47 Top Rated Animation Colleges and Schools of 2024 Review

Top Rated Animation Colleges and Schools

Discover the top animation colleges and schools of 2024 with our comprehensive review. Our guide showcases 47 of the most highly-rated institutions, each offering unique strengths in the realm of animation education. Whether you’re seeking cutting-edge technology, industry connections, or a rich creative environment, these animation colleges provide diverse opportunities tailored to aspiring animators. 

Dive into detailed analyses of curriculum, faculty expertise, alumni success, and state-of-the-art facilities. With our reviews, you can find the perfect fit to hone your skills and launch a successful career in the dynamic and evolving world of animation. Explore our in-depth evaluations to make an informed decision about your animation education journey.

What Are The Top 3D Animation Colleges?

Are you passionate about bringing your creative visions to life through 3D animation? The world of 3D animation Colleges offers endless possibilities to express creativity, tell stories, and explore new technologies.

Our selection of top-rated 3D Animation Colleges for 2024 is tailored for aspiring animators like you. These colleges are at the forefront of animation education, offering cutting-edge programs that blend artistic creativity with the latest technological advancements.

Imagine having access to industry-standard software, hands-on projects, and guidance from experienced professionals. These colleges provide all that and more, setting you on a path to a successful career in film, gaming, television, or digital media. You’ll not only learn the technical skills but also develop a strong artistic foundation to bring your unique ideas to life.

Don’t miss this opportunity to turn your passion into a profession. Explore our comprehensive reviews of the best 3D Animation Colleges for 2024 and take the first step toward an exciting and fulfilling career in 3D animation.

3d animation school art creation CAD model
Couple Vase Plant ” by Yuri Uchoa

California Institute of the Arts (USA) 

The BFA Program in Character Animation at California Institute of the Arts is designed for students who seek an understanding of the art of character performance and storytelling in animation. The program provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student develop as a fully-fledged animation artist within both the traditional and computer graphic (CG) animation environments.

Ringling College of Art and Design (USA) 

Ringling College’s Computer Animation program allows students to create characters and tell their stories, as well as design, paint, model, texture, animate, light, composite, and edit original films. The program combines essential technical skills with conceptually original ideas that affect an audience emotionally, visually, and intellectually.

Savannah College of Art and Design (USA) 

SCAD provides every resource to help students develop their signature style in 2D, 3D, and stop-motion animation, digital modeling, rigging, lighting, and look development.

University of Southern California (USA) 

USC’s three-year graduate program attracts advanced students seeking to further their animation knowledge and refine their production and motion design skills. Students are encouraged to explore a diverse array of techniques and tools in both theory and practice in preparation for their thesis film or project.

School of Visual Arts (USA)

The BFA 3D Animation and Visual Effects program at the School of Visual Arts combines the power of CG and VFX with active imaginations, captivating stories, and skilled artistry. The program is designed to help students anticipate and adapt to advances in applied technologies.

Rhode Island School of Design (USA)

In the Film/Animation/Video (FAV) program at RISD, students explore the art of moving images, learning to master the tools needed to articulate a creative vision, whether using film, animation, installations, interactive media, or a combination.

University of California, Los Angeles (USA)

UCLA’s Animation Workshop has been educating innovative and accomplished artists for 75 years. The workshop is committed to excellence in defining, expanding, creating, and teaching animation.

Pratt Institute (USA)

Pratt Institute’s BFA 3D Animation and Visual Effects program provides students with the means to master innovative technologies that are reshaping animated filmmaking.

Gnomon School of Visual Effects (USA)

Gnomon offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with certificate and degree programs, and over 100 avocational individual courses for portfolio development or professional enrichment.

Full Sail University

Full Sail University isn’t just an animation college, it’s a creative forge where ambitions are turned into realities. They offer a diverse spectrum of educational pathways – from in-depth degree programs to bite-sized workshops – designed to sculpt your skills and launch you into the heart of the entertainment industry.

 University of Central FloridaSculpt your 3D vision at UCF, Florida’s sunshine-soaked animation studio. Ignite your passion with immersive degrees, cutting-edge labs, and industry mentors. Launch your dream career with connections blazing brighter than the Sunshine State.

Academy of Art, School of Animation and VFX Tour

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What Are The 2D Top Animation Colleges?

