2018
2018 Animation School Rankings - Top 25 on the East Coast
RankingSchool%
1School of Visual Artstop 1%
2Pratt Institutetop 3%
3Rhode Island School of Designtop 4%
4Carnegie Mellon Universitytop 6%
5Rochester Institute of Technologytop 7%
6New York Universitytop 9%
7The New School's Parsons School of Designtop 10%
8Massachusetts College of Art and Designtop 15%
9The University of the Artstop 15%
10Maryland Institute College of Arttop 15%
11Drexel Universitytop 20%
12University of Pennsylvaniatop 20%
13Syracuse Universitytop 20%
14Edinboro Universitytop 25%
15Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutetop 25%
16Emerson Collegetop 25%
17Northeastern Universitytop 25%
18Fairleigh Dickinson Universitytop 30%
19Virginia Commonwealth Universitytop 30%
20Champlain Collegetop 30%
21Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universitytop 35%
22New York Institute of Technologytop 35%
23New Jersey Institute of Technologytop 35%
24Moore College of Art and Designtop 35%
25SMFA at Tufts Universitytop 40%

Our 2018 list of the Top 25 Animation School Programs in the East. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York (top 1% of schools considered)
School of Visual Arts

Founded in 1947 as Cartoonists and Illustrators School, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) is home to more than 6,000 students enrolled in over 30 programs. Offerings for aspiring animators include a BFA degree in Animation as well as a BFA in Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects. An MFA in Computer Arts (Focus Animation, Motion Graphics or Fine Art) is also available as well as a BFA in Cartooning and Continuing Education (CE) Animation courses. Animation students have opportunities to intern or work part-time at alumni-owned studios such as Titmouse, Augenblick Studios, and Plympton, as well as with numerous independent animation studios in New York.

SVA animation graduates have gone on to work at major studios such as Blue Sky Studios, Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Lucasfilm Animation, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Bros. Animation, and independent animation studios across the globe.

2. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York (top 3% of schools considered)
Pratt Institute

Pratt institute was founded in 1887. The school serves some 4,600 students enrolled in 22 undergraduate degree programs, 26 graduate degree programs, and a variety of Certificate and Minor programs across five schools and The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. The Pratt Institute School of Art offers a BFA in Digital Arts and Animation with an Emphasis in Digital Animation and Motion Arts or Interactive Arts. Concentrations include 2-D Animation, 3-D Animation and Motion Arts, and Interactive Arts.

The School also offers an MFA in Digital Animation and Motion Arts. Students in the program have the opportunity to create narrative and non-narrative films using 2-D and 3-D digital animation techniques, live action and motion graphics. Electives include Storyboarding and Storytelling, Lighting and Rendering, Motion Dynamics, Compositing and Special Effects, Character Design, Character Animation, Matte Painting, and more.

School of Art alumni have landed positions at major studios such as Blue Sky, Digital Domain, Cartoon Network Studios, DreamWorks Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Rhythm and Hues, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Curious Pictures, Gameloft, Sony Imageworks, and many others.

3. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (top 4% of schools considered)
Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded in 1877 and it serves around 2,480 students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This private school of art offers 16 undergraduate and 16 graduate art and design programs, with Film/Animation/Video, Illustration, Graphic Design, Painting, and Industrial Design leading the pack. The school’s popular Film/Animation/Video Department (FAV) offers a BFA in in FAV.

Famous RISD alumni include Seth Macfarlane, creator of Family Guy, Daniel Sousa, animator and director of the Oscar-nominated film Feral, and Lance Wilder, animator for The Simpsons. Other RISD alumni work as entrepreneurs or creative professionals through studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks or Harmonix, or for networks like Fox, HBO and PBS.

4. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (top 6% of schools considered)
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was founded in 1900. The school is home to nearly 14,000 students representing 109 countries. The school has more than 100 programs across seven colleges. The College of Fine Art, School of Art offers a BFA in Electronic and Time-Based Media with a Focus in Animation and a BFA in Integrative Design, Arts & Technology (IDeATe) with a Concentration in Animation & Special Effects. The Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network connects students and faculty from across the university through coursework and collaborative studio experiences. It allows students from every college to take minors or concentrations in Animation & Special Effects, Game Design, and more.

In addition to the programs listed, the School of Art offers supportive courses that serve to enrich the student experience in IDeATe. Offerings include Advanced ETB: 2D Animation, Advanced ETB: Animation, Advanced ETB: Moving Image Magic: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, and Animation, Art, and Technology.

5. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York (top 7% of schools considered)
Rochester Institute of Technology

Founded in 1885 as Mechanics Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) opened with just one class—mechanical drawing. The class attracted more than 400 students, which allowed the school to add Fine Arts just one year later, including freehand drawing, architectural drawing, and design. Today, RIT is home to nearly 19,000 students majoring in everything from Art and Design to Urban Community Studies. RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) is home to the nation’s first PhD in Imaging Science and the School of Film and Animation (SOFA). SOFA offers BFA and MFA degrees in Film and Animation.

Graduates of RIT’s animation programs have found employment at top studios such as Disney Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks, Blue Sky Studios, Nickelodeon, Industrial Light and Magic, and Rhythm and Hues Studios.

6. New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York (top 9% of schools considered)
New York University

Tisch School of the Arts is part of New York University (NYU). Founded in 1965, the school is home to the famous Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. The Institute’s Department of Animation and Digital Arts offers a BFA in Film and Television with an Animation Core in Production and an MFA in Animation and New Media. This two-year program is also offered at Tisch Asia.

The Animation area of the Kanbar Institute of Undergraduate Film & Television at NYU Tisch School of the Arts began in 1979. The program had just three classes: Art & Design, Animation I, and Animation II. For the 1980-1981 academic year, the program was home to 80 students enrolled in five classes. In 2013, the program enrolled 461 students. Today, the program serves hundreds of students from 48 states and 39 countries.

The current NYU Tisch Animation curriculum consists of nearly twenty different classes. Graduates of the Animation program at Tisch have landed jobs at Pixar, DreamWorks, Walt Disney Animation Studios and many others.

7. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York (top 10% of schools considered)
The New School's Parsons School of Design

The New School's Parsons School of Design was founded in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase. Established as The Chase School, the school later changed its name to New York School of Fine and Applied Art. Today this art and design college is home to nearly 5,500 students enrolled in 130 degree and diploma programs across five schools including the School of Art and Design History and Theory, School of Art Media and Technology, School of Constructed Environments, School of Design Strategies, and the School of Fashion.

Program options for animators are offered through the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) and include a BFA and MFA in Design & Technology. Concentrations include Creative Technology and Game Design. Minors in Immersive Storytelling and Comics and Graphic Nature are also available, as well as a related program—the BFA in Art, Media, and Technology, offered at the Parsons Paris Campus.

Graduates leave prepared for careers in advertising, animation, film, game design, graphic arts, hardware engineering, motion graphics, software design, and virtual reality and immersion experience design.

8. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts (top 15% of schools considered)
Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) was founded in 1873 as a training institution for aspiring drawing teachers, architects, artists, and designers. Today, the school offers more than 20 undergraduate art programs, nearly a dozen graduate programs, and around seven certificate programs to a population of more than 2,000 students. The Animation Department at MassArt offers a BFA in Animation that gives students the opportunity to engage in a variety of conventional and experimental techniques.

Students in the program study Documentary Animation, Digitally Generated Animation, Character Animation, Stop Motion, Experimental Video, and Emerging Technologies. Other highlights include “Squealing Pegs,” which is an annual screening of recent animated short films, the Animation Senior Showcase, and visiting artists and lectures.

9. The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 15% of schools considered)
The University of the Arts

The University of the Arts (UArts) was founded in 1876 and it is the nation’s only comprehensive arts university. The school is home to 1,900 students enrolled in 46 undergraduate and graduate programs, and more than 30 minors, through the College of Art, Media & Design, the College of Performing Arts, the Division of Liberal Art, and the Division of Continuing Studies (Grad Programs).

The College of Art, Media & Design houses the School of Film, which offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Animation, a BFA in Film + Animation, and a Minor in Animation. All animation students have access to international opportunities such as study abroad, festivals, and workshops in countries such as Canada, France, and South Korea.

10. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland (top 15% of schools considered)
Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) was founded in 1826, making it the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The school, which is home to nearly 3,500 students from 49 states and 65 countries, offers more than 80 programs leading to the BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available and programs are offered in the areas of fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies.

Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA Studio Concentration – Animation with three paths including Traditional Narrative/2D, Stop-Motion, and 3D Animation. Students begin with a fundamental understanding of the art of movement. They work in 2D hand-drawn animation, 3D computer imaging, stop-motion, and history of animation and innovative combinations of these processes, culminating in a thesis film in their final year.

