What are the top animation BFA programs in the U.S. for 2022?
|1||California Institute of the Arts||California|
|2||Savannah College of Art and Design||Georgia|
|3||Ringling College of Art and Design||Florida|
|4||School of Visual Arts||New York|
|5||University of Southern California||California|
|6||Rhode Island School of Design||Rhode Island|
|7||Pratt Institute||New York|
|8||Gnomon School of Visual Effects||California|
|9||New York University||New York|
|10||Rochester Institute of Technology||New York|
|11||Academy of Art University||California|
|12||Brigham Young University||Utah|
|13||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania|
|14||School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Illinois|
|16||California College of the Arts||California|
|17||Massachusetts College of Art and Design||Massachusetts|
|18||University of Central Florida||Florida|
|19||Otis College of Art and Design||California|
|20||The Ohio State University||Ohio|
|21||San Jose State University||California|
|22||Maryland Institute College of Art||Maryland|
|23||Columbia College Chicago||Illinois|
|24||California State University, Long Beach||California|
|25||DigiPen Institute of Technology||Washington|
|26||California State University, Fullerton||California|
|27||Laguna College of Art and Design||California|
|28||Columbus College of Art & Design||Ohio|
|29||Minneapolis College of Art and Design||Minnesota|
|30||College for Creative Studies||Michigan|
|31||Florida State University||Florida|
|32||The New School/Parsons||New York|
|33||Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design||Colorado|
|34||University of the Arts||Pennsylvania|
|35||University of Colorado, Denver||Colorado|
|36||Kansas City Art Institute||Missouri|
|37||Arizona State University||Arizona|
|38||Cleveland Institute of Art||Ohio|
|40||University of North Carolina School of the Arts||North Carolina|
|41||Ball State University||Indiana|
|42||Bowling Green State University||Ohio|
|46||Louisiana State University||Louisiana|
|47||University of South Florida||Florida|
|48||University of Illinois at Chicago||Illinois|
|49||Syracuse University||New York|
|50||School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University||Massachusetts|
For our undergraduate degree rankings, we have evaluated animation schools and programs with the best Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Bachelor of Science (BS) options. To determine which degree matches your career goals, it is important to understand how each qualification differs.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is the principal liberal arts degree. Most BA programs require 30-some or 40-some credits, which leaves plenty of flexibility in the form of free electives. BA students can use the free electives to sample widely from other course offerings or to earn an additional credential (a second major, a minor, or some combination of additional credentials).
The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is offered in areas such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology, Statistics, and each of the natural sciences. The BS is best suited to the student who wants to focus more on courses in the major and on 'collateral' courses (like chemistry or mathematics for a major in Geological Sciences) and is willing to give up some of the flexibility of the BA in return for the greater focus.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is considered the most prestigious bachelor's degree that you can receive in the visual arts. This option is for students who wish to gain as much experience and skill in the arts as possible.
Below are the Top 50 Animation BFA Programs for 2022.
1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) offers BFA degrees in Character Animation and Experimental Animation. Programs are housed in the School of Film/Video, which claims famous alumni such as Chris Buck (Frozen), John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars), and Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood).
The largest school at CalArts, the School of Film/Video focuses on intensive programs that emphasize technical and comprehensive artistic training. The programs are taught by experienced professionals working in CG, traditional, and independent animation.
The California Institute of the Arts BFA in Character Animation is a four-year program that prepares students to work in both traditional and computer graphic (CG) animation environments. In addition to required courses such as Acting for Animators and Perspective, Character Animation students may take courses such as Digital Methods, Life Drawing, and Storyboarding. Character Animation I-IV, Film Workshop I-IV, and Professional Preparation are also part of the program, which concludes with the creation of a professional portfolio and several short films.
Students in CalArts Experimental Animation BFA Program collaborate closely with mentors to master a range of animation approaches, processes, and techniques. Examples include 2D animation, digital production, installation, motion capture, multipane, performance animation, programming, stop motion, and more. Students can expect to participate in independent study, internships, lecture courses, seminars, workshops, and visiting artist lectures.
BFA course examples include Animation Production, Hybrid Imaging, and Motion and Meaning. MFA course examples include First Year Shorts, Sound for Experimental Animation, and The Digital Path for Animation. Students in the BFA program must produce a professional portfolio and final project to graduate.
Many California Institute of the Arts graduates go on to successful careers in advertising, animation, film/video, and marketing, while others have launched their own studios.
2. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Students in the Animation Program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have access to more than 800 networked computers and a 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art digital media center consisting of a green screen lab, in-house theater, and studio environment. At all degree levels, SCAD animation students receive instruction from celebrated professors who have worked at major studios and on award-winning productions such as The Lion King, Ice Age, and Pocahontas.
SCAD animation programs are housed in the School of Animation & Motion. Incoming Animation BFA students have the opportunity to enroll in [email protected]. This program provides students with the chance to earn their BFA and MA or MFA at an accelerated pace. The BFA/MA may take less than four years to complete, and the BFA/MFA can be completed in five years or less.
The 180 credit hour BFA in Animation is offered at SCAD’s Atlanta and Savannah campuses. The program includes 80 hours in the major, which consists of concentrations in 2D Animation, 3D Character Animation, Storytelling and Concept Development, or Technical Animation. Students may also choose 10 hours of free electives. Course examples for the program include Collaborative Experiences in Animation, 3D Character Animation: Creatures and Quadrupeds, and Story and Concept: Seeding the Narrative.
Each student in the SCAD Animation BFA Program will complete three Film Capstone courses including Preproduction, Production, and Postproduction. An optional internship is also part of the program.
From Stop-Motion Animator to Creature Technical Director, SCAD Animation graduates have been recruited by major studios such as 20th Century Fox, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks, Lucasfilm Animation, Pixar, Disney, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and many others.
3. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) offers a Computer Animation BFA consisting of 120 credit hours of study. Established in 1990, the program offers courses such as 2D Design, Traditional Animation, and Visual Development for Computer Animation taught by accomplished professionals in the field. Coursework is complemented by communications with visiting artists and industry guest speakers from major studios such as DreamWorks.
Students in RCAD’s Computer Animation Program also have the opportunity to complete a concentrated internship and work with area businesses on practical projects. All RCAD students participate in the school’s initiative known as INDEX (Industry Experience). Developed by developed by Ringling College of Art and Design in partnership with The Patterson Family Foundation, the initiative provides experiential learning opportunities through everything from internships to competitions sponsored by major brands and clients. INDEX also helps students build their portfolios and resumes.
Another degree option for aspiring animators is the BFA in Motion Design. This program covers animation, stop motion, design, and sound. Motion Design students will have the opportunity to collaborate on projects in teams and attend the week-long FutureProof conference. The event consists of presentations, workshops, and keynote speakers.
Ringling College of Art and Design graduates have gone on to win Academy Awards, found companies such as Moonbot Studios, and launch successful careers at studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks, and Disney Animation Studios.
4. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York
The School of Visual Arts (SVA) offers BFA degrees in Animation, Computer Art, and Computer Animation and Visual Effects.
In the BFA programs at SVA, students learn by doing. Whether their focus is stop motion, traditional, or computer animation, students will have the opportunity to develop their skills by working with alumni-owned studios such as Augenblick, Plymptoons, and Titmouse studios. In addition, students will train on the latest industry software including Maya, Adobe Animate, Storyboard Pro, After Effects, and Toon Boom Harmony. Four years of study in the BFA programs culminates in a showcase of the students work to industry professionals and prominent figures at the School of Visual Arts Thesis Celebration.
Graduates of the Animation, Computer Art, and Computer Animation and Visual Effects BFA programs at SVA have gone on to win awards at major festivals and from the Academy of Motion Pictures. Program alumni can be found at independent animation studios worldwide and at Lucasfilm Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Disney Animation Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon, and DreamWorks Animation SKG.
5. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
University of California (USC) houses the School of Cinematic Arts, home to the John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts (Hench DADA), which offers a BFA in Animation + Digital Arts.
The USC Hench DADA BFA program may offer concentration options such as Character Animation, Immersive Media, 3D Computer Animation, Experimental Animation, Motion Graphics, Interactive Animation, Visualizing Science, Documentary Animation, and Visual Effects. Students will take courses in the major, concentration area, and other areas such as dance, dramatic arts, and physical education.
During the final year of the program, BFA students will complete a Senior Project, to include production and post-production of a fully rendered, animated piece—with soundtrack. Projects are presented to a committee upon completion.
Graduates of the Animation BFA Program at the University of Southern California work for studios such as Digital Domain, Digital Idea, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination Entertainment, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Pixar, and Sony Pictures. Many USC alumni have founded their own independent studios.
6. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design, better known as RISD (pronounced RIZ-dee), offers a BFA in Flim/Animation/Video (BFA FAV). Students in the program may focus in Animation, Live Action or Open Media. Techniques covered in the program include everything from hand-drawn to CGI to stop motion and many others.
RISD BFA FAV students can expect to take courses such as Computer Generated Imagery 3-D, Digital Effects and Compositing for the Screen, Editing, Directing, and Experimental Film techniques. Collaborate study, workshops, a professional internship and several senior studios are also part of the program.
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.
Rhode Island School of Design graduates have gone on to create, direct and/or produce a number of animated films and series such as the Oscar-nominated animated short Feral (Daniel Sousa, Animator and Director), The Simpsons (Lance Wilder, Animator) and Family Guy (Seth Macfarlane, Creator). Other RISD graduates have launched their own studios or production companies, or landed positions at DreamWorks, HBO, Pixar, Fox, and PBS, to name a few.
7. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
The School of Art at Pratt Institute (Pratt) houses the Department of Digital Arts, which offers a BFA in Digital Arts with an emphasis in 3-D Animation and Motion Arts, 2-D Animation or 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 Institute graduates have landed positions at Digital Domain, Gameloft, Walt Disney Animation Studios, NBCUniversal, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Sony Pictures Imageworks, and other top studios. Many Pratt alumni have gone on establish academic careers at institutions such as New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), New York University (NYU), Rochester Institute of technology (RIT), Howard University, and American Academy in Rome, to name a few.
8. Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Hollywood, California
Gnomon School of Visual Effects offers a BFA in Digital Production. This full-time program that may be completed in three to four years.
Gnomon BFA students will receive training in industry software such as After Effects, Nuke, V-Ray, Photoshop, ZBrush, and Maya. Students will graduate from the BFA program with a professional demo reel that showcases their best work.
With a nearly 100% employment rate, Gnomon School of Visual Effects has alumni working at studios such as Marvel Entertainment, Nickelodeon Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, Reel FX, Digital Domain, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
9. New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York
Founded in 1965, Tisch School of Arts at New York University (NYU) houses the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, which produces more than 5,000 films per year. The Institute also houses the Department of Animation and Digital Arts, which offers a BFA in Film and Television with an Animation Area.
Launched in 1979 with just three classes and 80 students, the program currently serves more than 500 students from nearly every state and dozens of countries.
The Animation Area at NYU Tisch provides instruction in 2D Animation, 3D Animation, and Traditional Animation. The program begins with animation fundamentals and progresses to intermediate animation, then advanced. Course examples include Life Drawing: Anatomy, Storyboarding, Action Analysis, Experimental Animation, Drawing and Design for Animation, Motion Design & Titles, Visual Effects and Compositing, and Writing for Animation.
