Animation has changed substantially over the past several decades, with the majority of animated content being produced on computers. Colleges offer a variety of programs in animation at both graduate and undergraduate levels.
10 Animation Schools
These colleges offer programs in animation art or similar programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Brigham Young University||Provo, UT||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$5,150 (undergraduate)|
|George Mason University||Fairfax, VA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$10,592 in-state, $31,598 out-of-state (undergraduate); $13,304 in-state $31,424 out-of-state (graduate)|
|Full Sail University||Winter Park, FL||4-year, Private for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$23,117 (undergraduate); $17,215 (graduate)|
|Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,417 in-state, $27,712 out-of-state (undergraduate)|
|Northeastern University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$45,530 (undergraduate); $22,061 (graduate)|
|DePaul University||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$36,361 (undergraduate); $18,330 (graduate)|
|Academy of Art University||San Francisco, CA||4-year, Private for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$20,340 (undergraduate); $22,740 (graduate)|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$7,093 (undergraduate)**|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state (undergraduate)|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,766 in-state $8,374 out-of-state (undergraduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
In most animation-related programs, artists learn both traditional illustration and computer animation with opportunities for combining techniques and media. Students interested in cartoon art may also consider:
- Associate's programs fit those without prior experience while bachelor's and master's programs may require portfolio submission prior to admission.
- Career goals should inform pursued educational level: for example, those who wish to begin their careers sooner might choose an associate's program rather than a bachelor's.
- Investigate a school's reputation and faculty to see what experience they have to offer.
- Many art schools provide opportunities to show work in a gallery; all should assist in developing a portfolio and some might even help promote a student's work.
Associate's Degree in Digital and Film Arts Animation
These programs are offered as an Associate in Science for those who wish to start working right away, as well as an Associate of Arts that can transfer to bachelor's degrees in the field. The program of study includes some general education requirements. Specific coursework includes rendering, computer graphics and color theory.
Associate's Degree in Graphic Storytelling
This program is focused on advertising or creating graphic novels or comic books. Students learn design and traditional and digital illustration techniques. They take courses in art appreciation, drawing, figure drawing and design.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation
Intensive 4-year programs in animation and illustration tend to be competitive. Portfolios will most likely be required, with demonstrated skills in the art. BFA students take basic art courses, like life drawing, art history, sculpture and design.
Master of Fine Arts in Animation
MFA programs tend to be even more highly competitive to enter. Master's candidates may also perform a teaching internship or other placement related to their field of study. Coursework will vary according to the school.
Artist interested in animation or cartoon art can receive a formal education in the field from a variety of sources. Those wishing to further their studies can work towards a degree from either a private or public university.