Our 2019 ranking of the top animation school program in Vermont. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont
Established in 1878, Champlain College serves more than 2,200 students from 44 states and 18 countries. The school offers more than 80 subject areas, including undergraduate majors, minors and specializations as well as online and on-campus graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain has four academic divisions including the Division of Communication & Creative Media, Robert P. Stiller School of Business, the Division of Education & Human Studies (EHS), and the Division of Information Technology & Sciences.
The Division of Communication & Creative Media at Champlain College offers a BS in Game Art & Animation and a BFA Creative Media Creative. The BFA allows students to choose one primary and two complementary specializations. Options include Interaction Design, Moving Image (Film & Video), Visual Art & Design, Game Media, Sonic Arts, and Creative Writing.
Per the school, both programs feature an “Upside-Down Curriculum” that allow students to begin courses relevant to their major during their first year at Champlain. Courses for BFA students will depend on the chosen specializations, while BS students will begin their program with Game Art & Animation courses including Drawing for Realism I, Introduction to 3-D Modeling and Texturing, and Introduction to Animation for Games, in their first year.
The “rigorous” BS curriculum includes “a grounding in traditional media and visual design, followed by extensive experience creating 2-D and 3-D game environments, characters, and animation.” Students create high-quality work in a variety of game art electives” taken during the junior and senior years.
An important aspect of the BS program is the collaborative environment of the school’s Game Studio. Here, Game Art & Animation majors will work with Game Programming, Game Design, and Game Production Management majors to build games from start to finish. The Game Studio replicates a professional game development setting to give students a firsthand understanding of how creative teams collaborate to develop individual game assets and coordinate them into a functional product.
All students have the opportunity to study abroad at Champlain’s Montreal, Canada campus as well as Dublin, Ireland and others. Internship opportunities are available at the Montreal Game Summit and the Montreal International Game Developers Association. Students have also interned at Microsoft Game Studios and Wired Magazine, and they have the opportunity to work for paid positions at the Emergent Media Center (EMC) as early as their first year at Champlain. The EMC is collaborative studio/laboratory space where students work on real-world projects.
Students may also participate in the Game Development Senior Show where animators and designers present the games they create with their Game Studio team to recruiters from all over the East and Canada, including Square Enix/Eidos, Gameloft, Warner Bros./Turbine, Behaviour and Activision/Vicarious Visions.
Champlain alumni have gone on to work for companies such as VirZoom, Funcom, Gametheory, Zenimax Online Studios, Raven Software, Vicarious Visions, Virtual Basement, LLC, Wayfair, and many others.