Animation Degrees and Schools

A career in animation lets you combine traditional drawing skills with the latest in computer animation. Continue reading to learn about the different degrees offered and what you will learn in an animation degree program. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

In an animation degree program, you will gain the skills needed to create animated images for movies, television and video games, and produce a portfolio of your work to demonstrate what you've learned. Several schools offer animation undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with some having on-campus animation studios complete with sound rooms, green screens and motion capture capability.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in 3D animation, game art, computer animation and visual effects, among others
Schools Washtenaw Community College, Academy of Art University, School of Visual Arts, New York City
Online Several schools offer programs that are 100% online

What Will I Learn in an Undergraduate Degree Program?

You will learn to improve your traditional drawing skills as well as the process of animation and industry software. Your classes in an animation associate's degree program may include character development, fundamentals of animation, animation process, drawing, textures and sound. A bachelor's degree program will further improve your drawing skills and allow you to learn the newest technologies through hands-on projects. Some programs require a senior thesis or completion of a group animation project. Your curriculum may consist of classes, such as 2D and 3D modeling, visual effects, animation physics, motion capture and soundtrack creation.

Students might choose an Associate of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects. An Associate in Applied Science in 3D Animation Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation with a game arts concentration are additional options. Course topics in an undergraduate degree program may include:

  • Drawing
  • Computer-generated imaging
  • Imaging tools and techniques
  • Computer animation
  • Digital video tools and techniques

What About Graduate Degrees?

Master's degree programs typically offer the opportunity to focus on either 2D or 3D animation. In these programs, you will work to polish your skills and personal style. Most programs require a thesis project demonstrating your mastery of animation techniques. You may take classes in stop-motion, figurative concepts and visual storytelling. A Master of Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects may be offered.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Animation degrees are found online as associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs. You will typically find the same courses in an online program that you would in an on-campus program. Discussions, lectures and assignments are usually online. Web-based conferencing and online chats allow you to have an interactive classroom experience. Some programs also include demonstration videos in their learning materials. Depending on your program, you may be required to purchase additional software or work on a certain computer platform. These schools offer animation degrees, including online programs:

  • Lynn University (Boca Raton, FL)
  • Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA)
  • Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL)
  • Washtenaw Community College (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • School of Visual Arts (New York, NY)

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

All degree levels require you to have drawing skills, particularly the skill to draw what you see in life rather than copying a 2D image. An understanding of how objects interact and move is also important in this career.

Associate's degree programs typically do not require a portfolio, but you may be required to submit a portfolio of your best work for acceptance into most bachelor's degree programs. Master's degree programs usually require a professional portfolio. You should check with your prospective school to determine their portfolio requirements, because some schools may require a certain number and type of work samples.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Liberty University

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    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

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  • Independence University

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    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • American University

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    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

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  • Maryville University

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    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Penn Foster High School

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    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Associate Programs

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  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Chula Vista
  • Ferris State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Big Rapids