When considering colleges for 2D Animation, it’s important to look at programs that not only provide a strong technical foundation but also foster creativity and connect students with the industry. Here’s an overview of some top institutions:

Sheridan College (Canada)

Sheridan College offers a competitive Honours Bachelor of Animation degree. The program emphasizes classical principles of animation in a variety of forms, including 2D digital, 3D, and stop motion. This makes it stand out as it provides a comprehensive understanding of different animation forms.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Canada)

Emily Carr University offers a 2D + Experimental Animation program. The program equips students with a fulfilling career as an artist, animators, narrative storytellers, and filmmakers. The emphasis on both traditional and digital drawing methods differentiates this program.

Ontario College of Art and Design (Canada)

Ontario College of Art and Design offers diverse animation programs, some focused on 2D or 3D animation and computer animation, while others emphasize traditional professional illustration. This diversity in focus areas sets it apart.

Bournemouth University (UK)

Bournemouth University offers a course that combines disciplines from art direction, and animation to 3D sculpting, visual effects, and scripting. The comprehensive nature of this course makes it unique.

Teesside University (UK)

Teesside University’s BA (Hons) Animation & Illustration program offers a comprehensive and immersive journey into the world of 2D animation. This program, ranked 18th in the world by Animation Career Review, equips you with the skills and knowledge to breathe life into your characters and stories.

University of Hertfordshire (UK)

The University of Hertfordshire offers a BA (Hons) 2D Digital Animation course. The course trains students to combine a vast range of artistic skills and techniques that 2D animation embraces. This focus on a wide range of skills differentiates it.

Griffith University (Australia) 

Griffith University offers a Bachelor of Animation Production course. The course covers every aspect of animated filmmaking, allowing students to develop their vision as an artist and animator. The comprehensive coverage of animated filmmaking differentiates this program.

RMIT University (Australia) 

RMIT University offers a Bachelor of Design (Animation & Interactive Media) course. The course specializes in 2D Animation (ToonBoom, TVPaint), 3D Animation (Maya, Houdini), and Motion Graphics/Special Effects (After Effects, Nuke). The specialization in both 2D and 3D animation sets it apart.

University of Technology Sydney (Australia) 

The University of Technology Sydney offers a Bachelor of Animation Production course. The course covers all aspects of animation from 2D and 3D design to motion graphics, special effects, and interactive media. The broad coverage of animation aspects differentiates this program.

Should You Go To College for 3D Animation?

What Are The Top Stop Animation Colleges

Stop-motion animation is one of the oldest and most painstaking forms of animation in the world. The technique involves moving static objects in increments while filming a single frame per increment. Playing all the frames in sequence creates movement. 

Moreover, the most common objects used in stop-motion animation are puppets, clay figures, miniatures, and cutouts. To master the techniques associated with this form of animation, you will need to find an animation program that offers a concentration or heavy coursework in stop-motion animation.

School of Visual Arts, New York

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation, focusing on storytelling and unique visual styles through both individual and collaborative projects. The curriculum covers basic to advanced animation skills, including stop-motion, and prepares students for the animation industry through hands-on studio courses and the creation of independent films.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film and Animation, emphasizing stop motion puppet fundamentals and a comprehensive understanding of animation’s creative and technical aspects. Students explore all facets of animation, leading to the production of short films and preparation for industry careers through practical coursework and individual projects.

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

SCAD provides BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Animation, focusing on traditional, stop-motion, and computer animation. The program offers hands-on experience and covers all aspects of animation, including digital form, space, and lighting, action analysis, and is designed to equip students with in-depth techniques for filmmaking from ideation to completion.

Maryland Institute College of Art

MICA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation emphasizes creative thinking and flexibility across core animation skills, including a focus on Stop Motion Animation. The program encourages students to explore traditional techniques and respond to technological advancements in animation, preparing them for both traditional and modern animation careers.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

MassArt offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation, exposing students to a broad spectrum of techniques, including stop motion. The curriculum fosters adaptive and flexible skills for the future in animation, design, and art through problem-solving strategies and a diverse range of animation techniques.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation, balancing visual communication’s aesthetic and technical aspects. The program emphasizes creative storytelling through various animation forms, preparing students for professional production environments with a comprehensive approach.

University of Southern California

USC’s Animation and Digital Arts program offers BFA and MFA degrees, covering a wide range of techniques, including stop-motion animation. It caters to students interested in animation as a primary cinema interest, providing a creative environment for artistic skill enhancement and a diverse curriculum for a solid filmmaking foundation.

Point Park University

Point Park University’s BFA in Animation combines artistic vision with technical skills in 2-D, 3-D, and stop-motion animation. The program includes coursework in visual effects and motion graphics, preparing students for professional settings with state-of-the-art facilities and real-world faculty experience.

