An introductory note from the editor:
We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the "best" schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. ACR staff writer and Social Media Manager Tom Fronczak managed and authored this year's Top 100 International Animation Schools rankings. In preparing this year’s list, we surveyed over one hundred animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.
The criteria for this list includes the following, in no particular order:
- Overall quality of program including technology and facilities available to students.
- Consistency and quality of student and graduate animation works.
- Geographic advantages derived from the school being located near animation employment hotspots.
- Reputation of program within the industry.
- Tuition and overall cost of attendance, while taken into consideration, are not a major influence in this ranking.
No one school is perfect for everybody, and there is no single opinion that trumps all when it comes to which school is the “best”. Ultimately every student has different needs regarding the type and academic rigor of a program, technology requirements, campus culture, as well as cost, lifestyle, and career focus. Our hope is that this list is a starting point for students to discover the schools that are the best fit for them.
The top twenty schools are ranked on the last two page, but the other schools are listed alphabetically by country. Countries with only one school on the list are in a section before the top twenty at the end. Please note that schools are only included once on this list. Schools in the top twenty or with locations in several countries are only included on the list once, so a school with one location in India could actually be listed in a different country’s section.
Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Australia campus locations in Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne.
AIE students can choose between three programs: Game Art & Animation, Game Programming, and 3D Animation & VFX for Film. Both animation programs run two years, cost roughly $34,000, and teach students software such as Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, After Effects, Nuke, Premiere Pro, Unity, and the Unreal Engine.
Australian Film, Television, and Radio School. Sydney, Australia.
Also known as AFTRS, this school has a Diploma in Visual Effects Fundamentals that helps artists get into the VFX industry. They also have a Diploma in Editing Fundamentals that teaches the basics in video editing software. Each diploma is $3,400 per course, and Australian residents can seek tuition help through the school.
Australian National University. Canberra, Australia.
The ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences offers an Animation and Video Major that teaches students 2D and 3D animation, as well as video editing, compositing, and other production skills. This major is 48 units, but they also offer an Animation elective course that’s 6 units that’s 80% portfolio work and 20% essay based.
Billy Blue College of Design. Australia campus locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane.
Billy Blue has a Bachelor of Digital Media in three different areas for you to choose from: 3D Design and Animation, Interaction Design, and Film and Video Design. All three can be completed full-time in three years or part-time in three to six years, and all three can be taken at their campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Central TAFE. Australia campus locations in Perth, East Perth, Leederville, Mt. Lawley, and Nedlands.
Central TAFE has four different programs for animation and gaming: Certificate III in Media (Digital) CT40, Diploma of Screen and Media (Animation and Games Design) CT46, Advanced Diploma Games Development 3741, Advanced Diploma of Animation. Those programs range from six months to one year, and offer a variety of 2D and 3D curriculum.
Deakin University Australia. Australia campuses at Melbourne Burwood, Geelong Waurn Ponds, Geelong Waterfront, and Warrnambool.
If you go to school here you can enjoy their state-of-the-art Deakin Motion Lab facility and equipment! The Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture) program at the Burwood campus is a three year full-time undergraduate degree that costs $27,520 AUD.
Griffith University. South Bank, Australia.
Griffith’s Bachelor of Animation is a three year full-time degree with 240 credit points. Each year costs roughly $6,256 and students will experience animation in all forms, including 2D, 3D, clay animation, and other experimental media. Their school also has other Bachelors for students seeking different paths in the entertainment and design industries.
Holmesglen Institute. Waverley, Australia.
This school launched in 1982 and has offered over 600 programs to over 50,000 students! They offer a full-time one year Diploma in Screen and Media Animation that has a Full Fee of $12,000, as well as a full-time six month Certificate IV in Screen and Media Animation and Digital Media that has a Full Fee of $7,000.
Raffles College of Design and Commerce. North Sydney, Australia.
They offer a three year full-time Bachelor in Animation that prepares students for careers as Producer, Concept Artist, Animation Director, Storyboard Artist, Animator, 3D Modeler, Visual Effects Supervisor, or Motion Graphics Artist. Third year students can also enjoy the benefit of their internship program!
RMIT University. Melbourne, Australia.
