What are the top animation schools in the East for 2023?

Top 25 East Coast Animation Schools – 2023 College Rankings
1School of Visual ArtsNew York
2Rhode Island School of DesignRhode Island
3Pratt InstituteNew York
4New York University New York
5Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
6Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvania
7Massachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts
8Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland
9University of the ArtsPennsylvania
10The New School's Parsons School of DesignNew York
11Drexel UniversityPennsylvania
12Pennsylvania Western UniversityPennsylvania
13Emerson CollegeMassachusetts
14University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
15Tufts UniversityMassachusetts
16Northeastern UniversityMassachusetts
17Dartmouth CollegeNew Hampshire
18Syracuse UniversityNew York
19Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia
20Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew York
21Harvard UniversityMassachusetts
22University of ConnecticutConnecticut
23Rutgers University, CamdenNew Jersey
24New York Institute of TechnologyNew York
25Towson UniversityMaryland

Our 2023 list -our twelfth annual- of the Top 25 Animation School Programs on the East Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

The Animation Department at School of Visual Arts (SVA) has three pathways for animators: Animation, Computer Art, and Computer Animation and Visual Effects. Leading to a BFA, all programs emphasize hands-on experience; mentors who are accomplished special effects artists, directors, and character designers; and working relationships with independent animators across New York, and alumni-owned Augenblick Studios, Plymptoons, and Titmouse. As interns and part-time employees, SVA Animation students have produced animations for non-profit organizations and public service organizations such as UNESCO, Ted-ED, and UNICEF.

Students in all BFA programs will train on the latest industry software including Maya, Adobe Animate, Storyboard Pro, After Effects, and Toon Boom Harmony. SVA Animation students will also participate in the School of Visual Arts Thesis Celebration, where their best work will be presented to industry professionals and other prominent figures in the world of art.

Graduates of the Animation, Computer Art, and Computer Animation and Visual Effects BFA programs at SVA have gone on to win awards presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures, The International Animation Festival, and the Association of International Film Animators (ASIFA). Graduates have also won awards for their short and feature films at numerous festivals around the world.

SVA Animation alumni can be found at independent animation studios worldwide and at major studios such as DreamWorks, Lucasfilm Animation, Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Animation, and Disney Animation Studios.

At the graduate level, the Computer Arts Department at School of Visual Arts has an MFA Program in Computer Arts. SVA is also known for its Continuing Education (CE) Animation courses, which are designed to help students improve their skills through hands-on exercises and workshops. CE Animation students have the opportunity to create their own shorts.

The SVA MFA Computer Arts Department was the first MFA Program in the U.S. to focus on computer art. Established in 1986, the program features workshops, guest lectures, visiting artists, and internship experiences. During the final year of the program, MFA students will complete academic research and a creative work accompanied by an artist’s statement.

Graduates of the SVA MFA in Computer Arts Program have been hired at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), MTV, Pixar, Google, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts (EA), and Disney, DreamWorks. Some alumni have gone on to open their own studios or win Academy, Emmy Award, and Grammy awards.

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) opened in 1947 as the Cartoonists and Illustrators school. Classes began with just three teachers and 35 students. Today, the School of Visual Arts serves more than 4,000 students enrolled in dozens of BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS programs. SVA is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), with individual program accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

2. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design

The Animation Program at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) combines three areas: Film, Animation, and Video (FAV). Leading to a BFA, the FAV Program provides the opportunity to focus in Animation, Live Action or a combination of the two. Students may produce experimental, narrative or documentary films, as well as productions for interactive media and installations. Student works may be viewed and analyzed through film festivals and visiting artists. 

Course examples for the RISD FAV BFA include Advanced Stop Motion, Animation Practices, Character Animation Workshop, Computer Animation: Integrated Techniques, Computer Generated Imagery 3-D, Digital Effects and Compositing for the Screen, Directing, Experiments in Stop Motion Animation, Intermediate Studio: Live Action or Animation, Spatial Dynamics, Stop-Motion Animation, Time, Light, and Sound, and Video Practices.

All RISD FAV students have access to animation and live action studios, studios for green screen and blackout shooting, and Apple workstations equipped with Avid, Final Cut, Pro Tools, Autodesk Maya, the Adobe Production Suite, and a variety of animation software. Collaborative study, workshops, and a professional internship are also part of the program.

During the senior year of the FAV BFA Program, students will develop, design, animate, direct, and produce an independent project. Throughout this final year, students will receive critiques and individual guidance weekly from established professionals in the world of animation. Class meetings are devoted to specialized technical workshops, film screenings, and group critique. The year culminates with the RISD Senior Festival, a public showcase. Graduates will leave the program with a professional reel and portfolio.

Graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design FAV BFA Program have gone on to create, direct and/or produce a number of animated films and series such as The Simpsons (Lance Wilder, Animator), Family Guy (Seth Macfarlane, Creator), and the Oscar-nominated animated short Feral (Daniel Sousa, Animator and Director). RISD graduates have also landed positions at DreamWorks, HBO, Pixar, Fox, and PBS or launched their own studios and production companies.

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design is one of the first art and design schools in the U.S. This private, nonprofit college serves around 2,600 students enrolled in dozens of majors and programs. RISD is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and MA in Teaching programs have special accreditation by the National Architecture Accrediting Board, Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, and the RI Department of Education, respectively.

3. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Pratt Institute

The School of Art at Pratt Institute (Pratt) houses eight departments and more than 30 degree programs. The Department of Digital Arts here has a Digital Arts Program, which leads to a BFA. Also housed in the School of Art is the Graduate School of Art, which has a Digital Arts MFA Program with concentrations in 3-D Animation and Motion Arts and Interactive Arts.

