Best Animation Graduate Schools

Find out what to look for in a graduate animation program. Review three top schools with programs in this field, chosen based on their national and international rankings. Explore the graduate animation degrees you could pursue at each school. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Select a Top Animation Graduate School

Because animation isn't an exceptionally common area of study, you might benefit from attending a school that specializes in the study of art, design and filmmaking. The best animation graduate schools should boast students, faculty and graduates who have won awards at national and international film festivals. Programs should allow development and exploration of personal animation styles. A school website, printed brochure or tour should divulge whether they encourage independent study or concentrations. Animation requires specialized equipment and laboratories, such as cameras, computers, software, video projectors, production studios and sound stages. Thus, look for schools with modern, state-of-the art animation studios.

What Are Three Good Animation Graduate Schools?

California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA

The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is a 4-year, private school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in art, music, dance, film and video, critical studies and theater. CalArts is one of a small number of schools to offer graduate programs in animation. In 2016, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Institute ninth among the best graduate fine arts programs in the nation. In addition to bachelor's degree programs in character animation and experimental animation, CalArts offers this graduate degree:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Experimental Animation

Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a 4-year, private school with a total population of more than 12,000 students. Students learn animation techniques using industry-standard tools, frequently presented on campus by industry representatives. The same representatives may review student portfolios and hire SCAD alumni. While an undergraduate program is available, the SCAD School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts offers two graduate animation programs:

  • Master of Arts in Animation
  • Master of Fine Arts in Animation

University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

Another West Coast school, the University of Southern California (USC) is a 4-year, private institution serving more than 17,000 graduate students. In 2008, U.S. News and World Report identified USC as a top graduate school, ranking 5th among the best U.S. schools for multimedia and visual communications. Besides an undergraduate major and minor, the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts (part of the USC School of Cinematic Arts) offers two graduate animation programs:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Digital Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Cinematic Arts - Media Arts and Practice

Ten More Schools with Graduate Animation Programs

College/University Institution Type Location
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private Pittsburgh, PA
School of the Art Institute of Chicago 4-year, Private Chicago, IL
Rhode Island School of Design 4-year, Private Providence, RI
University of California - Los Angeles 4-year, Public Los Angeles, CA
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 4-year, Private Troy, NY
University of California - San Diego 4-year, Public La Jolla, CA
New School - Parsons School of Design 4-year, Private New York, NY
School of Visual Arts 4-year, Private New York, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology 4-year, Private Rochester, NY
DePaul University4-year, PrivateChicago, IL

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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