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What are the top animation BS degree programs in 2024?
|Brigham Young University
|ArtCenter College of Design
|Full Sail University
|Texas A&M University
|Middle Tennessee State University
|East Tennessee State University
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
|California State University, Chico
|Indiana University Indianapolis
|Utah Valley University
|Kent State University
|Missouri State University
|University of Alabama in Huntsville
|Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
|Grand Valley State University
|Louisiana State University, Shreveport
|Alfred State College
|Oklahoma Christian University
|University of North Carolina, Wilmington
|Southern Arkansas University
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 BS Programs for 2024.
1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Brigham Young University (BYU) houses the BYU Center for Animation. Established in 2010, this hands-on, closed-enrollment program accepts just 20-25 students per year. Managed by the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Fine Arts and Communications, and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, the Center is open to artists from the Computer Science BS (CS BS) with an Animation and Games Emphasis. BYU Center for Animation students may choose to focus in anything from 2D animation to special effects.
The BYU Center for Animation provides extensive hands-on training in animation, games, live-action, and special effects. All BYU Center for Animation students have opportunities to work on personal projects, group projects, and major films. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship, study abroad experience, and develop a portfolio of their best work.
The Department of Computer Science within the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences is active in the world of computer-generated animation. In addition to providing a gateway to the BYU Center for Animation, the CS BS here has an Animation and Games emphasis. This limited enrollment program accepts just 42 students per entry period. Consisting of 77-80.5 credit hours, the program explores animation, computer graphics, video game production, programming, software engineering, visual effects, user interfaces, and more.
Course examples include Computer Graphics; History of Animation; Previsualization; Scripting for Animation; 3D Effects; Digital Sculpting; Photography for Animation; Lighting for 3D; Introduction to Game Design; Real Time Techniques; 3D Graphics (introduction); and Advanced Shading. The culminating experience for the BYU Animation and Games BS is the Senior Film or Senior Game completed across two or more production courses.
Graduates of the Animation programs at Brigham Young University are prepared for careers in all areas of animation and game design and development. Sample job titles include Animator, Animation Tool Developer, Concept Artist, Lead Animator, Multimedia Programmer, Animation Director, Game Developer, Animation Producer, Game Designer, Animation Technical Director (TD), Art Director, Animation Production Coordinator, and Effects Technical Director (FX TD).
BYU Animation alumni have been hired at major studios such as Pixar, Blizzard, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Nickelodeon, Riot Games, Disney, Sony, and Digital Domain.
2. ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California
ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter) is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. ArtCenter is also a major employer of top talent from Disney, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Sony, Universal, Netflix, Insomniac Games, Warner Bros., Blizzard, Marvel, Fox Pictures, LAIKA, Blur Studio, Tencent, Marvel, Riot Games, and Aardman Animations.
For students seeking a degree in animation or games, ArtCenter College of Design has an Entertainment Design BS with three tracks: Animation, Concept, and Game Design. Across all tracks, students will learn how to create animated films from concept to finished product. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to work in teams on these projects—in a real-world studio environment. Well over one hour of animation is produced in the Entertainment BS program each year, with many shorts going on to play at festivals across the globe.
The Entertainment BS program at ArtCenter College of Design also highlights collaborations with Illustration, Concept Design, and Game Design students. Whether working in teams or collaborations across majors, Entertainment BS students will develop advanced skills utilizing the latest industry tools.
The ArtCenter Animation track explores lighting, character animation, modeling, storyboarding, and art direction. Course examples for the program include Art of Research; 2D Fundamentals; 2D Mechanics; Concept Art; Shorts; Design History of Comic Animation; CG Mechanics; Performance as Art; Storyboard; Science & Technology; and Entertainment Design Industry.
All Entertainment BS students will also complete several business courses. Examples include Business 101; Entrepreneurship; Professional Practices; and Business & Professional Practice. In 7th and 8th terms of the program, students will complete Capstone Production 1-3 and Portfolio 1-2. The Entertainment Design BS culminates with the Graduate Show.
ArtCenter College of Design graduates are prepared to pursue positions within the entertainment industry such as Animator, Modeler, Digital Artist, Production Designer, and Storyboard Artist. ArtCenter graduates have been hired at major companies and studios such as Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros., Amazon, DreamWorks Animation, Marvel, Rockstar Games, Ogilvy, Google, Netflix, Paramount, and Universal Creative.
3. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University (Full Sail) sits on a 212 acre campus that houses more than 110 state-of-the-art studios, collaborative production environments, a large Hollywood-style back lot, professional-level recording and game studios, and live venues that host concerts, festivals, and other events.
