Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 Animation Schools in the Southwest. We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.
For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Founded in 1875, Brigham Young University (BYU) is home to 26,674 undergraduate students enrolled in well over 100 programs offered through more than a dozen colleges and schools. BYU’s animation programs are available through two colleges—the College of Fine Arts and Communications and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The Department of Visual Arts (College of Fine Arts) offers a BFA in Animation and the Computer Science Department College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences) offers a BS in Computer Science with an Animation Emphasis.
2. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Established in 1876, Texas A&M is home to more than 50,000 students enrolled in 360+ programs across 16 colleges and schools. The College of Architecture offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include BS, MS, and MFA degrees in Visualization. The Visualization program is interdisciplinary, so it allows students to study Computer Generated Animation and other related areas/subjects.
3. University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Established in 1969, the University of Texas-Dallas (UT Dallas) is home to 23,095 students enrolled in 133 academic programs across seven schools. The School of Arts and Humanities, Department of Arts and Technology (ATEC) is home to more than 1,100 students and it offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BA in Arts and Technology (BA ATEC), an MA in Arts and Technology (MA ATEC), an MFA in Arts and Technology (MFA ATEC), and a PhD Arts and Technology (PhD ATEC).
4. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
New Mexico State University was established in 1888 as Las Cruces College. The school is home to 17,651 students enrolled in 276 programs across eight colleges and schools. The College of Arts and Sciences is home to the Creative Media Institute for Film and Digital Arts (CMI). The Institute offers a Bachelor of Creative Media that prepares students for a career in Animation and Visual Effects, as well as Digital Filmmaking.
5. University of Colorado - Denver, Denver, Colorado
The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) was established in 1912 as an extension of the University of Colorado Boulder. It is home to 18,270 students enrolled in 130 programs across 13 colleges and schools. The College of Arts and Media is home to the Department of Visual Arts. The Department offers a BFA with an Emphasis in 3D Graphics and Animation.
6. Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico
Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) opened in 1934. The school is home to 5,855 students enrolled in more than 60 programs across four colleges and a graduate school. The College of Fine Arts is home to the Department of Art, which offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Art with an Emphasis in Animation/Media Arts and Design and a Minor in Animation/Media Arts and Design.
7. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
Founded in 1936, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) is home to 1,022 students enrolled in 16 Bachelor’s Masters, and Certificate programs. More than 100 students are enrolled in the schools animation programs. Offerings include a BFA in Animation and Certificates in 3D Animation: Pre-Production and 3D Animation: Character Animation. Certificate-level programs are 18-credit hours.
8. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
Established in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute or School, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is home to more than 19,000 students enrolled in 170 fields of study across seven colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication is home to the Department of Art. The Department offers a BFA in Computer Animation. Several courses are currently in development for the program including Interactive Games and Experimental Animation.
9. University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas
Established in 1881 as Incarnate Word College, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is home to 9,940 students enrolled in 100 majors at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Within UIW are nine colleges and schools, as well as four professional schools. The School of Media and Design (SMD) offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in 3D Animation and Game Design with a 3D Animation Track or Game Design Track. Students typically receive an AAS degree with a Concentration in 3D Animation or Game Production from Northwest Vista College (San Antonio) or other cooperating community college.
10. The Art Institute of Austin, Austin, Texas
The Art Institute of Austin is a branch of the Art Institute of Houston. The school has been in existence for six years (as of 2015) and it is home to more than 1,300 students. The Art Institute of Austin offers more than 20 diploma and degree programs in the areas of Design, Media Arts, Fashion, and Culinary Arts. The Media Arts Department offers several program options for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Media Arts and Animation and a BS in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. A BFA in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production is also on the menu.