The BFA program has several emphasis options: 2-D Animation, 3-D Animation and Motion Arts, and Interactive Arts. Department highlights include small class sizes, a collaborative environment, state-of-the art studios and classrooms, and courses taught by experienced artists in the field. BFA students can expect to take courses such as 3D Modeling, Coding for Animation, Compositing and Special FX, and Lighting and Rendering. Senior Project Development and Senior Projects courses are also part of the program.

Pratt MFA students will take courses such as Digital Animation Studio, Traditional Animation, and Advanced Digital Animation. Graduate Seminar I-II and Thesis I-II are also part of the program.

Pratt Institute graduates work in a wide variety of positions for major studios such as Digital Domain, Gameloft, Walt Disney Animation Studios, NBCUniversal, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Many Pratt alumni have also gone on to establish academic careers at institutions such as New York University (NYU), Rochester Institute of technology (RIT), New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Howard University, and American Academy in Rome.

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute was one of the nation’s first colleges to welcome students without regard to color, gender, or class. The school serves more than 5,000 students across campuses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Utica, New York. More than 70 degree programs are offered across six schools and The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Pratt Institute is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

4. New York University (NYU), New York, New York
New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts

Tisch School of the Arts (Tisch) at New York University (NYU) houses the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, which produces more than 5,000 films per year. The Institute, which produces more than 5,000 films a year, houses the Department of Animation and Digital Arts home to the Film and Television BFA with an Animation Area.

The Animation Area launched in 1980 with just five classes and 80 students, and it was the first program to bring digital technology to Kanbar. Today, the Animation Area consists of nearly twenty different courses and more than 500 students from nearly every state and dozens of countries.  

The Animation Area at NYU Tisch provides instruction in 2D, 3D, and Traditional Animation. The program begins with animation fundamentals and progresses to intermediate animation, then advanced. Course examples include Experimental Animation, Life Drawing: Anatomy, Storyboarding, Visual Effects and Compositing, Action Analysis, Writing for Animation, Drawing and Design for Animation, and Motion Design & Titles.

Besides a diverse array of classes. the Animation Area at NYU Tisch highlights guest speakers such as Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Polonski, and Chris Butler, study abroad experiences, and internship opportunities. 

Graduates of the Animation Area at NYU Tisch work as freelancers, many have started their own studios, and others work at major studios such as DreamWorks, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Pixar.

New York University was founded in 1831. Serving nearly 55,000 students, NYU is one of the nation’s largest private universities. In addition to the New York campus, NYU has campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, along with 11 global academic centers in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America. With an estimated 400+ programs, New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1965, Tisch School of Arts at New York University serves more than 4,000 students from 48 states and 39 countries. Programs are offered at all degree levels through Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, the Institute of Performing Arts, and the Institute of Emerging Media.

5. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology

The College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) houses the School of Film and Animation, home to the Animation Program. Several degree options are available including BFA and MFA degrees in Film and Animation, BFA degrees in Film and Animation with either an Animation Option or a Production Option, and a BS in Motion Picture Science.

The MFA has four options: 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Production, and Screenwriting. The BS program requires coursework in film, television, and animation production. In the Film BFA Animation Option, the focus is 2D and 3D Animation, production, screenwriting, and stop-motion animation. Three tracks are available including 2D, 3D and Stop Motion Animation. Students learn to animate for AR/VR, digital and visual effects, games, and films. Course examples across all programs include After Effects for Animators, Programming for 3D Animators, Production Processes, Experimental Animation, Virtual Production, Digital Effects & Compositing, World Building Workshop, and Directing.

Production Option BFA students will learn to produce documentary, fiction, experimental, and live-action films. Students will gain hands-on experience working with cameras, and editing and sound equipment. All Production Option students will have the opportunity to participate in RIT’s Study Away: LA Program. Students that choose to participate in the program will spend a semester in Los Angeles where they can intern at top studios and entertainment companies, and take two courses to complement the study-away experience.

RIT also has one of the fourth-oldest and one of the largest cooperative (co-op) education programs in the world. As such, all RIT programs provide co-op education opportunities as well as internships and other experiential learning opportunities. RIT animation students also have access to 52,000 square foot MAGIC Spell Studios, and labs and classrooms outfitted with industry standard technology and software.

At all levels, animation students will participate in the RIT’s Creative Industry Day, where they will have the opportunity to mingle with representatives of studios, design firms, and other creative companies.

Graduates of Rochester Institute of Technology can work in a wide variety of positions at Lucasfilm, Electronic Arts (EA), Dolby, Nickelodeon, Sony, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney Animation Studios, and many others.

Rochester Institute of Technology is a top research university that dates back to 1829. With global campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo, the school serves more than 19,000 students, making it one of the largest private universities in the U.S. RIT offers more than 200 academic programs across 11 colleges and institutes. Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

6. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) College of Fine Art (CFA) houses the School of Art. Serving around 200 students, CMU School of Art has an interdisciplinary program that explores animation, bioArt, game arts, computational and interactive arts, video, and other related areas. Leading to a BFA in Electronic & Time-Based Media (BFA ETB), the program features advanced courses such as Animation, Art & Technology, Digital Storytelling and Resistance, Experimental Capture, and Visual Music.

Carnegie Mellon University is also home to the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe). In collaboration with the School of Computer Sciences’ Robotics Institute (est. 1979), the IDeATe network manages eight undergraduate areas that can be taken as minors. This includes Animation & Special Effects.