Full Sail focuses on project-based training, which allows students across majors to gain valuable real-world experience—all before graduation. Full Sail students also have access to the Project LaunchBox, which provides software and tools to create projects. LaunchBox also houses student coursework and files, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For students seeking an animation degree, Full Sail University has a Computer Animation program with both online and on-campus tracks. Leading to a BS, the online track takes 29 months to complete. The campus track takes just 20 months to complete. Students in both programs will learn how to navigate the same production pipelines used in today’s major studios.
Course examples for the program include 3D Animation; Technology in the Entertainment and Media Industries; Technical Animation; Compositing and Scene Finishing; Motion Capture; Animation Production; Model Creation; Psychology of Play; Creative Presentation; and Industry Production.
All Full Sail animation students are required to take two professional development seminar courses and seven project and portfolio courses covering 3D arts and computer animation. Additional professional development courses provide the opportunity for students to explore the computer animation industry, while learning to build their personal brand. Professional development courses are enhanced by industry guest speakers.
In addition to hands-on project learning, the project and portfolio courses for the BS program emphasize independent study and portfolio development. A Career Readiness course, completed in the final month of the program, allows students to create a strategy for engaging with potential employers. Throughout the course, students will create their targeted résumés, cover letters, and professional portfolios. This course provides students with the tools needed to apply their research and newly acquired skills toward their employment goals.
Full Sail University graduates are prepared to pursue positions across industries such as animation, film and television (entertainment); game design and development; advertising and marketing; architecture; science and medicine; data visualization; and forensic animation.
In the entertainment industry, program alumni have been credited on more than 45 Grammy-nominated projects; on 2022 blockbusters such as Pixar’s Lightyear, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Minions: The Rise of Gru; and other productions and series such Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ms. Marvel, and Stranger Things 4.
4. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
The School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts (PVFA) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) is a multidisciplinary school that provides cross-disciplinary programs in music, film, theater, dance, visualization, and production. Across programs, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and studios; courses taught by faculty who are accomplished directors, computer graphics engineers, composers, sound technologists, art historians, and dancers; and student organizations such as Women in Animation, Viz Industry Fair (VIF), and Texas Aggie Game Developers (TAGD).
Within the TAMU School of PVFA is a Visualization program that was established nearly 35 years ago. For students seeking a degree that covers multiple areas, the school has a Visualization BS that explores computer graphics, interaction, design, visualization, and art. All TAMU PVFA students may select an area of emphasis. Options for BS students include Animation and Virtual Production, Visual Computing, Media Art, Game Creation, and Interactive Design.
Students in this program will have the opportunity to work in project-based studios on courses that explore art theory, technical skills, programming, and the production pipeline. Course examples include Digital Media; Scientific and Technological Developments in Visual Arts; 2D Visualization Techniques; Visual Studies Studio 1-3; Art History; Computing for Visualization I-II; and Principles of Design 1-3.
BS students may also participate in the Field Study course or sign up for the TAMU Internship Program. This supervised work experience spans 15 weeks and 600 hours. TAMU Visualization students have completed internships at animation, game, and graphic design companies. Student interns earn six credit hours.
Across all TAMU Visualization programs, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Career Fair, and the Semester Away Program in Italy, Germany, and other places.
Graduates of the Texas A&M University Visualization programs will enter the job market with a polished portfolio of their best work. Program alumni are prepared for careers across industries. However, Visualization graduates are routinely hired for positions at major studios such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and Reel FX Animation.
5. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University (Purdue) is home to Purdue Polytechnic Institute (Purdue Polytechnic). Formally organized in 1964 as the School of Technology, Purdue Polytechnic houses the Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT). Within the department is a CGT BS with a major in Animation and Visual Effects (ANFX). This program focuses on 3D Modeling, Character Rigging, Lighting, Motion, Rendering, and Texturing.
CGT BS students will also explore Video, Digital Lighting, Audio, and Computer Rendering. Visual Effects at Purdue is a STEM-based discipline, so students will also take courses in Calculus, Trigonometry, and Physics. Throughout the program, students will create animated films, games, and other related productions using industry software such as Maya and Autodesk. Students can also experiment with other types of animation software.
The CGT BS in ANFX requires 120 credit hours, including 39 major course credits, 15 entertainment electives, 52 in other departmental requirements, and 14 elective credits. Course examples include Animation Foundations; Sketching for Visualization and Communication; Technical Writing; Visual Effects; Computer Animation; Business Writing; and Computer Graphics Professional Practices I and II.
