What are the top animation school programs in Indiana for 2022?

Top 5 Animation School Programs in Indiana - 2022 College Rankings
1Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette
2Ball State UniversityMuncie
3Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis Indianapolis
4Huntington UniversityHuntington
5University of Saint FrancisFort Wayne

Our 2022 ranking -our eleventh annual- of the top animation school programs in Indiana. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University

Purdue University (Purdue) houses Purdue Polytechnic Institute—one of the 10 academic colleges at the university. Within the Institute is the Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) which offers a BS in CGT with a Major in Animation or Animation and Visual Effects, an MS in Computer Graphics Technology, and a 5-Year BS/MS in Computer Graphics Technology. The CGT MS program participates in Purdue’s Computational Interdisciplinary Graduate Program.

The CGT BS in Animation program focuses on Character Rigging, Motion, Lighting, 3D Modeling, Rendering, and Texturing. Using the same software used in the animation industry, such as Maya and Autodesk, BS students will create animations, games, films, and more.

The CGT BS in Animation and Visual Effects covers Animation, Computer Rendering, Audio, Special Effects, Video, Digital Lighting, and more. Because Visual Effects at Purdue is a STEM-based discipline, students will take courses such as Physics, Calculus, and Trigonometry. The business side of the industry is also covered. This includes coursework in marketing, management, business writing, and entrepreneurship.

Graduates of Purdue University’s CGT BS in Animation and Animation and Visual Effects programs are routinely hired at studios such as Walt Disney and DreamWorks, to name a few. Some graduates go on to teach at schools such as Animation Mentor.

The Purdue University MS in CGT provides study and training in Animation, Games, Information Visualization, and UX Design. A large number of course options allow students to concentrate in a specific area. Because CGT MS program is interdisciplinary, students have opportunities to take coursework across other Purdue graduate programs.

MS students wishing to focus in Animation may choose the Thesis or Non-Thesis option. Those in the Non-Thesis option will complete a Senior Capstone. Course samples for both options include The Art of Technology of Computer Animation, Visual Intelligence and Perception, The Development of Graphics in Technology, and Seminar in Computer Graphics Technology. Elective requirements also allow for the exploration of other areas.

Purdue University CGT MS alumni are Animators, Technical Directors, Digital Lighting Specialists, Simulation and Visualization Specialists, Riggers, Technical Artists, and more.

Students with a graduate degree from Purdue University or other schools are eligible to apply to the PhD in Technology Program. Also offered in Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Computer Graphics Technology, the PhD program supports study and research in CGT, including Computer Animation, Game Studies, Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience (UX) Design, and other related areas.

Graduates of the CGT PhD Program at Purdue University go on to pursue careers in entertainment, academics, technology, government, and more.

Purdue University was established in 1869. The school serves nearly 50,000 students, with around 6,000 enrolled in Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Purdue University offers more than 400 programs in 10 colleges and schools. Purdue Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1964 as Purdue University’s School of Technology. The Institute houses seven departments and schools offering dozens of technology-centered programs.

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

2. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Ball State University

The Ball State University (Ball State) College of Fine Arts is home to the School of Art, which offers a BFA in Visual Arts/Animation. Students in the BFA program will explore traditional 2D animation, stop-motion animation, 3D animation, visual effects, and modeling, among others. The BFA also provides instruction and hands-on training in industry tools such as Maya, Adobe Illustrator, and Toon Boom.

Graduates of the BFA in Visual Arts/Animation at Ball State will leave the program with a professional portfolio and demo reel of their best work.

Ball State University was established in 1918. The school serves more than 20,000 students enrolled in over 200 programs in seven academic colleges. Programs in the School of Art at Ball State are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

3. Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) offers a BS in Media Arts & Science with a 3D Graphics and Animation Specialization. A Minor in 3D Graphics and Animation is also available.

The BS program requires 120 credit hours of study, and the Minor requires 15 credit hours. Course examples for the programs include Advanced Topics in 3D, Advanced 3D Character Animation, Organic Modeling and Texturing, 3D Prototyping for Application in Medicine, 3D Compositing and Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, Stereoscopic Production and Display, Digital Storytelling, and Advanced Techniques in 3D.

Students in the IUPUI SOIC BS Program will complete the Career Planning, Portfolio Development, and Multimedia Project Development courses. While the Capstone Project Internship is strongly recommended, 3D Graphics and Animation students may complete the Mentorship or Bridge to Industry courses instead. Should the student choose the Capstone Project Internship, they will have the opportunity to develop a work in a professional setting and present it at an exhibition.

Graduates of the IUPUI SOIC Media Arts & Science/Animation Program are 2D and 3D Animators, Creative Directors, AR/VR Designers, Motion Graphics Artists, Medical Animators, Technical Animators, Film Production Artists, and Game Production Artists.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) alumni work at Pixar, EA Sports, Digital Domain, Sony Pictures ImageWorks, and Rockstar Games, to name a few.

Indiana University (est. 1820) and Purdue University (est. 1869) merged in 1969 to create what is known today as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The school serves 27,690 students enrolled in more than 550 degrees and majors in 17 degree-granting schools. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

4. Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana
Huntington University

The Department of Digital Media Arts (DMA) at Huntington University (HU) offers a BS and Certificate in Animation. The Animation Certificate can be completed in as few as 20 weeks online. The program explores digital filmmaking applications, 3D, concept art, storyboarding, and motion graphics.

The Animation BS at HU covers the same courses as the certificate program, but the degree program delves deeper into animation techniques and tools, computer illustration, digital media arts, web graphics, and more. Course examples include Computer Illustration, Web Design, Animation I: Introduction to Traditional Media, Storyboard and Concept, Principles of Animation, Computer Graphics I-II, Stop-Motion Animation, Advanced Production Studio, and Advanced motion graphics for Animators.

Animation BS students at Huntington University will complete Junior and Senior Studios, along with the Internship in Digital Media Arts. The program culminates with a Senior Project.

Graduates of the Huntington University Animation BS Program are prepared to seek positions in the animation, film and television, games, and advertising industries, among others.

Huntington University was established in 1897 as Central College. HU serves close to 1,400 students enrolled in more than 70 programs of study. Huntington University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

5. University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Indiana
University of Saint Francis

The College of Arts, Sciences and Business at University of Saint Francis (USF) houses the Division of Creative Arts, which offers a BA in Animation. The program explores 2D and 3D Animation, Concept Art, and Motion Graphics.

BA students must complete 120 credit hours total, including 69 credits in the major, and up to 15 elective credit hours. Course examples include History of Animation, Audio for Film, Video & Animation, 3D Animation Production, 3D Computer Animation, Traditional Animation, and Traditional Animation Production.

The program also requires successful completion of the Animation Studio Experience course where students will collaborate on a project pipeline. Working as a studio, animation students will create several industry-ready projects.

Programs in the USF Division of Creative Arts are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Graduates of the Animation BA Program at University of Saint Francis work in a variety of roles at local and major studios such as Blue Pony Digital (Fort Wayne), Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), DreamWorks, and Blizzard Entertainment. 

University of Saint Francis was established in 1890 as Saint Francis Normal School. USF comprises three academic colleges that serve around 2,200 students enrolled in 70 certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. University of Saint Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).