Courses for the Animation & Special Effects Minor are led by faculty with expertise in Art and Robotics. Course examples include Animation, Art, and Technology, Art of Robotic Special Effects, Computational Photography, Advanced ETB: Video: Experimental Science Fiction, Technical Character Animation, and IDeATe: Introduction to 3D Animation Pipeline. IDeATe Animation & Special Effects course are open to all students. This provides opportunities for animation minors to collaborate with students from game design, film, digital media, and more.

Graduates of the ETB and Animation & Special Effects Programs have gone on to establish successful careers at major studios, networks, and gaming companies such as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Interactive, Zynga Games, Comedy Central, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts (EA), MTV, Paramount, and Blizzard Entertainment.

Founded in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University began as Carnegie Technical Schools. Today, the school serves around 15,800 students enrolled in more than 200 programs across seven colleges and schools. CMU also has more than a dozen degree-granting locations, and over 20 research partnerships in Silicon Valley, Australia, Africa, and Qatar. A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

7. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
Massachusetts College of Art and Design

The Animation Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) houses more than 20 classrooms, studios, and labs dedicated to animation. The Animation Program, which leads to a BFA, begins with the foundation year, which consists of courses such as Time, Form Study, Drawing Projects, Studio for Drawing, and Visual Language. During the second year of the program, students are introduced to animation basics, experimental animation, and digital 2D animation. Color & media, figure, liberal arts, and history of art courses are also explored during the second year.

Course examples for the program include Stop-Motion Animation, Puppet Animation & Fabrication, Drawing for Animators, VFX Alchemy: Pixels & Grain, 3DCG Character Animation, Motion Graphics, Figurative Clay Construction, and Advanced 3D Digital Animation.

In the third and fourth years of the MassArt Animation BFA Program, students will focus primarily on advanced animation coursework, the animation portfolio, and the final animation project, while continuing to complete liberal arts and art history coursework. An internship is also available.

Graduates of the MassArt Animation BFA Program are prepared to pursue a wide range of positions in the film and animation industries, digital art, advertising and marketing, design, and many other industries.

Founded in 1873 as Massachusetts Normal School, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the nation’s first and only public college of art and design. The school serves around 1,800 students enrolled 40 degree, minor, and certificate programs. More than 150 continuing education students are enrolled in more than 100 classes and workshops in all areas of art and design.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The school is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

8. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) requires all undergraduates to complete The First Year Experience (FYE), which explores contemporary art and design practice. The rigorous curriculum also highlights skill-building, technology, and 2D, 3D, and 4D media. Upon completion of The FYE, students will move on to their chosen major.

Housed in the Animation Department at MICA is the BFA and Minor in Animation. The Animation BFA Program requires 24 credit hours of study in the major. Course highlights include Digital Tools for Animation, 3D Character Animation: Performance, Stop-Motion Animation, Haptics and Optics, 2D and 3D Character Animation, and Professional Practice for Animators. Students in the program must complete several project courses and Animation Senior Thesis I and II.

The MICA Animation Minor requires 15 credit hours of study. Course examples include Digital Tools for Animation, Stop-Motion Animation, Animation Pre-Production, and Storyboarding for Animators.

The art and design programs at Maryland Institute College of Art have helped launch the careers of thousands of students. MICA alumni are Google Animators, Mobile App Developers, Comic Artists, Filmmakers, and more. They have been hired at DreamWorks, LAIKA Studios, MTV, Disney, and other major networks and studios. Many MICA graduates have also entered graduate programs or launched careers as independent artists in the animation industry.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art is the nation’s oldest independent, continuously degree-granting college of art and design. The school serves nearly 3,500 students from 49 states and 52 countries. Programs at MICA lead to a BFA, MA, MFA, MBA, MPS degree, or post-baccalaureate certificate.

Maryland Institute College of Art is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

9. University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of the Arts

The School of Film at University of the Arts (UArts) has three paths to study animation including a BFA in Animation, a BFA in Film & Animation, and a Minor in Animation. The School of Film encourages collaboration between schools, so students have opportunities to study design, acting, photography, and other disciplines.

The Animation BFA Program allows students to focus in 2D, 3D, Stop Motion/Experimental, or a hybrid focus path. The Film & Animation BFA explores many styles and genres in both animation and filmmaking. Examples include traditional animation, narrative, computer-generated animation, documentary, stop motion, and experimental. Across programs, students will have opportunities to work with professionals and faculty associated with major studios and networks such as Disney Animation Studios, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, HBO, Cartoon Network, and Netflix.

The curriculum for the BFA Programs combines a collaborative, hands-on teaching environment with internships at studios such as Augenblick, and study away experiences in places such as France and South Korea. Students will also participate in lectures, screenings, and formal critiquing sessions designed to evaluate their progress and work.

A major component of the Animation Programs at University of the Arts is the Professional Practices class. This multifaceted course, which takes place in the final year of the program, includes guest speakers, personal branding development, mock interviews, social media strategies, design, and resume building. At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to display their final portfolio reels online.

The Animation Program at UArts also provides access to a 5,600-square-foot space known as the Center for Immersive Media (CIM), which allows students to explore other areas such as human-computer interaction (HCI), VR/AR, and performance motion-capture. In addition to CIM, animation students have unlimited access to computer labs and state-of-the-art animation, film, and stop-motion studios.

University of the Arts Animation graduates are Character Animators, Storyboard Artists, Effects Animators, Computer Animators, Art Directors, Clay/Puppet Animators, Directors, Scientific Animators, Forensics Animators, and Background Artists, among others.

UArts graduates have been hired at a number of local companies such as unPOP, Alkemy X, and Center City Film & Video. UArts alumni also work at major companies, studios, and networks such as Netflix, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Google, DreamWorks, HBO, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. 

