What are the top animation bachelor's of arts (BA) programs in the U.S. for 2023?

Top 25 Animation Bachelor's of Arts (BA) Degree Programs in the U.S. – 2023 College Rankings
1University of California, Los AngelesCalifornia
2DePaul UniversityIllinois
3The Ohio State UniversityOhio
4Columbia College ChicagoIllinois
5University of Texas at DallasTexas
6California State University, Long BeachCalifornia
7Loyola Marymount UniversityCalifornia
8University of FloridaFlorida
9California State University, Los AngelesCalifornia
10California State University NorthridgeCalifornia
11North Carolina State UniversityNorth Carolina
12Bowling Green State UniversityOhio
13Emerson CollegeMassachusetts
14Lipscomb UniversityTennessee
15University of South FloridaFlorida
16University of IowaIowa
17University of Advancing TechnologyArizona
18Tulane UniversityLouisiana
19University of ConnecticutConnecticut
20Rutgers UniversityNew Jersey
21University of North Carolina WilmingtonNorth Carolina
22Grand Valley State UniversityMichigan
23Evergreen State CollegeWashington
24New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNew Jersey
25Grand Canyon UniversityArizona

For our undergraduate degree rankings, we have evaluated animation schools and programs with the best Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Bachelor of Science (BS) options. To determine which degree matches your career goals, it is important to understand how each qualification differs.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is the principal liberal arts degree. Most BA programs require 30-some or 40-some credits, which leaves plenty of flexibility in the form of free electives. BA students can use the free electives to sample widely from other course offerings or to earn an additional credential (a second major, a minor, or some combination of additional credentials).

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is offered in areas such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology, Statistics, and each of the natural sciences. The BS is best suited to the student who wants to focus more on courses in the major and on 'collateral' courses (like chemistry or mathematics for a major in Geological Sciences) and is willing to give up some of the flexibility of the BA in return for the greater focus.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is considered the most prestigious bachelor's degree that you can receive in the visual arts. This option is for students who wish to gain as much experience and skill in the arts as possible.

Below are the Top 25 Schools and Colleges with Animation BA Programs for 2023.

1. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
University of California Los Angeles

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has a Film and Television BA that provides the opportunity to focus in Animation. The Animation Concentration consists of 20 units of study to be completed during the student’s senior year. All students are required to complete coursework in three areas: film and television craft (writing, editing, directing, sound recording, and photography; cinema and media studies (aesthetics, theory, and history); and production (animation, digital, television, film, and experimental). An internship is also part of the program and must be completed in the students junior or senior year.

All UCLA Animation students have access to the state-of-the-art Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio where they will engage in hands-on learning, research, and film production. Undergraduate students seeking an advanced degree are eligible to apply to the UCLA Animation Workshop, which leads to an MFA.

Graduates of the Animation and Film Programs at UCLA work for Pixar, DreamWorks, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Nickelodeon, among others.

2. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
DePaul University

Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University (DePaul) houses the School of Cinematic Arts, home to the Animation Program. Listed as a Top Film School by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the School of Cinematic Arts features courses taught by award-winning filmmakers, access to a state-of-the-art, 32,000 square foot production facility known as DePaul Cinespace Studios, and an Animation BA. Students in the BA Program can develop skill sin other specific areas through open electives.  

In addition to award-winning filmmakers, courses for the Animation Program at DePaul are taught by members of one of the largest full-time animation faculties in the nation. They teach courses such as 3D Animation Production, Cinema, Animation and Art, Screenwriting, Motion Graphics, 3D Design and Modeling, Stop-Motion Animation, Narrative Development, Storyboarding, Drawing, and Motion Capture.

All DePaul Animation students may participate in the Los Angeles Quarter Program. This 10-week immersion program allows students to intern at major Hollywood studios such Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Studios, Nickelodeon, The Jim Henson Company, Titmouse Animation, Bix Pix Animation, Warner Brothers, and many others.