Graduates of Purdue Polytechnic’s CGT BS in Animation and Visual Effects are routinely hired at major studios such as Walt Disney and DreamWorks. Some program alumni go on to teach at schools such as Animation Mentor, while others have launched their own studios and freelance businesses.
6. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University (Drexel) has an Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) BS that provides instruction and hands-on training in 3D modeling, character design, scripting and storytelling, motion capture, compositing, storyboarding, and rigging. Courses for the program are led by industry-leading faculty and include titles such as Digital Imaging for Animation & VFX; Digital Compositing; Scripting for Animation & Visual Effects; Computer Programming; and Digital Character Creation.
Animation & VFX students may enhance the degree through the required 15 credit hours of electives, free elective classes provided through the Westphal College, and/or any minor option at Drexel University. Elective examples include Experimental Animation Lab; Character Animation; Organic Modeling; and Spatial Data Capture.
In addition to many opportunities to enhance the BS degree, students can gain hands-on experience through an internship, Drexel in L.A., and/or one of the nation’s top cooperative (co-op) education programs. BS students can participate in the Drexel University co-op program during their junior year. During this time, students will spend six months working full-time in the industry. Positions may be paid or unpaid. Past co-op positions include animation, visual effects, technical direction, and 3D work at places such as Pixar, Cartoon Network, Sony Studios, FuseFX, Threshold Entertainment Group, MediaKraft TV, and 3FX Medical Animations.
Drexel L.A. is a program that allows Animation & VFX, Screenwriting, Film & Television, and Playwriting students to spend an entire summer together, while living and working in Los Angeles. Past participating companies and studios include Riot Games, BBC Worldwide Productions, Nerdist Industries, ImageMovers, and College Humor.
Other BS program features include small class sizes; hands-on experiences in Drexel’s state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Animation Capture & Effects Lab and the Immersive Research Lab for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Immersive Media; and opportunities to complete an accelerated BS/MS in just five years. Accelerated programs consist of three co-op experiences.
The Animation & VFX BS program at Drexel culminates with the Senior Project in Animation & Visual Effects. This Capstone results in a professional project that will be presented in a Thesis Exhibition attended by accomplished industry representatives.
Graduates of the Animation & VFX program at Drexel University are prepared to pursue positions such as Animator, 3D Modeler, Art Director, Character Animator, Texture Artist, VFX Supervisor, and Technical Director. Program alumni have worked on projects such as Avengers: Infinity War, The Mandalorian, Ready Player One, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Some graduates have been hired by major companies and studios such as Pixar, Microsoft, XBOX, DreamWorks, Disney, and NCSoft Corp.
Program alumni have also gone go on to work in research and development in the fields of virtual reality, real-time rendering solutions, and generative design.
7. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University is home to the Computer Science and Media Arts BS. This 137 credit hour program explores animation; traditional disciplines such as video, computer graphics, photography, and database design; and emerging areas such as VR/AR, artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction (HCI), and machine learning.
Specific animation and related courses include Animation 1-3; Character Design for Animation; Virtual Environment Design; Animation for Games; Experimental Video; Color and Composition; Experience and Interaction; Movement and Time; and Computer Graphics.
Other program benefits include courses taught by professionals in the industry; global experiences; and plenty of co-op and other experiential learning experiences. Northeastern University has established relationships with co-op employers such as Microsoft Studios, Apple, CBS, Amazon, NBC Universal Television, Sony, Viacom, Walt Disney Company, Adobe, National Geographic Learning, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and Facebook.
The Computer Science and Media Arts BS at Northeastern University culminates with the Media Arts Degree Project. Graduates go on to establish careers in areas such as animation, TV and film, game art and design, VR/AR, HCI, and digital media. Program alumni are Animators, Game Artists, Art Directors, Experience Designers, Producers, and Sound Designers.
8. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is home to the College of Media and Entertainment, which houses the Department of Media Arts. Within the department is an Animation BS designed for artists seeking careers in 2D or 3D animation, special visual effects, and motion graphics. This 120 credit hour program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Beginning in the first semester, students will explore traditional animation techniques through hands-on project opportunities. Throughout the program students will gradually advance into coursework that covers advanced digital tools and techniques. The major, which consists of 76 credit hours in animation, requires courses such as Image and Video Foundations; 2D Animation I-II; Texturing, Lighting and Rendering; Motion Graphics I-II; Animation Mechanics; Character Modeling and Rigging; Bodies in Motion; Visual Effects; Animation and Performance; and Professional Practices in Animation.
