What are the top animation school programs in Tennessee for 2020?

Top Animation School Programs in Tennessee - 2020 College Rankings
1East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City
2Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboro

Our 2020 ranking of the top animation school programs in Tennessee. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee
East Tennessee State University

Founded in 1911 as East Tennessee State Normal School, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) serves more than 14,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The school offers more than 350 programs across 11 colleges and schools. Part of the College of Business and Technology, the Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying, and Digital Media offers a BS in Digital Media (BS DIGM) with a Concentration in Digital Animation, a DIGM Minor, and a New Media Studio MA.

Per the school, Digital Animation “gives students the background necessary to animate in any media/software with strong skills in one of several specialty areas of animation, such as character animation and special effects animation.” Course highlights for the program include Acting I, Animation Fundamentals Character Animation Laboratory, Motion Tools, Technical Direction for Animation, Interactive Design, Raster-Based Imaging Laboratory, 3D Effects Animation, 3D Lighting & Rendering, and Special Topics in Digital Media.

The MA Program covers 3D Animation, Gaming, Motion Capture, Visualization, Video and Special Effects, Digital Illustration, and Graphic Design. The DIGM Minor offers courses such as Animation Fundamentals, 3D Animation, Fundamentals of Character Animation, Effects Animation and Lab, 3D Model Design, Motion Tools, and Interactive Development. 

Graduates of the Animation Programs at ETSU are prepared for careers in 3D animation, 2D animation, motion graphics, character animation, technical direction, and many others. 

2. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) opened on September 11, 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training. Today, the school approximately 21,700 students enrolled in more than 240 programs across nine academic colleges and more than 40 departments. The College of Media and Entertainment offers a BS in Animation, an MS in Media and Communication, and a 15 credit hour Minor in Animation.

The school says, “the Animation major is designed for those who wish to work professionally in animation and/or imaging, including character animation, video games, motion graphics, visual effects, simulation and visualization, and image manipulation. This program blends theoretical and hands-on approaches to traditional and digital animation. Students are encouraged to complete their education with internships in professional settings.” This 120 credit hour program requires a Minor in Art.

Students in the MS program (both the thesis and non-thesis option) may choose six hours of approved electives in Animation. Specializations for the program include traditional/new media, media law, journalism, management, public relations, advertising, health communication, and international communication.

The Animation Programs at MTSU prepare students for careers in character animation, motion graphics, visual effects, and many others. Students are prepared to create Animated and Feature Films, as well as content for Documentary Films, Television, and Educational Videos.