Profiles of Animation, 3D Animation, Computer Animation, Cartooning, Illustration, and Web Animation Programs & Schools

School and program profiles in fields related to animation, 3D animation, computer animation, cartooning, illustration, and web animation.

 Our 2015 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. 1. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, California (top 5% of schools considered)

Established in 1961, California Institute of the Arts is home to 1,489 students enrolled in more than 70 programs at all degree levels. The nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts, CalArts attracts a large population of aspiring filmmakers and animators. Around 26.9 percent of the schools population is enrolled in the School of Film/Video. The School offers a BFA degree in Character Animation, and BFA and MFA degrees in Experimental Animation.

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Our 2015 list of the Top 50 Public Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California

Founded in 1919 as the Southern Branch of the University of California, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to 43,239 students enrolled in more than 220 programs across five schools and 109 academic departments. UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television is home to the Animation Workshop.

Founded in 1948 by Disney Animator William Shull, the Animation Workshop is a three-year MFA program that accepts just 12 new students each year. Before applying to the program, students typically earn a BA in Film and Television. The BA program gives future MFA students the opportunity to study all facets of Digital Media, Film, and Television, as well as a full year of Animation studies, followed by an internship. 

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Our 2015 list of the Top 50 Private Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.


11. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, California

Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, CalArts is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. Home to 1,489 students, with 26.9 percent enrolled in the School of Film/Video, CalArts offers a BFA degree in Character Animation, and a BFA and MFA in Experimental Animation.

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Our 2015 rankings of the top animation school programs on the East Coast. We define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

11. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, Rhode Island

Established in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is home to 2,449 students enrolled in around 38 undergraduate degree programs and concentrations, and 22 graduate degree programs. Besides a large number of program offerings in the areas of Art and Design, Architecture, and Education, RISD has a large Film/Animation/Video Department (FAV). The Department offers a variety of programs for aspiring animators and filmmakers. Program options for animators include a BFA in Film/Animation/Video (BFA FAV).

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Our 2015 rankings of the top animation programs in the Midwest.

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

The Ohio State University (OSU) is home to 64,868 students enrolled in more than 350 programs. Established in 1870, OSU houses more than a dozen colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences. The College’s Department of Art offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include BFA and MFA degrees in Art with an Emphasis Art and Technology. The Art and Technology Emphasis allows students to study 3D Modeling and Animation, Art Games, Digital Imaging, and other related areas.  

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An introductory note from the editor:  

We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the "best" schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. ACR staff writer and social media manager Tom Fronczak managed and authored this year's Top 100 International Animation Schools rankings. In preparing this year’s list, we considered hundreds of animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.  

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Connecticut Animation Schools: Most Expensive to Least Expensive

Connecticut is home to 47 Title IV degree-granting institutions. A Title IV school (1) has been in business for at least two years, (2) has accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (3) grants an associate's degree or higher, (4) offers a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, and (5) has signed a participation agreement with the Department. Once these requirements have been met, the school becomes eligible for Title IV federal financial-aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need.

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to 262 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Only five other states have more than 200 Title IV schools. Pennsylvania has the third largest number of the six schools. To become a Title IV school, an institution must meet five requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education. Once the requirements have met, the school becomes eligible for Title IV federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students that may need help covering tuition costs. To earn Title IV status, the school must (1) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) grant an associate's degree or higher, (3) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, (4) be in business for at least two years, and (5) sign a participation agreement with the Department.

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Ohio

The State of Ohio is home to 215 Title IV degree-granting institutions. To become a Title IV school, the college or university must meet five requirements. They must have (1) accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, (3) sign a participation agreement with the Department, (4) grant an associate's degree or higher, and (5) be in business for at least two years. Once these requirements have been met, the school become eligible for Title IV federal financial-aid programs. This makes the schools more accessible to students seeking financial assistance to help pay tuition and other college-related costs.

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Indiana Animation Schools: Most to Least Expensive

Indiana is home to more than 109 Title IV degree-granting institutions. To become a Title IV school, an institution must have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, they must be in business for at least two years, they must sign a participation agreement with the Department, they must grant an associate's degree or higher, and they must offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Once a school has met these requirements, it becomes eligible for federal financial aid programs, making them more accessible to students with financial need. 

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