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Animation Schools in Cleveland, OH with Degree Program Overviews

The Cleveland area has about seven colleges within 25 miles of downtown that offer animation-related programs. Learn about these degree and certificate programs, admission info, and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

Cleveland, Ohio, Animation Schools

Students interested in pursuing animation education have a few options near Cleveland, Ohio. This article looks at three schools that are within 25 miles of the city center. Two offer training specifically in animation, while at the other school, animation courses are part of a broader program in digital art. After descriptions of the programs offered, the article contains a table of facts about each school, such as tuition, size and graduation rates. This information could be useful to individuals who are deciding on a school.

  • The Cleveland Institute of Art, located downtown, is the only Cleveland school that offers a bachelor's program specifically in animation. All of the professors at this small private institution are also professional artists.
  • For students who want broader training in visual arts, Lake Erie College, about 24 miles from downtown in the suburb of Painesville, has Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs visual communication and graphic design.
  • Students looking for faster and less expensive training in animation can choose the 3D animation certificate program at Cuyahoga Community College. This school is just under four miles from downtown Cleveland.

Comparison of Schools

Below is some important information that prospective students should know about these schools, presented in a format that makes it easy to compare.

Cleveland Institute of Art Lake Erie College Cuyahoga Community College
School Type Private not-for-profit, 4-year Private not-for-profit, 4-year Public, 2-year
Total Enrollment (2017) 636* 1,177* 23,900*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $40,655* $30,862* $3,136, in-district; $3,953, in-state; $7,648, out-of-state*
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 98% of first-time students* 100% of first-time students* 78% of first-time students*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 54%* 60%* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017) 89% for full-time students* 61% for full-time students* 58% for part-time students, 46% for full-time*
Graduation Rate 56% (students who started in 2011) * 46% (students who started in 2011)* 15%, 29% transfer-out rate (students who started 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Cleveland Institute of Art

The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) offers 15 areas of study and has small class sizes (10 to 1 student-faculty ratio). Most CIA students take part in an internship within their field of study.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation

All students at CIA begin their education with a foundation curriculum of interdisciplinary theory and practice. Students in the BFA in Animation program take courses like sound design, game design, animation basics, moving images in space, and experimental video. By their senior year, students will have learned and practiced experimental and narrative animation, 2D and 3D digital media, conceptual development, and stop-motion animation. Public speaking and presentation practice is also part of the curriculum. To be awarded a BFA, all students must finish a senior thesis in which they present and defend a body of their work.

Lake Erie College

Lake Erie College offers a BA and a BFA in visual communication and graphic design. The program is within the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, which encourages cross-disciplinary studies and experimentation.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and Graphic Design

The major program requires 69 credits for graduation. Students must take foundation classes in drawing, the history of graphic design, as well as studio skills, digital illustration, motion graphics, environmental graphics and dimensional design.

Cuyahoga Community College

Cuyahoga Community College, also known as Tri-C, offers several degree and certificate programs within its visual communication and design department. The programs are offered at state-of-the-art studio, computer, sound, and lighting facilities on Tri-C's western, metropolitan, and eastern campuses.

3D Animation Certificate

The 3D animation certificate is a 2-semester program consisting of classes like digital studio basics, 2D design, 3D design, motion, simulation, and video and animation for the web and media. This certificate is intended for students who already have experience in design. Students who want to pursue an Associate of Applied Business in the visual communication and design field at Tri-C can apply credits earned in the certificate program to those degree programs.


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