71. Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio
Founded in 1879, Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) is a private college of more than 1,300 students from 40 states and 35 foreign countries. The school, which sits on a 17-acre campus in Downtown Columbus—just a stone’s throw away from the Columbus Museum of Art, offers a BFA in 9 majors, an MFA program, and 8 minors. Programs for animators include a BFA in Animation, Illustration, Cinematic Arts, and Fine Arts. The BFAs in Illustration, Cinematic Arts, and Fine Arts are excellent options for students wishing to enhance their education and career opportunities. The MFA is an excellent option as well. Students will complete advanced coursework in Animation, Illustration, Video, Interactive Design, Drawing, and more.

CCAD art students have the opportunity to study in New York through the schools New York Studio Residency Program (DUMBO Brooklyn, NY), where they receive individual studio space, weekly critiques, and seminars. Study abroad opportunities are also available in Chile, China, England, and Italy.

72. Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Seattle, Washington
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) was one of the first colleges in the world to offer specialized training for 3D Animation and Video Game Development. Established in 1996  in Canberra, Australia, the school offers a number of highly respected programs that are “career focused” rather than “degree focused.” AIE offers an Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development specializing in Game Art & Animation and Advanced Diploma of Screen & Media specializing in 3D Animation & VFX for Film. Programs are 2 years and students attend full-time.

Find a school

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment enrolls more than 100 students each year and it has 5 campuses including three in Australia, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, and two in the U.S.—Seattle, Washington and Lafayette, Louisiana. Both programs for animators can be taken at the Seattle or Lafayette campus. The Seattle campus offers quick access to both established studios and start-ups throughout the City, as well as companies in Redmond, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Nintendo of America, Time Warner, Pixar, and ArenaNet are just a few.

73. The Art Institute of Seattle, Seattle, Washington
The Art Institute of Seattle was founded in 1946 as the Burnley School for Professional Art. The Burnley School became a member of the Art Institutes system in 1982, and the name was changed to the Art Institute of Seattle. Today, the school is located on Seattle’s Elliott Bay waterfront and like AIE, it is just minutes from dozens of established studios and start-ups throughout Seattle, as well as Redmond, Bellevue, and Kirkland.

Home to around 2,800 students, the Art Institute of Seattle offers a wide variety of programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Media Arts & Animation, a BS in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, and a BFA in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production. The school also offers an AAA in Video Production and a Diploma in Digital Design.

7474. Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Established in 1857, Edinboro University is a public liberal arts university that sits on a 585-acre campus just 20 miles from Erie. The school is home to more than 9,000 students enrolled in more than 100 programs across 5 colleges and schools including the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Health Professions, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Graduate Studies and Research.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is home to the Art Department at Edinboro. The Department offers several programs for aspiring animators including a BFA Applied Media Arts-Cinema (Animation, Computer Animation, and Film & Video), and a BFA in Studio Arts-Drawing. The school also offers an MA in Studio Arts and an MFA Fine Arts.

Animation students have access to the Animation Club and the Drawing and Painting Club as well as study abroad opportunities in places such as Italy and Morocco and internship opportunities across the U.S. Graduates of program have landed jobs at DreamWorks SKG, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar Animation, and many others.

75. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Established in 1888, New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a public land-grant university that offers a wide variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs through 7 colleges and schools. NMU also houses 4 community colleges, distance education programs, and extension centers in every New Mexico County. The school, which sits on 3,500 acres, is home to 28,262 students.

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to the Creative Media Institute (CMI) for Film and Digital Arts. The Institute offers a Bachelor of Creative Media in Animation & Visual Effects (BCM-ANVE) and a Bachelor of Creative Media in Digital Film Making (BCM-DFM). BCM students have access to state of the art facilities such as an animation lab, post-production lab, production space, and a digital projection system screening room.

76. Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts
Founded in 1965, Hampshire College is a private college that sits on an 800-acre campus just a 2-hour drive from Boston and a 3-hour drive from NYC. The school is home to 1,400 students enrolled in more than 60 areas of study. All students design their own areas of concentration, so the final product may be a combination of several areas of study.

Aspiring animation students have a wide variety of areas to choose from including Animation and Digital Art, Digital Media, Film/Video, and Studio/Visual Arts. Programs lead to a Bachelor of Arts. Besides the opportunity to design their own areas of concentration, students have access to several advanced animation studios and internship opportunities through Bit Films. According to Hampshire College, the short animated student films produced through the internship program have gone on to win dozens of awards from film festivals worldwide.

Graduates of the school’s art and design programs have also gone on to find positions at Pixar Animation Studios, the Cartoon Network, Rhythm & Hues, South Park, and more.

77. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
Founded in 1869, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) the flagship campus of the Southern Illinois University system. The school sits in more than 1,000 acres and is home to nearly 18,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. SIU Carbondale offers associate, bachelors, masters, doctoral and professional degrees in more than 200 areas of study across 11 colleges and schools.

The College of Mass Communications and Media Arts, Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media is home to the Digital Media Arts and Animation Program. The Program leads to a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) and covers everything from Writing for Media Arts to 3D Animation to Multimedia Production. Students wishing to enhance their education have several other options to choose from including Television/Video Production and an MFA in Media Arts.

78. Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri
Missouri State University (MSU) has a very active art and design department that offers 14 areas of study, a foundations program and more than a dozen minors. Options for aspiring animators include a BFA in Art, Animation emphasis and the BS in Electronic Arts, Animation emphasis. Program curriculums prepare students to work in the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Advertising, Film, and Television industries. 

Several other programs might be of interest to students wishing to enhance their education and career opportunities. They include a BA/BFA in Digital Arts, a BA/BFA in Drawing, and a BFA in Illustration.

Established in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School, Missouri State University opened its doors in 1906 to just 543 students in off-campus facilities. Today, the school sits on a 450-acre main campus and it is home to more than 20,000 students from 40 states and 70 countries. Besides the main campus in Springfield, MSU has campuses in West Plains, MO, Mountain Grove, MO, and Dalian, China.

79. Mount Ida College, Newton, Massachusetts
Established in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college located just minutes from Boston. The school, which sits on a 72-acre campus, is home to more than 1,300 students enrolled in more than 20 undergraduate majors, 3 graduate programs, and more than a dozen minors across 4 schools and a graduate school. Although small, Mount Ida College has a large selection of art and design programs, and several top-rated programs for aspiring animators.

The animation programs are housed within the School of Design. Offerings include a BS in Animation, a BS in Game Art & Animation, and a BS in Digital Visualization. Students may also add a minor to enhance their education and career opportunities. Common minor options for aspiring animators include Art/Design History and Studio Art.

Mount Ida College offers internship opportunities at local and regional companies as well as Study Abroad opportunities 20 students each year with the help of the school’s Center for Global Connections.


80. Ex'pression College, Emeryville, California
Established in 1998, Ex’pression College is home to more than 1,000 students and it has two campuses—one in Emeryville, the other in San Jose. The Emeryville campus is minutes from San Francisco, and the Emeryville campus is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Just a few major studios in the areas include Industrial Light & Magic, Zynga, DreamWorks Animation, and Pixar.

Ex’pression College offers Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degrees in Animation & Visual Effects, Digital Filmmaking, Interaction Design, and Motion Graphic Design. The Animation & Visual Effects Program prepares students for a career in 3D Animation, Video Production, Film, and more. All Ex’pression students have access to state-of-the art equipment and facilities, as well as instruction by talented artists that are working in the field.