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The 10 Best Online Bachelors in Animation Degree Programs

The 10 Best Online Bachelors in Animation Degree Programs

Today’s animation digital design, and motion graphics world calls for designers and animators to expand their talent beyond the basic realms of web design. Whether you’re producing advertising, assisting law enforcement officers with 3D forensic animation, or creating special effects movie graphics and animation, our “Top 10 Best Animation Degrees” help you create a path that works with your unique skill sets. Learn to create fully engaging graphic design and lively animation by earning an online BA in Graphic Design with a concentration in 3D modeling and animation. As opportunity in the field of graphic arts skyrockets beyond traditional design, and motion pictures, television and other digital media demand cutting-edge visualizations, the need for artists with innovative skills are in high demand to create visual content for video games, animated web content, movies and other media. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rates for designers with computer system experience like those found in the Adobe Creative Cloud are projected to grow over 60 percent between now and 2022. If you’re ready to be a vanguard for cutting-edge animation, an affordable flexible bachelor’s in animation is a great place to start.

Methodology:

  • Affordablity (1/3): the estimated out-of-state (if applicable) tuition per credit hour.
  • Flexibility-enhancing components (1/3): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements specific to the degree program including teaching philosophy concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or life experience crediting options, accelerated or self-paced courses, personalized student advisement/guidance, and competency-based credit options.
  • Academic Quality (1/3): The academic prestige of the parent institution operationally defined through the analyses of the rankings/reviews of prominent education review entities such as US News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

1.)Rasmussen College


Rasmussen College is a private for-profit institution that is headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota. There are a 13,600 students enrolled across 24 campuses located throughout the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1, and classroom size remains small. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Rasmussen to award associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. There are over 70 programs offered in the fields of business, design, education, health, justice, nursing, and technology. Rasmussen offers FlexChoice which is a competency-based program that offers self-directed assessments for a flat rate. The advantage of FlexChoice is twofold: you learn at your own pace, and tuition is more affordable. The level of flexibility FlexChoice affords makes for a great fit among working professionals. We selected Rasmussen for its online learning opportunities in the field of design, its affordable rates, quality of education, and the flexible learning environment.

The Rasmussen School of Design offers an online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design with a specialization in Animation and Motion Graphics. The course is 36 months and maybe be taken using Flex Choice. The learning format includes live lectures, online support, and collaboration with peers. Theoretical knowledge about design and animation is then applied using Adobe Suite software that is very much a part of this course. This program includes the use of tools like Adobe, Creative Suite, Master Collection and Autodesk, and 3ds among others. The curriculum for the motion graphics specialization includes techniques used in both a multimedia design degree as well as a traditional arts program. Students engage with 3D modeling, motion graphics, character modeling, special effects, advanced color theory, and much more. We selected this programs for its FlexChoice path option, quality of programming, and its affordable tuition rates. The cost of this programs is $283 per credit hour, and requires a total of 181 credit hours for completion.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $283
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: Accelerated Courses, Flex Choice

2.)Southern New Hampshire University


Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private non-profit university with more than 3,000 on-campus students and more than 80,000 online students. SNHU is one of the fastest-growing institutions in the country. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits SNHU to award hundreds of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as professional certificates. G.I. Jobs regularly recognizes its military friendly status, and U.S. News ranks SNHU as the 101st best university in the region and the number 1 “most innovative school. Fast Company named Southern New Hampshire University the 12th most innovative organizations in the world. Online degree are offered in fields that rage from business graphic design. SNHU continues to evolve and grow by providing flexible and affordable quality education. Students not only have access to myriad of online options, they also have access to a wide variety of online student support services that help make graduation a reality.

