1. What is the significance of my "catalog year?"
You will be held to the specific requirements of the catalog to which you are assigned—freshmen are under the catalog for the year in which they enter Chapman. Transfer students are under the catalog for the year before you enter Chapman, working on the assumption that before you transferred you were planning your courses at your first school to work with what was being offered at Chapman. If you decide to change to a later catalog because the requirements in the major have changed or you wish to choose another major not offered under your catalog, you will also be held to any changes that may have been put in place in regards to GE, credit limitations, etc. It is best to run a “what if” scenario with your program evaluation and to meet with your academic center advisor before you decide to change catalogs for any reason.
2. Is there a resource outside the classroom to learn some of the software programs I need to know?
Yes, Chapman students have free access to the online software tutorial at Lynda.com. You can access this resource at https://webfarm.chapman.edu/lyndacas using your Chapman username and password.
In addition, Dodge College has posted several tutorials on how to use our software. You can access this resource at http://ftvstudents.chapman.edu/production/tutorials/ using your Chapman username and password
Finally, Digital Arts students have free access to Digital Tutors. In the first week of class, you will receive an email inviting to complete your registration. After filling out the registration form, you will be able to access this resource at www.digitaltutors.com using your Chapman email address and the password you create upon registration.
3. How can I get a course substitution or a course at another school approved?
You need to send the name, course number and catalog description of the course at the other institution to the Division Chair, Janell Shearer at firstname.lastname@example.org along with the name of the school where you plan to take the course, a copy of your program evaluation, and the name and number of the course you suggest that the outside course be substituted for. She will review the request with the DA faculty and let you know whether the substitution is approved.
4. Can I take a course in the major or minor pass/no pass?
5. How do I get into a class that's full? How does the waitlist work?
Show up on the first day of class to see if there is room available. However, be advised that which students are admitted to a class is entirely up to the instructor. Typically, students are admitted on the basis of class standing, thus seniors have preference over juniors, juniors over sophomores etc. In addition, majors have preference over minors or non-majors. Your position on the waitlist does not guarantee you a place in the class once the first day of the semester begins. The waitlist only places students in a class when a previously enrolled student drops the course before the semester begins. Once the semester begins, the instructor can choose whom to admit, regardless or any student’s previous standing on the waitlist. Basically, the waitlist means nothing once the term begins.
6. What classes should I take and in what order?
Your faculty advisor can give you a suggested 4-year advising plan. Consult your catalog year and program evaluation regularly, paying special attention to courses that have prerequisites and what semester various courses are offered.
7. What is the Sophomore Survey?
The Sophomore Survey is a questionnaire you will be asked to complete in the spring semester of your sophomore year to help you gauge your skills and talents, your success and interests against the three areas of study offered in the major. You will receive the survey via email and when you have completed it, you will be asked to come in for a one-on-one interview with a DA faculty member to review your progress in the program thus far.
8. What is an Area of Study?
An Area of Study is a concentration of courses that will prepare you to specialize in one aspect of Digital Arts, either Animation, Visual Effects or Art Direction.
9. How do I declare an Area of Study?
Select the Change of Major form for your catalog year on the Registrar's Office Forms page of the Chapman University website. Select Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and from the drop down menu, choose Digital Arts and the appropriate Area of Study.
10. What is Senior Thesis?
Your Senior Thesis will be the “capstone” project of your career here at Dodge College. It will be the project you create, using your accumulated knowledge and skills, to represent your talent and abilities to future employers. Senior Thesis production will cover three semesters. It begins in the Spring of Junior Year, when you conceive of the idea for your project and lay the foundations; artistically, technically, and logistically. The Summer offers you three months to advance your project. During the Fall semester of Senior year, you will be in the thick of production, and in Spring of Senior year you will wrap production, do post-production, and finish. During Senior year, you should expect to devote a minimum of 20 hours/week to your thesis project. In Digital Arts, all Senior Thesis projects are screened on Digital Arts Night, when we have our public screening and big after-party for family and friends.
11. What is Digital Arts night?
“Digital Arts Night” is another term we use for our annual “Senior Thesis Show,” when all senior projects are shown to the public. Under the rules of Dodge College, all seniors must publicly screen their final project in order to graduate. Our show happens in the Folino Theater, usually during the last week of the Spring semester. The senior class sits in the front row and seats are reserved for seniors’ family and guests. The Digital Arts faculty judge the students’ work and award nominations for the coveted DMA Awards for Best Achievement in Animation, Visual Effects, and Design. The after-party is always a blast, with special decorations, lighting effects, and the traditional “picture cake,” featuring images of every senior film in colorized, edible frosting.
12. How many hours should I expect to devote to my senior thesis?
During the first semester of this three-semester project, students receive weekly homework assignments. In the following two semesters (during your senior year), you should be putting in 15-20 hours minimum per week outside of class.
13. Can I work on a Senior Thesis as an undergraduate?
You can volunteer to help on a Senior Thesis project, but it is more typical to be ”recruited.” Seniors will often visit undergraduate class sections, explain the needs of their projects, and solicit help. By working on a Senior Thesis project, you not only help that senior student, but gain technical expertise and a collaborative work experience. If you decide to do this, be sure you understand the requirements of the job, do not misrepresent your skills, agree on the amount and complexity of the work you will do, and follow through on your commitment once you begin.
14. How can I help with visual effects on a live action film?
As a Digital Arts major, you may be approached by live action student filmmakers to do FX on their films. It is NOT a good idea to do this unsupervised. The best way, and the way we support and encourage, is for you to work under the guidance of the VISUAL EFFECTS COMMITTEE (VFXC). The VFXC is composed of faculty who understand the complexity and scope of the work. The VFXC reviews all live action film requests, decides what tasks are right for DA majors, and supervises that work. You can contact the VFXC and let them know of your interest and skill set. You should request any live action filmmaker to submit their project to the VFXC through this form: http://ftvstudents.chapman.edu/production/vfx_request_form/