|1||Maryland Institute College of Art||Baltimore|
|2||University of Maryland Baltimore County||Baltimore|
Our 2019 rankings of the top animation school programs in Maryland. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The school serves nearly 3,500 students from 49 states and 65 countries enrolled in more than 80 programs leading to the BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available and programs are offered in the areas of fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies.
Programs for aspiring animators include a BFA in Studio with a Concentration in Animation with three pathways including Traditional Narrative/2D, Stop-Motion, and 3D Animation. Students begin with a fundamental understanding of the art of movement. They work in 2D hand-drawn animation, 3D computer imaging, stop-motion, and history of animation and innovative combinations of these processes, culminating in a thesis film in their final year.
MICA also offers and a BFA in Animation + Humanistic Studies. In addition to animation studies, students in this degree program will study philosophy and ethics, social and natural sciences, and social and political history. Sample courses for the program include Character Animation, Elements of Visual Thinking, Digital Tools For Animation, Stop Motion, Electronic Media & Culture, Art Matters, and Drawing.
Graduates of MICA animation programs work for companies like Blue Sky Studio, Disney, DreamWorks, Yahoo, Laika, and MTV. Many graduates have continued their education in graduate programs or have successful careers as freelance artists in the field.
2. University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
Founded in 1966, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) serves approximately 13,767 students enrolled in more than 200 majors, minors, certificate, master’s and doctoral programs across seven colleges and schools. The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) houses the Department of Visual Arts, which offers BA and BFA degrees in Visual Arts with a Concentration in Animation.
Students in both programs will study “animation and interactive media through a combination of traditional media and digital tools,” says the school. “In-class critiques of personal work and investigation of the history of animation and interactive art are emphasized for the development of a framework from which students can begin their path as animators and interactive artist.”
Advanced level courses in animation "incorporate technically intensive experiences in 3-D computer animation and digital compositing, as well as explorations of emerging practices including real-time applications and interactive animation.” The BFA program also includes intensive lecture, studio, and lab investigation of techniques, methods, and concepts.
Students completing the Animation Concentration have the opportunity to produce a fully developed work at the culmination of the program, either individually or as part of a team.
Graduates of the animation programs at UMBC “have become successful freelance artists and many remaining locally have found jobs at government agencies, game companies, and broadcast studios. Others have been hired at west coast animation houses, or are accepted into graduate programs of their choice.”