MICA also offers and a BFA in Animation + Humanistic Studies. In addition to animation studies, students in this degree program will study philosophy and ethics, social and natural sciences, and social and political history. Sample courses for the program include Character Animation, Elements of Visual Thinking, Digital Tools For Animation, Stop Motion, Electronic Media & Culture, Art Matters, and Drawing.

Graduates of MICA animation programs work for companies like Blue Sky Studio, Disney, DreamWorks, Yahoo, Laika, and MTV. Many graduates have continued their education in graduate programs or have successful careers as freelance artists in the field.

11. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 20% of schools considered)
Drexel University

Established in 1891, Drexel University serves nearly 29,000 students enrolled in over 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. The Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is home to the Digital Media Department, which offers a BS and a Minor in Animation & Visual Effects and an MS in Interactive Digital Media. The Animation & Visual Effects program features a six-month co-op, where students will “learn the underlying principles of animation along with industry-standard software technology. The entire creative pipeline from storyboarding through modeling and animation is covered in-depth, allowing students to experience all aspects of production.”

The two-year MS in Digital Media program offers comprehensive studies in Advanced Digital Design including 3D Modeling, Animation, Interactivity, Gaming and Digital Media History, and Theory and Methods.

12. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 20% of schools considered)
University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) was founded in 1740 and serves more than 25,300 students enrolled in over 400 programs across 16 schools. Programs for aspiring animators are offered through both the School of Design-Department of Fine Arts and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The School of Design-DFA offers a BFA in Fine Arts with an Animation or 3D Modeling Studio. The program combines studio practices, seminar courses, and interactions with visiting artists and professionals in order to provide an open intellectual framework to foster critical awareness and independent methods of artistic research and learning.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to the Digital Media Design Program, which leads to a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Science (BSE) with a Digital Media Design Major (DMD). The School also houses the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS), which offers a Computer Graphics and Game Technology Program (CGGT), which leads to an MS. 

Created in 1998, the interdisciplinary BSE DMD program was designed for students who have an interest in computer graphics, animation, games, and the design of virtual reality environments and interactive technologies. A Digital Media Design (DMD) Minor, and a PhD in Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS PhD) are also available. BSE DMD students go on the work at major studios such as Walt Disney Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Pixar, and Zynga Games. These are the largest employers of UPenn DMD graduates.

The Center for HMS established the MS in CGGT program in 2004 with a goal to expose recent graduates, as well as individuals returning from industry, to state-of-the-art graphics and animation technologies, as well as interactive media design principles, product development methodologies and engineering entrepreneurship.

The CGGT program prepares students for positions requiring multidisciplinary skills such as designers, technical animators, technical directors and game programmers. Students in the CGGT program use the equipment and resources available through the SIG Center for Computer Graphics. Opportunities for specialization are provided in such core areas as art and animation, creative design, animation and simulation technology, human/computer interfaces and production management.

13. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (top 20% of schools considered)
Syracuse University

Founded in 1870, Syracuse University (SU) is home to more than 22,500 students from across the U.S. and 118 countries. The school offers more 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degree programs across 12 colleges and schools and a graduate school. The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), Department of Transmedia offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Computer Art and Animation, an MFA in Computer Art, and a Minor in Animation.

The BFA in Computer Art and Animation explores the possibilities of digital media within a fine art, exploratory, and culturally aware setting. The degree program provides instruction in multiple art media where the computer plays the primary role. These media include computer-generated images, 3D computer animation, physical computing, creative computer programming, computer gaming, computer music, and sonic art. Students are mentored to become highly skilled critical thinkers producing art in individual and collaborative contexts.

The MFA program is an artistic research and development program situated in the context of technology where students are encouraged to develop a diverse set of practices within computer art. The program covers computer generated imagery, 3D computer animation, physical computing, creative computer programming, computer gaming, computer music, visual effects, multi-channel installation, and sonic art.

VPA animation graduates have found employment at major studios such as Pixar, Rhythm and Hues, Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts, Blizzard Entertainment, Tippett Studios, Moving Picture Company, and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Graduates have also presented their work at galleries and media art festivals around the world.

14. Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania (top 25% of schools considered)
Edinboro University

Edinboro University was founded in 1857 as the Edinboro Academy. The school is home to 6,550 students enrolled 135 degree programs across five colleges and schools. The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is home to the Art Department which houses Edinboro’s second largest program by enrollment—the BFA in Applied Media Arts with 15 majors and programs. The Applied Media Arts – Cinema program allows students to focus on Traditional Animation, Computer Animation, or Film and Video.

