that captivate audiences.
Provide students a substantial understanding and fair knowledge of the Design fields.
Provide students with specialized skills that enable them to develop innovative, creative and problem-solving skills and make aesthetic judgments in their area of work.
Prepare students for successful and productive careers in Design fields by adapting to the technological changes through teamwork, ethical concerns, and effective communication.
Enable students to pursue their advanced studies and life-long learning in the design field.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in digital animation concepts and processes.
- Use and integrate knowledge and relevant technologies, methodologies, and professional skills into meaningful animation and time-based solutions.
- Apply critical thinking and analytical skills per animation industry standards.
- Produce a satisfactory body of animation work, appropriate for a professional position in the industry.
- Appraise digital animation practices, ethical and social responsibilities in regional and global contexts.
Prior to their enrollment in the program, students applying for Bachelor of Science in Design must sit for the placement test related to the program, failure to successfully passing the placement test, they are required to enroll in the following courses:
Academic Writing (*)
Passing the Placement Test
Passing the Placement Test
Passing the Placement Test
(*) Students must pass the English Proficiency.
General Education Courses
Total Number of Courses
Total Number of Credit Hours
126 Credit Hours
A: University Core Requirements
The student selects 6 credit hours (2 courses) from the list below:
The purpose of this course is to facilitate the process of transition into new academic and cultural environment for the new students enrolled in the AUE. Furthermore, it aims to promote their confidence so that they could succeed and meet the academic requirements. The course assimilates academic content with interactive in class activities to ensure understanding of curricular options and begin to develop a future career plan through self-reflection.
Innovation is the engine of opportunity and, acting as a catalyst, this course is intended to ignite an interest in innovation and inspire entrepreneurial action. At the core of innovation and entrepreneurship is a commitment to experiential learning that will encourage students to engage in critical thinking, creative problem-solving while also equipping them with the soft skills needed in their pursuit of academic and professional endeavors. Students will discuss the relevance and role of innovation and entrepreneurship in work and life situations; determine opportunities for creative disruption and design a strategy for its implementation; develop a practical understanding of innovation through thoughtful debate and exercises; and demonstrate critical thinking and individual insight with a personal mastery portfolio.
B: Languages and Communication Studies
The student must select 9 credit hours (3 courses) from the list below.
Students must take all of the following courses:
This course provides students with advanced writing skills in English so that they can successfully pursue their studies in various academic specializations. It helps students to develop, improve, and upgrade their writing and structure skills, and it also acquaints students with technical writing, research papers, and essays since brief research methods are applied in student projects and assignments.
Students must take one of the following Arabic Language courses:
This course is designed to enable the Arabic-speaking student with the necessary language skills, especially focusing on the steps of writing reports, official letters and systematic research.
To achieve this, and to develop the student’s abilities to understand correctly what he reads and listens, and to gain the ability to write articles, reports, meeting minutes and recommendations of conferences and seminars in a sound manner, the course was concerned with training the student in basic writing skills; such as multiple spelling rules, punctuation marks, paragraph system, and essay writing progressively.
This course is based on the principle that “Education” is an accumulative task especially when it comes to language learning. This process undergoes specific stages to assist the non-Arabic speakers to reach the ultimate goal which is to acquire the required skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) easily and accurately. To achieve this aim, text-based dialogues are provided as head start for the non-Arabic speakers to continue to the higher levels. The course also provides basic elements for reading, writing, dialogues, and listening to assist the learners to confidently interact with the Arab community.
C: The Natural sciences or Mathematics
The student must select 6 credit hours (2 courses) from the list below:
The ‘Principles of Environmental Science’ course is designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of Environmental Science to undergraduate students. It includes topics from different areas of study such as ecology, biology, soil science and atmospheric science. The course aims at raising environmental awareness among students and providing them with the scientific knowledge and skills to identify, prevent and solve environmental problems. Additionally, it deals with ecological concepts, organism interactions, communities and ecosystems. The course focuses on key areas of population dynamics, biodiversity, human activities and the environment managed ecosystems, air quality, water and solid waste management
This course gives a This course gives a thorough introduction to sustainable energy, conservation, and energy efficiency within the UAE and the world. It will explore the relationship between energy, environment, economy and ecological well-being. It will discuss energy production from the biology, natural science, environmental science and social sciences perspectives. A variety of topics will be introduced including global warming, climate change, sustainable food production, solid waste management, environmental and natural resources laws. The course includes the growing challenges of climate change and energy crisis and proposes solutions to overcome them.