California State University Los Angeles

CSULA offers a BA in Art with an Animation Option, promoting an experimental approach to animation blending traditional and contemporary techniques. The program, unique for its emphasis on experimentation and abstraction, provides a comprehensive learning experience with a state-of-the-art stop-motion facility.

DePaul University

DePaul University’s BA in Animation focuses on animation principles within a liberal arts context, offering flexibility and interdisciplinary learning. The program prepares students for diverse animation roles through foundational skills, advanced software, and a liberal studies-influenced creative viewpoint, supported by state-of-the-art facilities and industry connections.

What Are the Best Online Colleges and Schools Offering Degrees or Diplomas in Animation?

Choosing the best animation college for online courses depends on your specific goals, budget, and learning style. However, here are some of the top-ranked animation colleges that offer online degrees and diplomas:

Gnomon School of Visual Effects (USA)

Gnomon offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with certificate and degree programs, and over 100 avocational individual courses for portfolio development or professional enrichment.

Full Sail University 

Full Sail University is known for its online Animation programs. The university’s strong reputation in the field of animation makes it a popular choice among students.

Wilmington University 

Wilmington University offers various online programs in Animation. This allows students to learn and develop their animation skills at their own pace and convenience.

National University 

National University provides several online degrees in Animation. This offers students a variety of options to choose from based on their interests and career goals in the field of animation.

University of Advancing Technology 

The University of Advancing Technology offers online degrees in Animation. This provides students with the flexibility to learn and develop their animation skills from anywhere in the world.

Southern New Hampshire University 

Southern New Hampshire University provides an online BA in Graphic Design & Media Arts with a concentration in 3D Modeling & Animation. This specialized program allows students to focus on specific areas of interest within the field of animation.

Academy of Art University 

The Academy of Art University is known for its online Animation programs. The university’s commitment to art and design education makes it a top choice for students interested in animation.

Liberty University 

Liberty University offers various online degrees in Animation. This provides students with a wide range of options to choose from based on their interests and career goals.

The University of Colorado Denver 

The University of Colorado Denver offers an online bachelor of fine arts in 3D graphics and animation. This specialized program allows students to focus on specific areas of interest within the field of animation.

3D Animation Student Showcase

What Are the Top Online Courses and Certificate Programs in Animation?

Are you looking to enhance your skills or gain new knowledge but find it challenging to attend traditional classes due to time constraints or geographical limitations? Online-only courses offer a compelling solution.

With online courses, you can access a wide range of subjects from top educational institutions around the globe, right from the comfort of your home. These courses often come with interactive materials, such as video lectures, forums, and real-time discussions, making learning dynamic and engaging.

Imagine being able to learn at your own pace, on your schedule, without the need to commute. Whether it’s advancing your career, exploring a new hobby, or pursuing academic interests, online courses provide the flexibility to balance your education with your personal and professional life.

Take the first step towards a more flexible and accessible education today. Explore the myriad of online courses available, enroll in one that aligns with your interests or career goals, and start learning on your terms.

Autodesk 

Autodesk is known for its online Animation programs. Autodesk’s strong reputation in the field of animation makes it a popular choice among students.

Board Infinity 

Board Infinity provides several online programs in Animation. This offers students a variety of options to choose from based on their interests and career goals in the field of animation.

Animation Mentor

Animation Mentor, a renowned online animation school, offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to cater to learners of all levels. Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your skills to the next level, their tailored courses provide the perfect blend of theory and practical exercises to help you master the art of animation.

Gnomon School of Visual Effects

For those seeking a more immersive and intensive learning experience, the Gnomon School of Visual Effects offers a world-class program that has been training top visual effects artists for over two decades. Their state-of-the-art facilities, industry-standard curriculum, and experienced instructors will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the competitive visual effects industry.

AnimSchool

AnimSchool unlocks your career in 3D animation. Learn from industry pros at DreamWorks & Pixar, master cutting-edge skills, and graduate with an accredited degree. Join our vibrant online community and launch your creative journey today!

Coursera

Unleash your inner animator with Coursera’s renowned catalog of animation courses. Partner with prestigious universities like CalArts and the University of Michigan to learn from industry experts. Master essential skills in 3D animation, character design, and animation filmmaking, all at your own pace. Embrace flexibility and affordability to transform your creative vision into reality.