Founded in 1876 as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of the Arts serves nearly 1,500 students enrolled in over 40 degree programs in fine arts, design, media arts, dance, music, theater, and crafts. More than 20 minors are available and open to all students. UArts programs are offered in the Schools of Art, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theater Arts, and Graduate and Professional Studies. University of the Arts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

10. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The New School Parsons

The New School houses Parsons School of Design, which is the largest of the school’s seven colleges. Within Parsons School of Design is a Design and Technology Program that has BFA and MFA pathways. The MFA is a STEM-designated, studio-based degree that requires on-campus study. Consisting of 60 credit hours of study, the MFA includes courses and studios such as xFab Lecture and Lab, Creative Practice Seminar, Collaboration Studio, Major Studio, and Thesis Studio.

Also a STEM-designated program, the 120 credit hour BFA in Design and Technology focuses on interaction, storytelling, and emerging art and design practices. Specializations include Creative Technology and Game Design. Course examples include Code 2, Design Studies, Core Lab Objects, and Core Studio Environments.

All undergraduate students at The New School Parsons must complete the first-year experience. Consisting of 30 credits, the experience includes seminars and studios, liberal arts studies, and the exploration of 2D and 3D processes, digital design, drawing, and other tools and methods relevant to art and design. Course examples include Time, Sustainable Systems, Drawing/Imaging, Objects as History, Space/Materiality, and Integrative Seminar 1-2.

The School of Continuing & Professional Education at The New School Parsons has an additional option for animators. Leading to a Certificate, the Motion Design and Animation Program consist of three courses that explore the production process from start to finish. This includes storyboarding, editing, special effects, film production, and more. The Certificate Program can be taken alone or in combination with the Design and Technology BFA or MFA Programs.

Students in all New School programs have the opportunity to interact with and work on projects with professionals at places such as Apple, Siemens, Nickelodeon, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gameLab, Samsung, MTV, Rockwell Interaction Lab, Atari, UNESCO, OnePlus Technology, and Eyebeam Art & Technology Center.

Graduates of the BFA, MFA, and Certificate programs at The New School Parsons are prepared for success in a wide range of positions in areas such as 2D and 3D animation, game design, advertising, VR/AR, UI/UX, graphic arts, interaction design, film and television, mobile and application design, digital filmmaking, web design, hardware engineering, media art, and software design.

The New School Parsons was founded in 1896 as The Chase School. The school serves approximately 10,815 students enrolled more than 120 degree and diploma programs across six colleges and schools, including Parsons Paris. The New School Parsons is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

11. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Drexel University

Drexel University houses the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, which lists several programs for animators. Options include the Animation and Visual Effects BS, the Dual Animation and Visual Effects BS/Digital Media MS, a Digital Media PhD, and a 24 credit hour Animation and Visual Effects Minor. The Dual BS/MS consists of coursework and projects in animation, 3-D modeling, interactivity, gaming, advanced digital design, and digital media history, theory, and methods. This program requires a minimum of 232 credit hours to graduate.

Drexel University has one of the nation’s top cooperative (co-op) education programs, so students in all degree programs have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience prior to graduation. During the junior year of undergraduate programs, students will spend six months working full-time in the industry. Positions may be paid or unpaid. Dual BS/MS students will participate in three co-op experiences in the second, third, and fourth years of study.

The Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) Program provides instruction and hands-on training in 3D modeling, character design, scripting and storytelling, motion capture, compositing, storyboarding, and rigging. Students apply the skills they have learned to co-op positions in animation, visual effects, technical direction, and 3D at Cartoon Network, Pixar, Sony Studios, FuseFX, and MediaKraft TV, among others.

The Digital Media MS at Drexel University is a two-year program that focuses on research and medias applications. Areas explored include animation, gaming and digital media history, 3D modeling, and interactivity. Students in the program will complete several independent, industry-sponsored, student-created or faculty-approved projects. Past projects have focused on animation design, advanced animation production techniques, narrative comics, and video games, among others.

The PhD is a research-driven degree program that take place in an experiential learning environment. Besides entertainment, PhD students may conduct research in business, engineering, health, education, or other areas.

Graduates of the Animation/VFX and Digital Media Programs at Drexel University work in a variety of positions at major companies and studios such as Disney, Microsoft, XBOX, DreamWorks, NCSoft Corp., and Pixar.

Drexel University was established in 1891 as Drexel Institute of Art, Science, & Industry. The school serves approximately 23,215 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) and Digital Media Programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts & Design (NASAD).

12. Pennsylvania Western University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Western University

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Pennsylvania Western University, Edinboro (PennWest Edinboro) is home to the Department of Art, which provides programs in the visual arts at all degree levels. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department houses dedicated studio spaces, several galleries with frequent exhibitions, and several student organizations. Students in all programs in the Department of Art also benefit from engagement with visiting artist and speakers on a regular basis and courses taught by accomplished specialists in their respective fields.

The PennWest Art Department has an Animation BFA Program that prepares students for positions in film, television, games, advertising, and other related areas. Course examples for the program include 2D Design, Animation I-IV, 3D Design, Drawing I-II, Graphic Design Software, and 4D Design. 

Animation BFA students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and software such Maya and the 2D Cintiq Lab, the Animation Club, and the internship program, which provides opportunities to work with local, regional, and national production studios. In addition, the Animation Program welcomes professional animators, storyboard artists, and directors to the campus to present talks to students about the industry. Students will also have opportunities to travel to animation conferences and festivals in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto, and tour major studios such as DreamWorks, Sony, Disney, Warner Bros, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Nickelodeon, and Universal.

