2023 Best Bachelor’s in Animation Programs

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Are you thinking of applying to a bachelor’s program in animation? Well, you have made an excellent degree choice, as this industry is in a state of extreme growth. Because of this, a lot of schools have outstanding BFA and BA programs in animation, and guess what? We have created a list of 2022’s best bachelor’s in animations programs.

  1. Brigham Young University – Brigham Young University’s BFA in Animation has a limited enrollment. Students are accepted into the pre-major, must fulfill the requirements, and apply at the end of 1st term Fall or Winter semesters. Once approved, students have access to everything the BYU Center of Animation has to offer both artistically and technologically for the animation, live-action, special effects, and game industries.
  2. California College of the Arts – Designed to educate students on how to animate for both TV and film, the Animation program at the California College of the Arts teaches 2D animation, 3D animation, animation for video games, stop-motion animation, and more. CCA offers an open-lab environment where students can work on state-of-the-art equipment, including 24-inch Cintiq monitors, a Foley room, sound studio, and more.
  3. Cleveland Institute of Art  – The Cleveland Institute of Art’s Animation Department is driven by the goal of producing professional content and puts an emphasis on storytelling. Students will take courses in 2D Animation and 3D Animation, as well as in Acting, Human and Animal Anatomy, and many more. All animation students work with a client or community partner or intern before graduation.
  4. Columbia College of Chicago – Offering programs in both Traditional and Computer Animation, Columbia College of Chicago also offers both BA and BFA degree options. Whether you want to work in stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, 3D animation, or some combination of the two, Columbia has a program you’ll be interested in. Students have access to several Animation Production Spaces, including a Cintiq Lab, Stop-Motion Labs, Camera Labs, and more.
  5. DePaul University – The College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University offers both a BA and BFA in Animation. The BA program emphasizes the art of animation, creativity, and critical thinking within a broad liberal arts curriculum. The BFA gets more in-depth, providing a thorough foundation in the art of animation along with its history. Students will work in traditional as well as 3D computer animation and modeling. Students can opt to concentrate on Cinema Animation, Game Art, Storyboarding and Character Design, Motion Graphics, or 3D Animation.
  6. Florida State University – Home to the College of Motion Picture Arts, Florida State University has a 3-year program, the 4-year degree focused on Animation and Digital Arts. Students learn the development and production of 3D Animation, as well as visual effects in live-action filmmaking.
  7. Laguna College of Art and Design, California – The BFA Program at Laguna College of Art and Design in California is designed to prepare students to become storytellers who understand the process of animation from start to finish. Every year, the college hosts the LCAD Animation Film Festival, which showcases the best student work from all levels.
  8. Loyola Marymount University – Loyola Marymount University’s Animation program has a goal to help each student develop their own unique, personal artistic vision. LMU was the first school to build a motion-capture lab and teach methods used in James Cameron’s Avatar. Using state-of-the-art networked computer workstations, students will learn visual effects, stop-motion, experimental animation, 2D and 3D, game design, and more in small classes.
  9. Maryland Institute College of Art – The Animation Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art offers a BFA in Animation using the surrounding Baltimore community as a way for students to gain real hands-on experience. Students will graduate with knowledge in 2D, Stop-Motion, and 3D animation.
  10. Massachusetts College of Art and Design – The BFA in Animation at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design wants artistic students looking for a challenge. Students will come out of the program with a firm grasp on Technology and Workflow, the Creative Process, Critique and Assessment, and Research & Context. MassArt gives students access to 6 individual animation studios, Multi-Modal labs, an Editing & Sound Studio, and more.
  11. Minneapolis College of Art and Design – Offering education in illustrated, stop-motion, and computer-generated approaches to animation, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s BFA in Animation gives a broad historical perspective on animation as both an applied and fine art. Students are required to gain real-world experience through an internship and are encouraged to study abroad during their third year, before delving deep into senior year projects.
  12. Montclair State University – Montclair State University’s BFA in Animation/Illustration is considered a pre-professional degree where students will study digital illustration, 2D and 3D animation, cartooning, character design, screenwriting for animation, texture mapping, and much much more. Students have access to a wide variety of studios, including a Product/Design Studio and Drawing Studio.
