The new Expanded Animation: Research + Practice (XA) program explores the ever-evolving field of animation. XA strives to expand the meaning of the art form and establish new ways to perceive, understand, and express the world around us. Students direct and create their own original works while exploring concepts and ideas through traditional and new media approaches. From fine art animation, installation, documentary, dreams and consciousness, emotion and gesture, animation for AI, robotics and virtual humans, sound design, and science visualization.

XA is designed to drive new forms of pedagogical innovation and creative production at the intersection of art, science, and technology. A focus on community building, diversity, mindfulness through collaboration, plein-air artistic practice, global storytelling and personal journeys are also explored. Students will focus on advanced animation practice as well as social responsibility.

We ask - how does animation penetrate these fields? What is the future of animation? How can we apply our art practice in an ethical and socially responsible manner?

The faculty admissions committee reviews applications for originality, vision, personal insight, creativity, and potential. Considerable importance is placed on the Cinematic Arts Portfolio, Personal Statement, responses to all application questions and letters of recommendation. There are no admission interviews. The committee ensures that all applicants are judged equitably by limiting evaluation to the items listed.

You must submit the SlideRoom Application titled: "Graduate Expanded Animation Research + Practice".

You must access the SlideRoom Application via the "Go to SlideRoom" link in the SlideRoom tab in the Program Materials quadrant of the Graduate Application for Admission. The SlideRoom Application should only be accessed via this button in order for your applications to be linked and successfully submitted.

  1. Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)

    The Cinematic Arts Personal Statement should reflect your individuality and explain why you would like to study Expanded Animation Research + Practice at USC. The faculty admissions committee will review this statement as a measure of your creativity, passion, identity, potential for expanded practice, social impact, and personal vision. We are looking for a sense of you as a unique individual and how your distinctive experiences, identities, values, and/or views of the world have shaped who you are. The statement should be a 1-2 pages and it should give the committee a sense of your current research and practice and artistic ambitions.

  2. Résumé (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)

    1-2 page resume including a record of your academic, professional, and artistic background and experience, listing creative projects in which you have participated. Formal recognition - such as awards, publications, jobs and exhibitions - should be noted.

  3. Portfolio (Upload in Portfolio section)

    The portfolio may consist of still images (10-15 pieces) and movie files. Please include a selection from the following that best represents your work:

    • Life drawing
    • 2D/3D digital artwork and/or animation
    • Live action and animation hybrids
    • Abstract or experimental work
    • Analog and/or digital projects
    • VR or AR projects
    • Games and/or interactive projects
    • Installations
    • Documentary animation
    • Stop motion animation
    • Science visualization
    • Multi-disciplinary projects
    • Other samples that represent the applicant's aesthetic sense and capabilities
    • Any examples of artistic or theoretical research
    • For any joint projects, please specify your role in the production.

    Moving files should be uploaded as individual files not to exceed a total of 15 minutes of material. Please do not upload one single large file.