What are some of the better GRADUATE programs for animation?

My daughter is an undergrad at Cincinnati majoring in Digital Design,which she loves. However, upon graduation, she thinks she might prefer animation. What are the top three or four graduate programs in animation that you could recommend? Also, what GPA would these programs normally require for admission, assuming a decent portfolio?

I know this site specializes in ID,but I thought someone would be knowledgable about this. Thanks.[/u]

Sheridan College, in Oakville, Canada


Offers one of the best animation course in North America , and for much less than any school in the US. (About US$17,000 /2semesters - 5yrs ago)

At the time, the rate of graduates students going straight to Disney was like 90%. Which was a good thing. But nowadays there many other options in the area, including Computer Animation, Game design ,and such.

Or VFS, Vancouver Film School. Also another great school.

hope it helps

What’s UC’s placement into animation jobs currently?

I really don’t know what UC’s placement rate for animation.
They do have a digital design undergrad program,which is more web and interaction design oriented,but there certainly is some animation training, especially with Maya and C++. She would probably be well served by going for a masters afterwards.

Someone suggested Sheridan. First it is outside the US,which I would prefer a US school,although it does look good. Secondly and more importantly, it doesn’t offer a graduate degree,which is what she would prefer.

We were looking at CalArts and UCLA,but, not being an artist myself, I really can’t tell about the quality of these programs.

Why not in Canada? You do realize you can throw a rock from Oakville and hit Buffalo?

Not having a graduate degree is a good reason not to go. Not being in the US is silly.


If youv’e seen the end of quarter exibits and particularly the graduation shows, a lot of digital students do animations for their thesis. I’m sure she could place an emphasis there through the rest of her undrgraduate curriculum and co-ops. (I happen to know of one student who built the Manhattan that Godzilla destroyed over a co-op…)

There are also some film classes over in CCM that would help develop storytelling and charecter development that many DAAP animations lack.

As I’ve said many times before, graduate degrees shouldn’t be about job skills and placement.

ip_wirelessly, I guess I should also consider good Canadian school. The advantage of a MFA is that she can teach too if she wants.

No_spec,yes, she can take a few courses in the fine arts program to supplement what she does in Digital Design. However, if you know about UC, they don’t have a lot of electives available. Much of the curriculum is very structured. That said, she does have about 6 spots for electives. Whether this is enough, who knows?

Also,when I think about UC DAAP , I think of design and NOT fine art. Most of the rankings that mention UC DAAP involve design. I have never head anyone rave about UC’s fire art program.Maybe this is false thinking.

fine-arts, no. I was referring to the theater department in the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, a top ten school it its own right that looks for collaborations with DAAP.


I know they don’t actually have a film program, but I’m pretty sure a few people have taken classes to augment the technical side.

I think a grad student combined classes there, (digital media, set design, and directing) with creative writing coursework to produce a short live-action film.

No_spec,she seems interested in animation and NOT making a film. She likes the artistic end of it. This could involve special effects in pictures or animation on web sites. From what I have read about suggested animation training, most top animators strongly suggest taking as much life drawing as possible, along with computer training such as Maya, C++, Unix, Flash etc…

just food for thought.

What I’ve heard, is that much of the animation work is really grunt-level. the Grunt work goes off-shore.

What I’ve seen is that many of the animations seniors produce are technically good but boring to watch.

Charecter development has two meanings: one, the drawing kind that ID does really well, and Two is the kind that makes a story interesting to watch because the protagonist is sympathetic.

I thaught she was more interested in animation as story. However, if it’s the other - many ID students go to Hollywood and Game design because of their combined drawing/computer modelling skills…perhaps some electives are available (in addition to life drawing) .