Animation Programs in the San Antonio Area
Students in the San Antonio, Texas, area have limited options for earning degrees in animation. This article looks at the three schools, none more than 10 miles from the city center, and the degree programs they offer in animation or related areas. Following this information is a table of statistics about each school, such as enrollment, tuition and the graduation rate, arranged in a format that makes it easy to compare them.
- University of the Incarnate Word, just under five miles from downtown San Antonio, offers a bachelor's degree in computer graphics with an emphasis on 3D animation.
- Northwest Vista College offers a certificate and an associate's degree in 3D animation. This school is about eight miles from San Antonio's downtown.
- Less than three miles from the heart of the city, San Antonio College offers an associate's degree in communication design. While not focused exclusively on animation, credits from these programs can be transferred into a four-year program in animation.
Comparison of Schools
The following table contains useful facts for anyone who is considering attending one of these schools.
|University of the Incarnate Word||Northwest Vista College||San Antonio College|
|School Type||Four-year; private, not-for-profit||Two-year; public||Two-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||8,603*||16,752*||19,385*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$29,990*||$2,760 in-district; $7,170 out-of-district, in-state; $13,770 out-of-state*||$2,760 in-district; $7,170 out-of-district, in-state; $13,770 out-of-state*|
|% of Incoming, Full-Time Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||100%*||56%*||67%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||94% *||Open admissions*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||76% of full-time students; 45% of part-time students*||70% of full-time students; 50% of part-time students*||60% of full-time students; 43% of part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||53% (for those who began their studies in 2011)*||29% (for those who began their studies in 2014)*||18% (for those who began their studies in 2014)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
University of the Incarnate Word
University of the Incarnate Word is a Roman Catholic school that was founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The university's School of Media and Design grants an undergraduate degree in computer graphics that has an emphasis on animation.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in 3-D Animation and Game Design (concentration in animation)
This 120-credit-hour program teaches students animation and the skills it requires, such as hand surface modeling, drawing, anatomy for animators, figure drawing, the history of animation, motion capture for animators and storytelling. Students will be responsible for a thesis workshop, a thesis production and a portfolio in their senior year.
Northwest Vista College
Northwest Vista College offers a certificate and an associate's degree in 3D animation. Graduates may find jobs as 3D animators working in film production, video game production or special effects.
Certificate in 3D Animation
The 3D animation certificate is a four-semester program that requires 36 credit hours. Students take courses in game design and development; 3D modeling, rendering and animation; character animation and rigging; digital imaging; lighting, shading and texture; and particles and dynamics. The program includes a group project relating to games and simulations and the development of the animator's portfolio.
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in 3D Animation
The A.A.S. in 3D Animation trains students to enter a career in animation, game design or special effects. The program takes five semesters to complete and consists of 60 credit hours. In their first semester, students take courses in writing, drawing, game design and development, digital imaging and 3D animation. In the second semester, coursework covers business and mass communications; 3D modeling and rendering; and interactive storyboarding. During the third semester, students study algebra, character animation, particles, dynamics, sculpting, lighting, shading and texture. The fourth semester consists of a group project in games and simulations and courses in level design and character rigging. The final semester is spent developing the student's portfolio. Since the field of animation requires advanced skills, the college recommends that students pursue a bachelor's degree after graduating from this program.
San Antonio College
San Antonio College is the largest college in the Alamo Community College District. It offers an associate's degree in communication design, which may be transferred towards a bachelor's degree program in animation at another college or university.
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Communication Design
The A.A.S. in Communication Design is a two-year degree that includes 60 credit hours. The first semester typically covers writing, graphic design and both computer and non-computer illustration. In the second semester, students take classes in communication graphics history, writing and typography, as well as a special topics course that focuses on motion graphics and current events. The third semester covers design communication and visual and typographic design, as well as one course in either the humanities or the visual and performing arts. In their fourth semester, students take classes in advanced design communication and speech, while developing their portfolio. Students also choose a math or science class and a social and behavioral sciences class.