Other program benefits include the visiting artist series, where past guests have included artists from Disney and Pixar, access to the Animation Lodge, and participation in Project Bluelight. Students at The Lodge collaborate on group projects, network, and build their portfolios. Bluelight provides hands-on experience in motion picture production to all interested students.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at DePaul University have been hired by major studios and gaming companies such as Electronic Arts (EA), Google, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Blizzard Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, LAIKA Studios, Disney Animation Studios, Wargaming, Warner Bros. Animation, BioWare, and Iron Galaxy Studios.

3. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University

The College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU) houses 38 departments, more than 20 research centers, and over 2,000 faculty and staff members that provide more than 80 majors, 100+ minors and certificates, and over 50 graduate programs. Among the College’s programs are several pathways to study animation.

Established in 2017, OSU’s interdisciplinary Moving Image Production (MIP) BA Program is a collaboration between The Departments of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts; Art; Design; and the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD).

The program, which combines live-action and animated filmmaking, features studio practice in Animation, Experimental, Narrative, and Documentary. Course examples include Motion Studies Through Hand-Drawn Animation, Computer Animation: Form, Light, Motion I & II Group Studies in Digital Animation and Interactive Media, Concept Development for Time-Based Media, and Film/Video: Topics in Technologies and Strategies.

OSU MIP students will take a 15 credit hour Flim Studies Minor as part of the program, and they will have opportunities to take additional production and screenwriting courses through electives, complete an internship, and participate in the school’s study abroad program.

The Department of Art at OSU houses an Art and Technology Area. Undergraduate students in this interdisciplinary emphasis area will explore everything from 3D modeling and animation to electronics/robotics/animatronics. Area course examples include Computer Animation, Moving Image Art, Digital Imaging, Art & Technology Studio Practice, Video Art, New Media Robotics, Internet Art, and Graphic Novel – Web Comic Production.

Graduates of the MIP BA and Art and Technology Programs at OSU are Animators, Art Directors, Interaction Designers, Virtual Reality Designers, Multimedia Designers, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Designers, Game Designers, Motion Graphics Designers, Mixed Reality Designers, and User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Designers, Freelance Artists, and College Professors.

4. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Columbia College Chicago

The School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago (Columbia) houses the Interactive Arts and Media Department (IAM). Within the Department is an Animation Program that allows students to begin animating in the very first year. Leading to a BA, the program also provides access to state-of-the-art animation production spaces including Cintiq, stop-motion, and traditional animation labs. Students also have access to the Equipment Cave, Game Lab, Sound Studio, and Open Lab.

Course examples in the IAM Department include Alternative Strategies in Animation, Computer Animation: Keyframing, Environmental Design & Modeling, Animation for Comics, Stop-Motion Animation, Animation Maquettes, Character Design and Modeling, CVFX: Compositing, Advanced 3D Digital Sculpting, Character Design and Modeling, Cartooning, Acting for Animators, and Screenwriting: Writing the Short Film. 

Animation BA students will have the option to work with a team or individually to create a film during the final year of the program. Students will also spend their final year fine tuning their demo reels.

Graduates of the Animation Program at Columbia College Chicago have launched their own studios, they have gone on to win Oscars and Emmy Awards, and some alumni have worked on films and series such as The Lion King, Robot Chicken, Brave, Frozen, Pocahontas, UP, The Lego Batman Movie, Coco, and Finding Dory. Columbia College graduates have been hired at networks and studios such as Disney, Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon, Pixar, DreamWorks Studios, Cartoon Network, and Weta Digital.

5. University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
University of Texas at Dallas

The School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology (AHT) at University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) has an Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) program that provides an optional Concentration in Animation and Games (A&G). Coursework for this BA Program explores computer animation, motion graphics, game studies, user experience/user interface UX/UI design, and digital fabrication.

Required A&G courses include Computer Animation, Modeling and Texturing, Lighting and Composition, Rigging, Game Design, and Level Design. Students will complete 30 semester credit hours of required electives as well. Examples include Animation Lab, Procedural Animation, Motion Capture Animation. Virtual Environments, Animation Studies, Game Production Lab, and Project Management for ATEC.

Other ATEC program highlights include guest speakers from major studios such as Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks; access to state-of-the-art labs and studios; applied and experimental research in collaboration with instructors in varying areas of expertise; seminars and lectures presented by industry professionals; and portfolio and project-based exercises.