Southern New Hampshire University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with a concentration in 3D Modeling and Animation. This 3D modeling and animation degree begins with the core components of the full design course including course material on typography, color theory, digital imaging, graphics and layout in print and media and others. The 3D modeling and animation concentration delves into digital sculpting using zbrush, 3-D Modeling and animation learning 3DS max, 3-D character animation, interactive animation and more. Students who wish to pursue this degree should become acquainted with the hardware and software requirements necessary for successful completion of this course. Students may select up to 21 credits worth of electives. All students in the program are required to have Adobe Creative Cloud, a digital SLR camera, Microsoft Windows 7 (SP1) or above or for Mac OS X v10.7 or higher. We selected this programs for its high quality educational options, great flexible 24/7 online classroom, and its affordable tuition rates. The cost for this program is just $320 per credit hour and requires 120 credit hours for completions.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $320
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: N/A

3.)Liberty University


Liberty University is a private nonprofit Christian University loated in Lynchburg, Virginia. There are over 80,000 students enrolled at Liberty- the largest evangelical Christian university in the world. In fact, Liberty University is the largest nonprofit university in the world and offers over 245 distance learning degrees. Carnegie classifies Liberty University as a doctoral/research school. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Liberty University to award associate, bachelor’s, mater’s, specialist, and doctoral degree programs. As you may have guessed, the largest non-profit university in the world offers a huge range of degrees. Degrees offered include everything from accounting to zoology for undergraduates, and master’s degrees include unique fields like design, theology and cyber security. Online degrees offered are completely comprehensive and range from high school programs to doctoral to post doctorate and certificate programs.

Liberty University offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design where an element of the program focuses on animation. This program provides the learner with an overview of art history and art theory put into practice through a hands-on learning experience. Students learn about digital art when exploring publication design, Vector illustration, typography, and animation. Like many graphic design degrees, students will examine the core components to creating digital design including courses on drawing, art and technology, typography, and digital photography. The animation component of this program teaches students to engage with 2D and 3D design, digital imaging, and 3D graphics. Student may take 2-5 free elective classes to further tailor their knowledge base. We selected this program for its high quality of education, flexible online format, and its affordable tuition rates. The cost of this program is $390 per credit hour and requires 120 credit hours for completion. Additionally, student are required to complete a 180 hour practicum experience.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $390
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: Generous Transfer Policy

4.)Art Institute of Pittsburgh


The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (Ai Pittsburgh) is a private for-profit institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are 654 students enrolled at their brick and mortar location and 4,675 students enrolled through their online division. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Ai Pittsburgh to award associate and bachelor’s degrees. During its founding in 1921, Ai Pittsburgh was an independent school known for art and illustration. In today’s world the programming has shifted to specialize more on elements of design, animation, digital media, and other career-ready arts programming. Online programming includes gaming and technology, photography, animation, and culinary arts. Its most popular online degree offerings are in the fields of graphic design and photograph. Ai Pittsburgh is the flagship university of The Art Institutes System with 50 locations spanning the US and Vancouver. Though a for-profit institution, Ai Pittsburgh recently announced its movement into the not-for-profit sector.

Ai Pittsburgh offers a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation. The degree program is designed to provide the graduate with skills in the fields of animation as well as related media arts like design, compositing, animation and rigging, and 3D computer modeling. Students have the opportunity to explore special effects, media arts, animation, and background design through their hands-on learning environment. Student will be equipped with all of the core materials typically found present in a graphic design program which will also include observational drawing, image manipulation, color theory, drawing and anatomy, 2D animation and more. These design components are embedded withing the curriculum and one informs the other utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that is necessary for success in this field. It is recommended to check with the institution to insure that you are fully equipped to engage with the course material. This program requires the use of Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office Professional, ToonBoom Custom EDMC Package, Autodesk 3ds max or Maya among others. We selected this program for its high quality academic programming, flexible online format that may be accelerated, and the affordable tuition rates. The cost for this program is $470 per credit hour and requires 180 credit hours for completion.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $470
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: Accelerated Courses

5.)Academy Of Art University San Francisco


The Academy of Art University (AAU) is a private 4-year institution located in San Francisco, California. There are 12,608 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. The Western Association of Schools and College and the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design accredits AAU to award associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Originally founded in 1929 as a school for advertising AAU now includes a number of the other visual and performing arts like acting, art education, animation, fashion, industrial design, visual development and more. When it comes to online fine arts programs, it is difficult to find an institution that offers more fully online degrees. In fact, there are over 80 degrees and certifications available online including journalism, animation, cinematography and film/video production, costume design and more. A new component to their programming is the inclusion of design and its place in social media. We like AAU for its unique online design-centric offerings.