The Animation Area also highlights guest speakers such as Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Polonski, and Chris Butler. Students in the program may study abroad and/or complete an internship.
NYU Tisch Animation Area graduates work as freelancers, they have started their own studios, and they work at places such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and many others.
10. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
The College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) houses the School of Film and Animation, which offers a BFA in Film and Animation with an Animation Option or a Production Option.
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, films, games, and digital and visual effects.
Production Option BFA students will learn to produce documentary, fiction, experimental, and live-action films. Students can expect to gain hands-on experience working with cameras and editing and sound equipment.
Both programs offer internship opportunities, cooperative education, and experiential learning opportunities. RIT animation students also have access to the 52,000 square foot MAGIC Spell Studios, along with labs and classrooms outfitted with industry standard technology and software. At all levels, RIT animation students will have the opportunity to participate in the RIT’s Creative Industry Day, where they get to mingle with representatives of studios, design firms, and other creative companies.
Graduates of Rochester Institute of Technology can be found in a variety of positions at Lucasfilm, Electronic Arts, Dolby, Nickelodeon, Sony, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, and many others.
11. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University (Academy of Art) houses the School of Animation & Visual Effects (VFX), which offers a BFA in Animation & Visual Effects. The program takes place in studio production environment known as StudioX. The School of Animation & VFX is the only school of its kind to teach in this type of environment. Because StudioX mimics most real-world studios, students gain hands-on experience with industry standard equipment, collaborating with other artists and on teams, and managing a production from start to finish.
In addition to several collaborative projects, students will complete an internship and create a professional portfolio.
Academy of Art Animation alumni work at major studios and companies such as Google, Laika, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel, Sony Pictures Animation, CASA VFX, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Riot Games, Weta Digital, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and many others.
12. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Brigham Young University (BYU) houses the BYU Center for Animation. Established in 2010, the Center is managed by the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology and the Colleges of Fine Arts and Communications and Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Accepting just 20-25 students each year, the BYU Center for Animation is open to artists from the BYU Animation BFA Program, offered in the College of Fine Arts and Communications, Department of Design.
The BYU Center program provides extensive hands-on training in animation, games, live-action, and special effects. All BFA and BYU Center for Animation students have opportunities to work on personal projects, major films, and group projects; students can complete an internship and/or study abroad; and they will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of their best work.
BYU Animation graduates go on to establish successful careers at studios such as Blizzard, DreamWorks, Disney, Sony, Digital Domain, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Nickelodeon, Riot Games, and many others.
13. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) College of Fine Art (CFA) houses the School of Art. Serving around 200 students, the School offers a BFA in Electronic & Time-Based Media. This interdisciplinary program explores animation, bioArt, game arts, computer and interactive arts, video, and more. One program highlight is the Animation, Art & Technology course, Animation, Art & Technology taught by professors in the School of Art and the School of Computer Science.
The course is designed to help students learn how to group behaviors, and master motion capture and processes for animating materials, hair, and fragments. Students will use these skills to work on collaborative projects.
CMU also houses the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe) which, in collaboration with the School of Computer Sciences’ Robotics Institute (est. 1979), manages eight undergraduate areas that can be taken as minors. This includes Animation & Special Effects.
IDeATe Animation & Special Effects classes 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.
CMU graduates have been hired at Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, Comedy Central, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, MTV, Paramount, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Interactive, Zynga Games, and more.
14. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department (FVNMA) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has a Studio Program that offers a BFA in Studio. The program offers extensive coursework in animation with course titles such as 3D Character Animation, Advanced Drawing for Animation, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects, Puppet Animation, Writing and Art Direction for Animation, Type and Image in Motion, and Intermediate Animation: Experimental Methods.
Other Department highlights include interaction with visiting artists, access to state-of-the-art production studios, the Art Institute of Chicago Museum, and on-campus galleries, and graduate seminars, screenings, and performances. In addition, FVNMA MFA students will participate in Critique Week. This week-long event takes place each semester. The entire faculty, along with invited visiting artists and designers, form panels designed to critique students work. All classes are suspended during this time.
Graduates of SAIC’s FVNMA Department are prepared to seek careers in animation, film, games, digital media, and more.
15. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
The College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) at DePaul University (DePaul) houses the School of Cinematic Arts, home to the Animation BFA Program.
Courses for the program are taught by one of the largest full-time animation faculties in the nation. More than a dozen animation professors teach courses such as 3D Animation, Design, Screenwriting, Motion Graphics, Stop-Motion Animation, Narrative Development, Drawing, Animation Production, History of Animation, and more.
The BFA program has concentrations in 3D Animation, Visual Effects Animation, Cinema, Game Art, Motion Graphics, and Storyboarding and Character Design. While the BA does not offer a concentration, animation students may enhance their skills in a focused areas through major and open electives.
Animation BFA students may participate in the Los Angeles Quarter Program. This 10-week immersion program allows students to intern at major Hollywood studios such Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Studios, Nickelodeon, The Jim Henson Company, Titmouse Animation, Bix Pix Animation, Warner Brothers, and many others.
Other program highlights include the visiting artist series, where past guests have included artists from Disney and Pixar, access to the Animation Lodge, and participation in Project Bluelight. Students at The Lodge collaborate on group projects, network, and build their portfolios. Bluelight provides hands-on experience in motion picture production to all interested students.
Graduates of the Animation BFA Program at DePaul University have been hired by industry giants such as Electronic Arts, Google, Nickelodeon, Blizzard Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, Laika Studios, Wargaming, and many others.
