Students looking for a high-quality college education in an animation field may be frustrated by an online search where many results merely list referral links to programs hosted online. While there’s nothing wrong a non-traditional education, limiting the lists to Internet programs doesn’t give an honest depiction of what degrees employers are looking for. Here is a list of college programs currently recruiting to top animation studios.
Oakville, Ontario, CA
Considered the Harvard of animation, it’s no surprise that graduates are sought after by the likes of Pixar and Disney. Many graduates are award-winning animators by the time they end their four-year programs. Potential students need to be prepared to fight for a place in a program. The school’s entrance standards are exceedingly high. Creating your own animation projects is the tip of the iceberg, but those talented enough to get in will reap the professional benefits.
California Institute of the Arts
With so many animation studios based in California, it makes sense that CalArts would be a go-to school for talented profs and sought after graduates. They offer four distinct specialty degrees so students exit their programs with specific experience in their intended fields. Again, entrance requirements for a program are highly competitive, but worth the battle.
Long considered the best animation program in the world, it is also the school with the toughest entrance exam. Professors are European leaders in the field, as well as visiting lecturers. Students often win top awards before their programs are completed, and graduates go on to lead major projects at the top animation studios in the world.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia
Their mix of minors, undergraduate and graduate degrees and talented professors make this one of the best programs in the United States. Additionally, they have a branch of SCAD in Hong Kong that also gets rave reviews. A whopping 80 percent of graduates have jobs within six months of the end of their programs, and are popular recruits among studios like Pixar and LucasArts.
Digital Animation and Visual Effects School
The DAVE school breaks their animation program down into manageable blocks that focus on art vs. technical expertise. An impressive 68 percent of graduates have jobs upon graduation. Its unique approach to instruction aids in a high graduation rate as well. Nearly 90 percent of students complete their programs.
If you can’t get into the cream of the crop, don’t fret. There are other high-quality animation schools throughout the United States. Their entrance requirements are not all so strict, and many offer flexible courses and financing to make getting a good degree a possibility for every student, regardless of your circumstances.