What are the top animation school programs in Maryland for 2022?

Top Animation School Programs in Maryland - 2022 College Rankings
1Maryland Institute College of ArtBaltimore
2University of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimore
3Towson UniversityTowson

Our 2022 ranking -our eleventh annual- 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
Maryland Institute College of Art

The Animation Department at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) offers a BFA and a Minor in Animation. The BFA program requires 24 credit hours of study in the major. Course highlights include Drawing: Tradition & Innovation, Art Matters, Advanced Stop-Motion, 2D Character, and 3D Character Animation, and Professional Practice for Animators. Students in the program must complete a project course and Animation Senior Thesis I and II.

The Minor in Animation at MICA requires 18 studio credits, including Introduction to 2D Animation and Electronic Media and Culture. Students in the program can focus on 3D, Stop-Motion Animation, or Traditional Narrative/2D Animation. Additional course examples include Digital Tools for Animation, Animation Pre-Production, and Storyboarding for Animators.

The programs at Maryland Institute College of Art have helped launch the careers of thousands of students. MICA alumni are Google Animators, Mobile App Developers, Comic Artists, Filmmakers, and more. They have been hired by MTV, DreamWorks, Laika, Disney, and other major networks and studios. Many MICA graduates have also entered graduate programs or established successful careers as independent artists in the animation industry.

Maryland Institute College of Art is the nation’s oldest independent, continuously degree-granting college of art and design. Founded in 1826, the school serves 2,090 students from 45 states and 53 foreign countries. Forty percent of MICA students are fine arts majors, 60% are design & media arts majors. Programs at MICA lead to a BFA, MA, MFA, or MPS degree.

Maryland Institute College of Art is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

2. University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
University of Maryland Baltimore County

University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) houses the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS), home to the Department of Visual Arts. Program options for animators here include BA and BFA degrees in Visual Arts. Both programs offer a Concentration in Animation.

BA and BFA students will take Visual Arts Foundation Area, totaling 27-30 credits. Visual Arts course examples include Visual Concepts: Time-Based Media, Art and Media Studies, and Space and Place in Public Art and Urbanism. Required animation courses total 27 credits. Students can expect to take courses such as Animation in the Physical World, Real Time Animation, Advanced 3D Animation, Motion Graphics and Compositing, and Team-Based Game Development. Students will complete a Senior Project and an internship outside the university or in the school’s Imaging Research Center (IRC).

Graduates of the Visual Arts BA/BFA Programs at University of Maryland Baltimore County are graduate students, freelance artists, educators or salaried artists at animation or game studios, advertising agencies, digital media companies, web design studios, and television and film studios, among others. 

University of Maryland Baltimore County is part of the University System of Maryland. The school was established as a member in 1966. UMBC serves around 13,640 students enrolled in more than 200 degree, minor, and certificate programs in seven colleges and schools. The University of Maryland Baltimore County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

3. Towson University, Towson, Maryland
Towson University

The College of Fine Arts & Communication (COFAC) at Towson University (TU) houses the Department of Art. Pathways for animators include a BFA in Art + Design with a Digital Art and Design Concentration, and an MFA in Studio Art.

The BFA requires 121-122 credits to graduate and offers an Animation Specialization. The program begins with foundation courses such as 2D and 3D Process, Drawing: Observation and Invention, and Digital Tools and Concepts. Next, students will complete concentration courses such as Illustration Concepts for Designers and Illustrators, Digital Art: Experimental, and the BFA Project. Animation Specialization courses include Animation: 2D, Animation: 3D, Animation Studio, and Photo Imaging – Motion.

The MFA offers professional study in animation, illustration, digital media, interactive media design, and more. This 60 credit hour program consists 24 credits in the student’s selected area of study. Students will also complete the MFA Seminar, MFA Studio I-II, and the MFA Project.

Graduates of the TU COFAC Art + Design Programs are Animators, Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Multimedia Artists, and Fine Artists, among others.

Serving nearly 23,000 students, Towson University is the largest university in the Baltimore area and the second-largest university in the University System of Maryland. The school began as a teacher’s college in 1866. Today, TU students have access to more than 110 degree programs housed in seven colleges consisting of dozens of departments. Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).