This course is designed to develop a good understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics. It also stresses on crucial cognitive transferable skills such as the ability to think logically and concisely. Mastering this course will give students the confidence to go on and do further courses in mathematics and statistics.
D: The Social or Behavioral Sciences
The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below:
This course provides an understanding of anthropology, the study of human beings throughout time and space. Anthropology is a broad discipline that studies human from a holistic perspective looking at both biological and cultural aspects. Anthropologists use different methods in order to understand and study humans. During this course, students will experience ethnographic fieldwork.
This course will introduce the students to the key concepts of Political Science and its principal tools. The course will discuss the role of main political actors in the field of politics and their function.
This course serves as an introduction into the interdisciplinary and multifaceted social sciences. The content on the course covers the range of different disciplines that social sciences consists of, namely: anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, economics and to a lesser extent also history and geography. The secondary aim of the course is moreover for students to develop their critical thinking skills by engaging actively with material about social issues, social change and social institutions.
An introduction to the science of psychology, its theories and foundations. The course is focused on principles and research methodologies, including the following topics: history of psychology, the biology of mind, memory, learning, child and personality development, psychological disorders and therapy. The aim of the course is to introduce the basis of psychology, provide the foundational knowledge to pursue the subject in more depth in the future, and build an ongoing interest in the application of psychology in everyday life.
This course will provide the students with a comprehensive overview of geography. Emphasis is on concepts that are necessary to understand global, regional and local issues. This course also includes topics on both human and physical geography.
E: The Humanities or Arts
The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below:
F: Islamic Studies
The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below
G: UAE Studies
The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below.
This course examines color theory as an aid to communication, control and expression in traditional and contemporary design. The fundamental course allows students to explore color topics including color theory, color interaction, and color psychology. Students will study a wide range of creative and technical aspects of color and its use in design, experimenting with traditional mediums and digital applications.
This course is one of the fundamental courses in which the students will be introduced to the visual elements of design comprising of: point and line; shape and form; surface and texture; color and value; light and shadow; negative and positive space. The students will practice design principles: unity and variety; similarity; emphasis and point of interest; scale; proportion; and balance. This course is designed to give the students a strong understanding of 2D and 3D visual communications.
Fundamentals of Graphic Illustration and Digital Imaging introduces students to the use of a computer as a powerful digital drawing and imaging tool. The focus of the course is on basic computer skills and use, mastering fundamental digital illustration and imaging skills, and developing efficient working styles. The course learning experience incorporates a variety of visual artwork strategies including but not limited to, color/ texture enhancements, typography, pen/ brush tools, , perspective tool, using different color schemes. This course involves considerable hands-on instruction and multiple projects using Adobe Photoshop/ Illustrator.
This course provides a core introduction to drawing, covering a wide range of basic and intermediate practical and technical skills. Students will explore approaches and concepts to the subject through manual practice using a comprehensive range of media and with reference to great masters in the field. Traditional and objective drawing skills in the use of line, tone, form and perspective provide the foundation for learning in this course. Students are required to develop their ability to observe, perceive and interpret through drawing the world around them, reflecting their understanding of 2D and 3D space.
This course introduces students to human centered design thinking methods and practices through a variety of hands-on activities. DT is a methodology used by designers for the identification of problems and the definition of innovative solutions. Students will engage in processes for idea generation including sketching and diagramming, concept mapping and low-fidelity prototyping infusing visualization techniques and empathic tools into their design process.
This course is a chronological survey of art and design offering students an in-depth understanding of the role of art throughout history with a strong focus on aesthetic values, socio-cultural influences and technical terminology. Architecture, sculpture, painting, decorative arts, prehistoric art, design of the ancient world, the world beyond Europe, early Christian and Islamic art and the art of the Middle-Ages and Gothic period form the foundation of the course material spanning a period from 40,000 BC to 1300 AD.
