Profiles of Schools/Colleges in West Virginia (WV) 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 South. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida (Top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1931 by circus baron, real estate developer, and noted art collector John Ringling, Ringling College of Art and Design opened just 75 students enrolled in 111 courses. Today, the school sits on a 35-acre campus that houses nearly 1,300 students enrolled in BA and BFA degree programs in 11 majors. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Graphic Design, which has been in existence 1980.

In existence since 1980, the graphic design teaches students to “create design solutions in print, motion, and interactive media with projects of all varieties.” Students gain real-world experience through internships with major firms and through “The Collaboratory,” which pairs teams of Ringling students with local businesses. Students also have the opportunity to work at RCADs in-house design firm on projects with external clients and for Ringling College events.

RCAD design graduates have landed positions at Google, Leo Burnett, Microsoft, Trader Joe's, Wieden + Kennedy, LinkedIn, Yahoo, American Greetings, and more.

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Our 2015 rankings of the top 10 game design and development schools in the South. We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas. 

For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here

11. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah, Georgia

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is home to more than 11,000 students enrolled in more than 40 majors and 60+ minors. Founded in 1978, SCAD has campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong. The School of Digital Media at SCAD offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Offerings include BA, BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Interactive Design and Game Development and a Certificate in Interactive Design. A Minor in Interactive Design and Game Development is also on the menu.  

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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 schools in the South. 

We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas.

For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

11. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida

Established in 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) is home to nearly 1,300 students enrolled in 14 majors leading to a BA or BFA degree. The school, which was founded by John Ringling—co-founder of the Ringling Bros. and co-owner of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, offers one program for aspiring animators—a BFA in Computer Animation. The four-year degree program highlights Storytelling, Modeling, Lighting, Motion and Sound, and other related areas.

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Animation Careers in West Virginia Overview

West Virginia is home to some of America’s most beautiful locations. Blackwater Falls State Park, Highland Scenic Highway (Route 150) in Pocahontas County and Cass Scenic Railroad State Park are just a few. Not only does the state offer beautiful backdrops for just about any film, thanks to the West Virginia Film Industry Investment Act, filmmakers can receive up to 31 percent transferable tax credits. This competitive tool is used to recruit film industry business to the state and it applies to other projects as well including TV films and series, commercials, music videos, and commercial still photography. West Virginia is also home to at least 10 respected film festivals such as Carnegie Film Series & On Screen/In Person, West Virginia International Film Festival, and Cut to the Chase Film Festival.

While the Act, the West Virginia Film Commission, and film festivals attract filmmakers and film productions from across the country, they also promote the growth of production facilities throughout the state. As a result, there are a number of opportunities for animators with a film and video background as well. In addition to the film and video industries, West Virginia animators may find opportunities in advertising, technology, game design, graphic design, and even education. Aspiring animation instructors may find art and design programs at a number of the state’s 25 four-year or 21 two-year colleges and universities. The state is also home to hundreds of secondary schools filled with budding artists.

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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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Our 2014 rankings of the top game design and development schools in the South. 

We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas.

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