Graduates of the program have landed careers with Walt Disney Animation, Discovery Channel Pixar, and A&E Network as animators, writers, filmmakers, directors and producers. Names of alumni can be spotted in the credits for such films as Zootopia, Frozen, Night at the Museum, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

15. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York (top 25% of schools considered)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was founded in 1824, making it the oldest technological research university in the U.S. Home to just under 7,650 students, RPI offers more than 145 programs across five schools. The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) is home to five academic departments including Arts, Cognitive Science, Communication and Media, Economics, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Programs for aspiring animators are offered through the Department of Communication and Media (C&M) and the Department of the Arts.

The Department of the Arts is the first integrated electronic arts program within a research university in the United States. Offerings include a BS in Electronic Arts (BS EART) (est. 2002) with a Concentration in Animation & Algorithmic Art, a PhD in EART, and an MFA in EART that is currently being redesigned. Both advanced degree programs allow students to engage in creative work in the areas of computer-generated or mediated image, videotapes and installations, multimedia presentations, performance art, and others.

The Department of Communication and Media (C&M), in collaboration with the Department of Arts, offers a BS in Electronic Media, Arts, & Communication (EMAC). Established in 1996, the BS in EMAC program is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses in communication as well as in digital art and animation, video, electronic music, and graphic design, supported by RPI’s strong technological infrastructure. The EMAC curriculum offers concentrations in Digital Storytelling (Animation, Video, Game Design), Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Marketing Communication and Design, Sound Design and Popular Culture.

Students may enhance their education by adding a minor, dual major, study abroad, internship, or even a co-terminal graduate program.

16. Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts (top 25% of schools considered)
Emerson College

Founded in 1880, Emerson College is home to 4,424 students from across the U.S. and more than 57 countries. The school offers more than 50 programs leading to a BA, BS, BFA, MS, MA, or MFA degree. The School of the Arts, Department of Visual & Media Arts offers both BA and BFA degrees in Visual & Media Arts with a Specialization in Animation and Motion Media. The Department also offers an intensive three-year Film & Media Art MFA that admits just 22 students per class year.

The MFA program allows students to focus in one or more areas of Computer Animation, Documentary, Experimental Media, Fiction Narrative, Installation, Interactive Art, Media Production, Sound Design or an individualized hybrid form. According to the school, “the program includes a monthly colloquium in which you will present and discuss your in-progress work; the MFA Production Workshop, which provides advanced training and experimentation within a collaborative cohort; and an annual portfolio review.”

Recent graduates of Emerson’s Department of Visual & Media Arts have found employment at Soup2Nuts, Hallmark Channel, SCG Productions, World Wide Pants, Digital Domain, Fox Searchlight, MAD TV, MGM Studios, Bunim-Murray Productions, and more.

17. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (top 25% of schools considered)
Northeastern University

Northeastern University was established in 1898. The school serves more than 30,000 students enrolled in over 150 undergraduate majors and concentrations and more than 125 graduate programs, across nine colleges and schools. The College of Arts, Media and Design houses the Media Arts program, which has several offerings for aspiring animators—a BFA in Media Arts with a Concentration in Animation, and a Minor in Animation.

The BFA is an intensive studio program that consists of courses in imaginative and narrative arts, which are required for professional work in documentary films, game art and promotion, visualization, motion graphics, interactive art, illustration and short animated film. Sample courses include Animation Tools, Interactive Narrative, Character Design for Animation, Animation for Games, Interaction Design, Digital Sculpture and Model Making, 4D Fundamentals: Sequence and Drawing, and American Animation.

Northeastern also offers a BS in Computer Science/Media Arts. Offered through the College of Computer and Information Science, the combined major provides a solid foundation in Computer Science and Media Arts both through a curriculum that spans animation, computer graphics, database design, human-computer interaction, photography, and video. Sample courses for the program include Animation Basics and Animation Tools, Animation 1, 2 and 3, Virtual Environment Design, Animation for Games, Character Design for Animation, Digital Sculpting and Model Making, and Narrative Basics.

18. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey (top 30% of schools considered)
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Established in 1942 and home to more than 12,000 students, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is New Jersey’s largest private university. The school offers more than 100 degrees and disciplines across two New Jersey campuses (Madison and Teaneck) and two FDU locations outside the U.S.: Wroxton College, in Oxfordshire in England, and the Vancouver Campus, in British Columbia, Canada. The school houses four colleges including Becton College of Arts and Sciences, Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies, Silberman College of Business, and University College.