16. California College of the Arts, San Francisco and Oakland, California
The BFA in Animation at California College of the Arts (CCA) is the school’s largest major. Housed in the Animation Department, the program provides hands-on learning in state-of-the art studios and labs such as the Foley Room, Hybrid Lab, Sound Studio, and Founder 309. Students will learn to create 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion animation, sound effects, animation for games, and more.
Courses for the BFA program are taught by instructors who are working in the industry with studios such as DreamWorks, Tippett, and Pixar. Course examples include 2D, 3D, and 4D, Animation 1 and 2, Visual Storytelling, Sound for Animation, Acting for Animation, and Writing 1 and 2. During the third year of study, CCA animation students will complete Junior Project 1 and 2. In the final year of the program, students will complete Senior Project 1: Pre-production and Senior Project 2: Production. This means graduates will leave the program with a polished piece.
Graduates of the California College of Art Animation BFA in Animation program have gone on to establish successful freelance careers and their own studios. CCA graduates have also been hired by studios such as Electronic Arts, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Bento Box Entertainment, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks Animation, Phosphor Games, and many others.
17. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
The Animation Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) offers a BFA in Animation. The program begins with the foundation year, which consists of courses such as Time, Form Study, Drawing Projects, Studio for Drawing, and Visual Language. Students are introduced to Animation Basics, Experimental Animation, and Digital 2D Animation during the second year of the program. Color & media, figure, liberal arts, and history of art courses are also explored during the second year.
In the third and fourth years of the Animation BFA, students will continue studying liberal arts and history of art. However, students will focus primarily on advanced animation coursework, the animation portfolio, and the final animation project.
MassArt Animation graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of positions in the film and animation industries, design, digital art, advertising and marketing, and more.
18. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
The School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) offers a BFA in Emerging Media with two tracks: Character Animation and Experimental Animation.
Character Animation is a portfolio-based track that takes two years to complete, full-time. Program highlights include courses taught by industry professionals, access to state-of-the-art labs, and internship opportunities.
In the Experimental Animation Track, students will complete courses such as Digital Effects & Compositing, Stop Motion Animation, and Modeling for Visual Language. Specific experimental animation courses include Advanced Experimental Animation, Experimental Animation Professional Practice, Experimental Animation Workshop, and Experimental Animation Portfolio. Students in this Track will also complete the BFA thesis project and exhibition/screening.
Graduates of the UCF SVAD animation programs are employed with major studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Electronic Arts, and many others.
19. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California
Otis College of Art and Design’s (OTIS) Digital Media Department offers an Animation Emphasis as part of the Digital Media BFA Program. Students will begin the program with foundations. By the third year of the program, students can expect to advance into major and 300 level courses such as 3D Animation I-II, Creative Action Studio, Advanced Concept Development, and Practicum in Animation I-II. OTIS BFA students can also expect to complete a capstone and the senior project.
Otis College of Art and Design offers students the opportunity to sharpen their skills in an additional area through electives such as Virtual Reality, Sketching & World Building, Storyboarding & Pitching, or Producing & Production Management. An option internship is also offered.
Graduates of OTIS Digital Media BFA Program have gone on to establish successful careers at Disney, Pixar Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) (ILM), DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, and many others.
20. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Department of Art, housed in The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences, offers a BFA in Art with an emphasis in Art and Technology. 3D modeling and animation, art games, sound, digital imaging, moving images, and emerging forms are just a few areas students will explore. Course highlights include Computer Animation, New Media Robotics, Internet Art, Moving Image Art, and 3D Modeling.
Graduates of the Animation BFA Program at OSU have gone on to become Animators, Human-Computer Interaction Designers, Game Designers, Motion Graphics Designers, Mixed Reality Designers. User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX) Designers, Virtual Reality Designers, Multimedia Designers, Art Directors, Interaction Designers, Freelance Artists, College Professors, and many others.
21. San Jose State University, San Jose, California
San Jose State University (SJSU) houses the College of Humanities and the Arts, home to the Department of Design, which offers a BFA, specializing in Animation and Illustration (A/I).
San Jose State University’s BFA in A/I is a professional degree that covers 3D and traditional animation. Students in this program may specialize in Animation or Visual Development through upper-division coursework. Specializations are 21 credit hours. Students in both areas must pass a milestone portfolio review and complete a six-unit capstone—Senior Seminar Animation/Illustration.
Graduates of the Animation Program at SJSU have been hired at more than 135 studios and colleges. Just a few include Animation Mentor, Cogswell Institute, Sony/Columbia, Blizzard Entertainment, Disney Interactive, Cartoon Network, Lucasfilm Animation, NBCUniversal Studios, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Zynga, and 20th Century Fox.
22. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
The Animation Department at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) offers a BFA in Animation that requires 24 credit hours of study in the major. Course highlights include Drawing: Tradition & Innovation, Art Matters, Advanced Stop-Motion, 2D Character, and 3D Character Animation, and Professional Practice for Animators. Students in the program must complete a project course and Animation Senior Thesis I and II.
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 by MTV, DreamWorks, Laika, Disney, and other major networks and studios. Many MICA graduates have also entered graduate programs or established successful careers as independent artists in the animation industry.
23. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago (Columbia College or Columbia) houses the Interactive Arts and Media Department, which offers a BFA in Computer Animation that provides the opportunity to begin animating in the very first year of the program.
Columbia College Animation students may take courses such as Advanced Topics in Animation, Cinematics for Games, Alternative Strategies in Animation, Animation Layout, CVFX: Compositing, Stop-Motion Animation, Cartooning, Character Design and Modeling, The Business of Animated Content, and Animation Studios in LA, to name a few.
Animation Studios in LA is a one credit course that provides the opportunity for students to explore career opportunities at major Hollywood animation studios. Events include tours, portfolio reviews, and employment screenings. Past participating studios include Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., and Disney.
