Motion Capture Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Studies of motion capture are included within undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer animation, as well as broader computer science and technology programs. Bachelor's, master's and sometimes doctoral degree offerings can be found at four-year universities and dedicated art institutions.

10 Schools with Motion Capture Programs

These schools have degree programs that cover motion capture:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Brigham Young University Provo, UT 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $5,150
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $50,277
San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $6,476 in-state, $17,636 out-of-state
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $37,124
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $42,795
Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,866 in-state, $22,272 out-of-state
Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,935 in-state, $16,015 out-of-state
University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $7,889 in-state, $13,806 out-of-state
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $8,104 in-state, $27,890 out-of-state
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $34,970

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Students should consider the following when looking for motion capture schools:

  • It is important to find out whether the program emphasizes the technical or artistic aspects of motion capture; students can choose between programs based on their interests in the field.
  • Individuals considering research-based graduate programs should make sure that there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests in the field of motion capture.
  • Students may want to find out about school facilities in order to ensure that they will gain experience with the latest computer equipment and software applications.
  • Individuals who are considering broader programs may want to find out if it is possible to choose a formal concentration in a motion capture-related topic.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Undergraduate studies in motion capture are typically available within computer animation-related programs that cover both the creative and technical aspects of creating digital graphics. Depending on the school, students may earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. In addition to courses related to motion capture, students must also fulfill general education requirements.

Master's Degree Programs

Some master's degree programs focus more on the artistic aspects of motion capture, while others allow students to conduct research on the technical aspects. Some Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in digital arts allow students to choose a concentration in digital animation and motion arts; students in these programs hone their skills for using 3D animations for storytelling purposes. In Master of Science (MS) program in computing, students may be able to focus their studies on graphics and visualization, which includes physical simulation and computer animations. Students submit a thesis or final project prior to graduation.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Like MS programs, PhD programs in computing or computer science allow students to investigate a particular aspect of motion capture, such as its application to fields like kinesiology, anthropology and engineering. Students take advanced technical coursework and conduct high-level research under the supervision of a faculty member, leading to a final dissertation and defense.

In undergraduate and graduate degree programs, students can study motion capture for entertainment purposes or its applications in other fields. When choosing between schools, students should make sure that the program is consistent with their academic and career interests.

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