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Animation Schools in Boston, MA with Degree Program Overviews

The Boston area has at least six colleges that offer animation programs. Learn about the courses, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within 20 miles of the city center, and make an informed education decision.

Boston-Area Schools with Animation Programs

There are several schools near Boston where aspiring animators can learn about various animation components. This article looks at three schools, all 30 minutes or less from downtown, with degree programs that include animation studies. There is also a table of information on the schools that could be helpful to prospective students, such as school type, costs and the percentage of students who graduate on time, making it easy to compare them. At the end of the article is a little information about another Boston-area institution that provides animation studies.

  • In downtown Boston, Emerson College has two bachelor's degree programs that emphasize animation as well as a master's program that includes animation studies.
  • Lesley University, about four miles from downtown Boston in nearby Cambridge, offers a bachelor's degree, a minor option and a professional certificate program in animation. The university is also home to industry-standard computer labs and software for student use.
  • Located in Beverly, about 18 miles from downtown Boston, Montserrat College of Art has one bachelor's degree program in animation that also trains students in foundational art principles.

Comparison of Schools

Prospective students need to know many facts about a school in order to make a sound decision on their education. The following table presents important data about these three institutions in a convenient format.

Emerson College Lesley University Montserrat College of Art
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 4,459* 4,732* 368*
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $44,832* $26,675* $32,000*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 76%* 98%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 46%* 73%* N/A - open admissions*
Retention Rate (2017) 88% for full-time students* 80% for full-time students; 37% for part-time students* 81% for full-time students; 100% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 81%* 60%* 57%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Emerson College

Emerson College has Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs in media production with specializations in animation. The BA and BFA programs share many of the same courses. The MFA program is full-time and provides advanced courses in media arts. Those who want to enter the graduate program must turn in a creative portfolio during the admissions process.

Bachelor of Arts in Media Production with an Emphasis on Animation and Motion Media

Students who want a more relaxed, interdisciplinary program can choose the BA degree. All students will be prepared to work in 2-D, 3-D and traditional animation. Specific coursework includes topics in digital media and culture, computer animation, writing and advanced computer animation. An advanced visual and media arts workshop is optional for BA students.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Production with an Emphasis on Animation and Motion Media

The BFA program is more intensive than the BA program. Unlike the BA program, the advanced visual and media arts workshop is required for BFA students. BFA majors also complete courses in motion graphics, film animation and media criticism.

Master of Fine Arts in Film and Media Art

This degree program will take three years to complete. Depending on the students' educational background, they may take foundational courses in media studies. Students will be able to take courses such as computer animation, integrated media, interactive production and business of modern media. Students will also participate in an MFA colloquium and production workshop. A portfolio review is required at the end of each academic year of the degree program. Students must complete a thesis project.

Lesley University

All undergraduate and certificate students are required to turn in a portfolio during the application process. The animation certificate program is designed for students who already have a bachelor's degree.

Minor in Animation

Students will take 15 credits in this program. Required courses are animation basics and computer animation. Electives include drawing for animation, stop motion animation, animation history, digital animation, live action animation and character animation.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Motion Media

BFA students will be able to take advantage of the state-of-the-art technology and facilities while learning about traditional and digital animation techniques that involve drawing, puppets and CGI characters.

Advanced Professional Certificate in Animation and Motion Media

Students from all majors and backgrounds can apply for this 2-year program. It is suited for students who want to learn only about animation and prepare for industry work. Those who don't have an art-related degree will need to take prerequisites. Students will take classes in animation basics, computer animation, animation history, editing and animation business, as well as a senior animation project.

Montserrat College of Art

This art school provides one undergraduate program in animation. Students will be trained in art fundamentals and a variety of animation styles. Applicants to the program need to turn in a portfolio of their best work.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Interactive Media

In this program, students will take courses in 2-D and 3-D animation. Courses in drawing and games are also available. Students can take electives in topics like pre-production, story development or character design. An internship, independent project and a capstone project are expected from animation students.

Other School Option

In Worchester, about 48 miles from downtown is Becker College. Students here can complete animation classes through the game design and game development and programming concentrations of the bachelor's in interactive media design program.


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