ATEC students have access to the following labs and studios: 3D Studio, ArtSciLab, Creative Automata Lab, Cultural Science Lab, Emerging Gizmology Lab, Fashioning Circuits, LabSynthE, Narrative Systems Research Lab, Public Interactives Research Lab (PIRL), SP&CE Media, and The Studio for Mediating Play.

Students focusing in animation also have access to the ATEC Animation Lab, which provides the opportunity to participate in a simulated animated studio experience. Over two semesters, a crew of 40 students will write, design, direct, and produce a two-minute CG animated short film. Just a few past films include Bad Timing (2022), Octo Ninja (2021), Night Shift (2020), and Stargazer (2019).

Graduates of the ATEC Program at UT Dallas are prepared to seek careers in 3D computer animation, film and television, games, modeling and simulation, virtual environments, and medical and scientific visualization.

6. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California
California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) houses the College of the Arts (COTA). One of the universities largest and most popular colleges, COTA consists of six separate academic units including the School of Art, The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, and the Departments of Film and Electronic Arts, Dance, Design, and Theatre Arts. The Department of Film and Electronic Arts has an Option in Theory and Practice of Cinema. Within the Option is a Specialization Track in Postproduction. The Track provides several courses for animators including 3D Computer Animation, Digital Arts Production, Color Correction, Editing, Sound Design, and Audio Production. Students in this program also have access to courses such as Advanced Screenwriting, Alternative Media, Writing the Short Script, Film Production, and Studio Directing.

The CSULB Film and Electronics Program leads to a BA. Graduates will enter the job market with a professional portfolio of their best work. Program alumni are prepared for careers such as Animator, Animation Technical Director, Character Animator, Compositing Artist, Illustrator, Art Director, Storyboard Artist, and Forensic Animator.

7. Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California
Loyola Marymount University

The School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) houses the Walter and Grace Lantz Undergraduate Animation Program. Students in this program will study traditional and digital techniques to develop films, television productions, video games, and emerging media forms. Animation students will gain hands-on experience in storytelling, 3D filmmaking, visual effects (VFX), stop-motion animation, and motion capture, among others. Programs lead to a BA or a Minor in Animation.

The LMU BA is a four year program that requires 45 semester hours of study in upper division coursework. The Minor consists of 18 semester hours of study and is open to all LMU students, regardless of major. Course examples across programs include Visual Story Development, 3D Computer Animation, Discovering Animation, Pixel Animation, Animated Perspectives, Virtual Production, Character Development, Interactive Animation, History of Animation, Immersive Media Studio, and Animation Workshop. 

The Animation BA requires a significant number of electives, allowing students to focus their studies in an area of interest. During the final year of the Animation BA Program, students will complete the Animation Practicum and Senior Thesis Project.

Graduates of Animation Programs at Loyola Marymount University are prepared for positions in animation, film, games, design, television, advertising, science, medicine, law, and education, among others. Animation Program alumni have worked on a number of major productions such as Wonder Woman, Superman: Doomsday, Green Lantern: First Flight, The Simpsons, and The Simpsons Movie.

8. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
University of Florida

The College of the Arts (COTA) at University of Florida (UF) is home to the Digital Worlds Institute. Founded in 2001, the Institute began as a partnership between COTA and the College of Engineering. Today, the Digital Worlds Institute has expanded to include six additional colleges, with a focus on advanced media systems.

The Digital Worlds Institute at University of Florida has two program options for animators—a Digital Arts & Sciences BA (BADAS) and a DAS Minor. BADAS students benefit from a project-based learning environment that allows them to gain hands-on experience and team-building skills. Electives are offered in three areas: Animation, Experience Design & Production, and Game Design. UF BADAS students may choose coursework in one or more of these areas based on their interests and career goals. Students may also take electives outside of the BADAS Program. The remaining courses for the program are in the BADAS cores and general education (30%).