As a senior, BFA students will produce an animated film as a solo project, serving as producer, editor, and director. Films will be presented at Manifest—Columbia Colleges annual art festival showcasing graduating students work.
Many graduates of the Animation programs at Columbia College Chicago run their own studios, while have gone on to win Oscars and Emmy Awards. Columbia College alumni have worked on films and series such as The Lion King, Robot Chicken, Brave, Frozen, Pocahontas, UP, The Lego Batman Movie, Coco, Finding Dory, and many others.
Columbia graduates can be found at networks and studios such as Cartoon Network, Disney, DreamWorks Studios, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Warner Bros. Animation, Weta Digital, and many others.
24. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California
California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) houses the College of the Arts—one of the universities largest and most popular colleges. Made up of six separate academic units, the College is home to the School of Art, which offers a BFA in Studio Art with an Animation Track.
All School of Art Programs include workshops and presentations led by industry professionals, courses taught by experienced animators and illustrators, access to a range of study abroad experiences, and internship opportunities. Graduate students will have the opportunity to customize the program AND choose a track. Graduates will leave the CSULB Animation Program with a focused body of work.
25. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington
DigiPen Institute of Technology (DigiPen) offers a BFA in Digital Art and Animation designed for professional artists looking to enhance their skills. Competitive and challenging, the program covers traditional media, 2D and 3D digital art, animation production, pipelines, and more. Students will work solo and in teams to create animated projects, games, and/or films.
Coursework for the BFA ranges from foundation courses such as Animation Basics and The Language of Drawing to advanced courses such as Conceptual Illustration and Visual Development, Cinematic Production, and Scripting and Programming. BFA students will complete a career preparation course and several projects.
The BFA in Digital Art and Animation is available at the main campus in Redmond and at the school’s international branch campuses—DigiPen Europe-Bilbao and DigiPen Singapore.
Graduates of the Digital Art Programs at DigiPen are prepared to compete for positions such as Animator, Character Artist, 3D Modeler, Simulation and Effects Animator, Producer, Art Director, Environmental/Asset Artist, UI Designer, Concept Artist, and many others. To date, more than 600 companies worldwide have hired DigiPen Institute of Technology graduates.
DigiPen alumni have landed position at major studios and companies such as Apple, Amazon Game Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Google, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Zynga, Meta (formerly Facebook), DreamWorks Interactive, Sony Online Entertainment, Riot Games, ArenaNet, Disney Online, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, and many others.
26. California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California
The College of Arts at California State University, Fullerton (Cal State Fullerton) houses the Visual Arts Department, which offers a BFA in Art with an Entertainment Art/Animation Concentration. Students in this 132-unit program may select an option (A, B or C), which allows them to take a set of specific courses based on their interests.
Course highlights include Cartooning and Caricature, Visual Development and Background Painting, Special Studies in Entertainment Art/Animation, 3D Animation, and Elements of Sequential Art. Other courses include Animation Preproduction, Animation Production, Animal and Wildlife Drawing, and Writing in the Visual Arts.
BFA program highlights include a partnership with Nickelodeon Studios, Group Projects, Independent Research, internship opportunities at major studios, and the BFA Capstone.
Cal State Fullerton alumni have worked on The Simpsons, SpongeBob Squarepants, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Superman Returns, Avatar, Ice Age 2, Spiderman 3, and many other productions. BFA program graduates also work in positions at Nickelodeon, Lucasfilm, Sony Games, Cartoon Network, Disney Feature Animation, Disney TV Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Electronic Arts, to name a few.
27. Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, California
Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) offers BFA degrees in Animation and Experimental Animation. The largest program at LCAD, the Animation BFA provides instruction and hands-on training in creating animated characters, filmmaking (editing, directing, screenwriting, sound design), pitching stories, and working in teams. The program consists of a combination of liberal arts and studio courses. Examples of liberal arts courses include Age of Michelangelo, Illuminating Women: Female Artists, Scientists, Poets, and Philosophers of the Renaissance, Worldly + Otherworldly Creatures, Traditional Arts of West Africa, and the Science of Sight.
Studio requirements include Digital Skills, CG Modeling, Directing for Animators, Visual Development, and Figure Drawing for Animators, to name a few. BFA students will also complete the Animation Practicum, Senior Capstone, and three Thesis Film courses.
The Experimental Animation BFA at Laguna College of Art and Design is led by experienced instructors who are active in the television, film, games, and internet animation industries. With class sizes limited to 18 students, the program emphasizes learning by doing. This means, students will complete several projects throughout the program. During the final years of the BFA in Experimental Animation program, students may specialize in one or more areas such as Storyboarding, Internet Series Projects, and Show Design.
Graduates of the LCAD BFA in Animation and Experimental Animation programs are often hired by major players in the television, film, games, and animation industries. Examples include Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Obsidian Entertainment, Pixar, The Jim Henson Company, Sony, South Park Studios, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney, Laika, DreamWorks, Fox, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and Titmouse.
28. Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio
Recognized as a Center of Excellence by Toon Boom, Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) has an Animation program that has been existence since 1987. Leading to a BFA in Animation or a Minor, the program provides unlimited access to CCAD’s Cloyd Family Animation Center, which houses state-of-the-art stop-motion, virtual reality drawing, computer and teaching labs as well as flex spaces, a student lounge, and the Animation Student Collective.
Animation students may add a concentration or minor to the program. Concentration options include Experimental or Game Animation, Illustration/Entertainment, Design/Drawing, Illustration/Entertainment, Design/Modeling or Illustration/Illustrative Design. Minor options include Animation 2D or 3D, Comics & Narrative Practice, Film & Video, Illustration, Advertising & Graphic Design, Creative Writing, Photography, Fine Art, and more. Concentrations require nine hours of credit hours of coursework and minors require 15 credit hours.