Unity 

Dive into the immersive world of 3D animation with Unity, the platform powering countless video games. Start your journey with their beginner-friendly “Introduction to 3D Animation” course, or elevate your skills with specialized programs like “Create a 3D Game Character.” Learn by doing with interactive projects and unlock the potential to bring your game ideas to life.

Udemy

Explore a universe of animation learning on Udemy, a platform bursting with courses for every skill level. Whether you’re a Maya enthusiast or a character animation aspirant, find the perfect fit for your goals. Benefit from flexible pricing options and discover in-depth tutorials, industry insights, and a supportive community to guide you on your unique animation journey.

No matter what your current skill level or goals may be, there’s an animation learning path out there that’s perfect for you. So why wait? Start exploring your options today and embark on your journey to becoming a master animator!

AnimSchool Student Animation Showcase

Beyond Animation: A Universe of Possibilities

Explore the vast landscape of online courses and discover your passion in unexpected places:

  • Biomedical Visualisation: Dive into the intricate world of human anatomy with this unique course from the University of Glasgow. Learn to dissect and reconstruct 3D models for use in medical education, simulation, and training.
  • Design Computing: 3D Modeling in Rhinoceros with Python/Rhinoscript: Master the art of 3D modeling while harnessing the power of coding. This University of Michigan course blends creativity and tech skills, making it ideal for those with a passion for both.
  • 3D Art and Animation in Video Games: Duke University’s immersive course delves into the exciting world of 3D art and animation for video games. Equip yourself with the skills to bring your gaming visions to life.
  • Motion Graphics: Craft dynamic and visually stunning animations with this Udemy course focused on Adobe After Effects. Perfect for aspiring motion graphics artists who want to add visual flair to their projects.

Learning at Your Fingertips for Children and Youngsters

Don’t forget the little ones! Online platforms like Outschool offer engaging and age-appropriate courses designed to spark young minds and nurture their creative potential:

  • Digital animation: Let your children explore the world of digital animation in a fun and interactive environment. This beginner-friendly class provides the perfect stepping stone for budding animators.
  • 3D animation: Live video chat classes bring 3D animation to life for kids and teens! Outschool’s engaging program empowers young learners to build confidence and discover the magic of 3D animation.
  • 2D animation: Unleash your child’s inner storyteller with this playful introduction to 2D animation. Outschool’s curriculum makes learning a joy, helping young minds translate their imagination onto the screen.

The world of online learning is waiting to be explored. Ditch the limitations of traditional education and embrace the flexibility, diversity, and convenience of online courses. Start your journey today and unlock your full potential, one fascinating lesson at a time!


3d animation college school graduation classes courses graduate holding cap with gown on smiling

What Is Animation School?

An animation school is a specialized institution within a college of art and design that offers an animation program focusing on various disciplines like computer animation, character animation, and experimental animation. These schools cater to animation students who are passionate about learning both 2D animation and 3D animation, preparing them for the dynamic animation industry.

The curriculum in these schools typically includes a comprehensive animation degree program. Among the best animation schools are the California Institute of the Arts, the Savannah College of Art, and the Ringling College of Art and Design, renowned for their high-quality education in traditional animation, stop-motion animation, and film and animation.

These schools offer a BFA in Animation or a BA in Animation, focusing on animation and digital arts. Students in these programs gain experience in top animation techniques and become proficient in using advanced animation software, which is essential for a career at leading animation studios like DreamWorks Animation or Pixar Animation.

The degree program often includes a concentration in animation, helping students develop specialized animation skills. They learn about various aspects of animation production, including 3D computer animation, animation and visual effects, and digital art and animation.

These institutions also emphasize the importance of understanding the broader context of the animation field, including animation and film, hand-drawn animation, and animation film. Specialized areas like digital animation and interactive media are also explored.

The School of Film and Animation often collaborates with the College of Motion Picture Arts, offering unique opportunities such as the UCLA Animation Workshop and access to facilities like the Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio.

Animation education goes beyond technical skills, encouraging students to explore various areas of animation and aspects of animation, such as animation and modeling, as well as the difference between 2D animation and 3D animation.

Students pursuing an animation major have the opportunity to participate in events like the LCAD Animation Film Festival, gaining exposure and experience in the industry. Graduates can look forward to a promising career in animation, as noted in animation career review publications.

In summary, attending an animation college is a critical step for those aspiring to join the ranks of professionals in the animation area, offering a pathway to a range of roles within the animation industry and equipping students with the necessary skills to thrive in this creative and ever-evolving field.