BADAS core courses explore areas such as 2D and 3D animation, digital storytelling, writing for interactive media, mobile games, design and production, digital visualization, game content creation, and digital technologies. Course examples include Digital Storytelling, 2D Digital Animation Techniques, Writing for Interactive Media, Advanced Digital Animation Techniques, Principles of Interaction & Usability, Design Production Studio, 3D Modeling and texturing, 3D Character Animation, and Advanced 2D Digital Animation Techniques.

Elective examples include Blockchain Innovation in Digital Arts and Sciences, Digital Tools for Arts and Humanities, and Undergraduate Research in DAS. All students must complete the senior project and a portfolio. Independent study, an internship, and production practicum are optional.

Graduates of the Digital Worlds Institute at University of Florida are prepared for positions in a variety of areas from animation, game design, and filmmaking to science and technology. Institute graduates have been hired at major studios and companies from DreamWorks Animation to Microsoft. Many graduates have also gone on to launch their own studios and freelance businesses.

9. California State University, Los Angeles, California
California State University

The Department of Art at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA or CSU) has an Animation Option that combines the study of experimental, traditional, and contemporary animation techniques with hands-on learning in digital classrooms, labs, and other facilities. Part of the College of Arts & Letters, the Art Department provides access to the Stop-Motion Animation Labs, Design Library, and the Tool Crib. Art Department students will also have opportunities to exhibit in the student-run COMA Gallery and/or Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery.

The Animation Option is a path within the Art BA Program. The program requires a minimum of 98 units of coursework, including 48 units in the Option, and students may take select electives from art and film offerings. Course examples include Story and Visualization, Art and Motion, Digital Modeling, Three-Dimensional Animation, Advanced Animation, Experimental Animation, Video for Artists, Digital Design Tools, Color Theory and Perception, World Animation History, and Advanced Illustration. A Capstone Animation Project worth up to six credits is required to graduate.

Each semester, students in the Cal State LA Art Department will join professional artists and faculty for several events that provide the opportunity to present their work to their peers and the public. Graduates of the Art Programs at Cal State LA are prepared to pursue careers in animation, game design, screenwriting, storyboard art, visual effects (VFX), art direction, production, advertising, film editing, and special effects, among others.

10. California State University Northridge, Northridge, California
California State University Northridge

The Department of Art at California State University Northridge (CSUN) houses a Visual Arts Program with several pathways to study animation. Within the Department’s Visual Arts BA is a Concentration in Animation with three Tracks: 2D Animation Design, 3D Animation, and Game Design. As part of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, all tracks provide access to the Entertainment Industry Institute (EII) and the student-operated creative agency known as IntersectLA.

In addition, students in all tracks may join the Animation Students League of Northridge and/or the CSUN Game Development Club. Both student-run organizations provide networking opportunities and the chance to interact with industry guests through lectures and workshops. Other program highlights include internship opportunities, participation in studio tours, and CSUN’s partnerships with Seoul Institute of the Arts and DreamWorks studios.

Students in the Visual Arts BA: 2D Animation Design Track will take courses such as Visual Development, Pre-Production, Compositing, and 3D Computer Animation. Potential careers for graduates of this Track include Animator, Storyboard Artist, and Background Designer. In the Visual Arts BA: 3D Animation Track, students will explore Game Animation, Compositing, and Visual Development. Possible job titles for graduates include Character Animator, Lighting Artist, CG Modeler, Compositor, and Pre-Vis Artist. During the final year of both Tracks, students will work on collaborative group projects and their final portfolio.

Game Track students will take Character Animation, Compositing, Animation Production, 3D Computer Animation, and Game Production courses. Graduates of this track are prepared for careers in character animation, modeling, texture painting & lighting, quality assurance, and level design, among others.

11. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University

The College of Design at North Carolina State University (NC State) began as the School of Architecture and Landscape Design in 1946. It was renamed the School of Design in 1948 and the College of Design in 2000. Today, the College provides programs in architecture, art and design, design studies, graphic and experience design, industrial design, and landscape architecture and environmental planning. Programs are available at all levels—including the doctorate.

Other College of Design highlights include swing studios in other majors; study abroad experiences in places such as Greece, Chile, and Prague; an interdisciplinary first-year experience; workshops; and internship opportunities.