This course covers the extensive cultural shifts from the early Renaissance through to the 20th century. Students will study painting, sculpture, furniture architecture as individual works in relation to their geographical, social, political, and religious environments. Also, analysis and comparative study of periodic decorative elements, strong designs and architectural features will be conducted.
In this course, students will learn various techniques to construct objects in digital 3D space, as well as physical 3D solutions. Students will follow a concept development process of research and sketching, to generate designs for 3D production. A final original design, related to each student’s major, will be constructed using industry-standard 3D software.
This course introduces students to different drawing concepts and skills through observation and exploration of several drawing techniques. In this course, students will develop the ability to express themselves, learn problem solving, and exploring portraiture, figure drawing, landscape drawing, advanced compositions, and explore its impact on their specialization. Critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and a self-directed improvement capability are essentially required for this course.
The course is designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in design. Graphic, Interior, Fashion Design and Digital Animation are brought together into one studio environment to allow students with different skills and strengths work as a team solving a relatively complex design problem. Students develop a research plan followed by the establishment of intent and context for the topic and identification of stakeholders, leading to concept exploration and creation of a holistic design solution in cooperation with other specializations, institutes or with professionals from the industry.
Pre-Internship is a zero credit hour internship preparatory course designed for students seeking an internship. The course will prepare students to successfully plan their internship by researching and identifying potential internship opportunities, creating professional resume and letter of introduction, developing interviewing and networking skills as well as a portfolio per industry requirements. Students will go through different learning modules including experiences, team work skills, communication skills, leadership skills, problem solving, self-management and professionalism to be able to make the most of their internship.
The college considers students’ internship as an essential channel that brings together the college, the students, and the job marketplace. Furthermore, internship is a method that integrates the instructional theoretical backgrounds to real existing practice. The training allows them to work under the observation and guidance of the field supervisor without replacing any regular employee. The internship is closely monitored by a college faculty member as an academic supervisor.
This course is exploration of animation theory, principles and techniques. Principles of animation will be introduced through the art of experimental and stop motion animation. Practical experience with different techniques including but not limited to the media of clay, paper cutouts, found objects, pixilation, and stop motion puppets will be provided to the students. Projects developed in this course will increase the students’ professional vocabulary and allow them to demonstrate a working knowledge of a range of animation techniques.
This course covers the theory of digital production, compositing and working in digital formats. In addition to production theory, students learn to handle equipment as they shoot, light, record sound, edit, and author original productions.
This course introduces the theory and production of motion graphics utilizing industry-standard software and current broadcast techniques with emphasis on classic animation principles and workflow. The focus is on animating with typography, graphic symbols, shapes and color, to design and produce highly compelling time-based motion graphics and typography for broadcast, web, and mobile platforms.
This course introduces students to the different 3D modeling hard-surface methods using industry relevant software with an emphasis on polygonal, subdivision surfaces and Nurbs modeling. The focus will be on the basic and advanced tools, and the production methodology.
This course focuses on 3D character design and modeling for animation. Modeling, animation, lighting, texture mapping and rendering are introduced in a production setting. Students will work on several hands-on 3D modeling and animation projects using industry-standard software.
This course builds upon information introduced in Character Modeling and introduces basic theory of computer animation with an emphasis on character development. Students will be able to hone their professional skills through exploration and application of animation principles (timing, spacing, force, dynamic posing, weight, arcs) and technique. The principles of character animation will be implemented in conceptualizing, storyboarding and executing of a high-quality animation project.
This course is an exploration of the history and evolution of animation forms and contemporary animation. Students will identify and analyze the timeline of different genres and the work of the key creative figures in the development of this industry. In addition to lectures, review and analysis of professional work, they will construct early animation devices to develop an understanding of the moving image.
This course introduces students to storyboarding as an integrated stage in the preproduction process through studying scripts and sketching a sequence of images to give a better idea of how the scene will play out. Story development, camera language, stages in storyboarding, storyboarding formats, motion and animation, character development, preproduction packets, and pitching will be included. Students will learn how to structure a storyboard for presentation.
