What are the top animation school programs in Georgia for 2024?
|Savannah College of Art and Design
|Kennesaw State University
|Georgia Southern University
Our 2024 ranking -our thirteenth annual- of the top animation school programs in Georgia. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
The School of Animation and Motion at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) houses three Animation degrees, three Visual Effects (VFX) options for students seeking an undergraduate or advanced degree, and the world’s first specialized degree in Motion Media Design. Across programs, students have access to more than 800 networked computers and a state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot SCAD Digital Media Center, which houses a green screen lab, in-house theater, and studio.
Other program features include instruction from celebrated professors who have worked at major studios and on award-winning productions such as Ice Age, Pocahontas, and The Lion King; participation in SCAD Study Abroad in Lacoste, France, or other location; and SCAD Savannah Film Festival, which highlights special film screenings, celebrity panels, lectures, workshops, and presentations with celebrated industry professionals. SCAD Film Festival is the largest university-run film festival in the world.
For artists seeking an undergraduate or graduate program in Animation, Savannah College of Art and Design has BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Animation. Available Minors include Animation, Concept Design for Animation and Games, and Animated Illustration and Publication Design. Examples of Minors that complement the Animation programs include Visual Effects, Technical Direction, Storyboarding, Illustration for Entertainment, Interactive Design and Game Development, and Character Technical Direction.
Incoming BFA students may enroll in Gradpath@SCAD, which provides the opportunity to earn a BFA/MA or BFA/MFA at an accelerated pace. Students in the BFA/MA program may complete this combined degree in less than four years. The BFA/MFA can be completed in five years or less.
The 180 credit hour Animation BFA is available at SCAD’s Atlanta and Savannah campuses. The major curriculum for the program consists of 80 credit hours, including concentrations in 2D Animation, 3D Character Animation, Technical Animation, or Storytelling and Concept Development.
Students also have the opportunity to select 15 credit hours of free electives. Course examples for the program (and concentrations) include Digital Communication; Visual Culture in Context: Making Modernities; Storyboarding Essentials; Inventing Environments; Collaborative Experiences in Animation, 3D Character Animation: Creatures and Quadrupeds, and Story and Concept: Seeding the Narrative.
Each student in the SCAD Animation BFA program will complete three Film Capstone courses including Preproduction, Production, and Postproduction. An optional internship is also part of the program.
The Animation MA and MFA programs at Savannah College of Art and Design are 45 and 90 credit hours, respectively. The MA is available at the Savannah campus and through the schools online learning platform SCADnow. The MFA is available in Atlanta, Savannah, and via SCADnow.
MA students will complete courses such as Animation Aesthetics and Practice; 3D Cartoon Character Animation; Computer-Generated Modeling and Design; 3D Naturalistic Character Animation; Drawing in Motion; and Look Development. Students have the option to complete a graduate internship.
The culminating experience for the SCAD MA program is the School of Animation and Motion MA Final Project. During the course of this experience, students propose, develop, and execute a project that is then cut into their reel.
The Animation MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design consists of courses such as Storyboarding and Previsualization; Computer-Generated Modeling and Design; Drawing in Motion; Animation Aesthetics and Practice; and Media Theory and Application. Completion of at least seven 500- to 700-level electives is part of the program, as well as a required graduate internship and the Animation MFA Thesis.
Across all SCAD Animation programs, graduates are prepared to pursue leadership roles in all areas of Film and Animation. SCAD Animation alumni have been recruited by major studios, gaming companies, and networks such as Pixar, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts (EA), DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Lucasfilm Animation.
SCAD alumni have worked on Oscar nominated productions such as Encanto (won), Raya and the Last Dragon, Luca, and Turning Red. Many SCAD graduates have also established careers at places such as Microsoft, Adobe, Deloitte, Spotify, and Delta Air Lines.
Founded in 1978, Savannah College of Art and Design opened its doors in the renovated Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory in September 1979. The school began with just one classroom, an administration building, and 71 students. Today, SCAD serves more than 16,000 students across campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Lacoste, France. SCAD students hail from more than 120 countries and all 50 states.
With more than 100 degree programs and over 75 minors and certificate programs, Savannah College of Art and Design has more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design college in the U.S. Savannah College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB).
2. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University (KSU) is home to the School of Art and Design (SOAAD). Serving more than 1,200 students, the school provides nine programs leading to a BA, BS, BFA or MA. This includes an Animation BFA and an Art and Design MA (MAAD). The BFA is a hybrid program that requires 120 credit hours of study over four years. The MAAD is an interdisciplinary, 30 credit hour program that allows students to focus in Digital Animation—100% online.
The professional Animation BFA focuses on intensive work in Digital Animation with 30 credit hours in Animation and 15 in Animation Studio. Course examples for the program include History of Comics, Cartoons, and Animation; Digital Animation Production I-II; Motion Graphics; Electronic Illustration; Character Development; Animation Modeling I-III; Storyboarding and Composition; Concept Art I-II; and Animation Studio I-III.
In the final two years of the program (upper division) students will have the opportunity to complete an Art Internship. The BFA culminates with the Senior Animation Reel course, which focuses on the development of a student resume and professional animation reel showcasing work designed for the animation industry. Animation BFA students will also research current job market demands and requirements, while preparing for a salaried or freelance career in the animation industry, or for graduate study.
The MAAD Digital Animation program at Kennesaw State University explores digital media including visual development for films and games; frame-to-frame animation; rigged animation; and storyboarding. Course examples include Ideation and Iteration for Creatives; Creative Problems in Digital Animation I-II; Technologies, Innovation, & Design Thinking; Research for Commercial Creatives; and Emoting and Communication for Creatives.
The MAAD program culminates with a final project or thesis. These culminating experiences require two courses each, totaling six credit hours. Students may select the most suitable option to meet their academic and career goals.
The Kennesaw State University Art and Design MA may be completed in just one year. Graduates are prepared to launch their own studios, start a freelance career, or pursue a position in animation, digital design, interactive art, advertising, games, and many others.
More than 7,100 companies recruit KSU students and alumni. Potential career paths for Animation graduates include Animator, VFX Artist, Illustrator, 3D Art Modeler, Art Director, Flash Animator, Stop Motion Animator, Film and Video Editor, Graphic Designer, and Web Designer.
Founded in 1963 as Kennesaw Junior College, Kennesaw State University serves approximately 43,270 students, making it the third largest university in Georgia. More than 180 degree and certificate programs options are provided across 11 colleges, KSU Journey Honors College, and two suburban campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia. Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
3. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia
The College of Arts and Humanities at Georgia Southern University (Georgia Southern) is home to the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. Within the department are three paths to study animation including BA and BFA degrees in Art with a concentration in Studio Art, and a minor in Animation and New Media. The Art BA is a broad degree that explores coursework in art history and studio art across 10 areas. This includes Animation and New Media. The Art BFA is more focused, with eight specific studio areas. This also includes Animation and New Media.
Across all programs, students benefit from courses taught by expert faculty; access to state-of-the-art facilities and technology; and the opportunity to learn from professional and emerging artists through workshops, artist talks, and gallery exhibitions. Programs (including the minor) also provide the unique opportunity to participate in the Animation Summer Abroad Program in Sheffield, UK.
This overseas experience consists of a studio course in animation with projects that explore 2D animation, character development, web streaming, storytelling, sound, and virtual lights/cameras. The experience culminates with a collaborative exhibition of the students’ animations in a Sheffield gallery.
Course examples across degree and minor programs include Animation I and II; Installation & Interactivity; 3D Animation; Video & Motion Graphics; Drawing: Observation; 2D: Digital Applications and Technology; 3D: Form and Space; Materials and Making; and Print, Paper, Book Arts: Printed Matter.
The BA culminates with the Senior Practicum, which leads to a presentation of final projects in a gallery exhibition. During practicum course, students will also prepare professional materials needed for career opportunities after graduating. BFA students will complete the Senior Practicum as well as the Artist in Studio course, which must be taken twice for a total of six credits.
Graduates of the Art/Studio Art programs at Georgia Southern University are prepared to pursue careers in and outside the visual arts. Possible roles include Animator, Concept Artist, Game Artist, CAD 3D Designer, Storyboard Artist, Medical Illustrator or Animator, Character Artist, Art Director, Visual Storyteller, and Art Educator. Program alumni are also prepared to pursue graduate study at Georgia Southern or other major university.
Established in 1906, Georgia Southern University serves more than 25,500 students, making it the largest center of higher education south of Atlanta. GSU provides approximately 138 different degree programs across three campuses (Statesboro, Savannah, and Hinesville, Georgia) and 10 colleges. Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).