In addition to immersive animation coursework, MTSU provides the opportunity to complete an internship in the recently launched MT IMAGINE Animation Studio. Housed in the College of Media and Entertainment, the Studio produces high-end animated visuals for clients who do not have the financial means to hire a commercial studio. The Studio’s project-based, paid internships allow students, faculty, and recent graduates to create content for real clients. Projects include 2D and 3D Animation, Virtual Reality, and XR Virtual Production.
MTSU Animation BS students also have opportunities to volunteer at the annual SIGGRAPH conference. In 2023, 19 MTSU Animation students were accepted as volunteers and one was accepted as a team leader. These lucky individuals were among the nearly 300 students selected from over 100 universities worldwide for this coveted program.
To graduate from the MTSU Animation BS program, students will take a six-semester sequence of courses covering 3D animation. The final two semesters of the sequence culminate in a two-semester capstone experience consisting of an original animated short film that will be submitted to film and animation festivals locally, nationally, and around the world. This project will be centerpiece of the student’s final portfolio.
9. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
The E.W. Scripps College of Communications at Ohio University (OU) houses the School of Media Arts and Studies (MDIA). Within the school is an Animation Bachelor of Science in Communication (BSC). Part of the Games and Animation emphasis area, the Animation BSC provides access to the new Advanced Animation Lab and more than a dozen other state-of-the-art facilities, studios, and labs.
The new curriculum for the Animation BSC includes digital techniques for 2D and 3D animation; animation for film/TV, video games, and VR/AR; hybrid animation techniques; narrative storytelling in animation; motion graphics for video; preproduction and postproduction for animation; animation for visual effects; and sound design for animation. Coursework for the program is complemented by participation in student organizations; industry internships and other experiences; study abroad opportunities; and capstone projects.
Examples of industry internships and experiences include OHIO-in-LA, where students will live and work in Hollywood; Animation and Culture in Tokyo, where students will explore Tokyo’s animation scene and culture; the 48-Hour Shoot-Out where students have just two days to write, direct, and shoot polished 5-minute film; Storytelling in Theme Parks, which includes all access tickets, workshops, speakers, and behind-the-scene tours at Walt Disney World; and attendance at South by Southwest.
Graduates of Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies are Animators, Motion Graphics Designers, 3D Artists, Visual Effects (VFX) Artists, Animation Production Assistants, Cinematic Artists, Video Editors, Multimedia Artists, Technical Artists, Art Directors, and Environmental Artists.
10. East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee
The College of Business and Technology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) houses the ETSU Scott M. Niswonger Digital Media Center. Within the Center is the Digital Media (DIGM) Department, which has a DIGM BS. This program provides the opportunity to concentrate in Digital Animation, and choose a 2D or 3D pathways. The concentration also consists of 20 credit hours of guided electives.
Course examples include Animation Fundamentals; Character Animation; Technical Direction; 2D Animation; Storyboarding; 2D Character Construction; 3D Animation; Procedural Modeling and Effects Simulation; and 3D Lighting & Rendering.
Throughout the BS program, students will complete several projects. The final course—Portfolio Development for Digital Media—leads to a professional portfolio of the student’s best work. Graduates are prepared for careers in areas such as 2D animation, 3D animation, technical direction, motion graphics, and character animation. Graduates are also prepared to pursue an advanced degree at ETSU or other major university.
Graduates of the DIGM program at East Tennessee State University have worked on productions and games such as Kung Fu Panda, World of Warcraft, The Last Jedi, The Walking Dead, Thor: Ragnarok, Halo, and Charlie Brown. Program alumni are Animators, Technical Directors, Modelers, Advertising Designers, Level Designers, Game Artists, VFX Artists, 3D Artists, and Compositors. They work at studios big and small such as Ubisoft Red Storm, Luma Pictures, Idol Minds, and Volition.
The DIGM program at East Tennessee State University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) houses the Department of Art, home to the Electronic Arts (EART) Program. Within the program is a BS with concentrations in Animation and Algorithmic Art; Sonic Arts; Video, Performance and Social Practice; Integrated Visual Art; and DIY (Do It Yourself).
All options explore 3D Animation, Graphic Storytelling, Interactive Arts, and Digital Imaging. Animation and Algorithmic Art students will take courses such as 3D Animation; 2D Experimental Animation; Art and Code and Interactivity; Experimental Game Design; Advanced Digital 3D Projects; Art for Interactive Media; Creative Seminar I and II; 3D Digital Modeling; Life Drawing and Anatomy for Artists; Interactive Arts Programming; 3D Visual Effects; Topics in the Arts; Animation Production; and Digital Filmmaking.
Other program benefits include interdisciplinary study across humanities and the engineering, physical, computations, social, and engineering sciences; the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty; and internships and study abroad experiences.
