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What Are The Top Animation Schools?

What Are The Top Animation Schools?

Schools offering animation programs have grown considerably in the last few years with renewed interest in the subject among a younger generation influenced by gaming, anime, and manga. While many of these programs offer the comprehensive study necessary to master the various techniques involved in animation, they’re still no match for the quality instruction found at established colleges and universities that have been offering programs for decades now. These schools have produced alumni who have gone on to be the top talent in the animation industry and continue to do so today.  Here is a list of institutions widely believed to be the best animation schools in the United States:

California Institute of the Arts at Valencia

This school is known for both teaching traditional and experimental forms of animation to its students. CalArts reputation is unparalleled in both the industry and among artists. It was first established by Walt Disney in 1961 and the list of notable alumni to graduate from the school is very impressive. The school currently offers bachelor of fine arts degrees in either experimental or character animation. The experimental track is designed for independently minded artists who wish to focus on their own creative efforts instead of conforming to industry norms. The character animation program, on the other hand, is a more traditional track that prepares graduates to enter the animation industry upon graduation.

University of Southern California

The division of animation and digital arts within the school provides students with a curriculum that strongly emphasizes innovation while fostering an atmosphere of critical thinking and creativity. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available for the students to pursue.

Rhode Island School of Design

This Providence based school has earned a reputation for developing the talent and skills of both commercial and experimental artists. The film/animation/video program leads to the awarding of a bachelor of fine arts. Students are taught how to mix live action and animation together in order to tell a story. Technical, artistic, and conceptual questions are explored in classroom settings with experienced faculty who guide students through the creative process from start to finish.

Savannah College of Art and Design

The animation program offered through this Georgia based college has been ranked as one of the very best for preparing artists for careers in game design and animation. In fact, students are exposed to the latest technologies and learn how to develop interactive games, apps, and other digital creations which utilize animation. For those who want a curriculum that is more about training for growing careers within the industry than exploring arcane academic interests, this school may very well be the best choice.

Pratt Institute

This Brooklyn based school offers bachelor of fine arts degrees in both 2D and 3D animation. By creating specialty tracks, the school is better able to provide a comprehensive curriculum of study that ensures students master the finer concepts of the subject which they’re studying. As with the other top animation schools, alumni from Pratt have gone on after graduation to work for some of the biggest names in the industry including Disney, Dreamworks, and Cartoon Network.


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If you would like to know more about these schools and their programs, check out the links below.