The College of Design at NC State houses the Department of Art + Design, which has a Bachelor of Art + Design (BAD) Program. Programs in the Department are highly multidisciplinary, allowing students to study both traditional disciplines and emerging techniques. Examples include animation, VR/AR, visual composition, interactive and computational media, and visual effects.

Electives allow additional opportunities to focus the BAD. Examples of required courses and elective options include Advanced Digital Techniques, Animation I. Art + Design Laboratory I-II, Creative Technology Studio I-III, Drawing I-II, Visualization I-II, Digital Motion, Sequential Imaging, Color and Light, Digital Modeling, Digital Representation, and Writing About Film.

Undergraduate students will move from foundation courses in the first and second years to intermediate and advanced classes in the final two years of the program. Students will leave the Bachelor of Art + Design program with a final project and a polished portfolio of their work.

Graduates of the NC State Department of Art + Design Programs work in fields such as animation, digital special effects, multimedia, illustration, filmmaking, and software design. Some graduates go on to launch their own studios and freelance businesses, while others are become art and design educators.

12. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
Bowling Green State University

The College of Arts and Sciences at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is home to one of the largest and oldest state art schools in Ohio. In existence for 75 years, the School of Art houses the Graphic Design, Digital Arts, Art History, Studio, and Art Education Divisions. Students in all Divisions have the opportunity to study abroad and complete an internship at a major studio such as Pixar or Disney Animation.

The Division of Digital Arts has a BA Program that provides an optional Specialization in Animation. Both 2D and 3D Animation Tracks are available within the specialization. Undergraduate students may also choose the Interdisciplinary Track, which provides the opportunity to incorporate classes from areas such as Drawing, Graphic Design, and Photography.

The Animation Track culminates in a semester-long senior capstone project that is screened at The Wolfe Center for the Arts during the School of Art's annual BFA exhibition and Film Festival.

Graduates of the Digital Arts BA Program at Bowling Green State University are prepared to pursue positions such as 2D or 3D Animator, Special Effects Artist, Motion Graphics Artist, Video Game Animator, and Web Design Animator, among others. BGSU Studio and Digital Arts alumni are routinely hired by major animation and game studios such as Blizzard, DreamWorks Animation, and Epic Games.

13. Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
Emerson College

Emerson College (Emerson) houses the School of the Arts, home to the Department of Visual & Media Arts (VMA). Department highlights include faculty members who work in the industry, access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and the Media Arts Production (MAP) BA Program.

The BA has two tracks: Production and Media Studies and both programs allow students to design and develop a focus area through a variety of course offerings. Emerson MAP students may focus in areas such as Animation and Motion Media, Interactive Media and Games, Experimental Media Production, Filmmaking, Cinematography/Videography, and Post-Production, among others. Course examples include Computer animation, Drawing for Character Design, Film Production, Game Design, Interactive Media, Visual and Media Arts Production, and Writing the Short Subject.

MAP BA students have the option to complete the BA Production Capstone Project or apply to the BFA program. The one-semester Capstone results in a professional production project, portfolio, or reel. All MAP students have access to the Emerson College Emerging Media Lab (EML), where they can work in multiple areas of new media including 3D modeling and animation, artistic anatomy & 2D animation, rigging and animation, VR/AR, character design, and game design, among others. 

Graduates of the VMA Department at Emerson College have been hired in a variety of roles at studios such as Worldwide Pants, Digital Domain, MGM Studios, Bunim Murray Productions, and Searchlight Pictures.

14. Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee

George Shinn College of Entertainment & The Arts at Lipscomb University offers BA, BFA, in Animation and an MFA in Film and Creative Media with a focus in Animation. An Animation Minor consisting of 18 credit hours of study is available.

Lipscomb University is the only institution in the world with five former Disney Animators on faculty. Their works include: Lion King, Mulan, Aladdin, Pocohantas, Beauty and the Beast, Winnie the Pooh and Tiger Too, Lilo and Stitch and many others. Course examples across all animation programs include 2D Character Animation, Character Design, Animation Tools Storyboarding for Animation, CG Modeling and Lighting, and Computer Animation.

