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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Best Animation Programs in California

Written by ACR StaffJanuary 30, 2012
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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What does it take to earn a spot on the list of “Best Animation Programs” in any given city? Is it cost? Reputation? Location? Well, it depends on whom you ask. Many reputable ranking agencies use a set formula to evaluate the quality of any program based in how the school ranks overall. They calculate scores based on factors such as peer assessment, financial resources, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources (such as class size), program offerings, and student selectivity. Each factor carries a certain amount of weight, which helps calculate a final overall score. For example, smaller classes carry more weight than larger classes and the number of students that graduate in four years instead of six also carries more weight.

In the state of California, there are 486 accredited colleges and universities. Thanks to California’s status as the filmmaking capital of the world, many of these schools offer top-tier animation programs. While many of the best animation programs are offered at schools throughout Los Angeles, Hollywood, and San Francisco, we also found some of the best programs in cities such as Burbank, Laguna Beach, Santa Cruz, and Valencia.

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Browse through our list below to review some of the best animation school programs in California and what they have to offer.

Best Animation School Programs Southern California

Laguna Beach
Laguna College of Art and Design - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design,
Illustration, Game Art, Animation

La Mirada
Biola University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Design Concentration

Long Beach
California State University Long Beach - Degrees Offered: B. A. and B. F. A. in Art with Graphic Design or Illustration Option; M. F. A. Art with Concentration in Studio Art: - Graphic Design or Illustration/Animation Track

Los Angeles
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) - Degrees Offered: A. A. in
Digital Media, Graphic Design (Branding or Entertainment); many students go on to earn their B. S. degrees in Business Management
Loyola Marymount University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Animation, Studio Arts with
Graphic Design Emphasis
Otis College of Art and Design - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design, Illustration,
Digital Media; M. F. A. Graphic Design
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Degrees Offered: B. A. Film,
Television
University of Southern California (USC) - Degrees Offered: B. A. Animation and Digital
Arts, Interactive Entertainment; M. F. A. Animation and Digital Arts, Interactive Media

Northridge
California State University Northridge - Degrees Offered: B. A. Animation, Video/
Digital art, Graphic Design, Illustration; M. A. Art, Studio Art Option with Video/Digital Art Concentration; Visual Communication Option with Illustration or Video/Digital Art Concentration; M. F. A. Art, Studio Art Option with Video/Digital Art Concentration; Visual Communication Option with Illustration, Video/Digital Art Concentration or Graphic Design Concentration

Orange
Chapman University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Digital Arts with Emphasis in
Animation or Visual Effects; Graphic Design; Studio Art: New Genres

Pasadena
Art Center College of Design - Degrees Offered: B. S. Entertainment Design; B. F. A.
Graphic Design; B. F. A. Illustration

San Diego
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising - Degrees Offered: A. A. in Digital
Media, Graphic Design (Branding or Entertainment); many students go on to earn their B. S. degrees in Business Management
University of California San Diego - Degrees Offered: B. A. Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts, Media

Valencia
California Institute of the Arts - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art, Graphic Design,
Character Animation or Experimental Animation; M. F. A. Graphic Design (with or
without specialization in Motion Graphics), Art and Technology, Experimental

Best Animation School Programs Northern California

San Francisco
Academy of Art University - Degrees Offered: A. A., B. F. A., M. F. A. Animation
and Visual Effects; B. F. A., M. F. A. Game Design; A. A., B. F. A., M. F. A. Graphic
Design; A. A., B. F. A., M. F. A. Illustration
California College of the Arts – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Graphic Design,
Illustration; M. F. A. Design
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising - Degrees Offered: A. A. in Digital
Media, Graphic Design (Branding or Entertainment); many students go on to earn their B. S. degrees in Business Management
San Francisco Art Institute – Degrees Offered: B. F. A Design and Technology, New
Genres
San Francisco State University - Degrees Offered: B. S. Visual Communication Design

San Jose
San Jose State University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art: Design Studies with emphasis in Graphic Design, B. F. A. Art: Animation/Illustration, B. F. A. Art: Digital Media Art, B. F. A. Graphic Design; M. F. A. Art: Digital Media Art Concentration

Santa Cruz
University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) - Degrees Offered: B. A. Film and Digital
Media, Art: Electronic/Digital Media; B. S. Computer Science: Computer Game Design; M. F. A. Digital Arts and New Media; Ph. D. Film and Digital Media, Computer Science with focus on Games

More schools to consider: