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Top 10 Animation Schools in the U.S.

Animation programs are available at colleges and universities across the U.S. Get details about program options, rankings and other distinctions for some of the best places to study animation.

School Information

Animation college degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Two of the nation's top animation schools are Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. Both CMU and CalArts have bachelor's degree programs in animation. CalArts also has a master's degree option in the field. To learn more, read on.

Top U.S. Animation Schools

1. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

As of 2010, CMU was among the U.S.'s top 25 colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report. Animation training is offered through the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts program, which combines a concentration from the School of Computer Science and a second specialization from the College of Fine Arts. Animation majors can take courses in game design, animation technology and art, artificial intelligence development, computer graphics, technical animation and Web applications.

2. California Institute of the Arts in Valencia

Home to a variety of animation-focused degree programs, CalArts was among Princeton Review's 2010 'Best Western Colleges'; this top-ranked animation college has also been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design since 1972. Students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Character Animation or Experimental Animation as well as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Experimental Animation. Depending on the animation major, courses may include stop-motion, 2- and 3-dimensional computer animation, color and design, life drawing, storytelling, dialogue or sound effects.

List of Ten Good Animation Schools in the U.S.

College/University Name Distinction Location
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University College of Art and Design has a BFA program in animation; an animation minor and a 2-year professional-level certificate are also available Boston, MA
Brigham Young University Students in the BFA program in animation have access to facilities that include computer animation labs and the 3-D capable, virtual reality auditorium Provo, UT
California Institute of the Arts Animation faculty are full-time professionals, and alumni include such animation notables as Henry Selick, director of James and the Giant Peach, and Eric Darnell, director of Madagascar Valencia, CA
Carnegie Mellon University CMU performs animation and robotics research and development to benefit Pixar Animation Studios, Disney theme parks and ESPN Pittsburgh, PA
Pratt Institute School's computer graphics certificate program has a computer animation and video track that gives students the option to focus on 2-D and 3-D animation Brooklyn, NY
Ringling College of Art and Design College offers a BFA in Computer Animation; institution has accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design Sarasota, FL
Rhode Island School of Design Facilities available to students in the BFA program in film/animation/video include an animation stand studio and a stop-action animation studio Providence, RI
Rochester Institute of Technology Students in the BFA and MFA programs in animation can gain real-world experience and network with industry professionals through co-op opportunities Rochester, NY
University of Central Florida Emerging media track of the BFA in Art program has specialization options in character animation and experimental animation Orlando, FL
University of Southern California Animation students can apply for an internship abroad with the Tokyo Broadcasting System; bachelors and master's degree options in animation and digital arts are available Los Angeles, CA

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