Although stand-alone animation degree programs are not offered in Alabama through public or private non-profit schools, aspiring animators can find required or elective animation classes in degree programs such as studio art, digital media and graphic design. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are most common for this field of study, although certificate and master's programs do exist. These programs are offered at both 2- and 4-year schools.
These degree programs often consist of a mixture of computer and art-related courses. Students gain experience through a variety of methods, including internships, exhibitions and design projects. Some schools have flexible courses or distance learning opportunities. Listed below are seven of the largest schools in Alabama with animation courses.
Auburn University at Montgomery
Auburn University at Montgomery offers a bachelor's degree program in fine arts with a concentration in graphic design. This program includes courses in 3-D animation, computer graphics, drawing and design. Students are required to complete rigorous studio work and produce a senior project. This public, 4-year university also provides flexibility for attendees through weekend and evening classes and distance learning opportunities.
Calhoun Community College
With more than 11,000 credit-seeking students, Calhoun Community College in Tanner is the state's largest 2-year college. Students interested in animation can pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in computer graphics with a specialty in graphic animation and electronic imaging. This program includes courses in 3-D animation, technical illustration and digital design. The school also has a computer lab with industry-standard design software.
Trenholm State Technical College
Montgomery's Trenholm State Technical College has more than 130 faculty members and serves roughly 1,700 students each year. Its 76-credit-hour associate's degree program in graphic design requires courses such as illustration, Photoshop and portfolio preparation. Students also can choose electives such as 3-D fundamentals, animation, production, graphics and studio work. Distance learning opportunities are available.
Troy University in Troy is a 4-year institution that provides associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs to over 26,000 students. Its bachelor's degree program in digital studio contains a variety of classroom- and studio-based courses in drawing, color theory and digital design. Some courses cover 3-D modeling and animation. Students can participate in the university's study-abroad program.
University of Alabama - Huntsville
The University of Alabama's Huntsville campus has a 4-year Bachelor of Arts program in art with a studio concentration. Students receive training in drawing and painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and graphic design. Courses in web animation are included. Although the two programs are similar, students must complete more art-related coursework in the fine arts track. The school has a study-abroad program and on-campus day care facilities.
University of Montevallo
Located in Montevallo, the University of Montevallo offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in new media. Students receive general art training and experience with design software before expanding their skills in upper-level classes, which include 2-D and 3-D animation. Undergraduates in this major, which emphasizes experimentation and personal expression, have opportunities to show their work through internships and exhibitions.
Wallace State Community College
Hanceville's Wallace State Community College provides animation courses through its associate's degree program in art/visual communications. This 68-credit-hour course of study includes rigorous computer software training along with art studio work. The school has an open admissions policy and accepts dual and AP credits.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Animation Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in graphic design|| $8,404 (in-state)
|Calhoun Community College||2-year, public; rural||Associate of Applied Science in Computer Graphics|| $4,820 (in-state)
|Trenholm State Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Technology in Graphic Design|| $4,650 (in-state)
|Troy University||4-year, public; rural||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Studio|| $8,908 (in-state)
|University of Alabama - Huntsville||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Art - Studio Concentration|| $10,714 (in-state)
|University of Montevallo||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in new media|| $12,760 (in-state)
|Wallace State Community College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate of Applied Science in Art/Visual Communications|| $4,740 (in-state)
Source: *NCES College Navigator