Graduation day in Top Rated Animation Colleges and Schools

How Can an Animation Degree Benefit You

Earning an animation degree from a top animation school accredited by the Association of Schools of Art and the National Association of Schools can significantly benefit your career. These schools of art and design are often members of the Association of Schools and Colleges, ensuring a high standard of education. Accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and the Colleges and Schools Commission further attests to the quality of the animation program.

Attending one of the animation schools in the U.S. or animation schools in the country recognized by these associations means you’ll be studying at one of the best animation schools available. For example, the animation area at NYU Tisch is renowned for its excellence in teaching both 3-D animation and motion arts and 2D and 3D computer animation.

In these programs, you will learn character animation and experimental animation, which are key skills in the animation and digital arts program. This comprehensive education prepares you for various roles in the animation industry, equipping you with the skills necessary to secure a job within the animation industry.

As a student, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art animation tools and resources. Courses such as 3D animation are common, providing hands-on experience that is crucial for becoming successful artists in the animation industry.

Many of these schools, such as those that host the LCAD Animation Film Festival, offer a BFA in Animation, which is highly regarded in the industry. These programs are considered one of the best college options for students aspiring to work within the animation industry without necessarily having a background in animation or a related field.

Finally, the animation program at the California College of Art and Design’s Animation department is just one example of how these schools integrate practical skills with theoretical knowledge, preparing you for a successful career in animation. With this degree, you will be well-equipped to meet the demands of the ever-evolving and creative world of animation.

a working team of an Animation Colleges and Schools

Conclusion/Wrapping Up

As we wrap up our exploration of the top-rated animation colleges and schools for 2024, it’s clear that these institutions offer unparalleled opportunities for those passionate about animation. From the California Institute of the Arts in the USA to Sheridan College in Canada and beyond, each school provides a unique blend of technical training, artistic development, and industry connections.

In my journey through the realms of 3D animation, 2D animation, and stop-motion animation, I’ve discovered that these programs don’t just teach skills; they ignite passions and open doors to endless creative possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to character animation at the Ringling College of Art and Design or the digital arts program at the Savannah College of Art and Design, each school offers a distinct pathway to mastering the art of animation.

For those considering a career in this dynamic field, these colleges offer more than just education; they provide a gateway to an industry that is constantly evolving and expanding. 

With hands-on experience in animation production, exposure to cutting-edge technology, and mentorship from experienced professionals, students are well-equipped to embark on successful careers in film, gaming, television, or digital media.

So, why should you listen to me? As someone who has navigated the vast landscape of animation education, I understand the importance of choosing the right program that aligns with your creative vision and career aspirations. 

These reviews are crafted to help you make an informed decision, ensuring that your investment in education is a stepping stone to achieving your dreams in the animation industry.

In conclusion, whether you’re just beginning your journey or looking to advance your skills, the animation schools of 2024 offer diverse and comprehensive programs to fit your needs. Explore, evaluate, and embark on your path to becoming a part of the ever-exciting world of animation.

graduation day of an Animation Colleges

FAQs

Which college degree is best for animation?

For animation, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Animation & Digital Arts are considered optimal. These degrees offer a balance of practical skills and theoretical knowledge essential for a career in animation.

Where do Disney animators go to college?

Disney animators often come from prestigious schools like the California Institute of the Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Ringling College of Art and Design.

Is animation a 4-year degree?

 Yes, most animation degrees, such as a BFA or BA in Animation, are typically four-year programs.

What college do DreamWorks animators go to?

DreamWorks animators often graduate from top animation schools like the California Institute of the Arts, Ringling College of Art and Design, and UCLA.

Is BA or BFA better for animation?

A BFA in Animation often provides a more focused, studio-based experience, while a BA offers a broader liberal arts education. The choice depends on your career goals in animation.

Are animation degrees worth it?

Yes, animation degrees are valuable for gaining industry-specific skills, networking, and accessing resources and opportunities in the field.

What do animation colleges look for?

Animation colleges look for creativity, a strong portfolio, a passion for the field, and foundational skills in art and design.

Head of Business, Content Creator, and Author at Kevin Scolaro, MBA | The Leadership Toolbox | Website | + posts

Kevin Scolaro, MBA: Navy veteran, acclaimed entrepreneur, and digital marketing maestro. With dual degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and 3D Emerging Media (BFA), Kevin blends strategic acumen with creative prowess. His decade-plus experience in digital marketing, content creation, and education has cemented his reputation as an industry luminary and thought leader.

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