11. New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York
Tisch School of the Arts was founded in 1965. Part of New York University (NYU), Tisch is home to the famed Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. The Institute offers a BA in Film and Television with an Animation Core in Production. An MFA in Animation and Digital Arts is also on the menu, and it is offered at Tisch Asia.
Established in 1979, The animation program began with 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, and the current Animation curriculum consists of nearly twenty different classes. Graduates of the Animation program at Tisch have landed jobs at Pixar, DreamWorks, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and many others.
12. Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Hollywood, California
Gnomon School of Visual Effects was established in 1997 and it is home to more than 100 students enrolled in variety of computer graphics classes and programs. Offerings for aspiring animators include several intensive training programs leading to a Certificate. Programs include Entertainment Design (One-Year Track), Digital Production for Entertainment (Two-Year Program), Entertainment Design and Digital Production (Three-Year Program), and Maya Fast Track (10-Week Program). Gnomon also offers a variety of online courses ranging from Character Animation to Games Tools and Techniques.
Many 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.
13. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was founded in 1885 as Mechanics Institute. More than 400 students enrolled at the school when it opened and the school’s first class was mechanical drawing. Today, RIT is home to 18,606 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 School of Film and Animation (SOFA), which offers BFA and MFA degrees in Film and Animation.
Graduates of RIT’s animation programs have found employment at top studios such as DreamWorks, Blue Sky Studios, Industrial Light and Magic, Rhythm and Hues Studios, Disney Animation Studios, Nickelodeon, and Electronic Arts.
14. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
DePaul University is the nation’s largest Catholic University. Established in 1898, the school is home to 23,539 students enrolled in more than 300 programs across 10 colleges and schools. The College of Computing and Digital Media is home to 4,651 students and it offers animation programs at all degree levels. Undergraduate offerings include a BA and BFA in Animation. Graduate offerings include MA and MFA degrees in Animation. A Minor in Animation is also available.
In addition to a variety of animation programs, DePaul University offers a Game, Cinema and Animation Summer Academy for future animation students. According to the Academy, the weeklong program features “hands-on instruction using the latest equipment and technology.” Academy participants have the opportunity to focus on 3D Computer Modeling and Animation for Games and Cinema, Computer Game Development, and Digital Cinema Production.
Animation students also have the opportunity to gain experience through the school’s internship program. Students have worked with Walt Disney Animation Studios, WMS Gaming, Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett, and Richter Studios.
15. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Established in 1929, Academy of Art University had a 2015 Fall enrollment of 8,813 students. The school offers 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 Department of Animation and Visual effects offers BFA and MFA degrees in Animation and Visual Effects. BFA emphasis areas include Storyboarding, 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, Traditional Animation, and Visual Effects. The Department also offers an Online Award of Completion (OAC) and a Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects.
Graduates of Academy of Art University have landed positions at Blizzard Entertainment, Disney Interactive, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm, Pixar Animation Studios, and Sony Computer Entertainment America, NBCUniversal, Google, and CBS Interactive.
16. Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington
DigiPen Institute of Technology is home to around 1,072 students from all 50 states and 45 countries. Founded in 1988, the school offers 10 programs in the areas of Art, Design, and Computer Science. Offerings for aspiring animators include a BFA in Digital Art and Animation. This program is also available at DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe – Bilbao, which was established in 2011.
Digipen graduates can be found working at major studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, Microsoft, Disney Online, Activision, Electronic Arts, and Snowblind.
17. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University offers dozens of degree programs in the areas of Entertainment, Media and the Arts. Established in 1979, the school is home to 18,000 students from 50 states and 73 countries. Full Sail awards Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Associate’s degrees, and Graduate Certificates. Offerings for aspiring animators include a BS in Computer Animation. This program is offered through Full Sail’s Art School and it is available online and on campus.
18. Animation Mentor, Emeryville, California
The Animation Mentor Community consists of 5,500 students and alumni in more than 105 countries around the world. Founded in 2005, the school offers a variety of immersive animation programs and workshops. Offerings include a variety of intensive training programs such as Character Animation, which leads to a Certificate of Completion, several 12-week workshops including Creature Animation: Locomotion; Creature Animation: Fight or Flight, and Maya Workshop: Animation Basics, and the six-week Animation Feedback, Storyboarding, and Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators Programs.
Graduates of Animation Mentor have worked on award-winning features such as Frozen, Inside Out, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and many others. They are also routinely hired by major studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic, and Laika Entertainment.
19. ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California
ArtCenter College of Design is home to approximately 1,900 students enrolled in 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in the areas of Visual and Applied Arts and Industrial Design. Founded in 1930, the school also offers a joint MS/MBA program with the Drucker-Ito School of Management. Programs for aspiring animators include Fine Arts (Entertainment Design) with a Track in Character Animation. The program, which also offers a Track in Concept Design, leads to a BS in Entertainment Design.
ArtCenter faculty consists of professionals working at major studios such as DreamWorks, Blue, and Walt Disney Animation Studios. They help prepare students for “career opportunities as performance and action animators with companies such as Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, ILM, Sony, Blur, 343 and Riot,” says the school.
20. Parsons The New School for Design, New York, New York
Parsons The New School for Design is home to more than 5,000 students enrolled in 27 undergraduate, graduate, and associate degree programs. Founded in 1896, Parsons houses the School of Art and Design History and Theory, the School of Art, Media, and Technology, the School of Constructed Environments, the School of Design Strategies, and the School of Fashion. The School of Art, Media, and Technology, offers several degree programs for aspiring animators.
Offerings include BFA and MFA degrees in Design and Technology, and a BFA in Communication Design. All programs allow students to study 2D and 3D Animation and Motion Graphics. Another program worth mentioning is the BFA in Illustration, which also allows students to study Animation and Motion Graphics.