The EART BS at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute culminates with a final project (Capstone). Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in fields such as animation, television and film, game design and development, advertising, and education.
Program alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as DreamWorks Animation, Microsoft, Branch VFX, IBM, Facebook, 1st Playable, AMC Networks, FDM Group, Something Digital, F2 System, and The Creative Advantage.
12. California State University, Chico, Chico, California
California State University, Chico (Chico State) is home to one of the largest Computer Animation and Game Development (CAGD) programs in the nation. Out of hundreds of majors, the program is also one of the top 10 largest at Chico State.
Established in 1999 as the Applied Computer Graphics Program, CAGD is housed in the College of Engineering, Computer Science & Construction Management. Students in this 120-unit program may major in Animation OR Game Development. Leading to a BS, the program provides access to state-of-the-art labs, workshops, and studios—including an in-house motion capture studio; study abroad experiences in Germany and other countries; participation in the student-run Computer Graphics Club (CGC); and the opportunity to complete an internship at a local or national studio.
In addition to selecting an Animation or Game major, CAGD students will select five courses from an interdisciplinary program area. Options include Computer Science; Media Arts, Design, and Technology; and Art Studio. The Animation major combines coursework in Art Studio and Communication Design, with Graphics and Animation.
Other areas of exploration include CGI, game scripting, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), media arts design, technology, and computer science. Course topics may include 3D Animation and Character Animation; 3D Modeling; Motion Capture; Video Character Modeling; and Team Production Development.
Students in all CAGD Programs have access to the in-house motion capture studio, and they may participate in the student-run Computer Graphics Club (CGC). Chico State alumni work in game development, animation, CGI/VFX, or other areas at major studios such as Blizzard, Pixar, Epic Games, Zynga, Disney, Sony Imageworks, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts (EA), WetaFX, Crystal Dynamics, Super Alloy Interactive, and 2K.
Students also work in other industries such as defense (simulation), advertising and marketing, television and media, web design, medical, architecture, construction, and business.
13. Indiana University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Indianapolis (IU Indianapolis) is home to the Media Arts and Science (MAS) program. Leading to a BS, the MAS has specializations in 3D Graphics and Animation, Digital Storytelling, and Game Design and Development.
All options provide access to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, and other facilities, as well as courses that explore topics such as animation, special effects, augmented and virtual reality (VR/AR), 3D modeling, and production. Students also benefit from hands-on classroom projects.
Across BS specializations, students have access to many animation courses. For example, Digital Storytelling students can take 2D Animation; Stop Motion Animation; Advanced 2D Animation; Interactive Design; and Directing Visual Narratives. Examples of courses within 3D Graphics and Animation include 3D Animation; 3D Character Development; Advanced 3D Character Animation; Motion Graphics; and Compositing and Visual Effects.
Game Design and Development students may take courses such as 2D Animation; Storyboarding for Multimedia; Character Design and Animation; Digital Painting; and Virtual world Design and Development. Note that these specializations have overlapping courses and all allow students to participate in the study abroad experience in Greece.
Graduates of the Luddy School MAS program work in a variety of roles such as 2D and 3D Animator, Game Artist, Technical Animator, Motion Graphics Artist, Medical Animator, Game Artist, Creative Director, AR/VR Designer, and Film Production Artist.
Program alumni have been hired at major studios and others such as Pixar, Electronic Arts (EA), Sony Pictures ImageWorks, Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Digital Domain, Owlchemy Labs, HTC (Taipei, Taiwan), Gearbox Software, Vision3 Interactive, 4A Games, Piperworks Studios, and Half Full Nelsen.
14. Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah
Utah Valley University (UVU) is home to Scott M. Smith College of Engineering and Technology (CET). Serving more than 6,100 students, Smith CET provides over 90 technology programs across 11 departments. The CET Digital Media (DGM) Department has an Animation and Game Development program led by professional animators and game producers from places such as Electronic Arts (EA) and DreamWorks.
Leading to a BS, the program also provides opportunities for students to participate in associations and Animation and Game conferences to stay current with advancements in the industry. Examples include the Game Developers Conference, the Digital Animation and Games Association (DAGA), Immerse Global Summit, and The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference.
The Animation and Game BS at UVU has two tracks: 2D Animation & Games, and 3D Animation & Games. Both options are cohort-based and require 120 credit hours of study. This includes 35 credits in general education, 40 credits in the discipline core, and 45 credits in the track.