In this course, students will construct rigs for characters and animals, for efficient and convincing animation. Students will experiment with both FK and IK systems and their respective components, spline controls, and blend shapes. Scripting, expressions and Set Driven Key will be covered, to create rigs for dynamic animation.
This course covers the pre-production planning and processes for digital animation projects. The students will follow the necessary steps in the production pipeline while identifying and refining their idea, concept and methodology. Students will implement a team-based animation project to understand and manage the collaborative workspace. Tasks will include story, script, concept, storyboard, character design, storyboards, animatics, modeling and rigging.
This course covers production and postproduction for animation. The students will continue working on their team-based Capstone Project. They will receive continuous instructions and critiques from their supervisor. In addition, students will complete peer review approaches to their projects. Students will receive feedback and refine their concepts, methodologies and outcomes, focusing on meeting deadlines, and following the production pipeline to maintain efficient professional practices.
Findings will be documented weekly, compiled, and presented orally as well as in writing through a capstone report. A Demo Reel of the student work on the capstone production will be delivered.
This course provides an opportunity for students to focus on various issues in digital animation and to study advanced techniques and processes. Course content vary each time the course is offered. The course emphasizes research analysis and the creative process that leads to innovative solutions and allows students to pursue individual projects related to the subject of the course. The course may include lectures, discussions, individual projects and critique, depending on the nature of the topic.
This course is an exploration of theory, principles and techniques of 2D animation using industry standard software. Students will apply basic animation principles to produce their own characters, storyboards and integrate them into a short-animated movie utilizing industry standard software. Emphasis will be placed on timing and performance. Use of capture device, pencil tests, inking, audio/visual language integration and other 2D animation skills will be explored.
This course is an implementation of the twelve principles of animation with 3D animation tools. Students will be able to build a solid set of foundational skills and to create convincing and entertaining animation as well as to enhance their knowledge of the basic physics and mechanics of animation. Studio practice will include graph editor drills, best practices from planning to polish, and carefully guided demonstrations. At the end of the semester, student will be presenting a short character animation, including audio, background, lights, and camera.
Typography-I is the study of letterforms including their purpose as communication tools, type anatomy, syntax, and their evolution with technologies in printing and new media. This course will provide the student with a foundation to understand the evolution of typography from both historical and conceptual perspective. Students will be exposed to a vocabulary of professional terms to articulately communicate their ideas with their peers, and their future associates and clients. In addition, students will learn to incorporate the basic principles of typography with the essential technical skills necessary to achieve success in graphic design and advertising.
Students will develop an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and figure construction through exploration of the skeletal, muscular and surface systems of the human body. Portraiture and facial expression also form part of the course. Classic technique and personal interpretation will be explored through intensive studio practice based on direct observation of the model examining shape, form, line, tone, value, texture, weight, balance, stress and movement. Advanced composition, sophisticated mark-making and the development of personal expression, interpretation and visual fluency are key in this course as well as thoughtful and constructive participation in group critiques using appropriate terminology.
Recommended Study Plan
The American University in the Emirates is licensed by the UAE Ministry of Education – Commission for Academic Accreditation | caa.ae
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) has granted AUE’s Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design, Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, and Bachelor of Science in Animation the designation of Substantial Equivalency with accredited programs in the United States.
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, USA
Prof. Taha Duri
Professor / Dean
Dr. Toufic Haidamous
Assistant Professor / Department Chair - Interior Design
Mr. Wameedh Jamil
Assistant Professor / Department Chair - Graphic Design
Ms. Shlagha Agarwal
Assistant Professor / Department Chair - Fashion Design
Mr. Rahul Malpure
Assistant Professor / Department Chair -Digital Animation
Dr. Arafat Al Naim
Dr. Luca Donner
Ms. Jill Alexandria
Mr. Gaurav Jain
Mr. Neven Mihic
Ms. Ferwa Ibrahim
Mrs. Mai Zoheir
- For Admission Requirements for Freshman students (those who have just completed high school and have never attended an Institute of Higher Education before) click here
- For Admission Requirements for Transfer students (those who have studied at another higher education institution and would like to transfer their credits to AUE) click here
- For Admission Requirements for Visiting students (those who are currently enrolled in a different higher education institution and would like to take some courses at AUE as part of the study plan of their home university/college) click here
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