THE source for aspiring animation, design, and gaming professionals seeking info on training programs, schools and colleges, software and technology, career profiles, profiles of the leading industry firms, and more.

Find info on schools and colleges offering animation, design, and gaming programs in your state:

You’re probably thinking there’s no way an animated film could cost as much as making a live action movie. After all, animated films don’t require building elaborate sets from the ground up, travelling with cast and crew to exotic countries, designing hundreds of intricate costumes, or hiring the highest paid actors in the world, right? Wrong! For every costly component of creating a live-action film, there’s a pricey one for animation too. And an animated film could take even longer to complete—even with talent working around the clock. 

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Animation is one of the most exciting career fields in the art and design industry. It also offers one of the highest salaries. Animators earned a median annual wage of $63,970 in 2015, with top earners averaging more than $113,600. Certain industries, specialized areas or high-level positions could pay even more than the median.

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The size of the global animation industry was $244 billion in 2015. Major contributors are the U.S., UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, and Korea. Besides being home so some of the world’s largest animation studios, these countries are known for their exceptional art and design schools.

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Cloud technologies have created a paradigm shift in how we store, use, and exchange digital information. Rather than rely on costly individual servers or devices, cloud computing utilizes public and private networks to spread data to a multitude of low-cost and even consumer-friendly hardware. Large corporations and small businesses alike can store and share information seamlessly in the cloud. Outside of work, most of us access the cloud everyday to listen to music or save documents at home.

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So you’re heading into the home stretch and it’s time to gain some real-world experience before you graduate. Good news. Your degree program will likely include an internship component that could easily lead you to any number of major game design or animation studios.

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Just about every degree program available offers the opportunity to enhance the degree by adding a minor, concentration or electives to match students’ career goals. For example, students interested in cinema and computer animation rather than traditional animation might choose a degree in Cinema Art and Science with a Concentration in Animation.

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2017 Animation School Rankings February 23, 2017

A list of our 2017 Animation School Rankings:

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Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in Washington. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 

University of Washington (UW) offers several programs for aspiring animators through the school’s Computer Science & Engineering Department (UW CSE). Options include BS degrees in Computer Science or Engineering, and a PhD or Professional Master’s Program (PMP) in Computer Science & Engineering (CSE). All programs offer heavy animation coursework and access to the department’s three main labs (The Graphics and Imaging Lab (GRAIL), the Center for Game Science, and the Animation Research Labs) dedicated to research in the areas of Animation, Computer Graphics, Game Science, Vision, and Visualization. 

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Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in Texas. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 

Texas A&M University is home to the College of Architecture, which offers programs for animators at all degree levels. Options include BS, MS, and MFA degrees in Visualization. According to the school, “Animation studies at Texas A&M are part of a broader curriculum offered at the Department of Visualization that produces graduates who prepare for success in a wide range of visualization-related fields by developing artistic and technical expertise.” These interdisciplinary programs focus on the processes of “creation, design and development of the visual experience,” and prepare students to work in animation, technical animation, illustration, and many other areas. 

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Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in Tennessee. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Media and Entertainment, Department of Electronic Media Communication, offers a BS in Animation and Mass Communication with Concentrations in Electronic Media Communication, which includes two Specialties: Electronic Media Production (video and film production) and Electronic Media Management (media management). An MS In Media and Communication is also available, and it allows students to choose six hours of approved Animation Electives. 

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