Because Columbus College of Art & Design offers so many concentration and minor options, students interested in becoming animators/live action filmmakers or animators/visual effects artists can enroll in the BFA in Film & Video Program and add a concentration or minor in animation.
Consisting of 120 total credit hours of study, the CCAD BFA in Animation is divided into 60 credit hours of program requirements, 40 in core liberal arts, and 18 in core studio. Visual Literacy, Historical Art & Design, Writing & the Arts, Visual & Narrative Storyboard, 3D Animation Modeling & Surfacing, Café Sketch, Animation Lab Pipeline, 3D Character Animation Simulation, and Animation Lab Production are a just a few course titles for the program.
Animation BFA alumni hold positions such as Animator, Character Animator, AR/VR Designer, Motion Designer, Game Artist, and Motion Designer. Many CCAD BFA program graduates go on to enroll in some of the nation’s top MFA programs. Recent employers include Electronic Arts, Cartoon Network, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Laika, Proctor & Gamble, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Phosphor Games, Pixar, Riot Games, Sony Pictures Animation, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
29. Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) offers a BFA in Animation with two tracks: 2D and 3D Animation. Both tracks require 12 credit hours of study within the 120 credit hours required to graduate. Students may focus in other areas through the programs 26 required studio electives. Course examples include 3D Rendering, Experimental Animation, Introduction to Filmmaking, Stop-Motion Animation, and Professional Practice.
BFA students may complete an internship and/or study abroad in places such as Italy, the UK, Germany, and Japan. Students have interned at Nickelodeon, MTV, Walker Art Center, Massachusetts Museum of Art, and more.
Potential careers for MCAD Animation graduates include Background Animator, Character Developer, 3D Modeler/Animator, Pixel Artist, Special-Effects Animator, Storyboard Artist, Inker/Opaquer/Checker, Producer, Project Manager, Film Editor, Stop-Motion Animator, and Writer, among others.
30. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
The Entertainment Arts Program at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) offers an Animation Concentration within the BFA in Entertainment Art Program. One of the largest offerings at CCS, Entertainment Arts also offers concentrations in Digital Film, Concept Design, and Game Design. All concentration areas are STEM-designated.
Entertainment Art/Animation students may customize the curriculum by taking coursework from all concentration areas. Internships are strongly encouraged, and students are required to complete Writing Workshop and Senior Production Studio courses. Other course highlights include 3D Computer Graphics, Advanced Rendering Techniques, 2D Digital Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Gesture Drawing, Computer Character Animation, Experimental Animation, and Stop Motion.
Graduates of the CCS BFA Animation Program hold positions from Animator and Director to Rigger and VFX Artist. Companies that have hired College for Creative Studies graduates include ABC Television Group, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Disney, to name a few.
31. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
The College of Motion Picture Arts at Florida State University (FSU) offers a BFA in Animation and Digital Arts. Students spend their first year of the program completing general education requirements. For the remaining years of the program, students will immerse in 91 credit hours of study in the major.
Course highlights include Reality & Illusion in World Cinema, Motion Picture Editing, Story Development and Screenwriting, History & Practice of Visual Effects and Animation, Filmmaking, Lighting, Texturing and Rendering, and Professional Development. The FSU College of Motion Picture offers nearly 30 electives for the BFA program, allowing students to pursue a variety or interests. Examples include Documentary Filmmaking, Visual Effects, Screenwriting, Marketing and Exhibition, and Film Business.
Other program highlights include the opportunity to complete four major films, including the thesis film, small class sizes of no more than 15 student, and the chance to complete a professional internship. All FSU College of Motion Picture students may participate in the Torchlight Program, which provides instruction in the financing, marketing, and distribution of films.
Florida State University BFA graduates are prepared to seek positions in the film, television, and animation industries. Potential job titles include Animator, Effects Animator, Visual Effects Artist, CG Lighter, Animation Supervisor, Modeler, Animatics Supervisor, Rigger, and Storyboard Artist, to name a few.
32. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
Parsons School of Design is one of the seven colleges and schools of The New School Parsons (The New School). The school offers a STEM-designated BFA in Design and Technology that focuses on interaction, storytelling, and emerging art and design practices. Specializations include Creative Technology and Game Design.
Graduates of the Design and Technology BFA Program are prepared for success in a wide range of positions in 2D and 3D animation, film and television/digital filmmaking, media art, advertising, game design, VR/AR, UI/UX, graphic arts, interaction design, software design, mobile and application design, web design, and more.
33. Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Denver, Colorado
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) has an animation program that enrolls more than 100 students. Degree options include BFAs in 2D and 3D Animation. The 2D Animation BFA is for students interested in traditional animation, while the 3D BFA emphasizes computer animation.
Students in both programs will take courses in the areas of 2D and 3D drawing, modeling, character design, storyboarding, and stop motion. While the RMCAD Animation BFAs are offered on-campus and online, campus-based students are required to take part in online education to experience learning in a virtual environment.
RMCAD Animation graduates will leave the program with a professional portfolio of their work. Alumni can be found at major studios such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Pixar.
34. University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The School of Film at University of the Arts (UArts) encourages collaboration between schools, so animation students may also study acting, design, photography, and other disciplines. The BFA degrees in Animation and Film & Animation offer three emphasis areas: Traditional 2-D Drawn/Digital Animation, 3-D Computer Animation, and Stop-Motion or Experimental Animation.
Students in all emphasis areas 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 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 work in a wide range of positions. Examples include Character Animator, Effects Animator, Computer Animator, Scientific Animator, Forensics Animator, Clay/Puppet Animator, Director, Background Artist, Storyboard Artist, and Art Director.
Local companies that have hired UArts graduates include unPOP, Alkemy X, and Center City Film & Video. UArts alumni Also work at major studios and networks such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Netflix, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Google, and HBO.