After merging with other schools from 2009 to 2011, RMIT University became one of the largest hotspots for animation courses in all of Australia. They’ve expanded to have campuses or partnerships in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Barcelona!
SAE Institute Australia (SAE Sydney was formerly Qantm College). Including campuses from: SAE Brisbane, SAE Byron Bay, SAE Melbourne, SAE Perth, and SAE Sydney.
This was the first SAE Institute of them all! It launched in 1976 and the SAE schools have spread around the globe to over 50 other locations! This school offers accredited certificates, diplomas, and bachelor degrees for Animation, Audio, Design, Film, Games, and Web & Mobile. It was one of the first schools on the planet to offer a degree that was video game related and its animation program continues that cutting edge trend. With online and campus course options, it has 2D, 3D, and VFX programs to meet your needs.
Swinburne University of Technology. Hawthorn, Australia.
Swinburne’s Games and Animation program includes courses in Animation, Digital and Interactive Games, Digital Media Design, Digital Media Technologies, Games Development, and Games and Interactivity. Starting in 2016, they’re expanding access to their Work Integrated Learning opportunities, and all undergraduates will be able to partake in the Swinburne Advantage, which helps students gain authentic workplace experiences.
University of Melbourne. Victoria, Australia.
The Victorian College of the Arts at University of Melbourne offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation to domestic students. Coursework includes classes for storyboarding, character design, 2D, 3D, stop-motion, rotoscoping, and visual effects. Students should expect to pay approximately $47,460 per year.
University of Technology Sydney. Sydney and Kuring-gai, Australia.
This school has a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication for graphic design students. Aspiring animators can choose between the following programs: Master of Animation, Graduate Certificate in Animation, Bachelor of Design in Animation, Bachelor of Design in Animation Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. They also offer a Bachelor of Science in Games Development.
Algonquin College. Ottawa, Canada.
This Ottawa school offers a three year animation diploma at their School of Media and Design. The domestic tuition for the first year is $7,517.76 and the international tuition for the first year is $17,067.76. Books and supplies are roughly two thousand dollars per year. If you’re looking for a shorter time commitment, they have a one year General Arts & Science program for Pre-Animation and Illustration. This one is $5,351.94 for domestic students and $14,901.94 for international students, with supplies costing approximately $300 per year.
Capilano University. North Vancouver, Squamish, and Sunshine Coast, Canada.
Capilano offers two year programs for Digital Visual Effects, 2D Animation, and 3D Animation for Film and Games. They also have an Animation Fundamental course that covers Drawing for Animation, Design, Animation Principles and Timing, and Digital Animation. Graduates have gone on to work at studios like Electronic Arts, Rockstar, and Aardman Animation!
Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Vancouver, Canada.
Graduates of their Bachelor of Media Arts in Animation program can seek jobs such as Layout Artist, Compositor, Color Stylist, Character Animator, 2D Animator, 3D Animator, Flash Animator, and Stop-motion Animator. Their recent graduates have been hired at the studios Atomic Cartoons, Image Engine, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Bardel Entertainment, DHX Media, Corus Entertainment, Halifax Film, Jester Coyote Animation Inc., and National Film Board of Canada.
LaSalle College International Vancouver. Vancouver, Canada.
LaSalle has a 2D/3D Animation diploma program that’s one year with three semesters that are each fifteen weeks long. It’s a twenty hour a week commitment for a total of 900 hours. Students will create storyboards and animate characters in 3D environments to make a professional digital portfolio by graduation.
Ontario College of Art and Design. Toronto, Canada.
Known by its students and faculty as “OCAD University” this school has two undergraduate Digital Painting and Expanded Animation programs: an Integrated Media path, and a Drawing & Painting path. These two programs cover the basic fundamentals of art and 2D and 3D software, but delves deeper into the theory behind art than most schools’ curriculum does.
The Art Institute of Vancouver. Vancouver, Canada.
This school doesn’t just offer animation programs, it also has options for Game Design, Game Programming, Special Effects, and Graphic & Web Design. Their two animation programs are Animation Art & Design, and, 3D Modeling for Animation & Games. Both programs are 20 months split over seven quarters.