Graduates of the Animation BFA Program at PennWest Edinboro are Animators, Storyboard Artists, Visual Effects (VFX) Artists, Directors, Character Designers, and Modelers. Program alumni have been hired at major studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Disney, and Blizzard Entertainment.

Pennsylvania Western University has campuses in Clarion and Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and California. Dating back 165 years, the school serves 12,800 students, making it the second largest university in Western Pennsylvania. PennWest provides hundreds of programs across its three campuses and the Global Online Division. PennWest Edinboro is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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 two pathways to study animation including the Media Arts Production (MAP) BA and BFA. 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.

The MAP BFA provides the opportunity to develop expertise in a specific area through plans of study designed by the VMA Faculty. Examples include Animation and Motion Media, Interactive Media and Games, Filmmaking, Experimental Media Production, and Post-Production. Course examples across plans include Computer Animation, Drawing for Character Design, Game Design, Film Production, and Interactive Media.

Emerson BFA students must complete a thesis-level project that takes one year to complete. All 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.

Emerson College was established in 1880. The school serves approximately 4,930 students enrolled in 25 undergraduate majors, 30+ minors, 16 graduate degrees, and six graduate certificate programs. In addition to the main campus in Boston, Emerson has campuses Los Angeles and the Netherlands. Emerson College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

14. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

Stuart Weitzman School of Design at University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) houses the undergraduate program in Fine Arts and Design (FNAR) with an interdisciplinary major in FNAR. The FNAR Major combines seminar courses, studio instruction, and the visiting artist lecture series. Coursework for the program allows students to study animation, 3D modeling, digital design, and more. Course examples include Mixed Media Animation, Hand-Drawn Computer Animation, Environmental Animation, Computer Animation, Digital Figure Modeling, 3D Computer Modeling, Advanced 3D Modeling, Art, Design and Digital Culture, and Cinema Production.

Another pathway to study animation is the Digital Media Design (DMD) Program. Launched in 1998, this interdisciplinary program allows for study in animation, games, interactive technologies, computer graphics, and the design of virtual reality design. Course examples include Computer Animation, Drawing Investigations, Interactive Computer Graphics, Advanced Rendering, and 3D Computer Modeling. Housed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the DMD Program leads to a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Science (BSE) with DMD Mahor.

SEAS also houses the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS), which has a Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT) Engineering MS (MSE) Program. Established in 2004, this interdisciplinary program provides opportunities to specialize in Animation or Animation and Simulation Technology. Course examples for the program include Physically-Based Animation, Computer Animation, 3D Computer Modeling, Interactive Computer Graphics, Physically-Based Rendering, Digital Figure Modeling, and Advanced Project Animation.

Students in the CGGT Program will spend their first year in the Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) Program. This means, graduates will receive two degrees: the MCIT and MSE CGGT.

Graduates of UPenn’s CGGT and DMD Programs are prepared for careers and entrepreneurship in areas such as animation, design, directing, and game programming. Program alumni are routinely hired by companies and studios such as DreamWorks Animation, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Walt Disney Animation, Activision, Microsoft, Pixar, Zynga Games, Electronic Arts, and Sony. 

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is one of the nation’s oldest universities. Established in 1740, UPenn houses 189 research centers and institutes, 16 colleges and schools, and more than 400 programs. The school serves approximately 28,040 students from across the U.S. and just about every continent. The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

15. Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (SMFA at Tufts) is part of a top-tier research university that provides intensive studio arts training, an interdisciplinary learning environment, networking opportunities, and hands-on experience through on-campus projects and internships.

Programs for animators include a BFA and Combined BFA + BA/BS. These unique pathways allow students to focus their work with their academic advisors to customize a focus in one or more mediums. Examples include Animation, Film and Video, Virtual Reality, Digital Media, and Graphic Arts. Animation coursework includes Animation Basics, Animation Integration, Drawing for Animation, Animation 2, Stop-Motion Animation, and Moving Image.

Coursework for both programs is complemented by visiting artist lectures, screenings, projects, and demos, and students may add a Studio Art Minor to enhance their degree.

In the final year of the BFA program, students may apply to the SMFA Tufts Senior Thesis Program. This yearlong capstone leads to a professional work and exhibition. Combined BFA + BA/BS students will graduate with two degrees: a BFA and a BA or BS in their chosen area.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University has an additional option for animators seeking an advanced degree. The Studio MFA provides the opportunity to work with faculty and staff to develop a personalized studio curriculum. Students can focus their studies in Animation, Film and Video, Virtual Reality, Digital Media, Graphic Arts, or other areas.

Coursework for this 60 credit hour program is complemented by seminars, visiting artists, exchange and travel opportunities, and the Graduate Colloquium. A forum for graduate students, professional artists, and faculty, Colloquia are all-day events that take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Colloquia are open to the public.

The Studio MFA at SMFA at Tufts culminates in a self-curated exhibition of the students best work. Students must also complete a thesis to graduate. 

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) was founded in 1876 as part of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. SMFA began a partnership with Tufts University in 1945, with the goal to offer joint degree programs. Today, SMFA at Tufts serves more than 400 students enrolled in BFA, MFA, MAT, Combined-degree (BFA + BA/BS), Certificate or Studio Diploma programs.

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). As part of Tufts University, SMFA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

16. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University

The College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) at Northeastern University has several pathways to study animation. Options include an Art + Design BFA with a Concentration in Animation, a Game Art and Animation BFA, and an Animation Minor.

All CAMD BFA students have the opportunity to learn and work in a collaborative, immersive environment. In addition to animation, students will have opportunities to explore other areas such as game design, AR/VR, and interactive video. During the course of the programs, students will work their way through the production pipelines for animated films, games, visual effects, simulations and visualizations, and spatial media.

