Top Animation Colleges

Get info on choosing a school with a good animation program. Explore three top-ranked schools with animation programs, and read about the degrees and certificates each school offers in the field. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of Top Animation Colleges?

When looking for a top school, you might want to consider the school's contacts, available competitions and festivals, visiting industry professionals and internships. Top animation schools support the development of underlying painting, drawing and design skills and provide excellent computer and laboratory facilities. If you're interested in the science of animation, you might be interested in a program doing groundbreaking interdisciplinary research. These three schools rank highly in animation fields.

What Are Three Top Animation Colleges?

New York University (NYU) in New York, NY

In 2019, NYU was U.S. News & World Report's 30th ranked national university ( The Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, a department under the Tisch School of the Arts, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SPCS) both have traditional, 2-D and 3-D animation classes.

Leading animation artists are guest lecturers and recruiters from Disney, DreamWorks and other hiring organizations visit annually. Kanbar highlights students' animation, film and television work in the school's annual First Run Film Festival. These programs are available from Kanbar and from the School for Continuing and Professional Studies:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business/Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television
  • Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications and Media - Time-Based Media: Video and Motion Design
  • MFA in Film
  • Master of Business Administration/MFA in Film and Television

University of California in Los Angeles, CA (UCLA)

UCLA offers undergraduate opportunities to take painting and drawing courses within the Department of Art and animation courses through a bachelor's program in film, television and digital media in the School of Theater, Film and Television. Its Master of Fine Arts in Animation is workshop-based so you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of filmmaking, learn the latest software and work on animated projects. You'll have access to the Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio's resources for your thesis project.

Animation students have won the Animation Silver Medal at the Student Academy Awards and had an Oscar nomination for a Best Animated Short. UCLA sponsors an annual Animation Prom with awards presented for professional and student accomplishments. The following programs are offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Film, Television, and Digital Media
  • MFA in Animation

University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, CA

The John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts of the USC School of Cinematic Arts offers an undergraduate minor in animation and a MFA in Film, Video and Computer Animation that takes three years to finish.

You'll be encouraged to participate in animation and film contests and events. Faculty members include award-winning and international professors with varied backgrounds in visual effects, digital media and animation. Your facilities include an animation and digital arts building, production and stop motion facilities, multiple computer laboratories and two Oxberry animation cameras. USC's cross-disciplinary entertainment and science laboratories produce digital animation and visual effects research. The following programs are offered:

  • Game Animation Minor
  • B.A. in Animation and Digital Arts
  • B.A. in Cinematic Arts - Film & TV Production
  • B.F.A. in Cinematic Arts - Film & TV Production
  • M.F.A. in Animation and Digital Arts
  • M.F.A. in Cinematic Arts - Film & TV Production
  • Ph.D. in Cinematic Arts - Media Arts & Practice

Ten Schools with Animation Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
California Institute of the Arts4-year, PrivateValencia, CA$49,000
Savannah College of Art & Design4-year, PrivateSavannah, GA$37,000
Carnegie Mellon University4-year, PrivatePittsburgh, PA$55,500
University of Central Florida4-year, PublicOrlando, FL$6,000
Rochester Institute of Technology4-year, PrivateRochester, NY$42,000
Pratt Institute4-year, PrivateBrooklyn, NY$52,000
Columbia College of Chicago4-year, PrivateChicago, IL$27,000
Loyola Marymount University4-year, PrivateLos Angeles, CA$48,500
Ohio State University4-year, PublicColumbus, OH$11,000
University of Texas4-year, PublicDallas, TX$13,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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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