Cultivate Your Creativity

At John Paul the Great Catholic University, we believe in the power of beauty to transform culture. We’re shaping the next generation of artists and innovators with academic excellence, unparalleled creativity, and an authentic community centered on Jesus Christ.

JPCatholic’s Animation program features industry professionals, hands-on projects, and rigorous preparation for your career in creative media. Our unique curriculum model combines a well-rounded overview of the entire Animation pipeline with the flexibility to specialize in your area of interest by taking a track of courses suited to your goals.

Choose from Animation electives within three different tracks: Story Art & Directing, 3d Modeling, and Animation. In addition to the hands-on coursework in digital media, you’ll also take our core curriculum which includes Theology, Philosophy, Humanities, and Business

Choose an Animation Track

(Or mix and match between them)


Focus your animation electives on courses in drawing, screenwriting, storyboarding, 2d animation, and pre-production, with cross-training in film courses like cinematography and directing.


Focus your electives on 3d modeling and texturing for props, environments, creatures, and characters.


Focus your electives on Animation in the specific sense of the term - bringing your characters to life with carefully designed motion.

General Education


Grow in faith and understanding with a rich sequence of coursework in Scripture, Theology, and Philosophy.


Prepare yourself for the industry with foundational skills in marketing, management, and entrepreneurial thinking.


Study the human condition by actively engaging in an exploration of art, literature, culture, politics, economics, and more


Hands-on, Project-based Curriculum

In our Animation program, you’ll hone the critical skills you will need to flourish in your career. Our hands-on curriculum focuses on creativity and action, bringing your ideas to life with excellence in every aspect of the pipeline. You’ll start creating projects in your freshman year, giving you abundant opportunities to develop your craft.


Industry Standard Equipment

Our creative arts programs emphasize hands-on experience when it comes to learning your craft— that’s why we give you access to cutting-edge equipment and software starting your freshman year. You’ll have access to all the tools you need to make your vision a reality, including a Motion Capture suit, Wacom tablets, a Drawing Studio, and a professionally equipped Media Lab.


Located in San Diego County

Our campus is centered in north county San Diego, just a 35-minute drive from downtown in America's Finest City. Southern California is famous for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches and mountains, and bustling metropolitan areas. Our campus is just 15 miles from the beach, a short trip by car or train.


Quarter in L.A.

As upperclassmen, media students have the opportunity to live in Burbank for a quarter, located right up the street from the Warner Bros. studio lot. These 8 weeks open up a host of new opportunities for internships, networking, and experiencing life in the entertainment capital of the world.


Our Authentically Catholic Community

Our campus is a place where students can grow both professionally and spiritually. We’re a unique community of artists and innovators, centered around our faith in Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic faith. Immerse yourself in an abundance of opportunities for spiritual growth, including Daily Mass, Confession, Adoration, Rosary, Retreats, and Service Projects.


Study Abroad

JPCatholic offers a unique model of study abroad with a variety of destinations. Each trip is an interactive academic experience that starts with ten weeks of classroom instruction on-campus here in Escondido and culminates in a week or two of travel led by the professor. Destinations may be international or domestic, and each course is specially designed to provide a unique cultural and educational experience to the student.


Our Small Campus Environment

With a total student body under 300, JPCatholic offers a warm, tight-knit campus community. Foster lifelong friendships, form creative partnerships, and surround yourself with a supportive environment that encourages your growth in both virtue and artistic excellence.

Our small classroom sizes offer the chance for one-on-one mentorship from industry professionals who still work in their field.


Graduate in 3 Years

Our unique academic model prepares students for the real-world pace of professional life in the industry, with a focus on hands-on projects, internships, and portfolio preparation. The program is structured on a year-round quarter system, and you graduate with your Bachelors Degree in just 12 quarters. Each quarter is 10 weeks long, with about 3 weeks of break between each quarter.


Alumni Success

JPCatholic alumni have found success in a variety of paths, ranging from Hollywood to independent media organizations, and from large corporations to nonprofits to their own entrepreneurial start-ups. View our placement rate and alumni jobs by clicking below.


Related Videos

Curriculum Overview | Animation Program

Prof. Eric Van Hamersveld | Faculty Spotlight

Faculty Mentorship | Animation Program

Creating VFX for “Roy” That Serve the Story

Using MoCap to Composite a Robot | Compositing Class

Sam Wurth: The Vital Power of Creativity | Why We Create

Designing a Film with Emotional Impact | Guest Speaker Tim Reckart

Faculty Spotlight: Nate Sartain

Introducing JPCatholic’s Crash Course in Storytelling

Meet the Faculty

JPCatholic’s professors have a wealth of experience, and many still actively work in the industry.

Chris Riley

Chris Riley

Professor of Story

Max Hulburt

Max Hulburt

Professor of Animation & Chair of Animation and Gaming

Jacqueline Nicolini

Jacqueline Nicolini

Adjunct Professor of Art

Eric Van Hamersveld

Eric Van Hamersveld

Adjunct Professor of 2D Animation

Nate Sartain

Nate Sartain

Adjunct Professor of Art & Design

George Castro

George Castro

Adjunct Professor of Animation

Colin Brady

Colin Brady

Visiting Professor of Animation

Student Showcase


“I have the privilege of being a part of the design team at Drive Studio - I am involved with the entire spectrum of the creative process, including creating concepts, designing logos, building 3D models, compositing, animating and video editing."

Nate Sjogren
Class of 2011
Broadcast Designer at Drive Studios

“Even by sophomore year, my knowledge and production has far surpassed where I thought I would have been at this point in my academic career. The professors are wonderful!”

Stephanie Franco
Class of 2015