Best Animation Schools In California: California is not only the city in the United States with the most beautiful national parks and beaches, but also the center of animation colleges. There are numerous animation institutions in California, making it difficult to choose one.
To become a hot animator, you must have the finest education and training. You must enroll in a degree program in animation at one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
If you reside in California and have a passion for animation, you are already aware that California is the home of your aspirations. However, if you reside in other regions of the United States, you may need to move to California in order to realize your ambition of becoming a leading animator.
In this article, we will discuss the Best Animation Schools In California where you can earn a degree in animation to launch your career. We will also list the most affordable animation institutions in California. However, let’s first examine why you must study animation in California.
Why Study At Best Animation Schools In California?
California is the best jurisdiction in the United States for studying animation. In the United States, California has the highest concentration of established animators and multimedia artists.
Therefore, creative pupils migrate to California throughout the year. As a result, up to seventy California colleges offer animation programs.
In addition to the numerous animation institutions in California, the animation industry appears to be firmly established there.
After completing your education at one of the top animation schools that we will list, “what’s next?” is an almost irrelevant query. In addition, you will be immersed in the animation industry while pursuing a degree in animation.
California is home to 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Pixar Animation, Walt Disney, and numerous other industry titans. This bustling metropolis is teeming with animation schools, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Burbank to Oakland and Long Beach.
List of the Best Animation Schools in California
The following is a list of the Best Animation Schools In California:
- Academy of Art University
- University of Southern California
- Cogswell Polytechnical College
- California College of the Arts
- LA Film School
- Loyola Marymount University
- California State University-Long Beach
- SAE Expression College
- Art Center College of Design
- San Jose State University
- California Institute of the Arts
- Otis College of Art and Design
- Gnomon School of Visual Effects
1. Academy of Art College
Academy of Art University is, as its name suggests, the institution to attend if you wish to study Art in college. As one of the Best Animation Schools In California, This institution, founded in 1929, is the premier animation school in California. It is located in San Francisco, California, and has more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled.
Although the Academy offers degrees in a multitude of Art disciplines, it has an animation-specific faculty. This is the Animation & Visual Effects School. The Animation & Visual Effects program can be applied to all degrees and certificates except the Ph.D. This program will prepare you to be the greatest storyboard artist, visual effects artist, or 2D/3D animator possible.
The Academy of Art University’s faculty consists of award-winning professionals, which is even more alluring. Some of them were involved in the creation of animations such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Shriek. In addition, the Academy of Art University is the only Animation & VFX institution that teaches in a studio production environment, StudioX.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this California animation school is ranked among The Rookies 2018 Top 5 3D Motion Graphics Schools in the globe.
2. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California, or USC, is another prestigious institution in California that offers animation degrees. Since its founding in 1880, USC has provided degree programs in a multitude of disciplines to over 45,000 students. However, the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts offers animation-related courses.
The animation programs at USC include both undergraduate and graduate levels. You can concentrate in Animation & Digit Arts and earn either a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Fine Arts degree. If you study animation and digital arts at USC, you will undoubtedly become an expert.
This is due to the fact that the degrees offered by this California animation school allow students to investigate every aspect of art in motion, including traditional character animation, 2-D and 3-D storytelling, performance capture, and experimental filmmaking.
In addition, with training from qualified facility members at the USC John C. Hench Division, you can join graduates such as Mahyar Abousaeedi at Pixar Animation Studios.It is also one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
3. Art Center College of Design
ArtCenter College of Design began in 1930 as the Art Center School in Los Angeles. ArtCenter College has two campuses in Pasadena, California: Hillside Campus and South Campus. ArtCenter offers undergraduate and graduate art specialization programs as well as interdisciplinary programs.
Globally and nationally, ArtCentre has ranked fairly well from its inception to the present. This California school’s Industrial Design and Media Design Practices Program was ranked among the top 20 graduate institutions in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.
In the meantime, ArtCenter’s animation program is housed in its Entertainment Design department. This program includes concept, animation, and game design paths. The animation program will help you master 3D and 2D animation character animation, storyboarding, modeling, art direction, and lighting.