BA students will complete 52 credit hours in the major, and BFA students will complete 64. Students in the BFA program must complete the Animation Capstone to graduate. The 62-hour MFA is a terminal degree allowing for a college appointment.

Animation students will also attend classes with Film students, which provides multiple opportunities to train in many areas of film production. Students in all programs have opportunities to travel to places such as Los Angeles to attend animation events or complete an internship. In addition, each semester, Lipscomb University welcomes industry experts to speaking events designed to help students get an idea of what it’s like to work in some of the world’s top animation studios.

The MFA offers a range of advanced courses. Examples include Directing Animation, Advanced Film Business, Sound & Voice Performance, Digital Entertainment Law, Film Direction, 2D/CG Animation Pipeline, AD & Set Management, and CEA Studios Internship.

MFA students will complete a short film or TV pilot, to be screened at the end of the final semester before graduation.

Lipscomb University was founded in 1891 by ministers David Lipscomb and James A. Harding as Nashville Bible School. The school serves nearly 5,000 students enrolled in more than 240 undergraduate majors and minors, master’s degrees, and doctoral programs in 10 colleges. Lipscomb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

15. University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida

The College of the Arts at the University of South Florida (USF) houses the School of Art & Art History, home to the Studio Art Program, which has a Specialization in Animation and Digital Modeling. The Specialization is open to students at all levels, including the Studio Art BA.

All Studio Art students will explore 2D and 3D animation, digital imaging, video, games, film, fine art, and virtual 3D production. Course examples across pathways include Video, Animation, & Digital Arts (VADA) and Advanced VADA, Selected Topics in VADA, 3D Animation, Digital Modeling, Computer Animation, Tech Essentials, Visual Arts, RealWorld, Graduate Seminar, and Professional Practices.

Students in all Studio Art Programs at the University of South Florida may explore courses in other disciplines within the School of Art & Art History. Graduates of the Studio Art Programs at University of South Florida have established careers in animation, television and film, advertising, art, education, science, medicine, and games, among others.

16. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
University of Iowa

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at University of Iowa (U of Iowa) houses the School of Art and Art History. Established in 1936, the School provides opportunities to study across disciplines. Within the School is the Department of Cinematic Arts, which also provides opportunities to study animation within the Cinema BA Program. In addition to animation, students may choose coursework that explores Experimental Film, Documentary Film, and Film Production.

Course examples for the program include Animation, Digital Production: Animation, Film/Video: Image Design, Video for Performance, Digital Arts, Modes of Film and Video Production, Screenwriting: Short Form, Film/Video Production: Video Games and Identity, Alternative Forms, and Film and Media Practicum. To learn about careers in film, all Department of Cinematic Arts students may enroll in Film/Video Production: The Business of Filmmaking.

Program highlights include workshops, group critiques, participation in film festivals, individual advising sessions, mock job interviews, and access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. The University of Iowa Department of Cinematic Arts also offers ample opportunities to gain work experience through the internship program housed in the Pomerantz Career Center and the student-run Student Video Production (SVP) Club. In addition, the Department also hosts panels with faculty members and students may join EPX Studio—a student run organization that supports artists and their game, animation, and digital projects. The Studio also hosts trips to studios and conferences.

Graduates of the Department of Cinematic Arts at University of Iowa will enter the job market with a professional portfolio of their best work. Program alumni can be found at studios, entertainment companies, and agencies in Hollywood, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Milwaukee, among others.

17. University of Advancing Technology, Tempe, Arizona
University of Advancing Technology

University of Advancing Technology (UAT) has a Game Art and Animation (GAA) Program that features five-week modules taken one at a time, a Synchronic Learning model, and mentored education. Students in this 120 credit hour BA Program will learn how to create 2D and 3D art and animation for VR/AR and online, console, PC and mobile games.

Course examples for the program include Digital Video and Animation, Game Art and Animation, Character and Vehicle Animation, Visual Effects Compositing, Environmental and FX Animation, UI Design and Animation, Storyboarding, VR/AR User Experience Design, Virtual Reality World Build, and Production Studio.

