|1||Florida State University||Tallahassee, Florida|
|2||Savannah College of Art and Design||Savannah, Georgia|
|3||University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, California|
|4||Columbia College Chicago||Chicago, Illinois|
|5||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, New Hampshire|
|6||School of Visual Arts||New York, New York|
|7||New York University||New York, New York|
|8||University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|9||Massachusetts College of Art and Design||Boston, Massachusetts|
|10||California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, California|
|11||Bellevue University||Bellevue, Nebraska|
|12||Liberty University||Lynchburg, Virginia|
|13||Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, Rhode Island|
|14||Lesley University||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|15||Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|16||California College of the Arts||San Francisco, California|
|17||Los Angeles Film School||Hollywood, California|
|18||Academy of Art University||San Francisco, California|
|19||Full Sail University||Winter Park, Florida|
|20||Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design||Lakewood, Colorado|
This is a ranking of the best animation degree program options for animation students who are seeking a bachelor's or master's degree.
What are online Animation degrees?
These animation degree options are designed to teach students the animation skills and knowledge needed for a career in the field. These animation programs typically focus on 2D or 3D animation and cover a range of topics, including digital design, character development, storyboarding, motion graphics, and visual effects.
Online Animation degrees are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some schools also offer online certificates in animation for students who want to specialize in a particular area of the field.
Animation programs include a mix of coursework and hands-on training, such as creating animation projects using industry-standard software and working on collaborative projects.
Students also may have access to career services and networking opportunities, which can help them find internships or job opportunities after graduation.
Featured Animation Schools Online
How to Decide on the Best Animation School for You
Choosing the best animation school can be a challenging decision, but there are several factors to consider that can help you make an informed choice:
- Do you want to focus on 2D or 3D animation? Do you want to work in film, television, or video games? Knowing career goals can help narrow down options.
- Research schools that offer programs in your area of interest. Look for schools that have a strong reputation in animation and have a track record of producing successful graduates.
- Look at the specific courses and curriculum offered by the animation degree program.
- Check out the faculty members. Look for instructors with real-world experience in the animation industry.
- Look at the school's facilities, including the animation lab, equipment, and software. Make sure they have the latest technology and software to support your learning.
- Consider the location of the school.
- Compare the costs of different programs and factor in financial aid, scholarships, and other forms of financial assistance.
The Best Animation Degree Programs
Florida State University
Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts offers a bachelor's in Animation and Digital Arts.
The four-year animation degree combines coursework in traditional animation techniques with digital animation technology. The animation degree covers a range of topics, including 2D and 3D animation, character design, and visual storytelling.
FSU's program is highly regarded, and it is consistently ranked among the top animation programs in the country. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including a motion capture studio and a green screen stage. Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of industries, including film and television animation, video game development, and advertising.
Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) offers a BFA in Animation degree program. Designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in animation, the curriculum includes a range of topics from traditional animation techniques to the latest digital animation technology.
The program focuses on both 2D and 3D animation with an emphasis on storytelling, character development, and collaboration.
The highly regarded program has been ranked as the top animation school in the United States by Animation Career Review for the past six years, and it has also been recognized by 3D World Magazine as one of the top animation schools in the world.
Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including animation studios, computer labs, and sound stages. The program also features experienced faculty members who are animation field professionals, providing students with valuable insights and connections in the industry.
University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) offers a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Television, and Digital Media with a concentration in Animation.
The concentration is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of animation techniques and theory, while also allowing them to specialize in areas such as 2D, 3D, stop-motion, or experimental animation.
The highly regarded program at UCLA provides students with a well-rounded education in digital media, film and television as well as animation coursework.
Students also have access to top-notch resources, including state-of-the-art production facilities, animation software, and equipment.
The program's location in Los Angeles also provides students opportunities for internships, networking and employment after graduation.
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College of Chicago's BFA in Animation provides students with a comprehensive education in animation techniques and theory.
