What is the top animation school program in Minnesota for 2024?

Top Minnesota Animation School Programs - 2024 College Rankings
1Minneapolis College of Art and DesignMinneapolis

Our 2024 ranking -our thirteenth annual- of the top animation school program in Minnesota. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

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

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) provides several pathways to study animation. At the undergraduate level, MCAD has a 15 credit hour Animation minor, and a collaborative Animation BFA with 2D and 3D tracks. At the graduate level, MCAD has an interdisciplinary and experimental MFA that allows students to focus in one or more areas of interest. Examples include animation, illustration, experimental film and video, comic arts, drawing and painting, and web and multimedia.

The MCAD Animation Minor explores traditional animation techniques, compositing, storytelling, and pre-production. Students in this program will also learn how to use the latest industry software to create animations. Four classes are required to complete the program. These include Drawing for Animators; Storyboarding; Experimental Animation; and Character Design.

For the Animation BFA, both the 2D and 3D tracks require 12 credit hours of study. Students in this 120 credit hour program may customize an additional focus area (or areas) through 26 credits of required studio electives. Course examples for the program include Background Layout for Animators; 2D Digital Animation; Character Animation; 3D Modeling; Virtual Environments; Experimental Animation; and Professional Practice Animation. The Animation BFA program culminates with the final Senior Project.

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design MFA program provides the opportunity for students to work one-on-one with a mentor to set goals each semester. Students in this program will work both collaboratively and independently in state-of-the art facilities, classrooms, and private studios in their chosen focus areas. With the help of mentors, students will have the opportunity to choose one or more areas of specialization.

Other program benefits include opportunities to participate in events at art centers, galleries, and nonprofits in the Twin Cities; participation in the Master’s Trip to NYC, which features visits to art and design venues, creative agencies, and artist studios; and the option to complete a three-credit Teaching Art and Design Online Certificate (which counts towards electives). This allows MFA students to graduate with a terminal degree and a focused certificate.

Students in both the MFA and Animation BFA programs also have the opportunity to complete an internship and/or study abroad in places such as Japan, Italy, Germany, and the UK. Across programs, students have completed internships at places such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Massachusetts Museum of Art, and Walker Art Center.

The MCAD MFA program culminates with the Thesis Exhibition. This program requires 60 credit hours to graduate.

Graduates of the Animation BFA and MFA programs at Minneapolis College of Art and Design are prepared for a variety of positions and leadership roles in art, entertainment, and design. Possible careers include Background Animator, 3D Modeler/Animator, Editorial Illustrator, Stop-Motion Animator, Film Editor, Pixel Artist, Special Effects Animator, Graphic Designer, Storyboard Artist, Character Developer, Inker/Opaquer/Checker, Director, Producer, Writer, Project Manager, and Arts Educator.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design was established in 1886 by the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts. The school serves approximately 800 students from 40 states and 13 countries. Programs include 14 undergraduate majors leading to a BFA or BS, three MA degrees, one MFA degree, and seven professional development certificate options. Minneapolis College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school is also affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).