Which Schools Offer Computer Animation Degrees in Chicago, IL?

Find schools in Chicago offering computer animation degree programs. Learn about school information and get details about programs offered at those institutions. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are you looking to begin a career in creating digital content for TV, video games, or the Web? If you want to start a program in computer animation around the Chicago area, check out the most popular degree programs from a few colleges below.

What You Should Know

Aspiring computer animators who wish to study near Chicago will find options at 2- and 4-year area schools. You might work toward a 2-year associate's degree in animation, learning entry-level job skills and collecting works for your portfolio. You could also earn a 4-year bachelor's degree in animation that will give you more advanced skills and may require an internship. If you already hold a bachelor's degree, you might be interested in pursuing a 2-3 year master's degree in animation, in programs streamlined for students with or without undergraduate degrees in the field. Read on to discover which program might work for you.

Associate's Degree Programs in Chicago

College of DuPage

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in animation offers courses in editing, animation history, 3-D animation, drawing, cartooning, storyboarding and computer art for the purpose of preparing you for employment after graduation or transfer to a bachelor's degree program. You can study motion graphics, special effects, animation sound and lighting through elective courses. A portfolio course is also required.

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Animation
  • Program Length: Two years (64 credit hours)
  • Tuition and Fees: $4,080 per year for in-district residents, $9,690 per year for in-state residents, $11,790 per year for out-of-state students (2018-2019)
  • Admission Requirements: At least 18 years of age; placement testing in reading, writing and math
  • School Type: 2-year, public; around 24,900 students (all undergraduate)

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Chicago

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago offers its Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation as a professional degree, and you're eligible to apply to the program after completion of 45 credits. A review of your portfolio is required, along with a statement of your future career goals. Degree requirements include coursework in CG animation, a short film thesis project and a collaborative capstone filmmaking experience. Required courses cover project planning, preproduction and production, screenwriting, animation storyboarding and Maya computer animation software. Columbia College Chicago also offers a concentration in animation within its Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video degree.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition and Fees: $27,176 per year for in-state and out-of-state students (2018-2019)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; around 6,825 students (6,568 undergraduate)

DePaul University

You can pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Animation degree at DePaul University's College of Computing and Digital Media. The B.S. program has a technical emphasis and offers a concentration in cinema or game art while the B.A. program has a storytelling emphasis. Students in both programs have access to computer animation software. Course topics related to computer animation include Flash animation and animation mechanics; other classes include storyboarding, 2-D and 3-D animation, 3-D rigging, the history of animation, lighting and motion capture. Both degree programs offer internships and access to area animation studios for hands-on learning.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Animation, Bachelor of Science in Animation
  • Program Length: About four years
  • Tuition and Fees: $39,975 per year for in-state and out-of-state students (2018-2019)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; around 22,437 students (14,507 undergraduate)

Master's Degree Programs in Chicago

DePaul University

The 2-year Master of Arts (M.A.) program offers an animator concentration and a technical artist concentration, and the 3-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program stresses animated filmmaking. Facilities include green screen stages and stop-motion, motion capture, sound recording and mixing studios. Applicants to the M.A. program may have earned their bachelor's degree in any field but applicants to the MFA program should have a bachelor's degree in film, art, animation, graphic design, illustration or a closely related field.

In both programs you will complete higher-level coursework in areas of animation, design and modeling and complete an animation graduate seminar. Animated short film courses are also part of your second year of studies. In the MFA degree program, you'll take a graduate teaching seminar in your second year, and you'll spend the end of your second year and most of your third year focusing on your thesis project. There is no thesis required in the M.A. program.

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in Animation, Master of Fine Arts in Animation
  • Program Length: 2-3 years (5-9 quarters)
  • Tuition: $19,032 per graduate year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum cumulative 2.5 grade point average (GPA), official transcripts, application, portfolio and/or reel with work samples
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; around 22,437 students (14,507 undergraduate)

In short, there are associate, bachelor's and master's degrees available; an associate degree can be earned at the College of DuPage, while a bachelor's program is available at Columbia and Depaul, which also has a master's program.

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

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Southwestern College

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    • Michigan: Big Rapids