Top Schools in Dallas for Animation & Special Effects Courses

Dallas has only a few schools offering programs in animation and special effects. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

There are only about four schools in the Dallas area that offer programs related to animation and special effects. Three of these schools offer only these programs at the associate degree level. The top school in the area for animation and special effects offers bachelor's and master's degrees and also boasts the lowest student-to-faculty ratio.

  • Winner : Southern Methodist University is a nationally ranked private, not-for-profit school located right in Dallas. It offers a bachelor's degree program in digital media. Graduate programs in digital game development are also available.

School Info Chart

Category Southern Methodist University
Rankings Tied for #58th among National Universities (2015)*
Location Dallas, TX
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2014-2015) $45,940*
Animation and Special Effects-Related Programs Offered Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificates
Animation and Special Effects-Related Credentials Awarded (graduate levels only) in 2012-2013 141**
Most Popular Animation and Special Effects-Related Degree Level in 2013 Master's (71 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class 79%**
Noteworthy Alumni from SMU's digital game development program work at video game studios around the world, including Bioware, Lucas Arts, and Bungie***

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***SMU

Southern Methodist University

  • Animation classes require a strong foundation in painting, drawing, and sculpture
  • Master's degree classes are taught by experts who have created the standards for animations and special effects today
  • State of the art facilities feature individual work spaces and numerous digital studios

Southern Methodist University is a private school that offers degree programs to almost 11,000 students each year. SMU is split up into seven academic schools and colleges, each with their own different departments. The Meadows School of the Arts is home to the Division of Art, which offers bachelor's degree, master's degree and graduate certificate programs that incorporate courses in animation and special effects.

The school offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs that include a digital media concentration. Concentration courses focus on subjects like animation, 3D imaging, video editing and computing. The BFA program requires students to take part in integrated studio experiences. The school also provides a 5 1/2 year program awarding a BFA degree and a graduate certificate in digital game development. The BFA portion concentrates on studio art and is offered through the Division of Art. The graduate certificate portion is offered through The Guildhall at SMU. It focuses more specifically on animation, game development and design. SMU also offers a 2-year master's degree program in digital game development. The program takes skills in traditional mediums and teaches students to translate them through digital tools. Students learn every aspect of computer graphics and art to build stunning computer generated worlds. The master's program offers concentrations in art design, level design, and software development.

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