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

Our 2017 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (top 1% of schools considered) 

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, the school is home to 1,449 students enrolled in more than 70 programs across six schools including the School of Critical Studies, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, the School of Art, the School of Film/Video, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and the School of Theater. The School of Film/Video is the largest school at CalArts, accounting for nearly 30% of the student population. Programs offered include a BFA in Character Animation and BFA and MFA degrees in Experimental Animation.

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The South is home to the South Atlantic Division, which consists of eight states and DC. We’ve already covered six—Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and North Carolina, so now it’s time to end out coverage of the Division South with South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Beginning with South Carolina, we found that the state has its fair share of esteemed art and design schools such as the School of the Arts at College of Charleston and the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University.

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Our 2017 list of the Top 25 public Game Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (top 2% of schools considered) 

University of Utah (The U) was founded in 1850. The school is home more than 31,000 students enrolled in close to 200 academic programs. The U houses 17 colleges and schools, and nearly 100 departments. The College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts manage the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio (EAE:MGS). 

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Our 2017 list of the Top 50 Game Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California (top 1% of schools considered) 

University of Southern California (USC) was established in 1880. The school is home to 44,000 students enrolled in over 500 degree programs across 18 colleges and schools. Program options for aspiring game designers are available through Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, Interactive Media & Games Division. Dornsife programs are offered in in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. 

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Our 2017 rankings of the top private animation schools on the East Coast. We define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York (top 2% of schools considered) 

Founded in 1947 the School of Visual Arts (SVA) is home to more than 6,000 students enrolled in more than 30 programs. Offerings for aspiring animators include BFA degrees in Animation, Computer Art, and Computer Animation and Visual Effects. An MFA in Computer Art is also on the menu as well as a BFA in Cartooning and Continuing Education (CE) Animation courses. Animation students have opportunities to intern or work part-time at alumni-owned studios such as Titmouse, Augenblick Studios, and Plympton, as well as with numerous independent animation studios across New York. 

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Our 2017 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, Los Angeles, California (top 1% of schools considered) 

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to nearly 45,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. Founded in 1919 as the Southern Branch of the University of California, the school offers 125+ undergraduate majors across 109 academic departments, and more than 40 graduate programs including the Animation Workshop of the School of Theater, Film and Television. 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 25 Public Graphic Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh North, Carolina (Top 1% of schools considered)

North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NC State Raleigh) is “the school of 100+ startups and spinoffs.” Founded in 1887 and home to more than 34,000 students, the school offers 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through 65 departments and 12 colleges. The College of Design is home to the Graphic Design program which offers two degree paths—a Bachelor of Graphic Design and a Master of Graphic Design.  The College has recently established a PhD in Design/Information Design Concentration as well. The undergraduate and graduate degrees are NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) accredited and the PhD program is set to receive NASAD approval after graduating its first class. 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in the East.

For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Yale University School of the Arts, New Haven, Connecticut (Top 1% of schools considered)
Yale University home to more than 8,300 students well over 145 departments, schools and programs that cover the areas of art, architecture, divinity, drama, forestry and environmental studies, law, management, music, public health, and more. One of Yale’s top schools is the School of the Arts. Opened as Yale School of the Fine Arts in 1869 (Yale University was founded 1701), the School of the Arts was the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning. 

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Our 2016 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, Los Angeles, California

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to the Animation Workshop of the School of Theater, Film and Television. Founded in 1948 by William Shull, a Disney animator, the UCLA Animation Workshop is a three-year MFA program (MFA in Film, Television, and Digital Media) that accepts just 12 new students each year.

Students applying to the MFA program come from a variety of backgrounds; some have earned a BA or BFA in art or film studies, applicants also come from English, engineering, architecture, psychology, communications, and more. Animation graduates have landed positions at Pixar Animation Studios, and every major animation studio in Southern California; they have gone on to direct features such as The Simpsons Movie and Monster House and have directed with Tim Burton producing (the feature film 9). 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. With a population of 1,489 students enrolled in more than 70 programs at all degree levels, CalArts attracts a large population of aspiring filmmakers and animators. Around 26.9% of the student body is enrolled in the School of Film/Video, which offers BFA degrees in Character Animation and Experimental Animation. An MFA in Experimental Animation is also available.

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