Recognized as an Animation Center of Excellence by Toon Boom, the 2D track focuses on Animation, Character Rigging, and Compositing. Course examples include Animation Essentials Lab; Digital Storyboarding; Advanced Technical Direction I and II; Performance Animation; Compositing; and Studio Technology Essentials. 2D graduates are prepared to pursue careers in animation production.
The 3D track focuses on Modeling, Rigging, and Scripting. Students in this track will take many of the same courses as students in the 2D track, as well as Scripting for Animation and Games I and II; Game Development I, II, and III; and Fundamentals of Programming. UVU 3D students will produce both group and individual titles throughout the program. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in animation and games production.
The culminating experience for the Animation and Game Development BS at Utah Valley University is the Senior Capstone. Students will develop real-world projects, individually and as part of a team, in consultation with a faculty advisor. This course may be repeated for a maximum of six credits towards graduation.
Graduates of the DGM program at UVU are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of animation and games, advertising, architecture, science and medicine, aerospace, legal, government, health, education, and more. Program alumni have been hired at places such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Amazon, Northrop Grumman, Gearbox Software, ArenaNet, and Tektonux.
15. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
Kent State University (Kent State) is home to the College of Applied and Technical Studies (CATS), which provides more than 35 undergraduate program, seven minors, and nearly 20 certificate programs. For students seeking an animation degree, CATS has an Animation Game Design BS with Animation and Game concentrations. The program consists of 18 focused credits in the concentration. Across options. students will learn to create digital media works such as cartoons, virtual reality environments, and games using industry software and technologies for traditional animation, 2D graphics, 3D models, and digital sculpting.
Course requirements for the Animation concentration include Animation Production and Visual Effects; Character Animation; Real-Time Rendering for Animation; Solid Modeling; and Animation Project. All students have the option to complete the Internship in Animation and Game Design elective, worth 1-3 credits. Other elective examples include Animation and Game Design Practicum; Special Topics in Animation and Game Design; Real-Time Rendering for Animation; and Individual Investigation in Animation and Game Design.
The Animation Game Design BS at Kent State University culminates with the Senior Capstone Project or Technical and Applied Studies Capstone, students’ choice. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the BS program can be completed at the Kent, Stark, or Tuscarawas campus.
Graduates are prepared to pursue roles at all levels in areas such as animation, 2D and 3D modeling, game design, technical illustration, and production. Program alumni have been hired at studios such as Epic Games, Electronic Arts (EA), and High Moon Studios.
16. Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri
The Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts and Letters at Missouri State University (MSU) is home to the Department of Art and Design. In partnership with the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film, the Department of Art and Design has an Electronic Arts BS with an optional Computer Animation Studies Track. Students in this program will complete 69 credits in the major, including 18 in Computer Animation Studies.
Course examples for the program include Animation I-V; Digital Film and Media Production; Creative Coding; Fundamentals of Collaboration in Electronic Arts; Media Effects; Documentary Storytelling; Professional Practices in Computer Animation; 2D Design; Principles of Cinematography; and Editing for Film and Television. Junior Portfolio Review, the Public Affairs Capstone, and Senior Project in Electronic Arts are also part of the BS Program.
Graduates of the Electronic Arts BS/Computer Animation program at Missouri State University are prepared to pursue roles in areas such as Animation, Computer Animation, Visual Effects (VFX), Game Art, Television/Film, Game Design, Advertising, Marketing, and Education.
17. University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is home to the College of Science, which houses Department of Computer Science (CS). The largest department in the College of Science, CS has a BS program with an Entertainment Computing concentration that explores animation, storyboarding, modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering.
Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include Animation: Introduction; 3D Animation; Advanced Computer Graphics; Concept Art; Artificial Intelligence and Game Design; Visual Story Development; Organic Modeling; Multimedia Systems; Introduction to Technologies and Tools for Multimedia & Gaming; Video Game Design; and Technical Arts.
All CS BS students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories that explore gaming, data science, AI, machine learning, digital forensics, entertainment computing, and cybersecurity. The department and all of its programs are also fully accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Graduates of the CS/BS/Entertainment Computing program at University of Alabama in Huntsville are prepared to pursue careers across areas such as entertainment, technology, games, research, education, science, aerospace, architecture, medical, advertising, AI, publishing, and multimedia.
18. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona
The College of Arts and Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Embry-Riddle) is home to the Department of Simulation Science, Games, and Animation (SSGA). Within the SSGA Department is a BS program with a specialization in 3D Animation & Programming. With access to the state-of-the-art SSGA Lab, the BS provides STEM- and project-based production courses that allow students to work in teams to design animations, virtual worlds, user experiences, simulations, and more.
