Profiles of Illustration Degrees, Programs & Schools

Programs to consider:

While Australia may be best known for its inviting beaches and wild outback, the country’s contributions to animation have richly colored the craft from the very beginning. They know a thing or two about cultivating animation artists Down Under, and RMIT University is among the educational leaders preparing aspiring animators for what awaits.

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You’d be forgiven if you thought that animating, supervising and directing at Walt Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks and Cinesite would satisfy the cravings of any animator. But for industry veteran Jason Ryan, these accolades have only piqued his interest in the craft more and urged him to continue the learning process. Lucky for aspiring animators, Ryan channeled his impulse into the successful online animation school, iAnimate.

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Sowing the seeds of a new online animation school is not exactly an easy or quick endeavor. It takes commitment, time and guts. It also takes patience while you build a curriculum, attract students, and graduate them. None of that deterred veteran animator Garth Drake who took the leap to teach character animation the way he knew worked best.

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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 surveyed over one hundred 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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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has an amazing history filled with so many firsts, you’ll lose count! The first piano was built here in 1775, the first presidential mansion is in Philadelphia, the first daily newspaper was published in Philadelphia in 1784, and the first baseball stadium was built in Pittsburgh. The Keystone State is also a pioneer when it comes to technology. Yes, Philadelphia is home to the first computer! Pennsylvania was even the first state to list its website URL on a license plate.

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Illustration Schools in Georgia

Today’s illustrators have a variety of career fields to choose from. They can work for an animation or film studio, an ad agency, graphic design firm, publisher, or even in criminal justice, medicine, or science. Just a few job titles include advertising illustrator, editorial illustrator, courtroom illustrator, medical or technical illustrator, fine artist, storyboard artist, and graphic designer. Fortunately, the State of Georgia is home to a variety of creative agencies, publishers and more, so graduates of the state’s finest art programs will have of plenty of opportunities to choose from.

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Illustration Schools in Michigan

The scenic State of Michigan is surrounded by four Great Lakes—Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and Lake Erie. Visitors will find more than 3,000 miles of gorgeous coastline in Michigan, and unusual places that can only be created by nature such as the world’s largest limestone quarry in Rogers City. The state is also home to the world’s largest cement plant, the earth’s longest freshwater shoreline, and the largest commercial deposit of copper in the world. With so many unusual places, breathtaking scenery, and major art museums such as The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art, it’s not surprising that more than 48,00 artists, designers, media professionals and more call Michigan home.

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Washington

Washington State is home to some of the “artsiest” cities in the country. Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, and Vancouver are just a few. Seattle is home to renowned art venues such as Seattle Art Museum and Frye Art Museum, while Tacoma is home to the progressive Tacoma Art Museum. Spokane is home to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and the Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University, while Vancouver is home to so many art galleries you’ll lose count. 

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Illustration Schools in New Jersey

From animators and filmmakers to fine artists and graphic designers, New Jersey has a lot to offer creatives of all kinds. First, a number of cities and towns have provided the perfect backdrop for films such as The Dark Knight Rises (2012), War of the Worlds (2005), Garden State (2004), Catch Me If You Can (2002), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Cop Land (1997), The Godfather III (1990), Goodfellas (1990) Men in Black (1997), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), On the Waterfront (1954), and many others.

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Illustration Schools in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is one of the oldest states in the U.S. It is home to the first public park in America—Boston Common, the city of Boston built the country’s first subway system (not New York), the very first basketball game was played in Springfield, and the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in Plymouth (1621). With so much history, it is not surprising that Massachusetts is also home to the oldest university in the U.S.—Harvard University, and many other prestigious (and historic) schools. Just a few include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Amherst College, and Wellesley College.

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