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Cartoon Art College Programs with Course Information

Although a few private for-profit schools offer degrees in cartoon art, most universities and colleges offer degrees in art with concentrations in illustration, sequential art, graphic design or animation. Degrees are offered at the associates, bachelor's and master's levels. Read on to learn more about these options.

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Choosing an Animation School

Animation has changed substantially over the past several decades, with the majority of animated content being produced on computer workstations. In most degree programs related to animation, artists learn both traditional illustration and computer animation with opportunities for combining techniques and media.

The choice of school will depend upon the artist's career goals and focus. Fine arts schools are highly competitive and usually require the submission of a portfolio for consideration. Students will want to investigate the school's reputation and faculty experience. Schools also may offer opportunities in showing student work in galleries and promoting student projects.

Program Overviews

Associate Degrees in Animation

Content will vary depending upon the specific focus of the program. A digital film arts animation associates program may include:

  • Rendering
  • Computer graphics
  • Color theory
  • Video editing
  • Storytelling
  • Photo editing
  • Cinematography
  • 3D animation

A program with a focus on hand illustration may include courses such as:

  • Drawing
  • 2D design
  • History of illustration
  • Commercial art business
  • Graphic storytelling
  • Portfolio development

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation

Intensive 4-year programs in animation and illustration tend to be competitive. Portfolios will most likely be required with demonstrated skills in the art. BFA students will likely study:

  • Life Drawing
  • History of Art
  • Traditional animation
  • 3D computer animation
  • Writing for animation
  • Animal and wildlife drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Caricature
  • Motion graphics
  • Pictorial backgrounds

Master of Fine Arts in Animation

MFA programs tend to be even more highly competitive to enter. Courses may tend to the more theoretical, such as concept design in sequential art, drawing strategies, contemporary art, theories and practices for sequential art and writing for sequential art. Master's students may also perform a teaching internship or other placement related to their field of study.

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