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Top School for Special Effects & Animation in San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino, CA, has several schools with programs related to special effects and animation. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

Students in San Bernardino, CA, who want to study special effects and animation have more than 15 options to choose from within 50 miles of the city. Based on the degree levels offered, number of degrees and certificates awarded, graduation rates, and proximity to San Bernardino, the following schools are among the best in the area for studying special effects and animation.

  • Winner: Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) offers certificate and associate's degree programs. It has the highest graduation rate of these three schools, and it awarded the largest number of relevant degrees and certificates in 2011-2012.
  • Runner-Up #1: Riverside City College (RCC) is the closest to San Bernardino and offers certificate and associate's degree programs.
  • Runner-Up #2: Chaffey College (CC) offers certificate and associate's programs. It awarded more degrees and certificates in the field than RCC, but it's located farther from San Bernardino.

School Comparison Chart

Category Mt. San Antonio College Riverside City College Chaffey College
Location Walnut, CA (38.6 miles from San Bernardino) Riverside, CA (16 miles from San Bernardino) Rancho Cucamonga, CA (21.5 miles from San Bernardino)
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $1,164 (in-state), $6,060 (out-of-state)* $1,413 (in-state), $6,813 (out-of-state)* $1,153 (in-state), $6,169 (out-of-state)*
Special Effects and Animation Award Levels Offered Certificates; associate's degrees Certificates; associate's degrees Certificates; associate's degrees
Special Effects and Animation Certificates and Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012) 13* 1* 2*
Most Popular Special Effects and Animation Program (2011-2012) Certificate (8 awarded)* Certificate (1 awarded)* Certificate (1 awarded); associate's degree (1 awarded)*
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2008 Entering Class 25%* 22%* 18%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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Winner: Mt. San Antonio College

  • Offers four different animation programs
  • Students build a portfolio or demo reel to use when seeking employment
  • Students can apply to the Disney College Program, which offers opportunities for networking and career development

Mt. SAC's art division offers an Associate of Science program in animation that includes 36 hours of major coursework. Core classes include animation principles, drawing, storyboarding, and computer animation. Some of the many available electives include dynamic environments using a digital platform, motion figure drawing, and developing scripts for animation.

Students can also choose from certificates in traditional animation, 2-D animation, or 3-D animation. The traditional animation certificate program requires 39-40.5 units, and it includes courses in character development, advanced animation, Flash, and drawing. The 33-34.5-unit 2-D animation certificate program covers After Effects, Web design, and computer graphics, while the 39-unit 3-D animation certificate program has coursework in texture mapping, lighting, particle systems, and dynamics. Students in any of the certificate programs can select a work experience elective.

Runner-Up #1: Riverside City College

  • Digital media students complete a portfolio
  • Wide selection of animation-related electives
  • Students can join the Graphix Club or SkillsUSA organizations

Students at Riverside City College may pursue a certificate in visual communications with an animation emphasis through the college's art department. The program requires 15 units, and students can take electives in 3-D Maya animation, film effects, and 3-D design, along with core courses in drawing and painting. The Applied Digital Media and Printing Department offers a certificate program in new media and interactive design, with courses in motion graphics, compositing, Dreamweaver, and Flash. Students may also earn an associate's degree in applied digital media and printing by completing required general education courses, in addition to core interactive and design classes.

Runner-Up #2: Chaffey College

  • Digital media programs are taught by current professionals in the multimedia and entertainment industries
  • Facilities include a digital media studio and digital media lab
  • Honors program offers scholarship and internship opportunities
  • Career center provides job search and career planning services

At Chaffey College, students can prepare for entry-level positions or for transfer to 4-year institutions by enrolling in a certificate or AA program in digital media. Students choose from five areas of focus: multimedia design for digital video and interactive media, animation, Web design, graphic design for print media, and interactive game design. Courses in the animation track include animation basics, computer graphics, motion graphics, multimedia fundamentals, and 3-D animation. A portfolio is also required.

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