The animation degree curriculum includes courses in 2D and 3D animation, character development, storyboarding, and sound design. The program also emphasizes collaboration and teamwork -- important skills in the industry.
Columbia College Chicago's program has been ranked as one of the top schools in the country by Animation Career Review and has also been recognized by 3D World Magazine as one of the top animation schools in the world.
Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including animation studios, computer labs, and sound stages.
They also can complete an internship component and work on real-world projects, giving them valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities in the animation industry.
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts is designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in both graphic design and 3D modeling and animation.
The animation degree curriculum covers a range of topics related to graphic design, including typography, branding, layout design, and user experience design. In addition, students will learn 3D modeling and animation skills, including 3D modeling software, rigging, character animation, and special effects.
The program's curriculum focuses on hands-on experience with studio classes, digital labs, and workshops. Students will have access to software and equipment, including 3D printers and motion capture technology.
SNHU has the same tuition since 2012, and is one of the lowest in the nation. SNHU also offers fast online bachelor's degrees, which can be completed in 18 months.
School of Visual Arts
New York, New York
The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City offers several animation programs, including:
- BFA in Computer Art, Computer Animation, and Visual Effects: This program provides students with a comprehensive education in computer animation, including 3D modeling, rigging, lighting, and compositing.
- MFA in Computer Art: The graduate-level program provides students with advanced skills in computer animation, motion graphics, and interactive design.
- BFA in Animation: This program focuses on traditional animation techniques and covers topics such as storyboarding, character design, and stop-motion animation.
- MFA in Animation: The graduate-level program provides students with advanced skills in animation techniques, including 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion, and experimental animation.
SVA has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including computer labs, and sound stages. Students have access to experienced faculty members who are industry professionals, as well as opportunities for internships.
New York University
New York, New York
NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' MFA in Animation and Digital Arts provides students with a comprehensive education in animation techniques, including 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion animation, and experimental animation. The program emphasizes traditional and digital techniques, as well as the use of new media and technology in animation.
Animation majors have access to facilities, including computer labs, and sound stages. They also can work on real-world projects and collaborate with other students and faculty members.
University of Pennsylvania
School of Design
Housed in the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania's fine arts program offers courses in animation and digital media.
These courses provide students with a foundation in animation techniques, such as 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion animation, and computer graphics.
Taught by experienced faculty, UPenn's animations courses include:
- Animation Fundamentals.
- 2D Animation.
- 3D Animation.
- Experimental Animation.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Housed in the Department of Animation, Massachusetts College of Art and Design offers a BFA degree in animation and a MFA degree in animation.
The four-year BFA program focuses on the fundamentals of animation, including drawing, storytelling, and character design, as well as advanced topics such as 3D modeling, rigging, and animation.
Designed for students who have completed a bachelor's degree in animation or a related field, the two-year MFA program helps students further develop their animation skills and knowledge.
The program provides students with access to facilities, including computer labs, and digital media equipment.
California Institute of the Arts
The California Institute of the Arts' program is considered one of the top programs in the country.
Housed in the School of Film/Video, students can earn a BFA degree in Character Animation or Experimental Animation, or a MFA degree in Experimental Animation.
The program focuses on the creation of characters for film, television, and video games. Designed to help students develop a strong foundation in traditional animation techniques, students learn about character design, storyboarding, cinematography, and other key aspects of animation production.
The BFA in Experimental Animation program focuses on experimentation and exploration in animation and encourages students to push the boundaries of traditional animation techniques. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, and students work with other artists, musicians, and performers to create innovative animated works.
The MFA in Experimental Animation program emphasizes experimentation and encourages students to explore new techniques, mediums, and modes of expression.
Students have access to digital labs and screening rooms.
Bellevue University's Bachelor of Arts degree in Animation provides students with a strong foundation in the principles and techniques of animation, including traditional 2D animation, 3D modeling, character design, and visual storytelling.
Offered entirely online, the program enables students to complete their coursework from anywhere with an internet connection.