As part of the University Core, UAT Game Art and Animation students must complete at least three credit hours in an internship and Student Innovation Project courses I-III. Though not required, courses such as Digital Asset Creation, Java Programming, and Introduction to AI and Analytics are highly recommended. Students can complete the UAT Game Art and Animation BA in eight semesters.

Graduates of the Game Art and Animation BA at University of Advancing Technology work in a variety of roles in all areas of game design and animation. Examples include Character Animator, Texture Artist, Art Director, Storyboard Artist, Environment Animator, and Game Artist.

18. Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Tulane University
19. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Stamford, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

The School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut (UConn) houses the Digital Media & Design (DMD) Department, home to the Digital Media & Design BA Program. Students in this program have the opportunity to take 15 credit hours of electives in 3D Animation. Other program highlights include project based-learning, access to state-of-the-art facilities in the UConn Bishop Center, and collaborative projects. Facilities include a high-powered Cintiq computer lab for high-end 3D work, a speedy render farm, and a brand new 688 ft Motion Capture studio.

UConn DMD graduates enjoy a high employment rate, and most are offered positions within six months of graduation. Program alumni are employed at major studios and companies such as Pixar, Google Creative, Stoopid Buddy Studios, YouTube Gaming, and Lego.  

20. Rutgers University Camden, Camden, New Jersey
Rutgers University

Rutgers University Camden (Rutgers-Camden) is home to the College of Arts and Sciences. The largest academic unit at Rutgers-Camden, the College of Arts and Sciences provides opportunities to gain hands-on experience through experiential learning, internships, and study abroad experience.

Within Arts and Sciences is the Visual, Media, and Performing Arts (VMPA) Department, which has one pathway to study animation—the Art BA Program. Students have the opportunity to Concentrate in Animation—the fastest growing section of the VMPA Art Program. Program highlights include access to three on-campus laboratories outfitted with state-of-the-art networked computers, post-production units, and 2D/3D and editing software; internship opportunities; and study abroad experiences.

The Animation Concentration consists of 21 focused credit hours. Students may also explore video game design, 3D modeling and printing, and character rigging through electives or they can add a minor in an area such as Painting & Drawing, Graphic Design, Computer Science, Film, Digital Studies, or Art History. 

Required courses for the Art BA/Animation include Computer Animation I-II, Classical Animation, Effects and Production, Storyboard and Character Design, and Character Animation. Animation students must complete Animation Capstone I-II to graduate.

Graduates of the Rutgers University Camden Animation Program have been hired at Digital Domain, Disney, Warner Brothers, Psyop, Ubisoft Entertainment, and BBC Earth, among others. Alumni credits include (but are not limited to) Frozen, Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, Assassin’s Creed Unity (video game), Ice Age, Happy Feet, and Sesame Street 3D. 

21. University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina
University of North Carolina Wilmington

The College of Arts and Sciences at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) is home to the Department of Art and Art History, which houses the interdisciplinary Digital Arts Program. Within the Program is a Digital Arts BA Program that provides an optional Concentration in Interactive Graphics.

Students in the interdisciplinary Digital Arts BA Program will learn to design 3D graphics and interactive user experiences for film animation, VR/AR, digital art, games, and 3D animation applications. Course examples include Computer Animation, Computer Gaming, Digital Visual Effects, Life Drawing, Visual Design for Multimedia, and Computer Graphics Programming. A Digital Arts Capstone (Portfolio Project) is also part of the program. Students will complete the Capstone during the last year in the major and present it in a campus venue.

Graduates of the Digital Arts Programs at University of North Carolina Wilmington are prepared to pursue positions at animation, VFX, and game design studios; graphic design firms; companies that specialize in using VR/AR for entertainment, training, and education; video production companies; and places that utilize HCI such as theaters, galleries, and museums, architectural firms, and engineering companies. 

22. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan
Grand Valley State University

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) houses the Department of Visual & Media Arts. An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department serves nearly 700 students enrolled in five programs leading to ten different degrees. Students in all programs have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities designed for work in traditional and new media; experiential learning opportunities such as internships, study abroad, and field trips; visiting artists; and campus exhibition and independent study programs.