Course examples for the program include 3D Animation; Games Systems; World Building; Artificial Intelligence; Interactive Media; Game Engine Architecture; Mixed Reality; and Systems Simulation. Students in this 125 credit hour program will also complete a final project across two Capstone courses during their senior year.
Graduates of the Embry-Riddle SSGA BS program are prepared to pursue positions in gaming, animation, virtual training, software development, military and intelligence, education, healthcare, aviation, and high-tech manufacturing.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University alumni have been hired at places such as Blizzard Entertainment, Boeing, Microsoft, the Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Office, ForgeFX Simulations, Mass Virtual, Win Reality Training Platform (baseball and softball), Police Training Simulations, Super League Gaming, and Iridium Satellite Communications.
19. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is home to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Within CLAS is the Department of Visual & Media Arts (VMA). An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the VMA Department serves nearly 700 students enrolled in five programs leading to ten different degrees.
Students in all programs may participate in campus exhibitions; independent study programs; and experiential learning such as internships, study abroad, and field trips. Organizations that have offered internships to VMA students include Flix Premiere, Externa CGI, TruVision Studios; Mosaic Film Experience, Coastline Studios, Paris Films, Michael Lynn Animation Studio, Green Sky, and Voyage Pictures. Students have also interned or studied abroad places such as the UK, Australia, France, and Spain.
All VMA students also benefit from access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities designed for work in traditional and new media; interactions with regular visiting artists; participation in several student organizations; and the opportunity to present off-campus screening events.
The Department of Visual & Media Arts at GVSU also houses the BS in Film and Video Production program. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the BS explores animation, film studies, new media, scriptwriting, fiction, sound design, documentary, and nonfiction. Courses and projects for the program are led by working professionals in the field, with opportunities to work on productions for clients outside of the classroom.
Course examples include Animation I and II; Film and Video Art; Digital Post Production; History of Animation; Experimental Film and Video; Media Production I and II; 3D Computer Animation; Lighting for Film and Video Production; and Survey of Media Production Modes. The program also requires three courses in Computer Information Systems, History, or Statistics.
At the advanced level, GVSU BS students will complete the Advanced Film Practicum – Summer Film Project; Post-Production Practicum; Producing for Clients; and the Senior Thesis Project.
Graduates of the Film and Video Production program at Grand Valley State University are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of film, television, and video; advertising; illustration; game design; architecture; publishing; and many other areas.
GVSU Film and Video Production alumni have worked with studios and production houses such as DreamWorks Animation, Detroit Public Television, Voyage Pictures, Match Frame Creative, M-1 Studios, Contact Light Films, 52 Watt Studios, A2 Creative, Coastline Studios, Allied Productions, and D-Squared Creative.
20. Louisiana State University Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana
Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) is home to the Computer Science Department, which has a Digital and Interactive Design concentration within the Computer Science BS. The program takes place in technology-enabled classrooms and state-of-the-art labs dedicated to animation, computer game development, bio-informatics, and network security.
Course examples include 3D Animation I-II; Information Visualization; Digital Video Editing I-II; Object-Oriented Design; 3D Modeling I-II; Programming with Internet Technologies; Interactive Design I-II; Adobe Photoshop; Introduction to Computer Graphics; and After Effects I-II. In addition to a variety of in-demand courses, the BS CS program provides the opportunity to engage with representatives from companies such as Cisco, Kobus Technologies, and Ingalls during the department’s monthly Lunch & Learn event.
Other program highlights include a collaborative environment; internship opportunities with local companies and studios; and the chance to join ACM SIGGRAPH, the American Advertising Federation, and/or the Game Development Club. Students also have opportunities to participate in workshops and network with artists and other creative professionals.
Graduates of the Computer Science BS program will enter the job market with a polished resume and professional portfolio of their best work.
As part of Louisiana State University Shreveport, CS alumni enjoy an 86% success rate. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as animation, game art, artificial intelligence (AI), game development, software design, visual effects, advertising, marketing, film and video production, graphic design, mass communications, print, and photography.
21. Alfred State College, Alfred, New York
Alfred State College (also Alfred State College of Technology) houses the School of Architecture, Management & Engineering Technology. Within the school is the Department of Digital Media and Animation (DMA), which has a 123 credit hour DMA BS. The program provides access to traditional studio spaces and computer labs, as well as virtual reality, 3D sculpting, and video and sound production studios.
Course examples for the program include Foundations: Form/Space; 2D Animation; Survey of Animation & Visual Effects; 3D Animation; Interactive Media; Figure and Motion; 3D Design/Color; Motion Graphics; Advanced Animation; Production I-II; and Advanced Modeling.
