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

Our 2015 rankings of the Top 15 game design and development programs in the Midwest. We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

DePaul University was established in 1898. It is the nation’s largest Catholic university with a student population of 23,799 students enrolled in more than 300 programs through 10 colleges and schools. The College of Computing and Digital Media offers several programs for aspiring game designers including BS and MS degrees in Computer Game Development with Concentrations in Game Design, GamePlay Programming, and Systems Programming.

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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 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) was established in 1870. It has a student population of nearly 65,000 enrolled in more than 350 programs across more than a dozen schools and colleges. Within OSU’s College of the Arts and Sciences, the Department of Art and the Department of Design both offer programs for aspiring animators.

The Department of Art offers both a BFA and MFA degree in Art with an Emphasis in Art and Technology that allow students to study 3D Modeling and Animation, Art Games, Digital Imaging, and other related areas. The Department of Design offers an MFA in Design with a track of study in Digital Animation and Interactive Media. This program operates in conjunction with the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD), which provides world-class facilities and technical expertise in the context of an interdisciplinary research center.

Many graduates of the Design program have animated and directed some of the best-known works of studios such as Pixar and DreamWorks, while others go on to explore the application of animation and interactive media to game design and emerging approaches to visualization within a full range of disciplines and industries.

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Illinois

Illinois is home to 181 Title IV degree-granting institutions. These schools (1) have been in business for at least two years, (2) they have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (3) they grant an associate's degree or higher, (4) they have signed a participation agreement with the Department, and (5) they offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Once these requirements have been met, the school becomes eligible for federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need. 

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Illinois animation schools: most to least expensive

Illinois is home to 181 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Title IV schools have been in business for at least two years, they have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, they grant an associate's degree or higher, they have signed a participation agreement with the Department, and they offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Once a school has met these requirements, they become eligible for Title IV federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need. 

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The Chicago Art Scene

Chicago is as famous for art as it is for architecture. While this cultural mecca is home to many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, it is also home to the world famous Art Institute of Chicago, plus hundreds of art galleries—big and small. On any given day, the Art Institute and the city’s collection of up and coming galleries showcase everything from modern abstract paintings to moving digital art installations to live art demonstrations. 

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Bradley University

Suburban Illinois may not be the obvious place to look for a stellar Game Design program, but Bradley University might just help to change that perspective. Making both our Top Schools for Game Design and Top MidWest Programs lists, Bradley’s Department of Interactive Media is home to a top-notch Game Design program worthy of attention.

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Our 2014 rankings of the Top 15 game design and development programs in the Midwest.

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

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