Profiles of Schools/Colleges in Arizona (AZ) Offering Animation, Design, Gaming, and Media Related Programs

Our 2015 list of the Top 25 Public Graphic Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (Top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is home to more than 31,000 students enrolled in around 226 certificate and degree programs across 13 schools and one college. The School of the Arts is home to the Department of Graphic Design. The Department offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Students may choose between the BFA in Graphic Design or the MFA with a Concentration in Visual Communications (Graphic Design).

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in the Southwest. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (Top 5% of schools considered)

University of North Texas was founded in 1890 as Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute. It is home to more than 36,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Visual Arts & Design is home to the Design Department, which offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include a BFA in Communication Design (Graphic Design) and MA and MFA degrees in Design.

Housed in the Art Building, the Communication Design programs offer access to studio classrooms and design labs as well as resources such as 1,000-plus reference books and magazines and paper/print samples of photography, illustration, typography, graphic design and advertising.

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Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 schools for game design and development in the Southwest US. We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

The University of Utah is home to 31,000 students enrolled in close to 100 undergraduate programs and more than 90 graduate programs. Founded in 1850, the University of Utah  houses 17 colleges and schools, and close to 100 departments. The College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts offer the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio (EAE:MGS). Tracks include Arts, Engineering, Technical Arts, and Production. According to the Studio, “all students in each of the tracks have a series of common classes including Game Design, Rapid Prototyping, Pre-Production, and Final Project.” In addition, students will “develop and enhance a professional game portfolio” and they will have the opportunity to complete an internship in the game industry.

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 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 10 Animation Schools in the Southwest. We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

11. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Founded in 1875, Brigham Young University (BYU) is home to 26,674 undergraduate students enrolled in well over 100 programs offered through more than a dozen colleges and schools. BYU’s animation programs are available through two colleges—the College of Fine Arts and Communications and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The Department of Visual Arts (College of Fine Arts) offers a BFA in Animation and the Computer Science Department College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences) offers a BS in Computer Science with an Animation Emphasis.

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Our 2015 list of the Top 25 Private Graphic Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (Top 1% of schools considered)

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded during the 19th-century Industrial Revolution, when the textiles and jewelry manufacturing industries were beginning to take off in Providence. Since 1877, this private, not-for-profit, four-year art school has taught art and design to thousands of students and it has educated the general public “about the intrinsic value of the arts to society.” Today, the school is home to 2,014 undergraduate students and 435 graduate students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This co-educational art school offers 32 degree programs, with graphic design leading the pack. Degree offerings include a BFA in Graphic Design and a two- or three-year MFA in Graphic Design.

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Animation Careers in Arizona Overview

The Arizona Film Office of the Arizona Department of Commerce has a number of major productions to its credit—many are classics. Sean Penn's Into the Wild (2007) was filmed in parts of Bullhead City, Kingman, Page, and Yuma, and certain scenes from The Savages (2007) filmed on location in Sun City. The Oscar winning film Little Miss Sunshine (2006) made its way through Chandler, Flagstaff, and Phoenix, and scenes from Star Wars Episodes IV and VI (1977 and 1983), Natural Born Killers (1994), Psycho (1960), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Forrest Gump (1994), Planet of the Apes (1968), Wild Wild West (1999), Wayne’s World (1992) and Casablanca (1942) were filmed here. The Arizona Film Office attracts major productions such as these by offering incentives, access to picturesque shooting locations, and easy access to local talent and staff. As a result, the Arizona film industry continues to thrive, attracting production companies from all over the U.S. and abroad. This includes animation studios. 

In addition to an active film and video industry, the State of Arizona is home to a variety of advertising agencies located in major cities such as Phoenix and Tucson; it is home to the Tucson Animation Screening Society (TASS), which promotes Japanese animation (anime) for the University of Arizona, and it is home to top-rated art and design schools such as the Southwest University of the Visual Arts (SUVA), which offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in animation and the University of Advancing Technology (UAT), which offers a BA in Game Art and Animation.

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Arizona

Arizona is home to 84 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Title IV schools are eligible for Title IV federal financial aid programs, which makes them more accessible to students with financial need. To become a Title IV school an institution must  (1) grant an associate's degree or higher, (2) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, (3) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education,  (4) be in business for at least two years, and (5) sign a participation agreement with the Department.

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