Many public and private non-profit schools across the state of Florida offer computer animation degree programs that can prepare students for careers as animators. Students can choose from various concentrations and they may participate in internships. Portfolio development and a senior thesis project may be required.
Following are brief overviews of ten of the largest schools' programs, as well as a comparison table that presents program options and tuition info. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs at the following 2-year colleges and 4-year universities include fine arts in art in emerging media, multimedia studies in film, video and new media, computer animation, animation and digital arts, digital media, computer art and design and studio art.
Florida Atlantic University
This Boca Raton university offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program with a sequence in film, video and new media. Some of the animation-related courses include drawing, game programming, 3-D computer animation, digital video compositing, interactive multimedia and 3-D computer modeling. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a communication internship.
Florida State University
Florida State University, located in Tallahassee, offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in video, animation and digital arts. Some required courses include film sound, screenwriting, visualization, filmmaking, film aesthetics and film editing. Students also complete a field internship. The school provides funding for film projects, including students' theses films. Program admission is competitive, and students must submit additional materials to be considered.
Indian River State College
Indian River State College is located in Fort Pierce and offers a bachelor's program in digital media with a concentration in modeling & simulation. Students can learn computer animation skills through required courses in digital imaging basics with Photoshop, applied digital simulation, motion graphics, digital animation, 3-D digital animation, visualization and interactive design. The program also features a portfolio course and an internship experience.
Students interested in pursuing a computer animation degree can enroll in Jacksonville University, located in Jacksonville. They can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation. Concentration courses include time-based art, 3-D modeling, character animation and a senior thesis project. Foundational art and art history courses are also required.
Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College, located in the large city of Miami, offers an Associate of Arts in Computer Animation program through the School of Entertainment & Design Technology. A full-time student can complete the degree program in approximately two years, including a summer semester. Students take courses such as drawing, computer animation, graphic design and video compositing. The program incorporates MAYA software training.
Students can pursue a 3-D Animation technical training program at this school in Orlando. Program topics include lighting and rendering, modeling, camera direction, character animation and animatics. This 1050-hour program can lead to a career as a modeler, assistant animator or texture artist.
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota is home to Ringling College of Art and Design. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in computer animation that was ranked first in North America by 3-D World Magazine. The program fosters skills in storytelling, lighting, modeling, sound and motion, and it can be completed in approximately four years. Courses include drawing, concept development, film narratives, computer animation and animation pre-production. In addition, an internship is available.
University of Central Florida
Students can pursue an animation-related degree program at the University of Central Florida, found in Orlando. Students can select a track in emerging media through the Bachelor of Arts in Art program. Within the track, they can further specialize in character animation or experimental animation. Those in the character animation track take courses in look and geometrical modeling, compositing and digital effects, motion graphics and visual storytelling. The experimental animation track offers a course in advanced animation and an animation workshop. Prospective students should be aware that this program is currently under review and may be subject to change.
University of Florida
Situated in Gainesville, the University of Florida's School of Art & Art History offers students a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences program. The curriculum integrates study in the areas of animation, Web design, computer programming, interactivity, digital video and digital imaging. Sophomores are required to submit a portfolio to pursue upper-level coursework. Some of the required classes that could interest aspiring animators include digital art and animation, hypermedia, time-based media, visual literacy and perceptual drawing.
University of South Florida - Main Campus
The University of South Florida - Main Campus is located in Tampa. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in video, animation and digital arts. Course topics covered within the emphasis area 2-D and 3-D animation, digital modeling, storyboarding and digital compositing. Students also can learn video skills, such as editing, lighting, camera operation and concept development. Video and animation studios allow students to gain hands-on practice with industry-standard software and hardware, including DSLR cameras, digital audio recorders, Final Cut Pro and Adobe CS6.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Computer Animation Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Florida Atlantic University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies with a film, video and new media sequence||$4,831 in-state; $17,276 out-of-state*|
|Florida State University||4-year, public; midsized city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Video, Animation and Digital Arts||$5,656 in-state; $18,786 out-of-state*|
|Indian River State College||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Applied Science in Digital Media with a modeling & simulation concentration||$2,764 in-state; $10,201 out-of-state*|
|Jacksonville University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation||$36,670*|
|Miami Dade College||4-year, public; large city||Associate of Arts in Computer Animation||$2,838 in-state; $9,661 out-of-state*|
|Orange Tech||2-year, public; midsized city||Technical Training Program in 3-D Animation||$4,067*|
|Ringling College of Art and Design||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation||$46,420*|
|University of Central Florida||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with an emerging media track||$6,368 in-state; $22,467 out-of-state*|
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsized city||Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences||$6,381 in-state; $28,659* out-of-state*|
|University of South Florida - Main Campus||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Art in Studio Art with a video, animation and digital arts emphasis,
Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art with a video, animation and digital arts emphasis
|$6,410 in-state; $17,324 out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.