31. Chapman University, Orange, California
Chapman University is home to 7,570 students from 49 states and more than 60 different countries. Founded in 1861 as Hesperian College, Chapman offers 100-plus programs across nine colleges and schools. The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers a wide range of programs for aspiring filmmakers and other artists. Offerings for aspiring animators include a BFA and a Minor in Digital Arts. According the College, Digital Arts students have the chance to develop, design, and produce their own projects as well as contribute animation or visual effects to fellow students. Students also have the opportunity to intern at some of the world’s top studios. Past students have interned at Blizzard Entertainment, Cartoon Network, Digital Domain, LeapFrog, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Entertainment/Imageworks, Third Floor Previz, Titmouse, and many more!
32. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
Founded in 1873 as a training institution for aspiring drawing teachers, architects, artists, and designers, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is home to 2,000 students enrolled in more than 20 undergraduate art programs, nearly a dozen graduate programs, and around seven certificate programs across several departments. The Animation Department offers a BFA in Animation that gives students the opportunity to engage in a variety of conventional and experimental techniques. Students will study Documentary Animation, Digitally Generated Animation, Character Animation, Stop Motion, Experimental Video, and Emerging Technologies.
33. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) was founded in 1740. It is home to nearly 25,000 students enrolled in more than 400 programs across 16 schools. The School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to the Digital Media Design program. Created in 1998, the program is interdisciplinary and leads to a Bachelors in Engineering and Science (BSE) with a Digital Media Design Major (DMD).
According to the School, the BSE DMD “was designed for students who have an interest in computer graphics, animation, games, and the design of virtual reality environments and interactive technologies.” A Digital Media Design (DMD) Minor, and a PhD in Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS PhD) are also on the menu.
The BSE DMD program produces graduates that go on the work at major studios and other companies. The largest employers of UPenn BSE DMD graduates are Disney Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Pixar, and Zynga Games.
34. University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The University of the Arts (UArts) traces its roots as a national leader in educating creative individuals back to 1868. The nation’s only comprehensive arts university, UArts is home to around 1,900 students enrolled in 41 undergraduate and graduate programs through the College of Art, Media and Design, the College of Performing Arts, and the Division of Liberal Arts. The College of Art, Media and Design houses the School of Film, which offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Animation, a BFA in Film + Animation, and a Minor in Animation.
All animation students have access to international opportunities such as study abroad, festivals and workshops in countries such as Canada, France, and South Korea.
35. Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
Emerson College is home to around 4,450 students from across the U.S. and more than 30 countries. Established in 1880, 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 both BA and BFA degrees in Visual and Media Arts with a Specialization in Animation and Motion Media. The Department also offers an MFA in Media Art. The MFA program includes the following areas of study for aspiring animators: Computer Animation, Interactive Art, and Experimental Media.
Recent graduates of the 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 many others.
36. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University (SU) is home to approximately 21,789 students from across the U.S. and 123 countries. Founded in 1870, the school offers more than 400 programs across 12 colleges and schools and a graduate school. The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), Department of Transmedia offers several programs for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Computer Art and Animation, an MFA in Computer Art, and a Minor in Animation. According to VPA, the MFA program is “an artistic research and development program situated in the context of technology” where students “are encouraged to develop a diverse set of practices within computer art.”
Computer Art and Animation graduates have found employment at some of the world’s top animation studios and visual effects companies. Just a few include Pixar, Rhythm and Hues, Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts, Blizzard, Tippett Studios, Moving Picture Company, and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Graduates have also presented their work at galleries and media art festivals internationally.
37. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
Founded in 1936, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) is home to more than 1,100 students enrolled in 16 degree and certificate programs. More than 100 students are enrolled in the schools animation programs. Offerings include a BFA in Animation and 18- credit-hour certificate programs in 3D Animation: Pre-Production and 3D Animation: Character Animation.
Animation program highlights include Drawing (2D) or advanced software (3D) concentrations, Stop Motion, Anatomy and Figure studies, Modeling, Character Design, Virtual Environments, Storyboarding, and Line of Action. The BFA program takes four years to complete and it is also offered online.
38. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was founded in 1824 as the Rensselaer School. It is home to 7,113 students enrolled in more than 145 programs across five schools. The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) houses five academic departments including Arts, Cognitive Science, Communication and Media, Economics, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Several departments offer interdisciplinary arts and technology programs for animators.
The Department of Communication and Media (C&M), in collaboration with the Department of Arts, offers a BS in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication (EMAC). The EMAC program offers a Concentration in Digital Storytelling (Animation, Video, Game Design). The Department of Arts offers a BS in Electronic Art (BS EART) with a Concentration in Visual Arts & Animation as well.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute also offers several advanced degree programs for aspiring animators. Graduate offerings include MFA and PhD degrees in Electronic Art (EART). Also offered through the Department of Arts, both degree programs allow students to explore areas of interest ranging from Animation and Communication Technologies to Gaming.
39. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Established in 1891, Drexel University is a private research university that offers 200 degree programs to a population of 26,359 students. The school, which consists of 15 colleges and schools, is home to one of the region’s largest media arts and design colleges. The Westphal College of Media Arts and Design offers 22 degree programs and 15 minors. Among them are several programs for aspiring animators including a BS in Animation and Visual Effects, a Minor in Animation and Visual Effects, and an MS in Digital Media.
According to Westphal, “the MS in Digital Media is a hybrid course of study created to offer students research and career opportunities in 21st century media applications.” This two-year program offers comprehensive studies in advanced digital design including 3D Modeling, Animation, Interactivity, Gaming and Digital Media History, and Theory and Methods.
40. School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) was established in 1876. It is home to just over 600 students enrolled in 12 areas of study. Programs lead to the BFA, MFA, MAT, Combined-degree (BFA + BA/BS), Certificate or Studio Diploma. Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA and a Combined BFA + BA/BS. The BFA is entirely elective, so students may choose any animation, film or other courses that they would like to take. Just a few options include Animation 1: Techniques and Sound, Animation 2: The Completed Short, Sound for Moving Image, and Advanced Production.
The Combined BFA + BA/BS is offered in conjunction with Tufts University. Better known as the SMFA/Tufts BFA, “this demanding program is specifically designed for students intending to pursue their art and academic interests to the fullest possible extent,” says the school. Upon completion of this program, students will graduate with two degrees from Tufts: a BA or BS in a major of their choice and a BFA. According to the school, the five-year program makes it possible for students to refine and focus their studies in an academic field and to cultivate their fine arts abilities.