  13. New York University – The Animation Area at the New York University Tisch School of Arts is designed to fulfill the needs of all Film and TV students for both animation and live-action. The curriculum covers 2D and 3D animation, storyboarding, optical and digital effects, as well as titles, life drawing, history, and criticism classes.
  14. Ohio State University – It may not explicitly say “Animation.” Still, the BFA in Art with an Emphasis in Art & Technology major at Ohio State University has some animation accolades under its belt. The curriculum is primarily filled with project-based learning, and students will create interactive installations, produce moving images and 3D animations, work in virtual reality, 3D modeling, art games, holography, and more.
  15. Purdue University – The Animation major at Purdue University focuses on six areas of animation: 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, character rigging, and motion. Housed in the Polytechnic Institute, students learn by doing in teams as well as with professionals.
  16. Pratt Institute – Students in the BFA in Digital Arts and Animation program at Pratt Institute learn through the theory, practice, and history of new media. They can choose between one of three Digital Arts Concentrations: 3D Animation and Motion Arts, 2D Animation, and Interactive Arts. Myrtle Hall, home to the Animation program, features digital studio/classrooms, 2D and 3D printers, a dedicated green screen facility, high-speed Fibre Channel network, traditional animation facilities, and more.
  17. Rhode Island School of Design – The Rhode Island School of Design offers a BFA in Film, Animation, and Video, affectionately called FAV, which educates students in both live-action and animation, as well as hybrids of the two. Students have access to Animation stand studios, stop-action animation studios, and a variety of equipment and programs.
  18. Ringling College of Art and Design – The Ringling College of Art and Design offers a BFA in Computer Animation with a focus on producing original work that affects the audience emotionally, visually, and intellectually. RCAD brings in visiting artists from big names in the industry and provides eight state-of-the-art computer labs for students to work in, along with a render farm.
  19. Rochester Institute of Technology – The School of Film and Animation at the Rochester Institute of Technology offers a BFA option in animation that gives students three tracks to choose from 2D, 3D, and stop-motion animation. Students have access to a variety of facilities to start making movies from day one, including a Mixdown Room, SOFA Cage, and Animation Crane Rooms.
  20. Savannah College of Art and Design – Savannah College of Art and Design offers a BFA, MA, and MFA in Animation, as well as maintains the offers in Atlanta, Hong Kong, Savannah, and online via e-Learning. SCAD provides the education and resources to work in film, TV, video games, AR/VR, and more. Students have access to high-performance digital workstations, state-of-the-art motion capture systems, and more.
  21. Syracuse University – Syracuse University is home to the Department of Transmedia, which offers a BFA in Computer Art & Animation. The curriculum begins with a focus on creating a strong foundation and provides the opportunity to travel for an immersive experience in animation and film in Los Angeles.
  22. Texas A&M University – Another program without the word “Animation” in it, but graduates from Texas A&M University’s BS in Visualization program have gone on to contribute to big-name Animation flicks such as Toy Story 4 and Zootopia. Visualization Aggies are trained to engage and develop both scientifically and aesthetically in all areas of visual communication—including animation. Junior year, students are required to study away for a semester before delving deep into studio time, and a capstone project their senior year.
  23. University of Pennsylvania – Designed for students with interest in computer graphics, animation, games, and more, the  Digital Media Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania is a Bachelor of Engineering and Science (BSE) degree. Created in 1998, this program was created to combine fine arts with computer science — while students will be using their artistic skills, they will also be expected to work on the programming, mathematics, and technologies that make computer graphics.
  24. University of Southern California – The John C. Hench Division of Animation at the University of Southern California curriculum includes classic character animation, 2D and 3D storytelling, performance capture, visual effect, motion graphics, stop-motion, and more. USC Animation students have the opportunity to study abroad at Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy.
  25. Woodbury University – Taught in a studio environment, Woodbury University’s BFA in Animation program is hands-on from the start. Woodbury’s animation program has students developing characters and worlds to star in their own films, whether the mode of art be hand-drawn, stop-motion, or computer graphics. Students are required to fulfill an internship before graduating, but with Woodbury’s prime location within 20 minutes of 15 different animation studios, there are plenty of choices.
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