Background

We started publishing regional and national rankings in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators and game designers asking us what the best schools were in the US, a given State, or in a particular area of the country. We consider every degree-granting school of which we are aware, with the exception of two-year community colleges. In some cases we will include non-degree granting schools, when the program’s quality merits inclusion. Our end goal is to provide students and their parents access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.

Information Sources

During the school year we reach out via email to every school under consideration requesting information about their specific program, as well as their perspective regarding which other school programs they considered to be the most impressive, both nationally and regionally. In the instance where we can not obtain information directly from a college program representative, we obtain the necessary information from the college's web site or from other reputable publications.

Animation School Rankings
Rankings published since 2012
Colleges Considered: 199
School surveys were emailed in September, 2021

The criteria we used for the animation rankings consists, in no particular order, of the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Admission selectivity
  • Employment data 
  • Depth and breadth of the program faculty
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Graduation rate

For the 2022 rankings we have eliminated geographic location as a ranking factor. 

For 2022 Admissions Selectivity, we used the same data and ranking scoring as the previous year. This is because many colleges paused using the SAT as part of the admissions process during COVID. What does this mean for the rankings? A given school is scored the same in our rankings for Admissions Selectivity as it was before COVID. 

International Animation School Rankings
Rankings published since 2013
Colleges Considered: 191
School surveys were emailed in September, 2021

The criteria we used for the animation rankings consists, in no particular order, of the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Employment data
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness

Game Design School Rankings
Rankings published since 2013
Colleges Considered: 152
School surveys were emailed in September, 2021

The criteria we used for the animation rankings consists, in no particular order, of the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Employment data
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Graduation rate

Graphic Design School Rankings
Rankings published since 2015
Colleges Considered: 712
School surveys were emailed in September, 2021

The criteria we used for the animation rankings consists, in no particular order, of the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Employment data
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Graduation rate

Illustration School Rankings
Rankings published since 2019
Colleges Considered: 141
School surveys were emailed in September, 2021

The criteria we used for the animation rankings consists, in no particular order, of the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Employment data
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Graduation rate

Virtual & Augmented Reality School Rankings
Rankings published since 2021
Colleges Considered: 71
School surveys were emailed in April, 2021

The criteria we used for the VR/AR rankings consists, in no particular order, of the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Admission selectivity
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness

How to use our rankings:

Like any college ranking, ours is not perfect and is open for debate. There is no single opinion that trumps all when it comes to which school is the “best”. Ultimately every student has different needs regarding the type and academic rigor of a program, campus culture, as well as cost, lifestyle, and career focus. Our intent is that these rankings serve as a starting point for students to discover the schools that are the best fit for them and that the rankings not be used as a deciding factor in choosing a school.

For more info about Animation Career Review please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.