Other program benefits include courses taught by professionals in the industry, global experiences, and plenty of co-op and experiential learning experiences. Northeastern University has established relationships with co-op employers such as Sony, Walt Disney Company, Microsoft Studios, CBS, Adobe, Zynga, MIT Design Lab, National Geographic Learning, Apple, NBC Universal Television, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Viacom.

The CAMD BFA Programs at Northeastern culminate with a one-year Capstone Project and Professional Portfolio.

In the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University, the BS in Computer Science (BS/CS) Program houses a Combined Major in Media Arts. This 137 semester hour program explores animation and traditional and emerging areas such as VR/AR, artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction (HCI), video, computer graphics, photography, and database design. 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.

Graduates of the CAMD BFA and BS/CS in Media Arts Programs at Northeastern University go on to establish careers in animation, TV and film, game art and design, VR/AR, HCI, and digital media, among others. Alumni are Animators, Producers, Game Artists, Art Directors, Experience Designers, and Sound/Audio Designers.

Northeastern University began as the Evening Institute of the Boston Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 1898. According to the most recent enrollment figures, the school serves approximately 41,850 students enrolled in more than 400 programs in eight colleges. Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

17. Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Dartmouth College

The Faculty of Arts at Dartmouth College (Dartmouth) houses two departments that offer several pathways to study animation. The Department of Computer Science has a Digital Arts (DA) Minor and MS in Computer Science (CS) with a DA Concentration. Both programs are provided in collaboration with Film Studies, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Studio Art, Music, and Theater.

The Department of Film & Media Studies has a Film & Media Studies Program with BA and Minor options. Both programs provide access to a number of animation courses, making it possible to create an unofficial emphasis in animation. Course examples include Animation: Principles and Practice, Advanced Animation, Game Design Studio, Writing for Screen, Filmmaking, and Topics in Digital Culture and New Technologies.

Courses for the Digital Arts Minor are hands-on and project based. All students will take Introduction to 3D Computer Modeling, plus two of the following three courses: Introduction to 3D Computer Animation, AR and VR Design, and Projects in Digital Arts. Topics covered in the MS CS/DA Program include computer modeling and animation, UI/UX design, interactive installations, digital music, human-computer interaction (HCI), AR/VR, machine learning for art, data visualization, computational photography, computer graphics, and computational fabrication and 3D printing.

Students in all Dartmouth degree programs may complete an internship, enroll in one of many study abroad experiences, or participate in other experiential learning programs.

Graduates of the Digital Arts and Film & Media Programs at Dartmouth College are prepared to pursue careers in animation, film, television, advertising, game design, AR/VR, UI/UX, multimedia, HCI, computer graphics, art education, and many other areas. 

Founded in 1769 Dartmouth College is one of the nation’s oldest colleges. The school serves around 6,760 students enrolled in more than 90 programs across five schools and dozens of departments. Dartmouth College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

18. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University

The College of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) at Syracuse University (SU) houses the Department of Film and Media Arts, which has several pathways to study animation. Options include a Computer Art and Animation BFA, a Computer Art MFA, and an Animation and Visual Effects Minor.

The Minor allows students to focus in Animation, Visual Effects, or both. Consisting of 21 credit hours, the minor includes course options such as Advanced 3D Animation and Visual Effects, Animation Workshop I-II, Previz and Character Development for Animation, Visual Effects Workshop I-II, Drawing II: Representation to Conceptualization, Film Scriptwriting, and Drawing for Illustration.

Upon completion of the SU Animation and Visual Effects Program, students may pursue further study in the VPA (or other SU college) or pursue an entry-level position in the entertainment industry.

The Computer Art and Animation BFA at Syracuse University provides the opportunity to observe the production processes at studios in the U.S. and around the world. Examples include Method Studios (Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Vancouver and Montreal, Canada, Melbourne, Australia, and Pune, India) and Filmworks/FX (Brooklyn, New York, Los Angeles, and Woodland Hills, California). All BFA students also have the opportunity to participate in the VPA LA Semester. This immersive professional development program allows students to work as interns in Los Angeles, while taking courses taught by professionals working in LA’s entertainment industry.  

Graduates of the SU Computer Art and Animation Program have been hired at Cartoon Network, Pixar, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Tippett Studio, and Filmworks/FX.

The Computer Art MFA Program at Syracuse University launched in 1980. Consisting of 60 credit hours, completed over three years, the program allows students to focus in a specific area through studio electives (12) and free electives (Six). Focus areas may include Computer Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects, or Sonic Art, among others.

Graduate students in all areas have 24/7 access to all computer art facilities, video post-production, audio production, and recording studios, dedicated Apple MacPro workstations, video camcorders, field audio recorders, and a range of physical computing gear.

The Computer Art MFA Program at Syracuse University culminates with an oral examination and final project with presentation. Graduates of the program are prepared for careers in all areas of entertainment. Program alumni work at major studios and networks such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, MPC Film, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Blizzard Entertainment, Pixar, Cartoon Network, Filmworks/FX, and Tippett Studios.

Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is an R1 research institution that serves approximately 21,320 students from all 50 states and 126 countries. Students can choose from more than 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degree programs across SU’s 13 colleges and schools. In addition to campuses in Syracuse, and Manhattan, Washington DC, and Los Angeles, SU operates overseas centers in London, Italy, Spain, Chile, France, and Poland. Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

19. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of the Arts (VCUArts) houses the Department of Kinetic Imaging (KI), which has two pathways to study animation. At the undergraduate level, students can earn a Kinetic Imaging BFA. At the graduate level, students can earn an MFA in Fine Arts with a Kinetic Imaging Concentration. Both programs are multidisciplinary and explore areas such as animation, video, virtual reality, emerging art, and sound.