Becton College of Arts and Sciences is home to the Visual and Performing Arts Department, which offers several programs for aspiring animators. Program offerings include a BA in Film and Animation with Concentrations in 3D Animation, 2D Animation and Video Game Animation; a BA-MA and MA-MFA Combined Degrees in Animation, and MA and MFA degrees in Animation. Several Minors are also available and include Animation, 3D Video Game Animation, Film Production, Studio Arts, and Cinema Studies.

The School of Art and Media Studies, part of FDU’s University College, offers several additional options for aspiring animators. Programs include a BA in Art with a Concentration in Computer Art & Design and Minors in Art, Computer Animation, and Computer Graphics. The Computer Art & Design Program combines 2D & 3D Computer Animation, Digital Video, Multimedia Production, Desktop Publishing, Design for the Web, and Digital Photography.

19. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (top 30% of schools considered)
Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was established in 1838. The school serves just over 31,000 students enrolled in 225 academic programs across 13 schools and one college. The School of the Arts, Department of Kinetic Imaging offers BFA and MFA degrees in Kinetic Imaging. The program is dedicated to Animation Art, Emerging Media, Sound and Video.

The BFA program has 100 to 110 students, and accepts just 28 to 35 new incoming sophomores each year. Students in the program will take courses such as Principles of Experimental Animation, 3D Computer Graphics and Animation, Theory and Production of Media-Based Sound, and Video Editing Techniques.

The MFA in Fine Arts/Kinetic Imaging expands the field of video art, experimental animation, sound art and emerging media through the production of works of art that explore the artist’s relationship to culture and society. Potential works include media projects that take such forms as the poem, the essay, the video sculpture, and the installation. The two-year curriculum for this studio-based fine art program consists of 60 academic credits. The program is designed to support 4-8 graduate students.

20. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont (top 30% of schools considered)
Champlain College

Established in 1878, Champlain College serves more than 2,200 traditional undergraduate students from 44 states and 18 countries. The school also offers online master’s degrees and graduate certificates to hundreds of students across the U.S. and from around the world. The school has four academic divisions including the Division of Communication & Creative Media, Robert P. Stiller School of Business, the Division of Education & Human Studies (EHS), and the Division of Information Technology & Sciences.

The Division of Communication & Creative Media houses the animation programs at Champlain College. Degree options include a BS in Game Art & Animation, a BFA in Creative Media with Specializations in Interaction Design, Moving Image (Film & Video), Sonic Arts, Game Media, Visual Art and Design, and Creative Writing, a BFA in Graphic Design & Digital Media with a Specialization in Motion Graphics, and a BFA in Filmmaking with a Specialization in Sonic Arts.

Sample courses include 3D Modeling & Texturing, Game Art Fundamentals, Stop Motion Animation, 2D and 3D Game Art, Aesthetic Interactions, Game Production, Screenwriting, Video Compositing & Special Effects, Audio Production and Sound Design, Integrative Film Practices, Interactive Storytelling, Level Design, 3D Game Environments, Social Interaction in the Digital Age, Sonic Circuits, and Interaction Design Production.

Creative Media students have the option to choose one primary and two complementary specializations to enhance their degree. 

21. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia (top 35% of schools considered)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) welcomed its first class in 1872 under the name Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Today, the school is home to approximately 32,304 students enrolled in about 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across nine colleges and a graduate school. The College of Architecture and Urban Studies houses the School of Visual Arts (SOVA), which offers several programs for aspiring animators.

Options include a BFA in Studio Art with heavy coursework in 3D Animation and Modeling, Digital Video and Visual Effects, and Digital Painting. Sample course titles include 3D Computer Animation, Computer Animation Studio, New Media Art, Drawing, and Digital Photography.

SOVA also offers an MFA in Creative Technologies that allows students to design a specific program of study that fits their individual interests. Students have the opportunity to develop original work in motion graphics, digital imaging, 3D animation, interactive multi-media design, video, installation, creative coding, spatial interactivity, web design, and sound and imaging.

