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

Top 5 Animation School Programs in Missouri - 2022 College Rankings
1Kansas City Art InstituteKansas City
2Webster UniversityWebster Groves
3Missouri State UniversitySpringfield
4Drury UniversitySpringfield
5Missouri Western State UniversitySt. Joseph

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

1. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Art Institute


The BFA in Animation program at Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) is housed in the newly renovated Tony Jones Studios for Animation and Illustration and is one of the fasted growing majors at the college. Animation students may also declare a double major or minor in Art History or Creative Writing or minor in Entrepreneurial Studies, Social Practice, or Sound.

Animation BFA course highlights include Digital Methods, Explorations in Animation, Contemporary Animation History, and Ideas in Motion. Elective options for the KCAI Animation BFA run the gamut from Documentary and Narrative Storytelling to The Art of Stop Motion Puppetry and Filmmaking and Animation. The Professional Practice course, taken during students’ senior year at KCAI, allows them to interact and network with industry professionals, visiting artists, and scholars.

During the final year of the program, students will engage in two six-credit studios, where they will have the opportunity to conceptualize and produce an animated work. Students may also complete an internship at a local or national studio. 

Many graduates of the Kansas City Art Institute BFA in Animation program go on to pursue advanced degrees at top institutions such as the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), School of Visual Art New York (SVA NY), and University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). Others have secured positions at major studios and networks such as Bazillion Pictures, Digital Domain, Disney, Hallmark, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Plympton Studios, Titmouse, and Warner Brothers, among others. 

Kansas City Art Institute was established in 1885. The school serves more than 700 students and offers 13 different majors. Kansas City Art Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). KCAI is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and is a member institution of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

2. Webster University, Webster Groves, Missouri
Webster University

The School of Communications (SOC) at Webster University (Webster) offers BA degrees in Animation and Interactive Digital Media and a Minor in Animation Production.

Housed in the SOC Electronic and Photographic Media Department, the BA in Animation explores drawing, motion, storytelling, and performance. Students in the program will study both traditional and digital animation techniques. Sample courses include Advanced Animation, Voicing Your Creation, Animation Seminar, Graphics and Effects, Animation I-II, and Writing the Short Script. Elective options provide the opportunity to study games, visual effects, experimental animation, comic book creation, and more. Animation BA students will complete an internship and a Capstone course.

The Webster SOC BA in Interactive Media allows students to group electives into a focus area. While the program explores animation, video, graphics, and audio, courses in the Virtual and Augmented Reality delve deeper into animation production. Course examples include 3D Modeling, 3D Animation and Rigging, and Photorealistic 3D Animation.

The 18 credit hour Animation Production Minor explores the theory, principles, and practice of animation. Courses include Animation I-II and Writing Screenplays for Film. Students will also complete nine hours of animation electives.

All Webster University programs offer small classes, hands-on experience with equipment and resources during the first year, and collaboration across SOC disciplines and across the University.

Webster SOC graduates have been hired at major studio such as Disney, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks, DreamWorks. Just a few alumni credits include Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003), King Kong, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Webster University was founded in 1915 as Loretto College by the Sisters of Loretto. When it opened, the school became the first senior Catholic college for women in Missouri and one of the first Catholic women’s colleges west of the Mississippi River. Today, Webster serves a diverse population of 10,000 students enrolled in more than 160 programs housed in five colleges and schools. Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

3. Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri
Missouri State University

Missouri State University’s (MSU) Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts and Letters houses the Department of Art and Design, which offers a BFA in Art with a Computer Animation Track. In partnership with the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film, the Department also offers a BS in Electronic Arts with a Computer Animation Studies Option.

MSU BFA students will complete Computer Animation II-V, Professional Practices in Computer Animation, and independent work on special projects in any studio area. An Art Internship, Public Affairs Capstone, and BFA Art Senior Exhibition, are also part of the program.

BS in Electronic Arts students will complete 69 credits in the major, including 18 in Computer Animation Studies. Students will complete the same coursework for the BFA program, along with Animation I and Principles of Cinematography or Editing for Film and Television. Junior Portfolio Review, Public Affairs Capstone, and Senior Project in Electronic Arts are also part of the BS program.

Graduates of the Missouri State University Animation Programs are prepared for careers in Animation/Computer Animation, Visual Effects, Game Art, Design and Development, Television/Film, Advertising/Marketing, Education, and more.

Missouri State University was founded in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School. Serving more than 26,000 students, MSU is the state's second largest university campus by enrollment. The school offers more than 270 majors and programs across eight colleges. Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

4. Drury University, Springfield, Missouri
Drury University

The School of Communication & Fine and Performing Arts at Drury University houses the Department of Communication. Programs options for animators here include an Animation Major leading to a bachelor’s degree and a Minor.

The 18 credit hour Animation Minor covers the 12 Principles of Animation, the History of Animation, Traditional Animation, and Computer Animation. After completing these four courses, students have the option to take one advanced animation or computer animation course.

Drury University requires students to choose a major and two certificate programs. One certificate may be replaced with a minor or second major. Just a few certificate and minor options include Interactive Design, Professional and Visual Communication, Writing, Fine Arts, Computer Science, Graphic & Digital Design, and Web Communication & Design.

The Animation major requires 47 credit hours of coursework and students may choose a Concentration in 2D Traditional Animation or 3D Computer Animation. The program requires three interdisciplinary elective courses and at least two advanced animation courses. Students are also encouraged to complete an internship.

The Drury Animation Program culminates in a Senior Capstone consisting of Pre- and Post-Production courses.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Drury University are prepared to pursue graduate study or a wide range of roles in the film and television industries.

Drury University was established in 1873 as Drury College. The school was one of the first in the state to offer evening and continuing education classes to non-traditional students. Drury serves 4,000 students enrolled in more than 100 programs in eight colleges and schools. Drury University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

5. Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Missouri
Missouri Western State University

The Missouri Western State University (MWSU) School of Fine Art houses the Department of Art, which offers a Digital Animation Minor and BFA degree. The programs prepare students for careers in animation, film, television, interactive media, and gaming.

The Department of Art at MWSU offers flexible programs that allow students to specialize in an area within the major. Course examples include Matchmoving, CGI Integration, Computer Programming, Digital 3D Lighting, Character Animation, Game Design, Digital 3D Modeling, Digital Animation Production, Greenscreen & Rotoscoping, Graphic Design, and Audio Production. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an internship.

Graduates will leave the MWSU Digital Animation Program with an Online Digital Animation Portfolio of their best work, a resume, and business cards. The Portfolio will be in the form of a demo reel or interactive medium.

Missouri Western State University graduates are prepared to seek positions at animation studios, design firms, game studios, ad agencies, and more. Potential job titles include Character Animator, Background Painter, Visual Effects (VFX), Game Artists, Medical and Scientific Visualization Artist/Illustrator, Level Designer, and Motion Graphic Designer, among others.

Founded in 1915 as a junior college, Missouri Western State University is a four-year university and a full member of the Missouri State University System. MWSU serves 4,395 students enrolled in more than 100 degree, minor, and certificate programs in seven colleges and schools. Missouri Western State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).