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Special Effects Certificate Programs in New York City

New York City has 5 colleges that offer special effects programs. Learn about 3 of these programs, admission info and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

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Comparison of Schools in New York City with Special Effects Certificate Programs

Students interested in studying special effects in New York City may choose to pursue programs in digital animation, cinematography or game design. New York University is close to downtown NYC and has 3 certificate programs with coursework related to special effects, while Pratt Institute, which is located in Brooklyn, has a digital animation certificate program. CUNY - Hostos Community College is in the Bronx and offers an associate's degree program in game design, which can prepare students for visual and special effects careers.

New York University Pratt Institute CUNY - Hostos Community College
Special Effects Certificate Programs Offered Certificate in Digital Cinematography,
Certificate in Digital Animation,
Certificate in Post-Production Editing
Certificate in Computer Graphics (Computer Animation and Video) Associate of Applied Science in Game Design
Related Programs Master of Science in Advanced Digital Applications None Associate of Applied Science in Digital Design and Animation
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 43,911* 4,724* 7,078*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Program Tuition & Fees Individual course fees, $495-$1,495 (2012 tuition and fees)** Individual course fees, $159-$895 (2013 tuition and fees)*** $165 per credit, in-state;
$260 per credit, out-of-state (2012 tuition)****
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2011) 60%* 88%* 90%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 32%* 65%* N/A - open admissions policy
Retention Rate (2011) 92% for full-time students;
50% for part-time students*
83% for full-time students;
25% for part-time students*
64% for full-time students;
61% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 87%* 62%* 8% (14% transfer-out rate)*
Relevant Resources Some certificate programs offered as 4-6 week intensive courses Cutting-edge technology Computer labs that include assistive technology
Distance from Downtown (Driving Time) 1.4 mi. (7 min.) 4.0 mi. (13 min.) 10.6 mi. (20 min.)

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **New York University, ***Pratt Institute, ****CUNY - Hostos Community College.


Programs at New York University

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies at New York University (NYU) provides students with opportunities to focus on career-based study. NYU is located in New York City's East Village and offers certificate programs that might appeal to students interested in special effects. A master's degree program in advanced digital applications with a concentration in live action visual effects and 3D integration is also available.

Certificate in Digital Cinematography

The digital cinematography certificate program is designed for students interested in working with lighting, HD cameras and in-camera special effects for motion picture and film. Students are able to take the program as a 4-week intensive course or as 5 individual classes. Some topics include green screen shooting and technologies, and students have the opportunity to create 6 projects for review.

Certificate in Digital Animation

This certificate program in digital animation involves 6 classes, including 2 that focus on using Adobe After Effects software. In these classes, students learn how to design motion graphics that can be used in film, video and the Web. In addition to these classes, a studio project is required. Those without experience in Photoshop software, drawing and design are encouraged to take basic skills courses in these areas before entering this certificate program.

Certificate in Post-Production Editing

A post-production editing certificate can be earned through a 6-week intensive course or over 8 classes. During this program, students learn how to complete a story with sound effects, music, voiceover and graphics. Students also learn how to use Adobe After Effects in the post-production editing process.

Programs at Pratt Institute

Located in Brooklyn, Pratt Institute offers a certificate program in computer graphics with a concentration in computer animation and video. The program at Pratt's continuing and professional studies division is for individuals pursuing careers in special effects, film, game design, entertainment and broadcast design.

Certificate in Computer Graphics (Computer Animation and Video)

This certificate program in computer graphics has a career track in computer animation and video with specializations in 2D and 3D animation, broadcast design and digital video. Students complete a minimum of 12 courses during the program, including 3 foundation courses, 7 core courses and at least 2 electives.

The program starts with basic animation skills before moving onto more advanced computer applications. Topics of study include modeling, rendering, animation, compositing and titling sequences. Students learn about computerized special effects through programs like After Affects and Maya. Individuals without drawing and design skills must take courses in drawing, animation and illustration prior to entering the certificate program.

CUNY - Hostos Community College

City University of New York (CUNY) - Hostos Community College is part of the CUNY school system and is located in the Bronx. While the school does not offer a certificate program in special effects, it does have an associate's degree program in game design that can prepare students for work in the field, as well as a related associate's degree program in digital design and animation.

Associate of Applied Science in Game Design

This 60-credit associate's degree program in game design prepares students for careers in graphic and special effects design, texture arts and visual effects editing. Students must complete some major coursework in digital media design and 2D design, and they can choose from electives in animation, sound design, motion graphics, game programming and Maya software. General education classes, such as math, psychology and sociology, are also required.

Other School Options

Another school in NYC with programs that train students in special effects design is the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), which is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) school system. FIT's Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in computer animation and interactive media includes studies in 3D modeling, animation, scripting, compositing and special effects. Students interested in this program must have completed 60 credits prior to entry. The New School is a design college with a BFA degree program in motion graphics. The program places a strong emphasis on technology alongside design, with software such as Maya and After Effects.

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