The program is divided into four areas of study: animation, art and design, digital media, and business.
The animation courses include 3D Modeling and storyboarding.
In addition to animation courses, students also take courses in art and design, digital media, and business, providing them with a well-rounded education. The program culminates in a capstone project, in which students create an animated short film or other animated project.
Liberty University's BFA degree in Animation provides students with a comprehensive education in the principles and techniques of animation, as well as a foundation in the liberal arts and Christian worldview.
The fully online, 120-credit hour BFA in Animation program is divided into four areas of study: animation, digital media, studio and visual arts, and general education.
- 2D and 3D Animation
- Character Design and Development
- Digital Lighting and Rendering
- Motion Graphics
- Storyboarding and Concept Development
- Game Design and Development
The program also includes a capstone project in which students work on a collaborative animation project.
Animation majors must complete a portfolio of their work, which they can use to showcase their skills to potential employers.
Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) offers a BFA degree in Film/Animation/Video (FAV), a multidisciplinary program with animation as one of its focus areas.
Designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in film and video production, the program covers a range of topics such as storytelling, film history, sound design, and post-production. Students develop their own creative voice and explore media and techniques.
Courses cover both traditional and digital animation techniques, including 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion, and experimental animation.
The program emphasizes creative experimentation, technical proficiency, and professional skills, and prepares students for careers in a variety of fields, including film and television production, advertising, and game development.
Lesley University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Design for User Experience (UX) with a concentration in Motion Graphics and Animation. The program provides students with a foundation in design principles and theory, as well as practical skills in motion graphics and animation for digital media.
The 120-hour program is available both online and on-campus.
The program is divided into four areas of study: design and theory, UX and interactivity, motion graphics and animation, and general education.
- Fundamentals of Design
- Digital Imaging and Illustration
- Motion Graphics and Animation
- 3D Modeling and Animation
The program also includes a capstone project.
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Technical University (CTU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Digital Media with a concentration in Animation.
The program provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field, including 2D and 3D animation techniques, and storyboarding.
The program is designed to be flexible, allowing students to study at their own pace, with 24/7 access to coursework and support.
Students collaborate on group projects to develop their skills and build a portfolio of work that showcases their abilities.
CTU's online Bachelor of Science in Digital Media with a concentration in Animation requires 180 quarter credits, which can be completed in as few as 48 months.
CTU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
California College of the Arts
San Francisco, California
California College of the Arts (CCA) offers a BFA program in Animation that prepares graduates for careers in the industry.
The program focuses on developing students' skills in traditional and digital animation techniques, as well as storytelling and character development.
The four-year, 120-credit-hour program includes courses in drawing for animation and storyboarding.
The program also includes a senior thesis project.
Los Angeles Film School
The Los Angeles Film School's online Bachelor of Science program in Animation and Visual Effects emphasizes building a strong foundation in traditional art skills and advanced digital technology skills needed to create compelling animated content.
The 120-credit program is entirely online.
Students take courses in various animation and VFX areas, including storyboarding and 3D modeling, and gain real-world experience to develop their professional portfolio.
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, California
The Academy of Art University's BFA in Animation and Visual Effects program combines traditional art skills with modern digital technology to provide a well-rounded education in the field of animation.
The 132-credit program is fully online and includes courses in 3D modeling and storyboarding. Students work on real-world projects and build a professional portfolio.
The university frequently updates the curriculum to keep up with the latest technology and trends in the industry.
The program also offers access to industry-standard software such as Autodesk Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, and Toon Boom Harmony.
Full Sail University
Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University's online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Animation combines art and technology to provide a comprehensive education in computer animation.
The fully online, 120-credit program includes courses in 3D modeling and lighting. Students work on real-world projects and build a professional portfolio.
The program also offers access to industry-standard software such as Autodesk Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, and ZBrush. This allows students to gain hands-on experience with the same tools and technology used in professional animation studios.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design's BFA in Animation provides students with a strong foundation in traditional art skills, as well as the latest digital tools and techniques used in animation.
