Animation is getting way more popular in different industries, and a bunch of schools now offer degrees in it. However, the depth of knowledge varies across animation schools. This underscores the critical importance of considering specific factors when selecting the best colleges for animation education.
What to look for in Universities with animation programs
Every animation school listed here is officially recognized. This means the schools meet or even exceed the standards for providing excellent education. When animation studios are picking candidates, they often prefer those who graduated from the best schools for animation. The mark of a top-notch animation program is having successful alumni who are well-known in their field.
If you’re thinking about attending one of the best animation schools, you can start by getting familiar with the world of animation through free software. With that in mind, let’s delve into the best universities or colleges for animation software and explore the array of animation tools and skills they provide.
The School of Visual Arts
The School of Visual Arts stands out as one of the top colleges that offer animation degrees. Presenting a specialized Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation program, the school is crafted to furnish students with indispensable tools poised for success in the dynamic field of animation. Through hands-on training, students engage with the latest animation software and cutting-edge hardware employed by professional animators in crafting visual art.
The program boasts an impressive track record, with its graduates securing positions in renowned animation studios such as Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, and Nickelodeon.
Rhode Island School of Design
The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has consistently secured its position as the nation’s premier art school, earning acclaim from various publications and organizations. At RISD, students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in film, animation, and video, engaging with live action, animation, or a blend of both to create films across diverse genres.
RISD’s facilities boast cutting-edge technology, featuring digital editing, sound mixing, and puppet animation tools that are industry-standard. Students receive comprehensive training on using these tools and are instructed in essential aspects such as concepts, critical thinking, and content development—skills vital in the creative industry.
Endorsed by both the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, RISD delivers an exceptional educational journey for budding artists and filmmakers, setting the stage for unparalleled creative growth.
Ringling College of Art and Design
At Ringling College of Art and Design, the Computer Animation program extends a unique opportunity for students to excel in the craft of character creation and storytelling, delving into the intricacies of computer-generated animation. This degree program emphasizes the integration of technical skills and conceptual ideas, empowering students to elicit emotional, visual, and intellectual responses from audiences.
Josiah Haworth, an alumnus from the class of 2013, presently lends his creative talents as an associate animator at Blizzard Entertainment. Patrick Osborne, a distinguished graduate from 2003, has charted his path as the visionary founder of Paid Time Off. Meanwhile, Eric Prah, who earned his diploma in 2012, is carving a notable niche as an animator at Blue Sky Studios, contributing to the studio’s vibrant legacy in animation.
University of California, Los Angeles
Distinguished among the top-tier programs in the nation, the animation school at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) commands attention as a beacon of excellence in the field.
Marrying technology and creative finesse, this program artfully integrates scriptwriting, editing, and storytelling expertise. Students immerse themselves in the vibrant industry landscape, gaining firsthand experience within the cutting-edge Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio. This hands-on approach not only equips them with invaluable real-world skills but is also indispensable in a swiftly evolving technological environment.
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
Nestled in Baltimore, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) stands tall among the leading animation schools in the United States, recognized for its commitment to artistic excellence and innovative education. MICA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in Animation guides students in the creation of original contemporary artwork. The curriculum ensures a comprehensive exploration of:
- Character development
- Narrative structure
- Keyframe techniques
- Vector graphic animation
- Animation software technology
Animation majors at MICA have the opportunity to produce creative works using various approaches, including 2D, stop motion, and 3D animation, or a combination of these techniques.
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University stands as a top-tier animation school, offering a specialized media arts program tailored for students aspiring to pursue careers in film upon graduation. Students undergo comprehensive training in film culture, history, and theory, equipping them with the essential skills for their chosen field of animation. Additionally, Brigham Young University mandates a rigorous liberal arts component across all degree programs, enriching students with knowledge beyond the realm of art.
The Ohio State University
Ohio State University features animation majors within its array of academic offerings. The university provides both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Arts and Technology, with a dedicated concentration in animation. Students enrolled in these programs cultivate expertise and skills across various dimensions of animation, encompassing:
- Video games
- Stop motion studio drawing
- 3D animation
- Digital imaging
University of Pennsylvania
Within the esteemed School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Pennsylvania showcases a standout Digital Media Design program. Penn’s cutting-edge initiative seamlessly blends mastery of 3D animation software with a profound understanding of motion graphics and computer information sciences. This holistic approach not only provides a comprehensive exploration but also delivers a nuanced perspective on the evolving landscape of digital media in contemporary society.
As graduates of one of the premier animation schools, University of Pennsylvania alumni find employment opportunities with notable companies such as Zynga Games, Microsoft, Pixar, Disney, and Electronic Arts.
Determine the best schools for animation to achieve your dream career
Choose a university that not only imparts essential skills but also elevates your creative prowess. Recognized for excellence, schools like the School of Visual Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, UCLA, Maryland Institute College of Art, Brigham Young University, Ohio State University, and the University of Pennsylvania offer unparalleled programs that marry technology with artistic ingenuity. Uncover the secrets of animation software and hone your craft with hands-on experience at these distinguished institutions. Seize the opportunity to join the ranks of successful alumni who have left their mark on renowned studios.