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Animation Schools in Minneapolis with Degree Program Options

Oct 01, 2018

The Minneapolis area has around five schools that offer animation programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within ten miles of downtown Minneapolis to make an informed education decision.

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Minneapolis Schools with Animation Programs

There are only a handful of schools in the Minneapolis area that offer animation programs. Read about three of the closest schools, all of which are less than 20 minutes from downtown. The included table makes it easy to compare valuable information, such as tuition rates, enrollment numbers, graduation rates and more. There is also a short section at the end of the article mentioning another relevant school option.

  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design, which is 1.9 miles from downtown Minneapolis, gives students the chance to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation or a Master of Fine Arts with coursework in animation.
  • University of Northwestern - St. Paul is situated 10.6 miles from downtown and offers a Bachelor of Science in Animation & Illustration.
  • Located 9.5 miles from downtown Minneapolis, Saint Paul College offers certificates in computer animation and visualization technology, as well as an Associate in Applied Science in Visualization Technology with an emphasis in animation and an Associate in Science in Computer Graphics and Visualization.

Comparison of Schools

Choosing the right college can be tricky. Use the following table to compare important school statistics and make an informed decision.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design University of Northwestern - St. Paul Saint Paul College
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 774* 3,521* 6,940*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $37,812* $30,794* $5,560*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 100%* 99%* 87%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 59%* 93%* N/A - Open admission
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 80%* 83%* 60%*
Graduation Rate 59% (for students who began in 2011)* 62% (for students who began in 2011)* 28% (for students who began in 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Both the animation bachelor's and master's degree programs feature in-class and studio training. Studio training courses provide students with hands-on skill development.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation

Students are accepted to this program based on a letter of recommendation, personal statement and work portfolio. This 120-credit program provides courses in animation history, stop-motion animation, 3-D animation and character animation. Additional courses can include 3-D modeling, film and photography, studio and set lighting techniques, sound design and storyboarding. Prior to graduation, students participate in an internship and complete a senior project.

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies

Students can pursue a master's program in visual studies with coursework in animation studies. The 60-credit program will include 36 credits where students will study one-on-one with a mentor. A studio thesis will be completed and a graduate critique seminar will also be performed.

University of Northwestern - St. Paul

The Bachelor of Science in Animation & Illustration program features coursework offered through the Department of Art and Design. This school integrates training with faith-based concepts.

Bachelor of Science in Animation & Illustration

Digital media core courses cover drawing, character design, story structure, art history and art design concepts. The animation emphasis features training in computer graphics production, 3-D modeling and audio production. A portfolio seminar and senior capstone course are required to help fulfill the 125-credit requirement.

Saint Paul College

Associate's degree and visual technology certificate program graduates can transfer their credit hours to a 4-year degree program in an animation-related field. Depending on instructor approval, students can fulfill technical elective requirements by completing an internship.

Computer Animation Certificate

Training covers video and animation software packages, including Flash, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Blender. In the 3-D animation fundamentals and character animation courses, students receive hands-on training in model and scene development. The 18-credit curriculum also requires technical elective courses, digital video courses and a 3-D animation capstone course.

Visualization Technology Certificate

The Visualization Technology Certificate program is for students who desire entry-level computer graphics training without taking the rest of the courses required to earn a visualization technology associate's degree. Basic coursework deals with the fundamental applications of Adobe software, such as Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator and Photoshop. The 21-credit program also requires technical elective courses, general education courses and a course in digital photography.

Associate in Applied Science in Visualization Technology with an Emphasis in Animation

This program requires the same courses found in the visualization technology certificate program. The main difference is that associate's degree program students pass courses covering advanced digital video techniques, 3-D animation fundamentals, digital portfolio development and 3-D character animation. Students must complete a 4-credit capstone course and 20 credits of general education courses to graduate from this 60-credit program.

Associate in Science in Computer Graphics and Visualization

Courses include Web fundamentals of HTML, digital sound and video, blogging applications, digital photography and computer animation. Training also covers Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash (for use in Web animation) and Photoshop. This program requires 60 credits to complete and includes 30 credits of general education courses.

Other School Option

Students can also find web and interactive media certificate and an associate's degree programs in downtown Minneapolis at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

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