BFA students will complete the studio-based Art Foundation Program (AFO) in the first year. This is a requirement for all undergraduate students in all art and design departments. After completing the AFO, students will advance to courses such as Animation I-IV, Virtual Interactive Worlds, 3D Computer Animation, and Sound Communication. The VCU Kinetic Imaging BFA takes four years to complete, full-time. Graduates of the program are 2D and 3D Animators, Directors, Sound Designers, Motion Graphics Artists, and UI/UX Designers, among others.

The Fine Arts/Kinetic Imaging MFA is a 60 credit hour, studio-based program designed to support six-eight students. Graduate students have 24/7 access to personal studios, and access to animation, video, and sound production spaces. MFA students also have opportunities to teach in the undergraduate KI program. The Virginia Commonwealth University Fine Arts/Kinetic Imaging MFA Program takes two years to complete, full-time.

Founded in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university that serves more than 28,900 students. The largest employer in Richmond, Virginia, VCU offers more than 200 programs across 15+ colleges, schools, and centers. Virginia Commonwealth University accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

20. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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. EART students have access to a number of pathways that provide opportunities to explore animation. Options include the EART BS, PhD, and Minor. The EART Minor is an immersive program that requires 16 credit hours of study.

The EART BS has Concentrations in Animation and Algorithmic Art; Sonic Arts, Video, Performance and Social Practices; Integrated Visual Art; and DIY (Do It Yourself). All programs explore 3D Animation, Interactive Arts, Digital Imaging, and Graphic Storytelling. Animation and Algorithmic Art students will take courses such as 3D Animation, 3D Visual Effects, 2D Experimental Animation, Art and Code and Interactivity, Experimental Game Design, and Animation Production, among others. However, most concentrations offer some animation coursework.

The EART PhD is one of the first programs of its kind. Consisting of 48 credit hours beyond the master’s degree, this interdisciplinary program requires successful completion of Research Methods, Electronic Arts Overview, the Arts Graduate Colloquium, and the Dissertation. Study plans allow students to choose the remaining courses from other RPI departments and programs. This includes Animation, Video, Computer Music, Science and Technology, and Performance, among others.

Graduates of the EART Programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are prepared to seek positions in fields such as animation, television and film, game design and development, advertising, and education.

Established in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation’s first technological research university. Serving approximately 6,910 students, RPI offers more than 50 degree programs across five schools. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS). 

21. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Harvard University

The Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies (AFVS) at Harvard University (Harvard) is located in the landmark Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts—the nation’s only Le Corbusier building. AFVS courses are held in the Carpenter Center, in Sever Hall (a National Historic Landmark), and Linden Street Studios (utilized by practicing artists, faculty members, and upper division students).

The AFVS Department provides opportunities to concentrate in just about any area of visual arts at all degree levels. Examples include animation, filmmaking, video art, painting, drawing, and film and visual studies. Students in all concentrations will work with faculty in studios and seminars to reach their goals.

Course examples include Experimental Animation, A Video Toolbox, Intermediate Animation, Fundamentals of Animation, The Art of Film, Immersive Experience as Art, Filmmaking Workshop, Drawing as a Visual Language, Film & Visual Studies Workshop, Graduate Studio Workshop, and Working with Actors. Studio Art and Animation/Film/Video/New Genres courses are practice-based courses. Film and Visual Studies courses are seminar and lecture courses.

Students in all Harvard AFVS programs have the opportunity to take courses outside of the AFVS Department. Courses may explore History of Art and Architecture, Cultural Studies, Theater, Dance, and Media. Graduates of the AFVS Programs at Harvard are prepared for careers in all areas of animation and film production.

Founded in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. The school serves 25,110 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across 13 degree-granting Schools and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

22. 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 and the Art and Art History Department. Both provide several pathways to study animation. The Art & Art History Department has an Art BFA Program with an Illustration/Animation Concentration. The DMD Department has a 3D Animation BFA and Digital Media & Design BA Program, which provides the opportunity to take 15 credit hours of electives in 3D Animation. The DMD also has a Motion Design & Animation (MDA) BFA Program.   

Across programs, students enjoy collaborative and project based-learning, and access to state-of-the-art facilities in the UConn Bishop Center. 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. In addition, graduates enjoy a high employment rate. Most graduates are offered positions within six months of graduation.

The Art BFA-Illustration/Animation requires 66 art/design credits, 12 art history credits, and 42 credits general education credits. Students will create projects in both digital and analog environments including  2-D and stop-motion animation; character and environment design; comics, cartoons, and graphic novels; book, editorial, institutional, and children’s illustration; design for products; and self-promotion. Graduates are prepared for careers in these areas and many others.

Program alumni are employed at major studios and companies such as Pixar, Google Creative, Stoopid Buddy Studios, YouTube Gaming, and Lego.   

The 3D Animation BFA Program explores all areas of animation production including compositing for visual effects, simulations and visualizations, modeling, animation, lighting, rendering, and rigging. Courses focus on the core principles of 3D animation. Examples include 3D Animation I, 3D Modeling, Lighting & Rendering II, and Motion Graphics I.

Graduates of the 3D Animation BFA Program are Animators, 3D Specialists, Video Game Artists, Visual Effects (VFX) Artists, Medical and Scientific Animators, and Advertising Designers and Animators. Program alumni have gone on to work at Epic Games, NBC Sports Group, Blur Studio, Twitter, Greenhouse Studios, and Matter Communications.

