What Are The Best Animation Programs

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Most people who decide to pursue a career as an animator start their search by looking for schools with the best animation programs. A bachelor’s degree is required for the vast majority of creators in this field because of the high level of expertise required.

In spite of the fact that graduate studies are not required, they can be extremely beneficial in terms of career advancement and finding new opportunities. What are some of the best four-year programs in the United States for people who want to learn the fundamentals of animation?

Classification Methods for Academic Institutions

Let’s take a look at how schools that offer animation programs should be ranked first before looking at the list of notable ones. Some of the most important factors that should drive the rankings are listed by U.S. News & World Report:

  • ACT/SAT scores as a percentage of the overall population
  • The number of students to teachers is quite low.
  • Rates of graduation and persistence
  • The availability of financial aid.

However, there are a few additional considerations when it comes to animation degrees. Things to consider include the school’s corporate partners, how many of them are animation companies, and the professors’ multimedia artistry experience. Consider yourself warned if you’re considering a program at a school with no affiliation with the animation industry and professors who have no prior experience as digital creators.

Finally, because Hollywood, the entertainment industry’s center, is located on the West Coast, the vast majority of the most popular shows will originate in the Golden State.

University of the Arts, Los Angeles

Founded in 1961, California Institute of the Arts was the first university to offer degrees in digital art specialization. As the industry’s forerunner, it maintains its position as the country’s most powerful and reputable institution. The school has an average student population of 1,500 and a faculty of 345 teachers. One to five is a typical faculty to student ratio.

The School of Film and Video’s animation program focuses on computer-generated imagery, or CGI, animation software, design, modeling, layout processes, and other aspects of the art form.. It takes four years of full-time study to earn a bachelor’s degree.

It’s during this time that they’ll have time to use their coursework to build an impressive resume that can be used in future interviews. Given how well-known the school is, finding a job after graduation should be a cinch given the many options available in the area.

The Rhode Island School of Design

There are few options on the other side of the country other than Rhode Island School of Design, or RISD. The California Institute of the Arts accepts 10 percent more students on average, with a 34 percent acceptance rate.

There were 2,051 undergraduates and 493 graduate students enrolled in the program at RISD in 2018, with an instructor to student ratio of about 9:1. Ten Macarthur Genius Awards were given to RISD, despite its relatively small student population.

There are a large number of employers who are successful enough to set market trends that the school has a good working relationship with.

The University of Ohio

There are few schools on this list of the best animation programs that don’t have an emphasis on art, but Ohio State University stands out as an exception. It is unquestionably the largest university for aspiring animators to attend, with over 44,000 undergraduate students. Even though it has a higher acceptance rate than the other two, only 54% of applicants are accepted.

Those who decide to apply despite this will have the opportunity to attend a historically significant school in Columbus, Ohio, with a 150-year history.

Three-dimensional modeling, internet art, moving image art, podcasting, and many other subjects that are part of the school’s required curriculum will be taught by the school’s Department of Art to students who are accepted into the program.

Since the minimum requirements are 131 credit hours, it will take an average of four years to complete the degree.

Southern California University

If the 54 percent acceptance rate from above seemed intimidating, then the University of Southern California’s rate will be truly mind-boggling. Only 17% of those who apply are accepted, despite the fact that the university has over 18,500 undergraduate students.

That so many people apply each year is a true testament to the quality of the program. It’s an accomplishment in and of itself to attend California’s oldest private research university.

The John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts is the place to apply if you want to study animation. It’s all about visual effects, storytelling, stop motion, and filmmaking in two- and three-dimensional projects. Basically.

Depending on the student’s classification and career goals, the application process varies. You can apply as a transfer student if you’ve already spent some time elsewhere and want to keep most or all of your accomplishments.

Mentions Deserved

Despite the fact that there are a plethora of other schools, these four provide an excellent mix of low and high acceptance rates, geographical locations, and academic specializations. If you’re looking for more options, here are a few to consider:

  • California’s Gnomon School of Visual Effects.
  • Located in Georgia, the Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Located in Utah is Brigham Young University.
  • New York City’s Pratt Institute.

Anyone interested in learning more about this area should start by looking into one of these options. In addition, former students’ reviews can help you adjust your expectations about the best animation programs.

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