2018
Top 50 Animation Schools and Colleges with BFA Programs - 2018 Rankings
RankingSchoolState
1California Institute of the ArtsCalifornia
2Ringling College of Art and DesignFlorida
3School of Visual ArtsNew York
4University of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia
5Pratt InstituteNew York
6Rhode Island School of DesignRhode Island
7Savannah College of Art and DesignGeorgia
8Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvania
9Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
10School of the Art Institute of ChicagoIllinois
11The Ohio State UniversityOhio
12Brigham Young UniversityUtah
13DePaul UniversityIllinois
14New York UniversityNew York
15Otis College of Art and DesignCalifornia
15Gnomon School of Visual EffectsCalifornia
16University of Central FloridaFlorida
17The New School's Parsons School of DesignNew York
18Columbus College of Art and DesignOhio
19Massachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts
20Minneapolis College of Art and DesignMinnesota
21Columbia College ChicagoIllinois
22Academy of Art UniversityCalifornia
23San Jose State UniversityCalifornia
24Bowling Green State UniversityOhio
25The University of the ArtsPennsylvania
26Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland
27California College of the ArtsCalifornia
28California State University-Long BeachCalifornia
29College for Creative StudiesMichigan
30Digipen Institute of TechnologyWashington
31Chapman UniversityCalifornia
32Syracuse UniversityNew York
33Florida State UniversityFlorida
34Edinboro UniversityPennsylvania
35Cleveland Institute of ArtOhio
36University of WashingtonWashington
37Kendall College of Art and DesignMichigan
38Emerson CollegeMassachusetts
39Woodbury UniversityCalifornia
40Northeastern UniversityMassachusetts
41Laguna College of Art and DesignCalifornia
42Kansas City Art InstituteMissouri
43Ball State UniversityIndiana
44Rocky Mountain College of Art and DesignColorado
45Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia
46University of Wisconsin, Stout Wisconsin
47University of Colorado Colorado
48Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginia
49New York Institute of TechnologyNew York
50Louisiana State UniversityLouisiana

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 Schools and Colleges with BFA Programs for 2018.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
California Institute of the Arts

In 1961, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) became the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. Established by Walt and Roy Disney, the school is home to more than 1,400 students enrolled in more than 70 programs across six schools including the School of Critical Studies, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, the School of Art, the School of Film/Video, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and the School of Theater. The School of Film/Video is the largest school at CalArts, accounting for nearly 30% of the student population, and it offers BFA degrees in Character Animation and Experimental Animation.

The BFA Program in Character Animation is designed for students who seek an understanding of the art of character performance and storytelling in animation. The Experimental Animation Program offers a framework in which students explore, develop and refine intellectually demanding, aesthetically progressive concepts and professional practices in their personal cinematic art-making. Sample courses include BFA Animation Workshop, Motion and Meaning, Hybrid Imaging, Production, and Sound Image.

Crowned the “Harvard Business School of Animation” by the Los Angeles Times, CalArts has produced hundreds of successful alumni who have generated billions at the box office worldwide. The school lists Tim Burton, Mark Andrews (director and screenwriter of Pixar’s Oscar winning animated feature Brave), Eric Darnell (co-director of Antz, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, and Mark Osborne (director of Kung Fu Panda) among its most famous alumni.

2. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design

Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) was established in 1931 by circus baron, art collector, and real estate developer John Ringling. The school opened with just 75 students and 111 course offerings. Today, RCAD is home to 1,400 students, offering BFA degrees in eleven disciplines and BA degrees in two. Just a few majors include Computer Animation, Film, Game Art, Motion Design, and Visual Studies.

Established in 1990, the BFA in Computer Animation is one of the most popular programs at RCAD, accounting for around 20% of the student population. The program allows students to do it all. Students learn to create characters and tell their stories, as well as design, paint, model, texture, animate, light, composite, and edit original films. The program also focuses on teaching students how to combine essential technical skills with conceptually original ideas that affect an audience emotionally, visually, and intellectually.

A BFA in Motion Design is also available. This program allows students to study animation, concept design, storyboard art, videography, composition, sound design, and art direction. Students in the program have the opportunity to work across many different fields with students of other majors and with actual, professional clients.

RCAD graduates have worked on every Oscar-winning animated feature since 2003, with 14 alumni working on 2016 Oscar winner, Inside Out and 21 working on 2017 Oscar winner Zootopia.  Graduates have also gone on to work at Blue Sky Studios, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Walt Disney Animation, and many others.

3. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York
School of Visual Arts

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) was founded in 1947 as Cartoonists and Illustrators School. The school is home to more than 6,000 students enrolled in over 30 programs. Offerings for aspiring animators include a BFA degree in Animation and a BFA in Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects. A BFA in Cartooning is also available.

With an array of courses to choose from, students learn the basics, work on character development, hone their drawing skills, explore stop-motion animation and create their own shorts. Students can fine-tune their stories in creative workshops, sketch characters and backgrounds, and refine their animation skills on the latest software in the animation labs.

Animation students also have opportunities to intern or work part-time at alumni-owned studios such as Titmouse, Augenblick Studios, and Plympton, as well as with numerous independent animation studios in New York.  SVA animation graduates have gone on to work at major studios such as Blue Sky Studios, Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Lucasfilm Animation, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Bros. Animation, and independent animation studios across the globe.

4. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California

Established in 1880, University of Southern California (USC) is home to 45,500 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate programs, 300-plus graduate programs, and more than 150 minors. The John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts (Hench DADA) of the School of Cinematic Arts (USC Cinematic Arts) offers a BFA in Cinematic Arts, Film & Television Production with Animation and Interactive Media electives offered through the Division of Film and Television Production, USC Cinematic Arts.

Sample courses include 3D Computer Animation, History of Animation, Animation Theory and Techniques, Writing for Animation, Motion Picture Production Techniques, Film Graphics Animation, Character Performance Animation, and The World of Visual Effects.

Graduates of the animation programs at USC Cinematic Arts have landed positions at DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Pixar, Rhythm and Hues, Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Idea, Illumination Entertainment, Digital Domain and many others.

5. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Pratt Institute

Founded in 1887, Pratt institute is home to 4,600 students enrolled in 22 undergraduate degree programs, 26 graduate degree programs, and a variety of Certificate and Minor programs across five schools and The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. The Pratt Institute School of Art offers a BFA in Digital Arts and Animation with an Emphasis in Digital Animation and Motion Arts or Interactive Arts. Concentrations include 2-D Animation, 3-D Animation and Motion Arts, and Interactive Arts.

Animation students have the opportunity to create narrative and non-narrative films using 2-D and 3-D digital animation techniques, live action and motion graphics. Electives include Storyboarding and Storytelling, Lighting and Rendering, Motion Dynamics, Compositing and Special Effects, Character Design, Character Animation, Matte Painting, and more.

School of Art alumni have landed positions at major studios such as Blue Sky, Digital Domain, Cartoon Network Studios, DreamWorks Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Rhythm and Hues, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Curious Pictures, Gameloft, Sony Imageworks, and many others.

6. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is home to 2,480 students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This private school of art offers 16 undergraduate and 16 graduate art and design programs, with Film/Animation/Video, Illustration, Graphic Design, Painting, and Industrial Design leading the pack. The school’s popular Film/Animation/Video Department (FAV) offers a BFA in in FAV.

Students in the program explore the art of the moving image, learning to master the tools needed to articulate a creative vision, whether using film, animation, installations, interactive media or a combination. Sample courses include Computer Generated Imagery 3D, Directing, Computer Animation: Integrated Techniques, Digital Effects and Compositing for the Screen, Intermediate Studio: Animation, Live Action, and Open Media, Stop-Motion Animation, Electronic Moving images, Sound for Screen, Procedural Programming for Artists, Writing for the Screen, and Time, Light and Sound.

Famous RISD alumni include Seth Macfarlane, creator of Family Guy, Daniel Sousa, animator and director of the Oscar-nominated film Feral, and Lance Wilder, animator for The Simpsons. Other RISD alumni work as entrepreneurs or creative professionals through studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks or Harmonix, or for networks like Fox, HBO and PBS.

7. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was founded in 1978. With campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France, SCAD is home to nearly 13,000 students from nearly 50 states and 115 countries. The school offers more than 40 majors and 60-plus minors, including animation, one of the school’s top majors. The BFA in Animation is offered at the Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Savannah campuses.  

Students in the program can expect to take courses such as Drawing: Form and Space, Action Analysis, Concept Development for Animation, 2D and 3D Animation Production, Digital Form, Space and Lighting, Concept Development for Animation, and 3D Character Setup and Animation. The 180 credit hour program allows students to take an additional 10 hours of free electives.

Graduates of SCAD’s animation programs have landed positions at major studios such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Digital Domain, and Bento Box Entertainment.

8. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University

Founded in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is home to nearly 14,000 students representing 109 countries. The school has more than 100 programs across seven colleges. The College of Fine Art, School of Art offers a BFA in Electronic and Time-Based Media with a Focus in Animation and a BFA in Integrative Design, Arts & Technology (IDeATe) with a Concentration in Animation & Special Effects. The Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network connects students and faculty from across the university through coursework and collaborative studio experiences. It allows students from every college to take minors or concentrations in Animation & Special Effects, Game Design, and more.

In addition to the programs listed, the School of Art offers supportive courses that serve to enrich the student experience in IDeATe. Offerings include Advanced ETB: 2D Animation, Advanced ETB: Animation, Advanced ETB: Moving Image Magic: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, and Animation, Art, and Technology.

9. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was founded in 1885 as Mechanics Institute. When it opened, the school offered mechanical drawing, which eventually attracted more than 400 students. Today, RIT is home to nearly 19,000 students majoring in everything from Art and Design to Urban Community Studies. RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) is home to the nation’s first PhD in Imaging Science and the School of Film and Animation (SOFA). SOFA offers a BFA Film and Animation.

Students in the program begin shooting their first film the first week of school. Over the course of four years, they will produce, from idea generation to script to final export, at least three short films in their chosen medium culminating in a yearlong thesis production.  Students choose an area of study and work with all technologies and procedures (film, digital and traditional 2D, 3D and stop motion animation) relative to modern filmmaking and storytelling and all genres (fiction, documentary, experimental).

Graduates of RIT’s animation program have found employment at top studios such as Disney Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks, Blue Sky Studios, Nickelodeon, Industrial Light and Magic, and Rhythm and Hues Studios.

10. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Founded in 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is one of the oldest accredited independent schools of art and design in the country. Home to 3,650 students enrolled in more than 25 programs, SAIC offers a BFA in Studio with a Concentration Animation through its Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department (FVNMA).

The program endorses and encourages experimentation, so it is open to many approaches to and understandings of experimental media art. The program is also interdisciplinary, so it crosses a broad spectrum, including cinema, digital video, time-based installation, and new media. Students in the program will develop their art practice in a variety of forms and contexts including the use of high definition video, new media art, experimental 3D animation, hand-drawn animation, and filmmaking.

Students in the FVNMA Department also have access to world-class resources such as the Art Institute of Chicago Museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. Specifics include The Video Data Bank—the leading resource in the United States for videos by and about contemporary artists, The Gene Siskel Film Center—one of the country's premiere screening venues dedicated to promoting alumni, student, and faculty work, and The Donna and Howard Stone Gallery for Film, Video, and New Media in the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing.

11. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University

Established in 1870 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, The Ohio State University offers over 200 majors, minors and specializations from which more than 66,000 students can choose multiple paths to focus on animation in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Paths in animation encourage students to explore courses in 3D modeling, 2D/3D animation, video game production, augmented and virtual reality, digital imaging, digital video, interactive visualization, interactive art, game art and design, Art Games, motion capture, procedural content generation for games, real-time rendering, photogrammetry and more at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students in all programs can work on individually defined or team-based projects.

The Department of Art offers a BFA in Art with an emphasis in Art and Technology. It emphasizes the creation of animation, interactive art and experimental forms in the context of art making. Students utilize state of the art facilities, equipment, and interdisciplinary expertise in the school’s many special labs, including the world class Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD).

12. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Brigham Young University

Founded in 1875 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Brigham Young University (BYU) is home to around 33,500 students enrolled in 178 undergraduate majors, 109 undergraduate minors, 68 master's programs, and 26 doctorate programs across dozens of colleges and departments. The College of Fine Arts and Communications, Department of Design offers a BFA in Animation.

Sample courses include Drawing for Animation, Character Animation in 3D, Gesture Drawing for Animators, Scripting for Animation, 3D Computer Graphics, Visual Development and Character Design, Screenwriting, Storytelling, and 3D Visual Effects.

Students in the program have the opportunity to gain entrance to the BYU Center for Animation (est. 2010), which operates under the direction of three colleges—the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Fine Arts and Communications, and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Accepting just 20-25 students each year through the BFA (or BS program), the BYU Center for Animation is a competitive, highly dynamic, hands-on program structured to provide students with the skill sets necessary for success in the animation, live-action, special effects, and game industries.

The program attracts faculty members from major studios such as Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, and Warner Bros.

13. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
DePaul University

DePaul University (est. 1898) offers 300 programs of study across 10 colleges and schools and two campuses in Chicago. The school serves 22,769 students from across the U.S. and about 70 countries. The DePaul Animation Program in the School of Cinematic Arts, part of the College of Computing and Digital Media, offers a BFA in Animation, with the following concentrations: Game Art, Traditional Animation (hand-drawn and stop motion), 3D Animation, Storyboarding and Character Design, Technical Artist, and Motion Graphics, and a VFX concentration is available within the Film and Television BFA. With thirteen full-time Animation professors, DePaul has one of the largest full-time Animation faculties in the U.S.

DePaul Animation students can apply to participate in the Animation Summer LA Quarter, a ten-week immersion program structured around living in student housing, taking classes on a historic studio lot, and interning at high profile animation studios. The experience teaches students how to navigate the studio system and helps them build a network of professional contacts. Past participants have interned at Warner Brothers, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Studios, Disney, Nickelodeon, The Mill, The Jim Henson Company, Titmouse Animation, Bix Pix Animation, and others.

DePaul University also offers a Game, Cinema and Animation Summer Academy for high school students interested in animation, with tracks in hand-drawn, stop motion, and 3D animation for games.

14. New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York
New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts

Founded in 1965, Tisch School of the Arts is part of New York University (NYU) and it is home to the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. The Institute’s Department of Animation and Digital Arts offers a BFA in Film and Television with an Animation Core in Production.

The Animation area of the Kanbar Institute of Undergraduate Film & Television at NYU Tisch School of the Arts began in 1979. The program had just three classes: Art & Design, Animation I, and Animation II. For the 1980-1981 academic year, the program was home to 80 students enrolled in five classes. In 2013, the program enrolled 461 students. Today, the program serves hundreds of students from 48 states and 39 countries.

The current NYU Tisch Animation curriculum consists of nearly twenty different classes. Sample include Animation Techniques, Animation Production, Experimental Animation, Advanced 3D Animation Production, Action Analysis, Animation: From Pitching to Pipeline Production, 3D Computer Animation, Motion Design and Titles, Stop-Motion Animation, Storyboarding, Visual Effects and Compositing, Life Drawing, and Writing for Animation.

Graduates of the Animation program at Tisch have landed jobs at Pixar, DreamWorks, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and many others.

15. Otis College of Art and Design

Otis College of Art and Design (OTIS) was established in 1918 by founder and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, General Harrison Gray Otis. Home to approximately 1,100 full-time students, OTIS offers 11 BFA degree programs ranging from Digital Media (Animation, Game and Entertainment Design, and Motion Design) to Toy Design. The school also offers MFA degrees in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing, and a variety of minors and certificate programs.

Specific programs for aspiring animators are offered in the Digital Media Department and include a BFA in Digital Media with an Animation Major, a Digital Media Minor, and a Digital Media Arts Certificate with a Specialization Track in Animation. Sample courses for the programs include Storytelling for Digital Artists, 3D Animation, The Visual Language of Film, Games and Design, Creative Action Studio, and Animation Explorations.

Just a few recent employers of Otis graduates include Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, Sony Imageworks, Nickelodeon, Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment, and Blizzard Entertainment.

15. Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Hollywood, California
Gnomon School of Visual Effects

Gnomon School of Visual Effects was established in 1997. The school, which has 600 graduates to date, offers a BFA in Digital Production. Individual animation courses are available and may be “mixed and matched” to suit students’ career goals. Options include Acting for Animators, Introduction to 3D with Maya, Character Sculpture, Color Theory and Light, History and Principles of Animation, History of Visual Effects, Animation and Visual Effects, Character Animation, Modeling, Motion Graphics, Storyboarding, Texturing and Shading, Timing for Animation, Animation for Games, Character Design, Character Modeling and Sculpting, Previsualization and Animatics, Stylized Character Creation, and Creature Animation.

Gnomon graduates have landed positions at some of the world’s top studios. A few include Walt Disney Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, Blizzard Entertainment, Reel FX, Electronic Arts, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Nickelodeon Animation, Rhythm & Hues, and Marvel Entertainment.

16. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
University of Central Florida

Established in 1963 and home to more than 66,000 students across four campuses, the University of Central Florida (UCF) is the nation’s second-largest university. One of the nation’s youngest universities, UCF offers around 230 degree programs across 13 colleges. The College of Arts and Humanities is home to the School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), which offers a BFA in Art with an Emerging Media Track/Character Animation Specialization and an Emerging Media Track/Experimental Animation Specialization.

The Emerging Media Track allows students to integrate the multiple domains of art, storytelling, and technology. It is designed to provide a solid foundation in techniques and theory in one focused area of competence, as well as a broad understanding of related disciplines including arts, humanities, and technology. Sample courses for the program include Digital Media, Computer Art, Animation (Introduction, Intermediate, Advanced, and Workshop), Modeling for Real Time, Look Modeling, Digital Effects Composition, and Geometrical Modeling Workshop.

The UCF BFA program also offers extended experience in working in multidisciplinary teams on realistic problems.

17. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The New School's Parsons School of Design

The New School was founded in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase. Back then, the school was known as The Chase School, and later as New York School of Fine and Applied Art. Today this art and design college is home to nearly 5,500 students enrolled in 130 degree and diploma programs across five schools including the School of Art and Design History and Theory, School of Art Media and Technology, School of Constructed Environments, School of Design Strategies, and the School of Fashion.

The School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) offers a BFA in Design & Technology. Concentrations include Creative Technology and Game Design. Minors in Immersive Storytelling and Comics and Graphic Nature complement the program, and a BFA in Art, Media, and Technology, offered at the Parsons Paris Campus, is also available. Students will explore areas such as Avatar (Studio), Drawing/Imaging, Time: Composition, Design (Studio), and Digital Design.

BFA graduates leave prepared for careers in animation, game design, virtual reality and immersion experience design, motion graphics, film, advertising, software design, hardware engineering, and graphic arts.

18. Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio
Columbus College of Art and Design

Established in 1879, Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) is one of the oldest private art and design colleges in the United States. The school is home to more than 1,300 students enrolled in 12 bachelor’s degree and two master’s degree programs covering a broad range of subjects. Programs for aspiring animators include an Animation BFA with 2D and 3D Tracks or a Concentration in Animation/Experimental or Animation/Game.

Sample courses include Motion Graphics, UX Visualization and Prototyping, Experimental Animation, 2D and 3D Animation Fundamentals, Digital Puppets, Pipeline and Product Fundamentals, 3D Animation Modeling and Surface, 3D Character Animation Simulation, Storyboard Drawing for Animation, Cafe Sketch, Layout and Timing, and Color Scripts for Animation.

BFA students have access to Mac and PC computer labs equipped with industry-standard software, 21-inch Cintiq tablets to create 2D and 3D animation environments, a stop-motion lab equipped with DSLRs and Dragonframe, and The Sandbox Student Lounge, home to the Animation Student Collective. Students also have the opportunity to participate in CCAD’s International Exchange Program, which highlights study at China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China; Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile; Xi’an Fine Arts Academy, Xi’an, China, and Northumbria, Newcastle, England. Students may also study at CCAD-approved programs at Studio Art Centers, Florence, Italy, and University of Arts London, London.

Graduates of the CCAD Animation BFA Program have landed positions at Animal Logic, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Electronic Arts, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, BET, Time Warner, Twentieth Century Fox, and many others. 

19. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) was founded in 1873 as a training institution for aspiring drawing teachers, architects, artists, and designers. Today, the school offers more than 20 undergraduate art programs, nearly a dozen graduate programs, and around seven certificate programs to a population of more than 2,000 students. The Animation Department at MassArt offers a BFA in Animation that gives students the opportunity to engage in a variety of conventional and experimental techniques.

Students in the program study Documentary Animation, Digitally Generated Animation, Character Animation, Stop Motion, Experimental Video, and Emerging Technologies. Other highlights include “Squealing Pegs,” which is an annual screening of recent animated short films, the Animation Senior Showcase, and visiting artists and lectures.

20. Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) was established in 1886. It is home to more than 750 students from 29 states and 12 countries. The school offers more than 20 programs across several departments. The Animation Department offers a BFA in Animation. The program highlights courses such as Stop-Motion Animation, Character Animation, 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, Filmmaking, Storyboard, Sound, and Drawing. A required internship is also part of the program as well as optional study abroad experiences in Japan, Germany, England, Italy, and other places.

MCAD students have interned at Nickelodeon, MTV, Walker Art Center, and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

21. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Columbia College Chicago

Established in 1890, Columbia College is home to just over 7,000 undergraduate students and 285 graduate students from nearly every state and more than 60 countries. The school has over 100 academic majors or programs across several schools and more than 20 departments. Schools include the School of Media Arts, the School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The School of Media Arts is home to the Interactive Arts and Media Department, which offers BFA degrees in Computer Animation and Traditional Animation. A Motion Graphics Minor is also available to complement either degree.  

Computer Animation students have the option to focus in Visual Effects or Computer Animation. Traditional Animation students may focus in either Hand-Drawn or Stop-Motion Animation. Students in both concentrations have the opportunity to either work collaboratively with peers to create a six-minute animated film over two semesters or take any three Animation electives of their choosing. Computer Animation BFA students will collaborate on a team project and develop their own solo short film.

22. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University was established in 1929. The school serves more than 7,200 students enrolled in dozens of Art, Design, Fashion, and Architecture programs. Degrees are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and many programs are available entirely online. The School of Animation and Visual Effects offers a BFA in Animation and Visual Effects that can be completed on campus or online.

Students take classes specializing in one main area of the industry. Emphasis is placed on creating a professional demo reel and/or portfolio in tune with the latest industry trends. Specialization areas include 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, Rigging, Animation Generalist, Animation Producing, Storyboarding, 2D Animation, Puppet Fabrication, Stop Motion Animation, Compositing, Dynamics, Lighting, and Matte Painting. The program educates students in all aspects of animation and visual effects, from ideation to post production.

Graduates of the animation programs at Academy of Art University have landed positions at Blizzard Entertainment, CBS Interactive, Disney Interactive, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm, NBCUniversal, Pixar, and Sony Computer Entertainment America.

23. San Jose State University, San Jose, California
San Jose State University

San Jose State University (SJSU) was founded in 1857 and it is home to more than 32,000 students enrolled in 145 areas of study, with an additional 108 concentrations, across eight colleges. The College of Humanities and the Arts, Department of Design offers a BFA in Animation/Illustration. Students in the program work across the boundaries of computer visualization, animation, digital video, multimedia, electronic sculpture, sound and virtual reality.

Students also have access to CADRE Laboratory (Computers in Art, Design, Research, and Education), which supports its own networking environment and offers opportunities to produce internet-based artworks.

Graduates of this program have worked on films from A Bug’s Life and Finding Nemo to Monsters, Inc. and Shrek. Graduates have also been hired at more than 135 animation studios, game design companies, film studios, and academic institutions. Just a few include 20th Century Fox, Animation Mentor, Blue Sky Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Cartoon Network, Cogswell Institute, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm Animation, NBCUniversal Studios, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Sony/Columbia, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, Disney Animation, and Zynga.

24. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio (top 15% of schools considered)
Bowling Green State University

Founded in 1910, Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is home 19,000 students, including 2,500 at BGSU Firelands in Huron, Ohio. The school offers more than 200 undergraduate majors and programs on the main campus and 22 at BGSU Firelands. The school houses nine colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, home of the School of Art. The School houses the BGSU Digital Arts program, which offers a BFA in Digital Arts.

The BFA program has three Focus Areas including Computer Animation & Video, Imaging, and Interactive Multimedia. The Computer Animation & Video area combines both traditional and 3D animation, with a strong emphasis on 3D animation, as well as video art, motion graphics, special effects, and compositing. Students will create character animations as well as narrative, and non-narrative experimental animations and video art works. They will also master programs such as Maya, Adobe Flash, Dragon Frame, and Adobe Photoshop.

Students in the Digital Arts BFA Program have access to internship opportunities and study abroad experiences in more than 40 countries worldwide.

25. The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The University of the Arts

The University of the Arts (UArts) is the nation’s only comprehensive arts university. Founded in 1876, the school is home to 1,900 students enrolled in 46 undergraduate and graduate programs, and more than 30 minors, through the College of Art, Media & Design, the College of Performing Arts, the Division of Liberal Art, and the Division of Continuing Studies (Grad Programs). The College of Art, Media & Design houses the School of Film, which offers BFA degrees in Animation and Film + Animation.

The Animation program supports traditional hand-drawn, 3D computer, stop motion and many other animation techniques. Students will explore the variety of techniques available to the current animator, hone traditional skills, learn how to tell engaging stories, create memorable characters, and bring their stories to life. Sample courses include Drawing for Animation, Experimental Animation, Screenwriting, Computer Animation, Special Effects Compositing, 2D Computer Character Animation, Puppet/Stop-Motion Animation, and Sound Design,

All animation students have access to international opportunities such as study abroad, festivals, and workshops in countries such as Canada, France, and South Korea.

26. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The school, which is home to nearly 3,500 students from 49 states and 65 countries, offers more than 80 programs leading to the BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available and programs are offered in the areas of fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies.

Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA Studio Concentration – Animation with three paths including Traditional Narrative/2D, Stop-Motion, and 3D Animation. Students begin with a fundamental understanding of the art of movement. They work in 2D hand-drawn animation, 3D computer imaging, stop-motion, and history of animation and innovative combinations of these processes, culminating in a thesis film in their final year.

MICA also offers and a BFA in Animation + Humanistic Studies. In addition to animation studies, students in this degree program will study philosophy and ethics, social and natural sciences, and social and political history. Sample courses for the program include Character Animation, Elements of Visual Thinking, Digital Tools For Animation, Stop Motion, Electronic Media & Culture, Art Matters, and Drawing.

Graduates of MICA animation programs work for companies like Blue Sky Studio, Disney, DreamWorks, Yahoo, Laika, and MTV. Many graduates have continued their education in graduate programs or have successful careers as freelance artists in the field.

27. California College of the Arts, San Francisco and Oakland, California
California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is home to more than 1,500 undergraduates and 455 graduate students enrolled more than 30 degree programs. The Animation Department is home to the third largest major at CCA—the BFA in Animation. Students in the program receive guidance from “the best animators in the industry” from Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and Tippett Studio, among others. Students in the program also receive feedback and visual storytelling advice from actual industry animators and directors of such animated films as Toy Story, Star Wars, and Brave.

Graduates of CCA’s Animation program have landed positions at major studios such as Walt Disney Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Pixar, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, and Cartoon Network, as well as game studios such as Electronic Arts, Phosphor Games, and Vigil Games.

28. California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, California
California State University-Long Beach

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) was established in 1949. One of the 23 campuses of the California State University System, CSULB is home to 37,500 students enrolled in more than 300 programs across eight colleges. The College of the Arts, School of Art, offers a BFA with an Option in Illustration/Animation. Students may choose the Animation or Illustration Track, but they may take courses in both tracks and work with students in both tracks in the digital lab.

Sample courses for the program include Rendering, Anatomy for Artists, Illustration, Animation (Introduction and History), Animation 1 & 2, Storyboarding for Film and Television, Drawing: Figures in Context, Experimental Animation, Character Design, Visual Development, and Writing About Art.

Graduates of the BFA program work in a variety of fields such as film and entertainment (gaming, animation and live action film), advertising, textiles, biomedical illustration, the gift market, educational illustration, architectural illustration, print publications (newspapers, magazines, graphic novels and books) and more. Many alumni also work in visual journalism, in storyboarding for film and television, and in all aspects of editorial art as well as gallery exhibition.

29. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
College for Creative Studies

Founded in 1906, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) is home to more than 1,400 students enrolled in over a dozen degree programs across 14 academic departments. Serving 285 students, Entertainment Arts is the school’s largest department, and it offers a BFA in Entertainment Art with a Concentration in Animation. All Entertainment Art students have the opportunity to customize their curriculum by taking coursework in other concentrations such as Digital Film or Game Design.

Animation introduces students to the art of sequential storytelling and uses stop-motion, material-based and computer-generated (CG) imagery techniques. Game teaches students how to produce 2-D and 3-D images and concepts for video games and Digital Film teaches students to use film as an exploratory and expressive medium through narrative, experimental and documentary forms. Sample courses include Digital Fundamentals, Creative Visualization, Animation, 3D Computer Graphics, 3D Techniques, 2D Design, Modeling & Texturing, Computer Character Animation, and Environments and Characters.

Graduates of the CCS Animation Program have been hired at major studios across the U.S. such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, DreamWorks Animation, and Disney ABC Television Group.

30. Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington
Digipen Institute of Technology

DigiPen Institute of Technology was founded in 1988. It is home to approximately 984 undergraduates and 78 graduate students from all 50 states and close to 50 countries. Ten graduate and undergraduate program options are available in the areas of Art, Design, and Computer Science. The schools BFA in Digital Art and Animation is designed to prepare students to create artwork at the professional level.

