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3D Graphics Technology associate of applied science degree

Edward Mineck, Chairperson

Kurt Stoskopf, Program Director
585-286-5345 (VP),

Program overview

The AAS degree in 3D graphics technology introduces concepts related to three dimensional (3D) graphics, and teaches students the creative and technical skills required to produce 3D graphics, 3D prints, environmental renderings that range from artistic to photorealistic in quality, and 3D models used in multimedia and animation. A combination of traditional design skills and digital design techniques are taught, along with the representation of concepts of time, motion, and lighting principles. This program prepares students for one of two options: entering the 3D graphics industry after graduation or continuing their studies in the 3D digital design BFA program offered by the College of Art and Design.

The 3D graphics technology program consists of 72 credits taken over five semesters with a required cooperative work experience taken after the fourth semester. There are 48 credits of technical courses, 24 credits of liberal arts and sciences courses, a non-credit Freshman Seminar course, plus wellness.

The program's curriculum prepares and trains students for entry-level employment in the 3D graphics industry. The 3D graphics technology program covers the artistic and technical sides of the industry, with a specific focus on the modeling, animation, and visualization processes in 3D graphics. Students acquire the creative and technical skills required to create 3D graphics, 3D printouts, environmental visualization graphics, and 3D models used in multimedia and animation.

The program also requires students to acquire skills in traditional media drawing and painting, as well as in animation, modeling, 3D printing, and reading and understanding design plans and blueprints. Students acquire computer-based skills in 2D and 3D graphics software. In addition, students learn skills related to project management and teamwork.

The Capstone course (N3DG-270) offered in the final semester provides students with an opportunity to utilize their skills on an applied skill-focused project that is completed with advice and guidance of faculty from the visual communications studies department. The structure of the Capstone course is that of a self-directed, semester-long project that is completed either on an individual basis or as part of a team-based project.

All students gain real work experience through one term of required cooperative education employment. They also complete a required portfolio workshop course in which they refine and complete their portfolio as needed for application to the BFA program in 3D digital design in the College of Art and Design, or for an employment search.

STEM and the 3DGT program

Education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers is a major emphasis for students, parents, and counselors as they consider which college programs match students' interests and aptitudes. Funding for STEM career preparation is often a driving factor. The NTID 3D graphics technology program is a STEM career program. 3D graphics is listed in the technology/computer science STEM disciplines. 3D graphics and production for 3D printing, print media, and digital media cannot happen without immersion in computer technology.

On-the-job responsibilities

Graduates from the 3DGT program create 3D graphics, 3D printouts, environmental visualization graphics, and 3D models used in multimedia and animation on the job. Graduates will also be responsible for creating traditional media drawings and paintings, as well as animating 3D graphics, modeling, 3D printing, reading and understanding design plans and blueprints to translate into 3D models, and applying computer-based skills in 2D and 3D graphics software.

Places of employment

Students in the 3D graphics technology program will be prepared and qualified for obtaining entry-level employment in the industry, finding jobs with titles such as: junior computer graphic designer, junior computer animator, technical illustrator, 3D illustrator, 3D animator, junior environment artist, junior animator, 3D generalist, modeler, animator, texture artist, 3D visualization artist, and rigger. Graduates usually find employment in a variety of commercial, corporate, government, and educational settings. Examples include computer graphics firms, advertising agencies, art studios, architectural firms, film and video studios, animation studios, government agencies, industrial training or media departments, educational media centers, and educational institutions.


Successful completion of a sampling experience offered during the Summer Vestibule Program and during the academic year is required. The sampling activities provide opportunities for students to learn about the visual communications field, identify career opportunities, and evaluate their interest and aptitude for a degree program.

ACT: Composite test score of 17 or better

English: Placement into the Critical Reading and Writing (UWRT-100) course.

Mathematics: Placement into the Mathematics in Society (NMTH-140) course. Typically, students entering this major will have completed at least two years of high school mathematics.

Science: Typically, students entering this major will have completed at least two years of high school science.


3D graphics technology, AAS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
NAIS-130 Raster and Vector Graphics 3
N3DG-100 Design Drawing 3
N3DG-110 Basic 3D Modeling 3
NCAR-010 Freshman Seminar 0
NAIS-120 Principles of Design and Color 3
N3DG-115 Intermediate 3D Modeling and Techniques 3
N3DG-140 3D Lighting and Materials 3
UWRT-150 First Year Writing: Writing Seminar 3
  ASL-Deaf Cultural Studies† 0
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Elective‡ 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
N3DG-210 Advanced 3D Modeling and Techniques 3
N3DG-220 Principles of 4D Design 3
NAIS-201 Employment Seminar 3
ARTH-135 LAS Perspective 2: History of Western Art - Ancient to Medieval 3
N3DG-225 3D Motion 3
N3DG-230 3D Printing 3
N3DG-260 Professional Practices 3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspective 3: History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern 3
NAIS-299 Cooperative Education: Visual Communications Studies co-op
  NGRD or NGRP Electives 6
Third Year
N3DG-270 Capstone 3
NAIS-292 Portfolio Workshop 3
  LAS Perspective 1 (ethical) 3
  LAS Perspective 4 (social) 3
  LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)§ 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 72

Please see the NTID General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing associate degrees are required to complete one Wellness course.

† An ASL-Deaf Cultural Studies (AASASLDCS) course is required for graduation. It can be taken in any semester and can be taken at NTID or another college of RIT. In order to fulfill this requirement as part of the credit hours in the program, it can be a course approved for both AASASLDCS and an LAS Perspective or LAS Elective.

‡ Any mathematics course numbered NMTH-120 or higher.

§ Any science course numbers NSCI-120 or higher.