What are the top animation school programs in the District of Columbia for 2023?

Top Washington DC Animation Schools - 2023 College Rankings
1Howard UniversityDC
2The Catholic University of AmericaDC

Our 2023 ranking -our twelfth annual- of the top animation school programs in Washington DC. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Howard University, Washington, DC
Howard University

The College of Fine Arts at Howard University (HU) houses the Department of Art, which provides nine areas of concentration and a number of Minor options. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), programs in the HU Art Department lead to a BA, BFA, or MFA degree.

Among the Department’s nine concentrations is the Electronic Studio Concentration. Leading to a BFA, MFA, or Minor, the curriculum explores 2D and 3D animation, drawing, painting, illustration, 2D and 3D design, photography, and video. Students in the Concentration will learn to create animated works using Maya, Blender, Adobe Creative Cloud platform, Cinema 4D, and other industry software. Across pathways (BFA, MFA, Minor), course examples include 2D Animation, 3D Modeling & Animation I-II, Multimedia I-II, Drawing I-IV, Web Development & Interactive Media, Computer Graphics Workshop, and Independent Study.

BFA students will complete two Senior Workshop Capstone courses and the Internship in Digital Media Arts to graduate. MFA students will complete four Thesis courses to graduate.  

Graduates of the Howard University Electronic Studio Program are prepared for careers in 3D Animation & Modeling, 2D Animation & Motion Graphics, Digital Art Creation & Illustration, Visual Storytelling & Narrative Driven Art, and UX/UI Design & Interactive Media.

Howard University was founded on March 2, 1867 by Civil War hero General Oliver O. Howard. The school serves approximately 9,690 students enrolled in programs in 130 areas within the University’s 13 schools and colleges. Programs lead to undergraduate, graduate, joint, and professional degrees. Howard University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

2. The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
The Catholic University of America

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art at The Catholic University of America (CUA) houses the Department of Art—home to the Studio Art Program. Leading to a BA, the program allows students to concentrate in Digital Art or add a six-course Certificate Program. The most popular options for animators include the Digital Art and Design Certificate or the Certificate in Video Production and Digital Storytelling.

Courses for the Digital Art and Design Certificate are selected from departments and schools across the university including Art, Computer Science, Media Studies, Engineering, Architecture and Planning, Library and Information Sciences, Drama, and Education. Courses cover areas such as 3D modeling, printing, and animation; video production; time-based media; and Photoshop and Illustrator.

The Video Production and Digital Storytelling Certificate includes course options such as Video Art, Introduction to Design, Screenwriting, Digital Video Editing, Time-Bases Media, Motion Graphics & Graphic Design, and Advanced Multimedia Art Using Final Cut Pro.

The Digital Art Concentration within CUA’s Studio Art BA Program requires Core Foundation, Art History, Seminars, and Elective courses. To enhance the degree, BA students may choose up to four elective courses in Animation. Course examples include 3D Modeling and Animation, Character Design I-II, Digital Art/Visual Communication, Digital Design: Motion Graphics & Graphic Design, Time-Based Media, Sound Art, Multimedia Art Using Final Cut Pro, and Video Production. In addition, the Department of Art offers a Studio Art Internship for qualified students.

Students in the Studio Art BA and Certificate Programs at The Catholic University of America have access to the state-of-the-art Salve Regina Digital Arts Lab and Printmaking Facilities. All students may participate in the CUA Study Abroad Program.

Graduates of the Art and Design Programs at The Catholic University of America are well-positioned for careers in Animation, Game Art, Film and Video Production, Storyboard Art, Visual Effects (VFX), Special Effects (SFX), Advertising, Graphic Design, Web Design, and any industry that utilizes animation.

The Catholic University of America is the largest college campus by area in Washington, DC. Established in 1887, CUA serves 5,700 students enrolled in more than 250 academic programs across 12 colleges and schools. A national research university, Catholic University of America is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).