MDA BFA students will learn to animate and design for entertainment, marketing, communications, and emerging media, such as augmented reality, digital media & performance, scientific visualization, UI/UX, projection mapping, and social media content creation.

MDA graduates and students have landed positions and paid internships at animation and design studios such as AW Design, DW Advertising, Fusion 360, and XVIVO | 3D Animation & Illustration as well as major companies and studios such as NBC Universal, Adobe, Viacom, CBS 2 News, World Wide Wrestling Entertainment (WWE,) ESPN, and NBC Sports Group.

Founded in 1881, University of Connecticut began as Storrs Agricultural School with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn’s more than 18,000 faculty and staff members serve approximately 32,150 students across the main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses. Programs at UConn are provided across 14 colleges and schools. Offerings include eight undergraduate degrees with 120 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 92 fields of study, and six professional degree programs.

University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). UConn School of Fine Arts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

23. 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.  

Rutgers University Camden is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the 8th oldest university in the U.S. New Jersey’s land-grant university, Rutgers has locations in all 21 New Jersey counties. Camden was founded in 1926 as South Jersey Law School and the College of South Jersey. SJLS & the CSJ merged with Rutgers University in 1950, and became Rutgers University Camden.

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and serving approximately 6,075 students today, Rutgers University Camden offers nearly 70 degree programs across four colleges and schools.

24. New York Institute of Technology, New York, New York
New York Institute of Technology

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT or New York Tech) provides more than 90 technology-based programs to thousands of students in areas ranging from architecture to design to STEM fields. The university where the Pixar founders got their start, New York Tech houses the School of Architecture & Design, home to the Department of Digital Art & Design, which has two pathways to study animation. The Digital Arts Program leads to a BFA and the Digital Art & Design Program leads to an MFA. The graduate program has a Fine Arts & Technology Concentration.

As part of NYIT, School of Architecture & Design students have access to internship opportunities with major networks, studios, and corporations such as Viacom/MTV, Google, HBO, and Live Nation. Both MFA and BFA students will also attend a number of seminars and complete several workshops. 

Other Program highlights include access to The HIVE (partners include organizations such as CITYarts, Inc.. the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Media Lab, and the Viscardi Center); state-of-the-art technology and facilities such as the motion capture studio, immersive environments, and rapid prototyping; summer abroad experiences; and the opportunity for students to show their work at the annual New York Institute of Technology Film and Animation Festival.

The Digital Arts BFA requires 120 credit hours of study and it can be completed at either the New York or Long Island campus. The program explores computer animation, digital arts production, and related areas through courses such as Form and Space, 2D Animation, 3D Modeling & Animation, Computer Graphics, Digital Compositing, Motion Graphics, Game Design, Illustration, Traditional to Digital Media, Motion Capture, and Storytelling. Digital Arts BFA students will complete two Thesis courses and a Portfolio course.

Graduates of the NYIT Digital Arts BFA are prepared to pursue positions such as Animator, 3D Modeler, Digital Artist, Video Game Designer, Motion Capture Artist, Motion Graphics Designer, Storyboard Artist, and Multimedia Producer.

The 60 credit hour Digital Art & Design MFA is available NYIT’s New York, NY campus only. The program emphasizes classroom projects using 3D modeling software; motion capture; and experiential art via virtual and augment reality (VR/AR). Course examples include Aesthetics and Theory, Drawing, History of Art and technology, and Contemporary Art. Students can develop a focus area through the required 21 credit hours of electives. Elective examples include Stop-Motion Studio, UX/UI Design, Visual Effects, Computer Programming, and Experimental Media.

The Digital Art & Design MFA culminates with Thesis Production I and II, worth eight credit hours, and the Thesis Paper and Exhibition course, worth two credits. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions such as Animator, Digital Artist, Motion Capture Artist, Multimedia Designer, Production Artist, Digital Sculptor, and Arts Educator.

Founded in 1955, New York Institute of Technology serves more 8,000 students across campuses in New York City and Long Island; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Vancouver, Canada. NYIT offers more than 90 degree programs across six colleges and schools. New York Institute of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).

25. Towson University, Towson, Maryland
Towson University

Serving 2,900 students enrolled in more than 30 majors and minors at all degree levels, the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) at Towson University (Towson or TU) is one of the largest colleges at TU. Within the COFAC is the Department of Art, which has two pathways to study animation including an Art + Design BFA and Studio Art MFA. The BFA Program has a Digital Art and Design Concentration with Specializations: Animation, Digital Arts, and Experimental.

The BFA Program begins with foundation courses such as 2D and 3D Process, Drawing: Observation and Invention, Visual Concepts, and Digital Tools and Concepts. Next, students will complete concentration courses such as Animation: Motion Design, Illustration Principles for Designers and Illustrators, Digital Art: Experimental, and a BFA Project. Finally, students will take Animation Specialization courses such as Animation: 2D, Animation: 3D, Animation Studio, and Photo Imaging – Motion. The Art + Design BFA requires 121-122 credits to graduate.

The MFA offers professional study in areas such as animation, digital media, illustration, interactive media design, and interrelated media. This 60 credit hour program consists of 24 credits in the student’s chosen area of study. Students will also complete Art Topics, Directed Readings in Art History, the MFA Seminar, MFA Studio II, and the MFA Project.

Graduates of the COFAC Art + Design and Studio Art Programs at Towson University are Animators, Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Multimedia Artists, and Fine Artists, among others.

Serving approximately 19,800 students, Towson University is the largest university in the Baltimore area and the second-largest university in the University System of Maryland. The school began as a teacher’s college in 1866. Today, TU students have access to more than 200 programs housed across seven colleges and dozens of departments. Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).