22. New York Institute of Technology, New York, New York (top 35% of schools considered)
New York Institute of Technology,

Founded in 1955, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) serves more than 10,000 students, enrolled in 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study. The school, which says the founders of Pixar got their start here, houses seven colleges and schools. The College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Digital Art & Design, offers several options for aspiring animators including a BFA in Digital Arts, and MFA degrees in Computer Graphics – Animation, and Computer Graphics – Fine Art & Technology.

The BFA in Digital Arts provides a “rich” foundation in computer animation and digital arts production. Students engage in coursework and collaborations that will help them hone their creative, design, and technical talents. The program also highlights internships, real world projects, site visits, and professional guidance and preparation.

Students in the Computer Graphics – Animation MFA engage in coursework that emphasizes creative thinking; character, storytelling, and storyboard development; digital compositing; and special effects experimentation. In the program, students will develop a competitive portfolio of innovative computer animation that reflects their personal style.

Students in the Computer Graphics – Fine Art & Technology MFA develop creative artwork that utilizes a combination of traditional and digital processes to produce digital imagery, physical objects, time-based media, installations, game environments, and virtual reality. Students “push the boundaries” of new media and explore emerging technologies in areas such as motion capture, 3-D scanning and printing, programming, and augmented reality.

Graduates of the animation programs at NYIT are prepared to seek positions as 3D Modelers, Animators, Motion Capture Artist, Storyboard Artist, Video Game Designer, Motion Graphics Designer, Digital Artist, and Multimedia Producer.

23. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey (top 35% of schools considered)
New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was founded in 1881. The school opened its doors as The Newark Technical School on Monday, February 9, 1885, with just 88 students. Today, NJIT serves 11,400 students enrolled in 50 bachelors, 59 masters and 19 doctoral degree programs across eight colleges and schools. The College of Architecture and Design houses the School of Art + Design, which offers a BA in Digital Design with two Tracks: Entertainment and Production.

Sample courses for the program include Digital Design Studio, 2D Character Design, 3D Character Development, Acting for Animators, Simulated Environments, Imaginary Worlds, Game Architecture and Design, Digital Sound and Music, Design Techniques, Color and Composition, and Game Modification.

Graduates of NJIT’s Digital Design Program have landed positions in the areas of animation, game design, graphic design, architectural and environment visualization, web design, storyboard art, and more. Among the studios where NJIT students have interned or worked full-time are 1st Avenue Machine, CSALAS & Co Labs, KWD – Kim Wendell Design LLC, Miskowski Design LLC, NTropic, SUSPECT vfx+design, SWDTech Games, and Tripwire Interactive.

24. Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 35% of schools considered)
Moore College of Art and Design

Moore College of Art and Design was founded in 1848 as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (PSDW). The school serves around 400 students enrolled in ten majors leading to a BFA degree. Several programs are offered for animators including a BFA in Animation & Game Arts and a Certificate in Digital Design - Animation & Motion Graphics.

The BFA in Animation & Game Arts is designed for students who want to pursue careers as visual artists in the fields of animation, game art, and mobile media design. The program covers hand and digital drawing; animation and storyboarding; development of 2D character design and 3D environments; history, theory, and critical analysis of interactive culture; gaming strategies; and proficiency in use of art-making software.

Moore also provides students with the opportunity to create a customized learning experience, offering 17 tracts leading to one of 12 minors to complement the major courses of study. Just a few Minor offerings include Animation & Game Arts, Creative Writing, Fine Arts, Illustration, Photography and Digital Arts, and Graphic Design with two tracks - Communication Design with a Print Emphasis and Interactive Design.

25. SMFA at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts (top 40% of schools considered)
SMFA at Tufts University

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts University was established in 1876. The school serves around 400 students enrolled in 12 areas of study. Programs lead to the BFA, MFA, MAT, Combined-degree (BFA + BA/BS), Certificate or Studio Diploma. Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA and a Combined BFA + BA/BS. The BFA is entirely elective, so students may choose courses from a range of disciplines. Just a few options include Animation, Digital Media, Film/Video, Graphic Design, and Illustration. Sample animation courses include Animation 1: Techniques and Sound, Animation 2: The Completed Short, Sound for Moving Image, and Advanced Production.

Known as the SMFA/Tufts BFA, the Combined BFA + BA/BS is specifically designed for students intending to pursue their art and academic interests to the fullest possible extent. Upon completion of this program, students will graduate with two degrees from Tufts: a BA or BS in a major of their choice and a BFA. According to the school, the five-year program makes it possible for students to refine and focus their studies in an academic field and to cultivate their fine arts abilities.