Top 5 New Jersey Animation Schools and Colleges - 2018 Rankings
1Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadison
2New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark
3The College of New JerseyEwing
4Montclair State UniversityMontclair
5Rutgers UniversityNew Brunswick

Our 2018 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in New Jersey. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey
Fairleigh Dickinson University

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

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

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

2. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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

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

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

3. The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey
The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) was established in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School. The school serves approximately 7,400 students, including 6,790 undergraduates and 610 graduate students, enrolled in 50 Liberal Arts and Professional programs across seven schools. The School of the Arts and 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 major companies and studios such as Nickelodeon, TIME, and MakerBot. Graduates have also entered graduate programs at top art and design schools such as the School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York University (NYU), and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

4. Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair State University

Montclair State University was established in 1908 as the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair. The school serves more than 21,000 students enrolled in nearly 300 majors, minors, concentrations, and certificate programs across six colleges and schools. The College of Arts houses the Department of Art and Design, which offers a variety of art and design programs. Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA in Animation/Illustration.

Students in the program will study both traditional and digital drawing techniques that provide a foundation for advanced animation coursework. The curriculum includes Fine Arts Studio courses and “progressive” levels of Illustration and Animation courses. Just a few include Digital Illustration, 2-D and 3-D Animation, Cartooning, Character Design, 3-D Modeling, Screenwriting for Animation, Texture Mapping, and Animation Production. Because it is a multidisciplinary program, the Animation/Illustration BFA prepares students to work in a range of creative areas including animation, motion design, illustration, art or project direction, advertising, game design, special effects, and many others.

5. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Rutgers University

Chartered in 1766 as all-male Queen's College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. With nearly 69,200 students from all 50 states and more than 125 countries, Rutgers is also one of the largest universities in the U.S. Thirty schools and colleges serve students seeking an undergraduate education, professional studies, graduate degrees, graduate medical education, and postdoctoral education. Programs for aspiring animators are offered through Mason Gross School of the Arts, Camden College of Arts and Sciences (Department of Fine Art), and the School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Computer Science). Programs include BA, BFA, and MFA degrees in Visual Arts with a Concentration in Media, a BA with a Concentration in Animation, and BA, BS, and MS degrees in Computer Science (CS) with a Graphics and Vision Track, respectively. A CS Minor and Art Minor are also available.

Many graduates of the animation programs at Rutgers work in the 3D animation industry as art directors and technical directors for various companies, such as Blue Sky, Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Digital Domain, Ubisoft, BBC Earth, Quiet Man, Psyop, The Mill, Smoke & Mirrors, etc. In addition, they have participated making a variety of award-winning movies and games, such as Ice Age, Happy Feet, Frozen, Sesame Street 3D, Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, and Assassin’s Creed Unity, to name a few.