Texas Tech University

Animation Studies

Interdisciplinary Certificate :: 12 credit-hours


It surrounds us in our daily lives, shaping how we understand our constantly-changing world and the role technology plays in it. More than just entertainment, animation is embedded in how we research, develop, and share new ideas. From social media, gaming, and art, to medicine, laboratory sciences, and education, animation is a flexible and adaptable means of communication and sharing.

As an institution dedicated to world-leading educational opportunities and training, the Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts has recognized in animation an outstanding opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in a unique blend of coursework and experiences in preparation for understanding the importance of and role for animation in a diverse range of settings and needs. Our Certificate in Animation Studies is the first of its kind in the United States, interlocking disciplines across the Talkington College's three Schools—Art, Theatre & Dance, and Music—to create an interdisciplinary approach to fine art studies in which students receive unique educational experiences and training unrivaled anywhere else. A successfully completed certificate is both a marker of specialized artistic training and a demonstration of a graduate's interdisciplinary skills and intellect.

What is Animation Studies?


A cutting-edge field, animation studies unites practitioners and scholars in the history and theory of animation to explore animation's many applications in our digitized world. Its concentration on animation makes this field inherently interdisciplinary, as it highlights the effects and importance of new media in all areas of knowledge and cultural impact.

Because of its wide-ranging importance, academic training in animation studies will better equip students with professional understanding and literacy in whatever career path they choose. Our emphasis on interdisciplinary critical thinking and evaluation has utility well beyond the arts, extending into novel problem-solving approaches for cooperative learning and other professional skill sets highly demanded by today's competitive economy.

The Certificate in Animation Studies is an exciting opportunity for students to build a practical, interdisciplinary arts component into their academic program, ensuring that their time at Texas Tech translates into meaningful and significant preparation for the next stage in their careers and lives.



  • Register for the Certificate (Contact Dr. Ortega)
  • Take 12 hours of course work (Classes cycle in pairs throughout the Fall and Spring semesters)
  • Students officialy registered in the certificate are exempted from course prerequisites

The animation studies certificate consists of four theoretical-practical classes taught by recognized scholars in the Talkington College. Through these professors, researchers, and practitioners, students are introduced to the history, theory, application, and principles of animation while at the same time acquiring practical, hands-on experience of animation as a lived art form by learning stop-motion animation and sound synchronization. These combined experiences offer a comprehensive concentration on the theory, history, and fundamental pragmatics of animation from a wide range of perspectives.

THA 1301 - Voice I for the Actor (Voice Acting)
(Taught during the fall semesters by Rachel Hirshorn)

In Voiceover training, and professional acting in general, a key component for the artist is the ability to develop physical, vocal, and emotional responsiveness to sound and imagery. Goals are achieved through group and partner exercises; individual coaching; and assignments that include reading, writing, and performances of improvisations and memorized text.

MUHL 4300 - Music and Animation (Music & Media Studies)
(Taught during the spring semesters by Dr. Jocoy)

This course examines the historical use of music and sound in animation, from the silent era to the present day, studying the techniques, styles, and theory of film music through the examination of selected scenes and soundtracks. The course will familiarize students with a range of musical terminology and theoretical structures as relate specifically to the integral connection with visual literacy and narrativity.

ARTH 4308 - Animation and Modern and Contemporary Art
(Taught during the spring semesters by Dr. Orfila)

The history of animation— from its pre-cinematic manifestations as optical toys, color organs, fireworks spectacles to its development as a cinematic practice and as a post-filmic technique—reflects the major technological breakthroughs of the last two centuries as well as the development and institutionalization of the modern and contemporary arts. The course will provide students with tools to examine the epistemological underpinnings reflected in the vocabulary, categories, and methods used for the study of the arts.

VPA 4300 - Capstone for Animation Studies
(Taught during the fall semesters starting in fall 2021 by Dr. Ortega)

NOTE: It is recommended to take at least two of the prior listed classes before taking the capstone.

This class is the capstone for the VPA Animation Studies Certificate, were students will apply the information learned in the Art, Theater, and Music courses by creating a series of animated projects. The course provides students with foundational skills to animate in stop-motion focusing on the 12 principles of animation while teaching fundamental structures of timing, composition, storytelling, and acting, combined with basic elements for sound synchronization and lip-synch.


Dr. Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo
Dr. Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo

School of Art
Certificate Coordinator
[ francisco.ortega@ttu.edu ]

Dr. Jorgelina Orfila
Dr. Jorgelina Orfila
School of Art
[ jorgelina.orfila@ttu.edu ]

Dr. Stacey Jocoy
Dr. Stacey Jocoy
School of Music
[ stacey.jocoy@ttu.edu ]

Rachel Hirshorn, M.F.A.
Rachel Hirshorn, M.F.A.
School of Theater and Dance
[ rachel.hirshorn@ttu.edu ]