Taught by experienced faculty, art school students work on projects and build a professional portfolio.
The fully online animation degree allows students to complete their coursework at their own pace. The program consists of 123 credit hours and typically takes four years to complete.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) offers multiple start dates throughout the year, allowing students to begin their studies at a time that works best for them.
RMCAD holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bachelor's Degree in Animation?
A Bachelor's Degree in Animation is an undergraduate degree program that provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field of animation. The undergraduate animation degree program typically takes four years to complete and includes coursework in 2D and 3D animation, character design, storyboarding, and motion graphics.
The animation degree curriculum provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the animation process, from conceptualization to final production. Students learn how to create animated characters and environments, use industry-standard software tools, and work with others in a team environment.
Students gain hands-on experience through internships, capstone projects, or collaborative assignments. These experiences help students build their portfolios.
Animation graduates may pursue a variety of career paths, including film and television, video game design, advertising, and digital media. Common job titles include animator, character designer, storyboard artist, and motion graphics designer at major animation studios.
What are the different types of animation degrees, and how can they help one get into an animation career?
Students can pursue an animation degree at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
An associate degree in animation typically takes two years to complete and provides students with an introduction to animation principles and techniques. This undergraduate degree can be a good starting point for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in animation.
A bachelor's degree in animation is a four-year program that provides students with a more in-depth education in animation principles and techniques. This degree helps students develop a strong foundation in animation and prepare them for entry-level positions in the industry.
A master's degree in animation is a two-year program that provides students with advanced training in animation and the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of animation. This master's degree can help graduates develop a higher level of expertise in animation and prepare them for leadership roles in the industry.
Certificate programs in animation are short-term programs that provide students with focused training in specific areas of animation.
What do 3D Animation degree programs teach?
3D animation degree programs typically teach a combination of technical and creative skills related to creating 3D animations. Technical skills include texturing and lighting, animation principles, and 3D modeling, while artistic skills include drawing, color theory, and character design.
These technical and artistic skills are essential for creating engaging and believable animations that tell compelling stories and capture the attention of audiences.
What is Animation Production?
Animation production is the process in the production pipeline of creating an animated project from start to finish. It involves a team of creative professionals who work together to develop and create digital images and content, such as films, TV shows, commercials, video games, and other media.
Throughout the production process, the animators work closely with the producer, director, and other stakeholders. They also collaborate with video editing technicians, writers, sound designers, graphic design artists, and voice actors, to bring the project to life.
Are animation degrees worth it?
If you are passionate about animation and are willing to invest the time and money required to pursue a degree, it can be a valuable investment in your future.
A number of colleges and universities offer animation degrees online, allowing students to further their career goals on their schedule.
Do animators make good money?
An animator's salary depends on a number of factors, including their level of experience, their industry, and their location. However, in general, animators can make good money, especially as they gain more experience and expertise in the field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for multimedia artists and animators is $78,790 per year.
What is Computer Animation?
Computer animation refers to the process of creating animated images or videos using computer graphics. It involves the manipulation of digital images to simulate movement and create the illusion of motion.
It is used in a range of applications, from entertainment and gaming to education and scientific visualization. Modern animation has become an essential tool for filmmakers, game developers, architects, engineers, and designers, among others.
Animation degree holders may work in various career paths, and find successful careers in positions such as art directors, graphic artists, or in game design such as creating characters and visual effects and visual art.
A traditional four year college teaches students rigorous training in animation degree programs. College also introduces students to develop skills outside of artistic abilities, such as soft skills and problem solving skills that are important in the career development of successful animators.
Graphic designers earn an average median salary of $50,710 per year.
Art directors earn an average median salary of $100,890 per year.
Animator, art director and graphic designer salary data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The minimum degree is a bachelor's degree for these positions. Students interested in a graduate degree in animation have many animation degrees to choose from, and may have an advantage in a job search.