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List of Schools Offering the Best Graduate Programs in Animation

Higher Education Articles August 25, 2015

This article talks about schools that offer the best graduate degree programs in animation and information about those schools.

Leading Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Animation

Those with an interest in graduate programs in animation should look into the two best schools offering them, the University of Southern California (USC) and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) programs are available through both schools. USC offers its small classes and holds a national ranking. SCAD offers programs that focus on art and a Master of Arts (M.A.) along with its MFA.

University of Southern California in Los Angeles

The U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Southern California 26th on its 2011 list of best national colleges. A Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Animation and Digital Arts is available through USC with 14 students in each class. Students take about three years to complete the program, and learn a range of animation production techniques, such as cutting-edge digital animation and hand-drawn character animation.

Students gain a thorough grasp of aesthetic theory and the history of the medium; the program is devised to facilitate and encourage individual creativity, allowing the development of a singular style by students. Additionally, a thesis must be completed by all MFA students.

Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Animation is offered by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), requiring 45 credit hours of coursework. A work-intensive setting is available to students who gain the bulk of their knowledge through individual projects. An MFA in Animation program requiring 90 credit hours is also available through SCAD. Students are allowed to select a specialization in one or more areas of animation; they are required to complete either a 3-D or 2-D collaborative project partnering fellow graduate students.

Students are allowed by SCAD’s graduate animation program – praised by 3-D World Magazine – to employ various tools. Tools include Animate, Toon Boom Storyboard and Pencil Check, in addition to Adobe Master Collection, which currently comprise the industry standard. Animation industry representatives from the likes of Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, and LucasFilm Animation, among other automation industry representatives, often make presentations within the MA and MFA programs as visiting faculty.

List of Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Animation

Name of School Distinction Campus Location
Northeastern University Students in graduate program study in cohorts along with working in the same community of students until graduation. Boston, MA
Rochester Institute of Technology Students who wants hands-on experience will be able to pursue the paid co-op education option. Rochester, NY
San Jose State University Students at San Jose State University will have a lot of options for employment and internships. San Jose, CA
University of Pennsylvania The SIG Center for Computer Graphics at the University of Pennsylvania has an animation studio with a motion capture facility. Philadelphia, PA

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