 In addition to excellent drawing skills, students will gain production experience, familiarity with modern studio processes, and storytelling abilities. Sample courses include Animation, Human Anatomy, Art and Technology, Storytelling, Storyboards, 2D and 3D Animation, Cinematography, and Conceptual Illustration and Visual Development.

In addition to the Redmond campus, the BFA in Digital Art and Animation is available at the school’s international branch campuses including Digipen Europe-Bilbao and Digipen Singapore. Graduates of Digipen have been hired at companies such as Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, Disney Online, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft.

31. Chapman University, Orange, California
Chapman University

Founded as Hesperian College in 1861, Chapman University is home to approximately 8,305 students from 49 states and more than 60 different countries. Chapman offers more than 100 programs across nine colleges and schools, including the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Dodge College offers a BFA in Digital Arts – Animation and Visual Effects.

The program allows students to develop, design, and produce their own projects and contribute animation or visual effects to fellow students. Students will learn the principles of motion, gesture, composition, color theory, story structure, performance, and sound design as just the first steps into the world of digital arts.

Students also have the opportunity to intern at some of the world’s top studios including Blizzard Entertainment, Cartoon Network, Digital Domain, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Entertainment/Imageworks, and many others.

32. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University

Syracuse University (SU) was founded in 1870. The school serves more than 22,500 students from across the U.S. and 118 countries. The school offers more 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degree programs across 12 colleges and schools and a graduate school. The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), Department of Transmedia offers a BFA in Computer Art and Animation.

The BFA in Computer Art and Animation explores the possibilities of digital media within a fine art, exploratory, and culturally aware setting. The degree program provides instruction in multiple art media where the computer plays the primary role. These media include computer-generated images, 3D computer animation, physical computing, creative computer programming, computer gaming, computer music, and sonic art. Students are mentored to become highly skilled critical thinkers producing art in individual and collaborative contexts.

VPA animation graduates have found employment at major studios such as Pixar, Rhythm and Hues, Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts, Blizzard Entertainment, Tippett Studios, Moving Picture Company, and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Graduates have also presented their work at galleries and media art festivals around the world.

33. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Florida State University

Founded in 1851 and home to 41,900 students, Florida State University (FSU) is one of the largest and oldest of the 11 institutions of higher learning in the State University System of Florida. The school offers more than 275 degree programs across 16 colleges. The College of Motion Picture Arts offers several programs for aspiring animators including a BFA in Motion Picture Arts – Animation and Digital Arts, and The Torchlight Program.

BFA students will begin with Film History, Screenwriting, Directing, Cinematography, CG and Live Action Production, Editing and Sound. Students will then learn the craft of digital filmmaking through 3D Animation, Character Development, Compositing, Modeling, Stop Motion, Texturing, Rendering, and Visual Effects Cinematography.

The Torchlight Program gives FSU animation students who would like to freelance or start their own studios the opportunity to learn about “current and emerging business practices of the motion picture industry.” The program offers coursework in key areas such as Distribution, Marketing, and Motion Picture Financing.

34. Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Edinboro University

Edinboro University was founded in 1857 as the Edinboro Academy. The school is home to 6,550 students enrolled 135 degree programs across five colleges and schools. The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is home to the Art Department which houses Edinboro’s second largest program by enrollment—the BFA in Applied Media Arts with 15 majors and programs. The Applied Media Arts – Cinema program allows students to focus on Traditional Animation, Computer Animation, or Film and Video.

The BFA program offers direct, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology, including professional studio/field film and video cameras, lights and sound recording equipment, non-linear video editing systems, animation rostrum stands, a large green screen area, Screendigital scanners, animation line testers, and both 2D and 3D computer animation work stations. In addition, animation, film and video production internships are available locally, regionally, and nationally.

Graduates of the program have landed careers with Walt Disney Animation, Discovery Channel, Pixar, and A&E Network as animators, writers, filmmakers, directors and producers. Names of alumni can be spotted in the credits for such films as Zootopia, Frozen, Night at the Museum, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

35. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Art

Established in 1882, Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is an independent college of art and design that serves 615 students from around the globe. The school offers 15 majors in Art, Craft, Design, and Interactive Media. Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA in animation that features an integrated curriculum focusing on sequential narrative storytelling, methods of animation, conceptual development, framing and staging, storyboarding, animatics, layers, and motion and figure studies. Students can expect to take courses such as Advanced 3D Animation, Mapping, Digital Lighting, 2D/3D Compositing for Animation, 3D Texture, and Concept Development.

The CIA Animation Program prepares graduates for positions such as Animator, 3D Character Animator, Storyboard Artist, Independent Filmmaker, Concept Artist, and Game Designer.

36. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
University of Washington

Established in 1861, University of Washington (UW) is home to more than 56,000 students across three campuses located in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. The school offers more than 570 degree options across 300+ programs and 16 colleges and schools. The College of Arts and Sciences houses the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, which offers a BFA with a Major in Digital Arts and Experimental Arts (BFA DXARTS).

Students may focus their work in a particular area of experimental arts (computer animation, digital video, digital media art, computer music and sound art, design computing, mechatronics, and so on). Whatever the chosen area, “artists and scholars working at DXARTS engage in teaching, learning, and research within the synergistic, multidisciplinary setting of the center's labs, studios, and classrooms.”

The schools three main labs are engaged in research spanning the areas of animation, computer game science, graphics, vision, and visualization. Labs include the Graphics and Imaging Lab (GRAIL), the Center for Game Science, and the Animation Research Labs. The GRAIL group is known for “groundbreaking” research in computational photography, games for science and education, 3-D reconstruction, Internet photo collections, object recognition, human shape and motion analysis, information visualization, and animation.

Researchers at the Center for Game Science use gaming to solve grand challenges, crowdsource human problem solving to aid scientific discovery, and improve student interest and achievement in mathematics.

The Animation Research Labs is a multi-disciplinary effort that brings together faculty and students from UW CSE, the Department of Architecture, and the Schools of Art, DXARTS, Drama, and Music. The ARL is focused on advancing the state-of-the-art in animation through teaching, research, and computer-animated production in collaboration with experts from Disney Animation Studios, Bungie, Industrial Light & Magic, Microsoft Game Studios, Pixar, and many others.

37. Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Kendall College of Art and Design

Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University (KCAD) was founded in 1928. The school serves more than 1,200 students enrolled in around 24 BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and Certificate programs. KCAD offers a BFA in Digital Art and Design that allows students to work in one of two focus areas including Entertainment Art (animation, digital 3D, visual development for games and animation, and sequential arts like comics and storyboards) and Multimedia Design (interaction design for the web, apps, virtual reality, the internet of things, and video and motion design animation).  

Students in the program will gain knowledge and hands-on experience via high-end equipment and on-campus facilities such as Cintiq Studios and a wide range of cameras, microphones, and lighting equipment, and via access to The Dow Center FlexLab, and KCAD Library. Graduates will leave the program with the skills and experience needed to pursue career paths in areas such as 2D animation, 3D game art, visual development, interaction design, and motion design.

38. Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
Emerson College

Founded in 1880, Emerson College is home to 4,424 students from across the U.S. and more than 57 countries. The school offers more than 50 programs leading to a BA, BS, BFA, MS, MA, or MFA degree. The School of the Arts, Department of Visual & Media Arts offers a BFA in Visual & Media Arts with a Specialization in Animation and Motion Media.

The specialization in Animation and Motion Media focuses on computer animation, film animation, motion graphics, visual effects, and compositing techniques. Students can take a broad range of courses and will produce original work in digital 2D animation, 3D modeling and animation, and frame-by-frame film animation. Students will be more prepared for careers in the movie, gaming, and television industries.

Recent graduates of Emerson’s Department of Visual & Media Arts have found employment at Soup2Nuts, Hallmark Channel, SCG Productions, World Wide Pants, Digital Domain, Fox Searchlight, MAD TV, MGM Studios, Bunim-Murray Productions, and more.

39. Woodbury University, Burbank, California
Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. The school, which serves approximately 1,177 students, has campuses in Los Angeles/Burbank and San Diego. The school also has a Gallery called WUHO Gallery in Hollywood. Woodbury offers 20 undergraduate and graduate majors across four colleges and schools including the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Architecture, the School of Business, and the School of Media, Culture & Design. The School of Media, Culture & Design is home to the Animation BFA Program.

Because Woodbury promotes “cross-disciplinarity,” Animation students may study in other areas such as Game Art & Design, Media Technology, and Filmmaking. Students may also participate in Woodbury’s internship program and the Animation Club, which hosts events, speakers, and exhibitions. Internship opportunities include positions at Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., Chiodo Bros., Bix Pix Entertainment, Blur Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Animation, Renegade Animation, Hasbro Studios, and others.

40. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University

Northeastern University was established in 1898. The school serves more than 30,000 students enrolled in over 150 undergraduate majors and concentrations and more than 125 graduate programs, across nine colleges and schools. The College of Arts, Media and Design houses the Media Arts program, which offers a BFA in Media Arts with a Concentration in Animation.

The BFA is an intensive studio program that consists of courses in imaginative and narrative arts, which are required for professional work in documentary films, game art and promotion, visualization, motion graphics, interactive art, illustration and short animated film. Sample courses include Animation Tools, Interactive Narrative, Character Design for Animation, Animation for Games, Interaction Design, Digital Sculpture and Model Making, 4D Fundamentals: Sequence and Drawing, and American Animation.

Graduates of the program will have the ability to create effective and conceptual directions in ideational development animated films, environmental, character and animated game assets. They will be able to use and apply elements and principles of visual art, non-narrative, and other information/language structures in the creation of animation art and time-based media, and collaborate and communicate effectively within teams to create successful animation projects.

Graduates will have the ability to use concepts and processes for the development, coordination, and completion of animation art, including but not limited to storyboarding, flowcharting, and layout for time based and motion media. They will also have the skills needed to research and comprehend the characteristics and capabilities of methods and technologies used in stop motion, traditional animation, 2D Digital, 3D Digital animation and procedural processes for the creation of game art asset.

41. Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, California
Laguna College of Art and Design

Established in 1961 as the Laguna Beach School of Art, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is home to more than 600 students and it offers twelve undergraduate majors and four graduate degrees. Options for aspiring animators include a BFA in Animation and a BFA in Illustration with an Emphasis in Entertainment. The Animation BFA provides the opportunity for students to participate in master class workshops each summer where they learn from leaders in the field. Each year, LCAD also hosts the LCAD Animation Film Festival that “showcases the best work from all levels of (the schools) animation artists.”

The Animation BFA covers traditional animation, while the Entertainment Design BFA furthers the entertainment emphasis by addressing areas that include 3D, set design, staging, amusement park, ride design, event design, model making and prop design. Entertainment faculty credits Shrek, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Open Season.

LCAD Animation graduates have worked for a number of major and other studios including Cartoon Network, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, Nickelodeon, Obsidian Entertainment, Pixar, Renegade Animation, Sony, South Park Studios, Titmouse, and Zynga.

42. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Art Institute

Established in 1885, Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) trained students such as Walt Disney (who took Saturday Classes as a child), and multimedia artist Robert Rauschenberg. Today, the school serves more than 700 students, enrolled in 13 art and design programs across several departments. The Department of Converging Media houses the school’s animation program, which leads to a BFA.

The Animation BFA highlights intensive instruction in classical, experimental and computer animation. Students in the program work in technologically integrated classrooms and studios to produce a significant personal work. The Department of Converging Media houses Filmmaking, Interactive Arts, and Photography, so animation students also work in an environment that facilitates creativity and cross-disciplinary approaches to image making.

Sequential classes emphasize the creative process by combining aspects of animation principles, concept modeling, production methods, history, theory and technique into each project. Students will gain experience through internship opportunities at major studios such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, Nickelodeon, Hallmark, Bazillion Pictures, Titmouse Inc., and many others.

43. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Ball State University

Established in 1918, Ball State University enrolls around 22,000 students from every state, two U.S. territories, about 55 countries, and every Indiana county. The school has more than 300 programs across 10 colleges. The College of Fine Art, School of Art offers a BFA in Studio Art with an Emphasis in Animation. The program explores 3D animation, stop-motion, and traditional 2D animation. Sample courses include Character Design, Drawing for Animation, Animation Production, 3D Modeling and Rendering, Animation Specialty, Character Design, 3D Animation, and Storyboarding.

Graduates are prepared to seek positions in Film and Television, Video Games, Advertising, Product Visualization, Medical Animation, and Architectural Rendering.

44. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Founded in 1936, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) offers 16 degree and certificate programs to a population of 760 students in campus/hybrid and online programs. More than 100 students are enrolled in the schools Animation Program, which leads to a BFA in Animation with an Emphasis in 2D or 3D Animation. The 2D Animation Program focuses on traditional drawing techniques, while the 3D Animation program focuses on computer animation.

Students in both areas will learn essential techniques and tools while collaborating with talented animators from all varying backgrounds. Sample courses for the program include Drawing (2D) or Advanced Software (3D) Concentrations; Stop Motion, Anatomy and Figure studies; Modeling, Character Design, Virtual Environments, and Storyboarding, and Line of Action. The BFA program takes four years to complete. 

45. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was established in 1838. The school serves just over 31,000 students enrolled in 225 academic programs across 13 schools and one college. The School of the Arts, Department of Kinetic Imaging offers a BFA in Kinetic Imaging. The program prepares students to use video, animation, sound and emerging media for the purpose of art-making, self-expression and experimentation.

Undergraduate classes include Basic Video Editing Techniques, A Historical Overview of Contemporary Media Art, Theory and Production of Media-based Sound, Techniques and Principles of Experimental Animation, 3D Computer Graphics and Animation. The program also highlights individual development of the students’ portfolios and demo reels.

This competitive BFA program has 100 to 110 students, and accepts just 28 to 35 new incoming sophomores each year.

46. University of Wisconsin – Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin – Stout

Established in 1891 as The Stout Manual Training School, University of Wisconsin – Stout (UW-Stout) is a Polytechnic University that serves more than 9,500 students from the U.S. and 47 countries. The school offers 45+ undergraduate majors and 20+ graduate programs across three colleges and six schools. The School of Art And Design offers a BFA in Entertainment Design with Concentrations in Animation, Comics and Sequential Art, and Digital Cinema.

Animation explores two-dimensional, three-dimensional, character and stop-motion animation techniques, while Digital Cinema explores traditional film topics and genres such as editorial, documentary, narrative forms, as well as, commercial and experimental uses of cinema technology for commercials, games, and interactive storytelling.

UW-Stout is one of a few art schools in the country offering a degree in Comics and Sequential Art. The concentration explores the traditional and historic comic book and graphic novel forms, as well as, digital comics, motion comics and interactive comics.

Sample courses for the BFA program include Animation Studio, 3D Modeling and Animation, 3D Game Art and Engines, Digital Cinema Studio, Typography in Motion, Comics and Sequential Art, Video Production, and Graphic Design. The program prepares students to pursue careers in cinematography, animation, and comic art.

47. University of Colorado - Denver, Denver, Colorado
University of Colorado

Established in 1912, the University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) serves around 15,000 students enrolled in more than 115 programs across 13 colleges and schools. The College of Arts & Media is home to the Department of Visual Arts (VA) and the Digital Animation Center (DAC), which offer a BFA in Visual Arts with an Emphasis in 3D Graphics and Animation.

Each year between 28 and 34 students are selected for the program, which consists of courses such as Character Creation, Environment Production, Surface Modeling, VFX Rigging and Animation, and Digital 3D Methods: Motion Graphics for Animators. Students are required to take at least twelve semester hours of Visual Arts electives, to fine tune the emphasis.

To date, DAC student senior short films have been seen in over 230 national and international film festivals in 22 countries. The school says its student films have been seen by hundreds of thousands across the globe, winning more than 50 Best Animated Short awards in non-student categories.

48. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) welcomed its first class in 1872 under the name Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Today, the school is home to approximately 32,304 students enrolled in about 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across nine colleges and a graduate school. The College of Architecture and Urban Studies houses the School of Visual Arts (SOVA), which offers several programs for aspiring animators.

Options include a BFA in Studio Art with heavy coursework in 3D Animation and Modeling, Digital Video and Visual Effects, and Digital Painting. Sample course titles include 3D Computer Animation, Computer Animation Studio, New Media Art, Drawing, and Digital Photography. In addition to animation, graduates of the Studio Art program are prepared to pursue commercial careers in photography, painting, illustration, and sculpture.

49. New York Institute of Technology, New York, New York
New York Institute of Technology

Founded in 1955, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) serves more than 10,000 students, enrolled in 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study. The school, which says the founders of Pixar got their start here, houses seven colleges and schools. The College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Digital Art & Design, offers a BFA in Digital Arts.

The 125-credit program provides a “rich” foundation in computer animation and digital arts production. Students engage in coursework and collaborations that will help them hone their creative, design, and technical talents. The program also highlights internships, real world projects, site visits, and professional guidance and preparation. Sample courses include 3D Modeling and Animation, Computer Graphics, Drawing, 2D and 3D Design, Color Theory and 4D Design. 

Graduates of the animation program at NYIT are prepared to seek positions as 3D Modelers, Animators, Motion Capture Artist, Storyboard Artist, Video Game Designer, Motion Graphics Designer, Digital Artist, and Multimedia Producer.

50. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University (LSU) welcomed its first class on January 2, 1860. The school offers 200 programs across 11 colleges and schools to 29,292 students (Spring 2017). The College of Art + Design, School of Art offers a BFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Digital Art. The program allows students to refine their skills in classes that provide a broad, integrated understanding of creative practice across 3D modeling, animation, video, web, interactive systems, photo-based media, and digital printmaking.

Sample courses include 2D and 3D Design, Interactive Media for Visual Communications, Digital Art, Interactive Multimedia Design, and Advanced Drawing Workshop.

With around 500 students, the Digital Art Program provides access to the Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research (AVATAR) Initiative and The Digital Art and Design Association (DADA). Both provide support to Digital Art students as they pursue “opportunities throughout the university and the broader community.”