This program prepares you for a prosperous career in the entertainment industry.It is also regarded as one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
4. California Institute of the Arts
CalArts, also known as the California Institute of the Arts, is a private university in Los Angeles, California. The institution began offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programs in art-specific disciplines in 1961. CalArts meets the educational requirements of over 1,500 students through its six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. Early members of CalArts’ board of directors included Walt Disney, Lulu Von Hagen, and several other prominent industry figures. This sentiment has kept CalArts at the pinnacle of California’s animation schools.
Meanwhile, the School of Film and Video at CalArts offers animation programs. CalArts offers the BFA in Character Animation, the BFA in Experimental Animation, and the MFA in Experimental Animation. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Character Animation strengthens your knowledge and skills in the art of character performance and storytelling in animation.
Experimental animation is for students who desire to cultivate intellectually demanding, aesthetically progressive concepts and professional practices in their own cinematic art.This is also among one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
5. Gnomon School of Visual Effects
Gnomon School of Visual Effects is one of the Best Animation Schools In California. Since its inception in 1997 in Hollywood, California, the school has grown in scope and innovation.
This California private school has expanded to offer two- and four-year training programs in Entertainment Design and Digital Productions. Originally, the school provided training for artists in the industry. Gnomon College is now the MIT of visual effects, as it is ranked among the top 10 VFX schools in the world by the 2019 Hollywood Reporter and holds the top position in several other industry-specific rankings.
Therefore, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Productions offered by Gnomon is not limited to special effects. It is a full-time program designed to produce artists with general academic knowledge, arts foundational skills, and production abilities. You will master all aspects of the film, game, and visual effects 3D production pipeline.
To achieve this, you will utilize industry software such as Maya and ZBrush and receive instruction from qualified faculty. In addition, while pursuing this BFA in animation at this California institution, you can take electives to hone a specific skill.
Gnomon also offers a two-year, full-time Digital Program program that culminates in a certificate. Gnomon’s programs are available both on-campus and online, which is one of the advantages of studying there.It is one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
6. Cogswell Polytechnical College
San Jose, California’s Cogswell Polytechnic College is an ancient private institution. It has offered Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Art degrees to over 700 students since its founding in 1887. Despite being a small university, Cogswell offers one of the finest animation degree programs in California. With such a large student body, you can only anticipate the best assistance to help you succeed academically.
Therefore, the Department of Art & Animation at Cogswell offers the only animation degree offered by the private animation college: a BA in Digital Art and Animation. Nevertheless, this degree enables students to specialize in 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, Entertainment Design, or Technical Art. You will benefit greatly from studying animation in Cogswell, as you will receive input from industry connections and acquire all the skills studios seek.
In addition, Cogswell graduates are employed by animation companies such as Activision Blizzard, Pixar, Cartoon Network, Disney, and Dream Works.It is also one of the Best Animation Schools In California,
7. California College of the Arts
California College of the Arts, also known as CCA, is an exemplary arts institution in California. This animation college began as a private institution of higher education in 1901, and it has two campuses in San Francisco and Oakland. Through these campuses, California College of the Arts offers 22 undergraduate and 13 graduate majors to over 1,900 students. However, only Arts, Fine Arts, and Architecture degrees are offered.
Specifically, CCA offers only one degree program in animation: BFA Animation. However, this California animation school’s curriculum takes a fine arts approach to animation. In addition to studio work, you will study drawing, sculpture, acting, and storytelling in order to develop your own unique film grammar, the manner in which you construct your frames, images, scenes, and sequences.
In addition, CCA’s faculty is comprised of industry professionals. Still, animation students are instructed by visiting artists who work on a variety of projects and are part of animation teams for companies such as DreamWorks, Pixar, and Tippett.
If you are an international student seeking to enroll in any course in California, consult this list of the 21 Cheapest Universities for International Students in California.It is also on our list of the Best Animation Schools In California.
8. San Jose State University
In San Jose, California, San Jose State University is a significant public university. In 1857, the university was founded as the first campus of the California State University System. This California public university has over 32,000 students and generates the majority of Silicon Valley technology alumni.
Through its nine colleges and seven focused schools, San Jose State University offers accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees to students.
Its College of Humanities and Department of Design provide the animation degree program at San Jose State University. The Animation/Illustration BFA program prepares students for successful careers in the entertainment industry. This program teaches color theory, design, perspective, as well as traditional and digital painting.
You will study the fundamentals of traditional and 3D animation, mechanics of motion, modeling, storyboarding, character design, and visual development to enhance your qualifications for the industry.
