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3D Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Students who are interested in 3D design can enroll in undergraduate programs in related areas, such as computer animation and visual communications. There are also a few schools that offer certificate programs specifically in the field.

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Two-year colleges and four-year universities around the country offer associate's degree, bachelor's degree and undergraduate certificate programs that cover 3D design.

Schools with 3-D Design Programs

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer programs that cover 3D Design:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered* Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)**
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Certificate In-state $2,805; Out-of-state $9,450
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $50,277
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $7,618; Out-of-state $16,978
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's $37,124
Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $4,217; Out-of-state $6,143
East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $8,153; Out-of-state $24,977
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $10,970; Out-of-state $17,562
University of Idaho Moscow, ID 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $7,020; Out-of-state $21,024

Sources: *School website, **National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for 3-D design schools:

  • When selecting a 3-D design school, potential students may want to research the career placement history of program graduates.
  • Students should look into the school's facilities in order to make sure that computer labs are equipped with industry-standard equipment and software. They may also look for schools that have specialized editing and output facilities, stop motion studios and motion capture labs.
  • Prospective students may want to find out about internship opportunities offered through the school in order to find out if they can get hands-on experience in a setting where they would like to pursue a career.
  • Students who are considering certificate and associate's degree programs may want to find out if credits are can be applied to higher degrees in the future.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in 3D design provide a short series of courses that cover the basics of the field. Topics of study include visual communication, 3D motion graphics and industrial applications of 3D visualizations. It may be possible to transfer credits to associate's degree programs in related subjects.

Associate's Degree Programs

Students can study 3D as part of broader associate's degree programs in animation. These programs cover both the artistic aspects of 3D design, such as concept drawing and presentation, as well as the more areas such as digital modeling and character rigging. Students must also take general education courses.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

There are Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs that include studies in 3D Design. As in associate's degree programs, bachelor's degree programs combine artistic development with technological training. At some schools, students may have the opportunity to choose a minor specifically in 3D Design. They may also have the chance to take more advanced courses in the field, such as color theory and interactive animation. There are also programs that require students to complete an internship in the field and/or develop a senior portfolio of their work.

There are several colleges and universities that offer programs in which students can pursue a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree that includes studies in 3D design. Students may want to consider hands-on training opportunities when choosing between programs.

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