35. University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado
The College of Arts & Media (CAM) at University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) houses the school’s Film and Television, Media Forensics, Music and Visual Arts programs. Within CAM is the Department of Visual Arts (VA) and the Digital Animation Center (DAC). Together, the VA and DAC offer a BFA in Visual Arts with an Emphasis in 3D Graphics and Animation.
This 120 credit hour program provides coursework and training that prepares students to work in film and animation, as well as science and medicine. Course examples include Dynamic Simulation, Environment Production, Surface Modeling, Character FX, Intro to Film, Character Creation, and Reproduction Look Development.
In the junior year of the program, students will begin an 18-month Capstone experience—the Senior Film. In collaboration with departments across CAM, animation students will work in all areas to create this final project. They will create sound, effects, storylines, soundtracks, motion graphics, and more. Students may also participate in the internship program during the final years of the BFA program.
Graduates of the CU Denver BFA in Visual Arts-3D Graphics and Animation, have produced films that have been screened in more than 300 film festivals in 22 countries. Graduates have also won more than 75 Best Animated Short awards in non-student categories.
University of Colorado Denver animation alumni are employed by major studios such as Pixar, Sony, and LucasArts, to name a few.
36. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri
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).
37. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Arizona State University (ASU) houses the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, home of the School of Art, which offers a BFA in Art with a Concentration in Animation that consists of 120 credit hours of study.
Elective options allow students to gain experience in other areas such as game engine development, photography, or visual effects. Other program highlights include internship opportunities and the Animation Capstone, which leads to an independent short film, or a full-length film produced as a team.
Graduates of the Arizona State University Herberger Art programs work in animation and film, games and game development, cinema and television, AR/VR, illustration, robotics, medical illustration, scientific and data visualization, fine arts and many other areas. ASU alumni are Animators, Creative Directors, Graphic Artists, Multimedia Designers, and Art Directors, among others.
38. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) offers a BFA in Animation that allows students to declare a focus area during their junior year. Also during the third year of the program, CIA BFA Animation students will work on a number of projects—in teams and solo. Courses for the program are taught by experienced instructors who have worked for DreamWorks, Walt Disney Feature and Sony Animation, Illumination, and Warner Bros., among others.
Just a few required courses include Experimental Animation, Advanced 3D Animation, Narrative Production, Animation Portfolio Reel + Shorts, 3D Modeling for Concept Vehicles, and Community Projects: Animation Production (EP). In this course, students will work together to animate and produce works for both individual clients and businesses.
In the senior year of the CIA BFA in Animation, students will work on a thesis project. Through the Animation Portfolio Reel + Shorts course, students will develop and present a portfolio and demo reel in their chosen focus area. Both pieces are expected to be industry-ready.
Graduates of the Animation BFA Program at Cleveland Institute of Art have worked on feature films, television series, and games. Some go on to work in the medical, sports, and communications industries, among others. Job titles range from Animator and 3D Character Animator to Game Designer and Independent Filmmaker.
39. Chapman University, Orange, California
The Dodge College of Film & Media Arts at Chapman University (Chapman) offers a BFA in Animation and Visual Effects (VFX) that allows students to focus in Animation OR VFX. Program highlights include opportunities to work with industry software and tools such as Xsens MVN Animate, Autodesk Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, and 3ds Max, and access to the Digital Media Arts center (DMAC)—a digital arts studio and lounge inspired by studios such as Disney and Pixar.
All students are eligible to apply for internship opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment, Disney, and Blur, among others. Students may also participate in student clubs and organizations such as Chapman Animation and Visual Effects Club, The Collective or Virtual Reality/AR Club. Chapman University also has an active study abroad program that provides opportunities to work in entertainment studios around the world.
Graduates of the Animation and Visual Effects Program at Chapman University are prepared for careers in the animation, film and gaming industries. Job titles for graduates may include Animator, Production Designer, Modeler, Texture Painter, Visual Effects Artist or Supervisor, Rigger, and Compositor, among others.
40. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The School of Design & Production and the School of Filmmaking at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) offers a BFA in Animation requires 121 credit hours of study. The first year consists of liberal arts and foundations courses in filmmaking. At the end of the first year, students will complete a portfolio for entry into the Animation Program.
The Animation BFA emphasizes drawing, character design, lighting, props, and storytelling. Third year students will complete a three-minute animation project and begin working on the final fourth-year project. The final project is a five minute film that will serve as the BFA Thesis.
During the junior or senior years, students may complete an internship or independent study as well as upper level elective courses to enhance the degree. UNCSA Animation BFA students have interned at major studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks and Stargate Studios.
Graduates of the Animation BFA Program at UNCSA have worked with Cartoon Network and Prologue Pictures, among others.
41. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
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 amination, 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.
42. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
The College of Arts and Sciences at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) houses the School of Art, which is one of the largest and oldest state art schools in Ohio. Divisions housed in the 75 year-old School of Art include Graphic Design, Digital Arts, Art History, Studio, and Art Education. School of Art highlights include study abroad opportunities and internship opportunities with local studios and national studios such as Pixar and Disney Animation.
The Division of Digital Arts in the BGSU School of Art offers a BFA in Digital Arts. Students may specialize in one or more areas of focus areas. Options include Animation, Gaming & Virtual Environments, or Interdisciplinary. The Division of Digital Arts offers courses such as Interactive Media, 3D Modeling and Animation, Imaging, and Video Art. Courses are also offered in the areas of special effects, rigging, simulations, and more.
BFA students will complete a thesis project. Options for the project include an animated short, art installation or computer game, to name a few. The Digital Arts faculty will select projects to be screened or displayed at the BGSU BFA Exhibition and Film Festival.
