Top 10 Animation Schools in the U.S.

Learn about top animation schools below. Get details about program options and rankings for two profiled schools; and keep reading for a list of comparable schools also offering animation programs.

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School Information

Animation college degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Two of the U.S.'s top animation schools are Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.

Top U.S. Animation Schools

1. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As of 2010, Carnegie Mellon University was among the U.S.'s top 25 colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report. In 2008, Disney began a 5-year project with the university, whereby CMU would perform animation and robotics research and development to benefit Pixar Animation Studios, Disney theme parks and ESPN. Animation training is offered through the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts program, which combines a concentration from the School of Computer Science and a second specialization from the College of Fine Arts. Animation majors can take courses in game design, animation technology and art, artificial intelligence development, computer graphics, technical animation and Web applications.

2. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia

Home to a variety of animation-focused degree programs, CalArts was among Princeton Review's 2010 'Best Western Colleges'; this top-ranked animation college has also been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design since 1972. The school's faculty are full-time professionals, and alumni include such animation notables as Henry Selick, director of James and the Giant Peach, and Eric Darnell, director of Madagascar. Students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Character Animation or Experimental Animation as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Experimental Animation. Depending on the animation major, courses may include stop-motion, 2- and 3-dimensional computer animation, color and design, life drawing, storytelling, dialogue or sound effects.

List of Ten Good Animation Schools in the U.S.

College/University Name Student Population Address Phone Number
University of Central Florida 50,121 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, Florida 32816 (407) 823-2000
Brigham Young University 34,244 Main Campus, Provo, Utah 84602 (801) 422-4636
University of Southern California 33,747 University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089 (213) 740-2311
Rochester Institute of Technology 15,055 One Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, New York 14623 (585) 475-2411
Carnegie Mellon University 10,875 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 (412) 268-2000
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University 6,690 700 Beacon St., Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (617) 585-6600
Pratt Institute 4,946 200 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11205 (718) 636-3600
Rhode Island School of Design 2,352 Two College St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903 (401) 454-6100
California Institute of the Arts 1,381 24700 W. McBean Pky., Valencia, California 91355 (661) 255-1050
Ringling College of Art and Design 1,229 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34234 (800) 255-7695
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