The Department of Visual & Media Arts at GVSU also has a BA in Film and Video Production that explores animation, scriptwriting, film studies, sound design, new media, nonfiction, documentary, and fiction. The program also requires proficiency in a foreign language. All courses across the Department are taught by working professionals in the field. Other program benefits include membership in several student organizations, the opportunity to present work at local screening events, and the opportunity to complete production projects for clients outside of the classroom.

Film and Video Production students at Grand Valley State university have worked with or interned at DreamWorks Animation, Voyage Pictures, Contact Light Films, 52 Watt Studios, Match Frame Creative, A2 Creative, D-Squared Creative, Coastline Studios, M-1 Studios, Detroit Public Television, and Allied Productions, among others. Grand Valley State University alumni are often hired by many of these studios and firms.

23. Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College (Evergreen) provides the unique opportunity to design your own program. Student can customize an animation program by selecting courses from more than 40 fields of study. Examples include Visual Art and Visual Studies; Film, Video, and Audio Production; Computer Science; Film and Media Studies; and Music and Performing Arts. Customized undergraduate programs at Evergreen do not require specific courses. This means, there are no specific course requirements to graduate. However, students must complete 180 credits to earn a BA.

Students who choose to focus in Animation have access to two 2D Animation labs, one 3D stop motion lab, and the Multimedia Lab (MML). All programs at Evergreen State College are full-time, with optional (but strongly recommended) internship opportunities that require a year-long commitment through the Fall and Spring semesters. In addition, students can enhance their degree program by adding a Certificate in Computer Science or Media and Design.

While Evergreen offers the flexibility to create your own curriculum, students can select a pre-planned path of study. Examples include Visual Arts; Media Arts and Studies; and Visual and Media Arts (beginning 2023). These pre-planned paths prepare students for careers in animation, advertising, art direction, games, video production, illustration, multimedia arts, television, and graphic design. Program alumni are also prepared to enter a graduate program at Evergreen State College or other institution.

24. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology

The J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design (HCAD) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) houses the School of Art + Design, which has several pathways to study animation. At the undergraduate level, the School’s Digital Design BA has two tracks including Entertainment and Interactive Media. Students in both tracks will take required courses such as Video and Animation, Acting Fundamentals for Animators, 2D and 3D Character Design and Modeling, SFX/VFX in Movies, Simulated Environments, Game Level Design, Digital Audio, Imaginary Worlds, and Environment Design in Motion Pictures.

Collaborative design studios are a major component of both tracks, and the curriculum also allows for study in areas across HCAD including robotics, physical computing, and VR/AR.

Graduates of the Digital Design Program at New Jersey Institute of Technology are prepared to pursue a variety of roles in Animation, Game Art and Design, Digital Media Design, Visualization, Advertising, and Web Design, among others. Program alumni have been hired by or have interned at NBCUniversal, ETS, High 5 Games, NTropic, Method Studios, Tripwire Interactive, and Grafx Co.

25. Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona
Grand Canyon University

The College of Arts and Media at Grand Canyon University (GCU) has a Digital Design Program with an Animation Emphasis Area. Offered online and on campus, this BA Program  guides students through the design process, storytelling, and animation techniques in a hands-on learning environment. The bulk of the 120 required credit hours are in the major. Course examples include 2D Motion Design, Designing with Type, Motion Technologies, Layout and Composition, Interface Design, Creative Processes, and 3D Motion Design.

The curriculum also requires the completion Design Professionalism—a four credit hour course that delves into personal branding and marketing, ethical and legal issues, project management, teamwork, networking, the industry landscape, and more. Digital Design students will also complete two portfolio courses designed to help them secure an internship. The final portfolio course is designed to prepare students for employment in the industry or to pursue a graduate degree.

Other program benefits include professional critiques and opportunities to participate in Design United, Phoenix Design Week, and the Senior Showcase. The Showcase is the required Capstone for all Design majors.

Graduates of the Digital Design BA: Animation at Grand Canyon University go on to establish careers in animation, film, television, advertising, game design, and multimedia art. The Digital Design Program also prepares students to pursue careers in art and design education, animation for architecture, scientific animation, forensic animation, and medical animation, among others.