Graduates of the Bowling Green State University Digital Arts Program are routinely hired by major animation and game studios such as DreamWorks Animation, Epic Games, and Blizzard.
43. Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
The School of the Arts at Emerson College (Emerson) houses the Department of Visual & Media Arts (VMA), which offers a BFA in Media Arts Production that allows students to design and develop a focus area through a variety of course offerings.
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. 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 artists can work in multiple areas of new media such as 3D modeling and animation, artistic anatomy & 2D animation, rigging and animation, VR/AR, character design, game design, and more.
Graduates of the Department of VMA at Emerson have been hired to work in a variety of roles at Digital Domain, Worldwide Pants, MGM Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and Bunim-Murray Productions, to name a few.
44. Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Edinboro University’s (EU) Department of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Housed in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Department offers a BFA in Animation. Program highlights include the CTNX Animation Expo, which allows students to explore studios such as Disney, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal, internship opportunities with regional and national studios, industry guest speakers, and participation in the EU Art Department’s Animation Club.
Another component of the Animation BFA Program at Edinboro University is the study abroad program. Department of Art student have the opportunity to spend one or two weeks exploring art and design in places such as Amsterdam, Paris, Athens, and London.
Graduates of the Edinboro University Animation BFA Program have been hired at South Park Studios, Nickelodeon, Blizzard Entertainment, WetaFX, Disney, and Pixar Animation Studios, among others.
EU Alumni film credits include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Night at the Museum, Zootopia, and Frozen, to name a few.
45. Woodbury University, Burbank, California
The School of Media, Culture & Design at Woodbury University (Woodbury) is home to the Animation BFA Program. This interdisciplinary degree allows students to study in other areas in the School of Media, Culture & Design, such as Game Art & Design, Filmmaking, or Graphic Design. Elective coursework provides opportunities to explore visual effects, puppetry, and digital painting.
Another program highlight is the required internship. Students have interned at major studios such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Animation, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon, among others.
The Animation BFA at Woodbury is a professional degree that requires the completion of a thesis. Students will complete this final project across four courses during the junior and senior years of the program.
Woodbury Animation BFA graduates have been hired at Netflix Animation, DreamWorks, 20th Century Studios, The Walt Disney Company, and ABC Television Network, among others.
46. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The College of Art & Design at Louisiana State University (LSU) houses the School of Art, which offers a BFA in Studio Art with a Digital Art Concentration. The program provides instruction and training in Animation, 3D Modeling, Visual Effects (VFX), Games, and Experimental New Media Art. Course examples include Virtual Space and Motion, Two-Dimensional Design, Moving Image, Creative Coding, Digital Art, and Three-Dimensional Design.
To enhance the BFA degree, students may add any Minor from the LSU School of Art Digital Media Arts & Engineering (DMAE) Program or the Screen Arts Program.
School of Art BFA students have access to the Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research (AVATAR) Initiative and they may join the Digital Art and Design Association (DADA), which hosts the Annual Animation Jam.
47. University of South Florida, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
The College of the Arts at the University of South Florida (USF) houses the School of Art & Art History, which offers a BFA in Studio Art. The program allows students to focus their studies in Animation & Digital Modeling.
Studio Art students will explore 2D and 3D animation, digital imaging, video, games, film, fine art, and virtual 3D production. Course highlights across pathways include Video, Animation, & Digital Arts (VADA) and Advanced VADA, Digital Modeling, Computer Animation, 3D Animation, Graduate Seminar, and Professional Practices.
USF BFA students will complete a senior thesis along with an internship and/or a study abroad experience, while graduate students will complete an MFA research project. BA students have the following options totaling two credit hours: Extended Studies, Artists Internships/Apprenticeships, The Paris or London Middlesex Program, Public Art, Museum Internships, or Community Art.
Students in all USF Studio Art Programs may explore courses in other disciplines within the School of Art & Art History. Graduates of the USF School of Art & Art History go on to establish careers in animation, television and film, advertising, art, education, science, medicine, games and more.
48. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) houses the School of Art & Art History, which offers BFA degrees in Moving Image and New Media Arts. Both programs provide opportunities to study animation.
The BFA in Moving Image Program explores experimental and documentary filmmaking. Emphasis is placed on production coursework, independent study, and seminars in Digital Animation and Film & Video. Students will complete at least 129 credit hours of study, with 61 credits in the major and up to a dozen credit hours of electives. Course examples include 3D Space: Animation, Introduction to Filmmaking, Introduction to Creative Coding in New Media Arts, and Topics in Drawing. Advanced Critique and the BFA Thesis Project are also part of the program.
The UIC BFA in New Media Arts is interdisciplinary, allowing students to focus in areas such as animation. The curriculum for the program covers 3D Animation, Physical Computing, and Mobile Application Design, to name a few. Course examples include Topics in New Media Arts: Intermediate Game Play, 3D Space: Animation, Creative Coding, and Information Aesthetics.
49. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University (SU) houses the College of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA), home to the Department of Film and Media Art, which offers a BFA in Computer Art and Animation.
A major component of the Computer Art and Animation BFA Program is the opportunity to observe the production processes at studios such as 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).
Graduates of the program have been hired at Filmworks/FX, as well as Cartoon Network, Tippett Studio, Pixar, and Sony Pictures Imageworks.
50. School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (SMFA Tufts) offers a BFA program that allows students to customize a focus in one or more mediums. Examples include Animation, Film and Video, Digital Media, Graphic Arts, and/or Virtual Reality.
Sample animation courses include Animation Basics, Animation Integration, Drawing for Animation, Animation 2, Stop-Motion Animation, and Moving Image. Coursework for the program is complemented by visiting artist lectures, screenings, projects, and demos.
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.