In addition, this animation degree program is among the finest in California because it offers a professional internship. Here, you can begin to familiarize yourself with the industry’s working environment before graduating and assuming exciting job responsibilities.It is also one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
9. LA Film School
The Los Angeles Film School, also known as LA Film School, is a prestigious animation institution in California that offers accredited Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs in the entertainment industry. This Los Angeles Film School has over 2,000 students and offers a Bachelor’s degree in animation.
However, the Bachelor’s degree in animation offered by LA Film School is a Bachelor of Science in Visual Effects. This animation course teaches the dynamics of film visual effects and how to create them. If you’ve ever wondered how animation studios create effects such as explosions, spaceships, etc., LA Film School is where you can satiate your curiosity and become an expert in visual effects.
In addition to its affiliations to the film industry, the LA art school is well-known among California art students. The animation program at the Los Angeles school will provide you with unparalleled access to Hollywood and put you on the path to a successful career.
10. Loyola Marymount College
Since its founding in 1865 until the present day, Loyola Marymount University or LMU in California has undergone numerous name changes. It is a private, non-profit institution in Los Angeles with ties to the Jesuit Roman Catholic denomination.
As is typical of Roman Catholic institutions, LMU is committed to excellence, as evidenced by its high ranking. In 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked it as the 64th top College.
LMU offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as one of California’s finest animation programs. The limited student population at LMU will benefit your Animation studies at this college.
The modest class sizes will foster a high level of interaction between students and instructors in courses such as visual effects, stop-motion, experimental animation, 2D and 3D animation, and game design. Additionally, this curriculum will prepare you for leadership positions within the entertainment industry.
Furthermore, at the animation school at Loyola Marymount University, you own everything you create during your tenure there. Johnny Bravo was the thesis film of an LMU alumnus before he sold it to Cartoon Network. By studying at LMU, you too can create such classic animations.This is also regarded as one of the Best Animation Schools In California.
11. California State University-Long Beach
As one of the Best Animation Schools In California, CSULB is one of the 23 California State University System institutions. This public university in Long Beach, California, has an enrollment of over 63,000 students.
The college has eight (8) academic colleges, including the College of Arts, and accepts the most graduate students in the CSU system and the state of California. In addition, CSULB houses the largest publicly-funded art institution west of the Mississippi. Its Art programs are therefore among the finest in the state.
In the meantime, the School of Art at CSULB offers BFA and MFA/MA degrees in Illustration/Animation. The Bachelor’s degree program emphasizes drawing from observation, preparing graduates for roles in the entertainment industry.
Visual Journalism, storyboarding for film and television, and all aspects of editorial art and gallery exhibition are fields in which CSULB alumni have distinguished themselves. The focus of the Master’s program is to enhance your independent creative vision.
12. SAE Expression College
The former name of SAE Expression College was Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. This private college with a profit motive has campuses in both Emeryville and San Jose, California. While the school was founded in 1988 as the Ex’pression Centre for New Media, it is now one of the best animation institutions in California. SAE Expression College offers programs in Animation, audio, film, video games, and creative media.
It offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Animation & Visual Effects at its animation school. This course emphasizes the fundamentals of visual effects, including 3D modeling, motion studies, character rigging, and animation body mechanics.
This California animation school’s program is unique in that it can be completed in only 32 months. After completing this period, you will be qualified for jobs such as 3D Modeler, CG Artist, Technical Director, Character Artist, 3D Artist, etc.
FAQs On Best Animation Schools In California
How much money do animators make in California?
The average salary for a animator in California is $79,000 per year.
What state pays animators the most?
California - $82,170 per year.
Washington - $75,740.
Massachusetts - $73,470.
New York - $70,660.
Idaho - $69,450.
District of Columbia - $69,140.
Illinois - $68,830.
Alabama - $67,260.
Can you be a millionaire as a animator?
Consulting fees now top $100 per hour for many consultants, who earn more than $200,000. In terms of salaries, visual development artists, character technical directors, 3D modelers, animation art directors, and forensic animators rank among the top five. So can an animator be rich, yes sir!
Is animation a good career in USA?
In the United States, animators can expect to make an average salary of $42,006 per year . Of course, this number can change based on your skill level, employer, work experience and geographic location. Animators working for well-known studios can often expect to make more money than those starting their careers.