Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in New Jersey. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey
Becton College of Arts and Sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) 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 Animation, Cinematography, Editing, Film, Film Directing, Film Production, and Video Game Animation. Several Minors are also available and include Animation, 3D Video Game Animation, Film Production, Studio Arts, and Cinema Studies.
University College, School of Art and Media Studies, also offers several options for aspiring animators. Options 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.
About FDU: Fairleigh Dickinson University was established in 1942. It is home to 11,500 students enrolled in more 100 degree programs 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.
2. Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair State University is home to College of the Arts (CART), which houses the Department of Art and Design. The Department offers a BFA in Animation/Illustration that allows students to study “both traditional and digital drawing techniques that provide a foundation for advanced animation coursework.” Advanced projects include Animation Storyboards, Animated Shorts, and Character Development for 2D and 3D Animation. Initial projects include Book Cover Art, Editorial Illustration, Comic Book and Graphic Novel Art, and Advertising illustration.
Because the Animation/Illustration BFA is multidisciplinary, the program prepares students to work in a range of careers including Effects Animator, Flash Animator, Character Designer, Animator, Technical Director Compositor, Visual Development Artist, Rigging Supervisor, 2D or 3D Artist, Technical Illustrator, Architectural or Interiors Illustrator, Mechanical Illustrator, or Magazine Illustrator, to name a few.
About Montclair State University: Founded in 1908, Montclair State University is home to approximately 20,987 students enrolled in nearly 300 majors, minors, concentrations, and certificate programs. The school consists of six colleges and schools including the College of Arts (CART), College of Education and Human Services (CEHS), College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), College of Science and Mathematics (CSAM), The Feliciano School of Business (SBUS), and The Graduate School.
3. The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey
The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), School of the Arts & Communication, houses the Interactive Multimedia Department, which offers a BA in Interactive Multimedia (IMM). This interdisciplinary program combines Digital Media (digital imaging; animation, motion graphics and digital video; digital audio and electronic music, web design), Interactive Computing (experience design, interaction design, interface design, and programming for everything from web sites to video games), and Professional Writing (interactive storytelling, stories and scripts for movies, animations and video games, technical writing, proposal writing, and online journalism).
IMM students have completed internships at Amazon, MTV Networks, DreamWorks, and NFL Films, and many graduates have found positons at Nickelodeon, Johnson & Johnson, MakerBot, and many other companies and studios. Graduates have also entered graduate programs at top art and design schools such as the School of Visual Arts (SVA) at New York University and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
About TCNJ: The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) was established in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School. It is home to approximately 7,400 students enrolled in more than 50 Liberal Arts and Professional programs across seven schools including Arts & Communication, Business, Education, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, Nursing, Health, & Exercise Science, and Science.
4. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – Camden, Camden, New Jersey
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – Camden, is home to the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Fine Arts. The Department offers a BA and a Minor in Art: Electronic or Studio. Students in both programs have access to two animation labs, post-production labs, a drawing studio, and a new digital studies center. They may also participate in the internship program, which offers opportunities at design studios, computer graphics labs, and galleries across New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York, and more.
The BA in Art: Electronic or Studio prepares students for a career animation, illustration, or graphic design, to name a few.
About Rutgers: Home to nearly 69,000 students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is the largest university in New Jersey. The school has campuses in New Brunswick (flagship), Newark, and Camden, and a presence in all 21 New Jersey counties. Chartered in 1766 as all-male Queen’s College, the school is also the nation’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning. The Camden campus is home to 6,475 students.
5. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
The College of Architecture and Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is home to the School of Art and Design, which offers a BA in Digital Design with two Tracks—Entertainment or Production. Both programs offer courses such as Video and Animation, Environment Design in Motion Pictures, SFX/VFX in Movies, Digital Audio, 2D and 3D Character Design and Modeling, Game Level Design, and History of Games, to name a few. According to the school, students have the opportunity to “showcase their work through competitions and curated exhibits, and a number have had work exhibited at the annual conference of ACM/SIGGRAPH.” Students and graduates have also “enjoyed success with internships and full-time employment” at places such as SWDTech Games, Tripwire Interactive, 1st Avenue Machine, CSALAS & Co Labs, NTropic, and SUSPECT vfx+design, to name a few.
About NJIT: New Jersey Institute of Technology was founded in 1881 as Newark Technical School. When it opened in 1885, the school had just 88 students. Today, with a total enrollment of 11,325 students enrolled in 128 degree programs across six schools and colleges, NJIT is one of the nation’s leading polytechnic universities.