During the final year of the Alfred State DMA BS program, students will complete Senior Seminar (three credits), Senior Studio I, Senior Studio Project II, and the Portfolio course. Graduates are prepared to pursue graduate study or employment in the animation, film, interactive media, fine art, or digital imaging industries. Some DMA graduates go on to launch their own studios or freelance businesses.
22. Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Christian University (OC) has two BS programs for animators including Gaming and Animation and Computer Science (CS) with Gaming and Animation. Students in both programs will complete programming coursework such as Programming I, II and Languages; Software Engineering - practices, tools, ethics, and projects; and Game Programming-Unity and Unreal. Math, business, and technical writing are also major components of the programs.
Course examples across programs include Elements of Visual Thinking; 3D Modeling and Animation; History of Animation; 3D Modeling and Animation; Motion Imagery; Conceptual Illustration; Texturing, Rendering, and Lighting; Digital Sculpting; and Team Game Production.
Gaming and Animation students will also complete a minor in an area such as Art, Music, Graphic Design, Interior Architecture, or Marketing Management. Both BS and CS BS students may enhance the degree by selecting electives in an additional specialized area. Examples include Digital Painting, Audio for Gaming, and Illustration.
To graduate, Gaming and Animation students will complete the Gaming and Animation Capstone. Non-CS students will also complete The Business of Branding Yourself course or Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management course.
Graduates of the Oklahoma Christian University BS programs are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as game design and development, animation, computer science, architecture, healthcare, education, and life sciences.
23. University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina
The College of Arts and Sciences at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) is home to the Computer Science (CS) Department, which houses the BS in CS program with a Digital Arts concentration. The program requires 55 credit hours in the CS Core and 24 credit hours of study in the concentration. Course examples include Programming Languages; Design and Analysis of Algorithms; Software Engineering; and Computer Networks.
In the concentration, students may take courses such as Computer Animation; Multimedia Systems; Tools & Literacy; Film Production, 3D Computer Graphics; Digital Video Production; and Graphic Design.
The Computer Science BS at University of North Carolina Wilmington is Accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Graduates of the Digital Arts and CS 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.
24. Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, Arkansas
In 2013 Southern Arkansas University (SAU) launched the state’s first Computer Game and Animation programs. Eventually, the programs evolved into two separate options housed across several colleges and departments. For students seeking a BS, SAU has a Computer Science BS with a Computer Game and Animation Design concentration. The program is provided jointly with the College of Science & Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and the Department of Art and Design.
The CS BS with Computer Game and Animation Design at SAU requires 123 credit hours of study. Students in this project-based program will learn how to create animations and develop video games. Course examples include Computer Graphics; Programming Languages and Compilers; Software Engineering,; 2D Design; Artificial Intelligence (AI); 3D Modeling Tools; Technical Writing; Game Development; and Mobile Applications Development.
Other program features include access to state-of-the-art labs and studios; opportunities to participate in workshops; and the chance to intern at local companies and studios. To graduate, students will complete the Senior Project in Games, Animation, or other area.
Graduates of the BS program at Southern Arkansas University are prepared to pursue positions in animation, film, television production, game art, game development and programming, software design, software programming, simulations, computer graphics, AI, and mobile app development.
25. Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana
The Digital Media Arts Department at Huntington University (HU) has an Animation BS program that provides the opportunity to work with real clients through the Junior Animation Studio Experience. This major component pairs student teams with local businesses to create promotional media or public service announcements (PSAs). Past partners include Habitat for Humanity, Conner Prairie: Indiana’s Living History Museum, and Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
In addition to working with local partners, Animation BS students have the opportunity to create a variety of works to be presented at film festivals. Students will also participate in animation-related trips (locally, nationally, and around the world) during J-term and Spring Break.
Courses for the HU Animation BS are led by accomplished industry-professionals and explore stop-motion animation, visual development, storytelling, motion graphics, 3D modeling and sculpting, 2D hand-drawn animation, and 3D computer technology. Course examples include Tools and Media Management for Animators; Principles of Character Animation; Faith, Film, and Culture; Motion Graphics for Animators; Storyboard and Concept; Inspirational Design for Digital Media; and 3D Computer Graphics.
Other program features include high-tech classrooms, collaborative projects, and access to state-of-the-art labs and studios. Housed in the Martin Center for Digital Media Arts, examples include traditional and stop motion; editing; a sound stage, green screen, and Foley pit; and a screening theater. Classrooms and labs are equipped with professional workstations outfitted with industry-standard software, 3D printing technology, and VR equipment, allowing students to begin animating from day one.