Animation Career Training in Charlotte, NC with Course Descriptions

Students interested in animation courses can find them at three colleges in the Charlotte, NC, area. Learn about the programs and requirements for three of those schools, located within 50 miles of downtown, to see which one is right for you.

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Charlotte Schools with Animation Programs

One school in the Charlotte, NC, area offers animation-specific programs. Others offer animation-related coursework within other programs; there are multiple such schools within 50 minutes of the city center. Review the table featuring a variety of school stats, and then read about the coursework requirements for the three featured institutions. A couple of alternative college options are discussed as well.

  • Central Piedmont Community College is the closest option to downtown Charlotte at just under two miles away. In addition to certificates and a diploma in animation, the school offers certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs in simulation and game development.
  • Located roughly three miles from the center of the city, Queens University of Charlotte has the smallest student population. It offers a new media design bachelor's degree and an undergraduate minor.
  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, situated about nine miles from downtown, has two bachelor's-level programs in related fields.

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Comparison of Schools

School type and tuition costs often correlate, as you can see from this table below. Discover even more details about the three colleges by taking a glance over the following facts and figures.

Central Piedmont Community College Queens University of Charlotte University of North Carolina at Charlotte
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 19,100* 2,507* 29,317*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $2,792 in-state; $8,936 out-of-state* $33,532* $6,832 in-state; $20,266 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 60%* 98%* 76%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admission 79%* 66%*
Retention Rate (2017) 55% for full-time students* 78% for full-time students* 83% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 17% (Students began in 2014)* 54% (Students began in 2011)* 54% (Students began in 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Central Piedmont Community College

This school offers programs in both 3-D modeling and animation as well as programs in the related field of simulation and game development. Although most of this school's training occurs in the classroom, students can expect that a majority of their training will be hands-on.

3-D Modeling and Animation Certificates

Two animation certificates are available as level I and level II programs. The major requirements for the level I certificate include a basic course in 3-D modeling, game art, production management and light and shade algorithms. The level II certificate program builds upon that coursework to include areas like rigging 3-D modeling and audio and video.

Simulation and Game Development Certificates

This school offers three simulation and game development certificate levels. In the first level, students can learn design techniques, programming and game development basics. The required modeling course may appeal to students interested in animating and designing computer-generated characters. The second level includes courses covering advanced concepts of topics covered in the first certificate level and a game engine course. Courses in the third level include work in mobile programming, 3-D animation and virtual environments. Additionally, students will complete a project and complete two credits in either work-based education or the creation of a portfolio.

3-D Modeling and Animation Diploma

This program requires general education coursework in public speaking and art appreciation as well as major courses in 3-D modeling and 3-D animation, among others. Students will need to complete other courses in topics like production management, light and shade algorithms, game art and audio and video.

Simulation and Game Development Diploma

This program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours for completion. Many of the courses covered in this program can be found in both simulation and game development certificate levels. In addition to some general education courses, students need to pass courses in wireless and mobile programming.

Associate in Applied Science in Simulation and Game Development

In this 69-credit hour program, students must pass all courses found in the diploma program. Students must also complete more general education courses, a 3-D modeling course and related technical elective courses. If students are interested in animation, they may want to concentrate their studies in character development and 3-D modeling. In order to graduate from the simulation and game development associate's degree program, students need to develop and submit a project.

Queens University of Charlotte

In addition to courses focusing on theoretical concepts, this school provides hands-on training through laboratory and practical application courses.

Bachelor of Arts in New Media Design

This program focuses on motion graphics and animation, design history, visualizing data, digital illustration, interactive design and typography. Students may encounter additional courses covering art criticism, art concepts, art history, photography history, printmaking and painting. In addition to general education requirements, students are required to complete 44 credit hours of major-related coursework.

New Media Design Minor

A total of 20 credit hours are needed to complete this minor. Required courses include motion graphics and animation, interactive design, typography and design fundamentals. Students can also choose to complete courses in digital illustration, information design, game design and video art.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

This school's art programs can help develop skills through a combination of in-class and hands-on training. Both programs offered at this school require 120 credit hours for graduation. Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) students are also required to complete 2 related project courses. Before students can graduate from the B.F.A. program, they need to participate in a senior exhibition and submit their work portfolio for review.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

This program requires students to complete 39 credit hours of art coursework. Required courses include art history, 3-D and 2-D design, conceptual practices and drawing. Students can choose to fulfill additional credit hour requirements by completing digital media courses in animation and interactivity, interactive art and design, digital art and video art.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a Concentration in Digital Media

B.F.A. students must complete 80 credit hours of art coursework. Many of the same required and digital media courses found in the Bachelor of Arts program are required in this program. Students must also complete related introductory and advanced studio courses.

Other Schools

Students can also seek animation-related training about 40 miles away at Stanly Community College and roughly 44 miles away at South Piedmont Community College.

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