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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Top 50 Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S. – 2016

Written by ACR StaffMay 7, 2016
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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31. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

Established in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute or School, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is home to more than 19,000 students enrolled in more than 170 fields of study across seven colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication is home to the Department of Art, which offers a BFA in Computer Animation. One of the most popular programs in the Department of Art, the Computer Animation program “offers a highly collaborative experience in 2D and 3D animated storytelling to a diverse student body,” says the school.

Students can expect to take courses in 2D Animation, 3D Computer Animation, Pre-Visualization, 3D Modeling, Character Animation, 3D Animation for Interactive Games, and the History of Animation. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue careers in animation and film, video production, advertising, game production, and fine art.

32. East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University (ECU) was established in 1907 and the school held its first class in 1909. One of 17 universities in the State University System, ECU opened with just 174 students. Today, the school is home to more than 27,500 students enrolled in more than 380 programs across 12 colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts and Communication houses the School of Art and Design, which has been accredited since 1962. It is home to 540-plus students enrolled in three undergraduate programs with 11 concentration options, and two graduate degree programs.

Animation programs include BFA degrees in Art or Art Education with a Concentration in Animation/Interactive Design (AID). Students in this program will study Fine Art as a foundation for AID. All School of Art and Design students have the opportunity to participate in the school’s “Italy Intensive” study abroad experience located in the heart of Tuscany.

33. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Stamford, Connecticut

University of Connecticut (UConn) was established in 1881 as Storrs Agricultural School. The school opened with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, the school is home to 31,624 students, one main campus and five regional campuses, and 14 schools and colleges. UConn offers seven undergraduate degrees in 108 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 79 research and professional practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs (JD, LLM, MD, DMD, PharmD, SJD.)

The School of Fine Arts at UConn offers four-year BA and BFA undergraduate degree programs in Digital Media & Design with a 2D Animation (Motion Graphics, Animation and 2D Visualization) or 3D Animation – 3D Visualization Track. In addition to these trans-disciplinary programs, the School offers two graduate degree programs including an MA or MFA in Digital Media & Design. Creative areas include Digital Arts, Entertainment, Digital Humanities/Social Sciences, STEM, and Business.

Also on the menu is the Digital Media Online program. This 12-credit online Graduate Certificate program is designed for professionals or “those with a desire to pivot to a career in Digital Media.” All Digital Media & Design programs are available at both the Storrs and Stamford campuses.

34. Dakota State University, Madison, South Dakota

Established in 1881, Dakota State University (DSU) is home to more than 3,000 students enrolled in a “robust” graduate program and more than 35 majors “enhanced with technology.” DSU offers several programs for aspiring animators. Options include a BS in Digital Arts and Design with a Focus in Production Animation and Production Animation 2D and 3D Minors. Because the animation programs at DSU highlight both Digital Arts and Design, and Production Animation coursework, graduates are prepared to pursue careers in Animation, 3D Graphic Design, TV/Film Effects, Broadcast Design, and many others.

35. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska

Chartered in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is home to more than 25,000 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across 10 colleges. The Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film, which is part of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, offers one program for aspiring animators—a BFA with a Film and New Media (FNM) Production Emphasis. Focus options for aspiring animators include Computer Animation, Visual Effects, and Film and Video Production.

36. Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) is New Mexico’s largest regional comprehensive university. The school, which opened its doors in 1934 as Eastern New Mexico University Junior College, has a population of nearly 6,000 students from 48 states and 31 countries. These students are enrolled in 60 degree programs across four colleges and a graduate school.

The Department of Art, which is part of the ENMU College of Fine Arts, offers a BFA in Art with an Emphasis in Visual Arts or Graphic Design, and a Bachelor of Occupational Education (BOE). According to the school, the Graphic Design emphasis “stresses the development of expertise” in Computer Graphics and Animation, Digital Illustration, Web/Mobile Device Design, Advertising Art, and Package and Publication Design. The BOE allows students to specialize in a range of areas from Animation and Graphic Arts to Electronics. 

37. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho

Established in 1889, the University of Idaho is home to 11,534 students enrolled more than 300 degree programs across 10 colleges. The College of Art and Architecture offers a program that prepares students for a career in both Animation and Game Design. According to the College, the BS in Virtual Technology and Design will teach students how to “create virtual technologies for gaming, animated films, simulations, business and education, and other applications while studying art and design, computer science, animation, storytelling and much more.” Other options include a BA in Art and a BFA or MFA in Studio Art & Design with a Concentration in Interaction Design.

38. Minnesota State University – Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota

Minnesota State University – Moorhead opened in 1888. The school is home to approximately 5,836 students enrolled in 74 majors and 82 other programs across five colleges and the Department of Graduate Studies. Part of the College of Arts, Media and Communication, the School of Media Arts and Design (MAD) is home to the Animation Program. Offerings include a BA in Animation and a Minor in Media Arts. The Media Arts Minor offers 3D Modeling and 3D Animation courses. Another option is the BA in Film Production, which features a number of Animation Electives. 

39. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

With a population of more than 39,200 students, Ohio University is one of the nation’s largest universities. The school was established in 1804 as Ohio’s first university and it consists of a main campus (Athens), eLearning, and five regional campuses where students have access to more than 300 programs across 11 colleges. Part of the Scripps College of Communications, the School of Media Arts and Studies offers a Games and Animation program that focuses on Computer Animation, Digital Effects, and Games Production and Design. The program leads to a BS in Communication with an Emphasis in Games and Animation and it also covers Leadership in Games and Animation, and Management.

40. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Middle Tennessee State University opened on September 11, 1911 as Middle Tennessee State Normal School. The school is home to 22,766 students enrolled in more than 115 programs across seven colleges. Part of the College of Mass Communication, the Electronic Media Communication Department offers a BS, MS and Minor in Mass Communication with a Concentration in Animation or Electronic Media Production (Video and Film Production).

The Animation program provides students the opportunity to prepare for careers in Character Animation, Motion Graphics, and Visual Effects. Electronic Media Production students are also prepares to create Animated and Feature Films, as well as content for Television, Documentary Films, and Educational Videos.