The School of Animation and Visual Effects offers a BFA in animation and visual effects. This program is designed for individuals who want to deeply explore and experience the a highly concentrated degree on animation. Though as a BFA, students are still required to complete general education courses from their liberal arts curricula. The core course material for the BFA in animation includes computer graphics for animation, animation production, storyboarding principles, analysis of form, Ecorch, editing for animation, 3-D animation and modeling, and so much more. Students my be equipped with the Adobe Creative Suite, and it is important to check with the online director of animation to ensure that you have all of the correct software and hardware required for completion of this course. We selected this program for its flexible and convenient online format, high quality of classes and affordable tuition rates. The cost of this programs is $291 per unit and requires 132 units for completion.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $291
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: N/A

6.)Independence University


Independence University is a private distance learning institution located in Salt Lake City Utah. There are 6,389 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is just 22:1. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College accredits IU to award associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. IU provides a number of career-ready online degrees for non-traditional learners. The most popular online programs are in business, computer science, health, and graphic design. IU describe their online programming as fast, flexible and convenient and achieves this through 24/7 course content, 20 month degree programming, and new classes starting every month. To help you succeed, IU provides a number of student support services including remedial services, academic and career counseling, employment services as well as placement for graduates. When it comes to academic success and career-preparedness, IU achieves this through large and small employers who work in tandem with the university ensuring that your degree is designed to equip you with real world success.

Independent University offers a B.S. in Graphic Design with elements of animation. This program may be completed in 36 months and is presented entirely online. Learn the skills required to create visual solutions for your employers through this fast online bachelor’s degree. This program embeds elements of animation into their fully comprehensive degree. Like with most design degrees, students will learn about the core components to graphics design including color theory, typography, image editing, advertising design and so much more. There are three animation courses including digital animation I, digical animation II, and advanced package design. Students become equipped with Adobe design software like InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Animate. We selected this program for its flexible and accelerated format, quality academic course materials, and affordable tuition rates. The cost of this program is $565 per unit and requires 183 unites for completion.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $565
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: Accelerated Courses, Many Start Dates

7.)Tribeca Flashpoint College


Tribeca Flashpoint College (TFC) is a private 4-year institution that is located in Chicago, Illinois. There are 270 students enrolled who benefit from the small community atmosphere as well as a student-to-faculty ratio of just 7:1. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges an Schools, a national accrediting agency, accredits TFC to award associate and bachelor’s degrees. When it comes to academics, TFC offers a mix of digital media arts degrees in fields like film, recording arts, animation and digital art, graphic design and more. The curricula equips students with all stages of the artistic journey flowing naturally from signing up for class to graduating with a job. In addition to the core program material, students at TFC will learn the five core competencies essential for career readiness: written and oral communication, information literacy, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning. The curricula are generally project-based, cross-disciplinary, utilize practicing professionals, and come with strong industry connections.

Tribeca Flashpoint College offers a B.S. in digital medial with a major in digital art. This program is 120 weeks in length. TFC acknowledges the growing need for animation and motion graphics, modeling and special effects in today’s marketplace. This program prepares you for a career as a character animator, character modeler, rigger, environmental modeler and more. The program is divided into two year where the first year examines perspective and still life drawing, 2D image manipulation, 3D modeling, 3D animation, lighting and rendering, and portfolio development. The second year introduces composition, design, entrepreneurship, motion graphics and more. Students may select up to 7 electives to further tailor their degree to meet their interests. We selected this program for its flexible and accelerated format, fantastic academic programming, and affordable programming. The cost of this program is $625 per credit hour and

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $625
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: Accelerated Courses

8.)Full Sail University


Full Sail University began as a recording workshop in Dayton, Ohio before moving to Orange County, Florida to become a career school for the creative arts. There are 19,443 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 23:1. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges accredits Full Sail to offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in film computer animation, design audio engineering and others. Technology and creativity go hand-in-hand at Full Sail with a program developed in 2010 knowns as the Sports Lab a program with ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World. There’s also a new VR/AR Lab focused on emerging technologies. Education at Full Sail is accelerated and programs are known to be completed in as little as half the time of traditional universities. Some bachelor’s degrees may be completed in as little as 20- 36 months.

The School of Art & Design offers a B.S. in Computer Animation. This program may be completed in 29 months. This course is comprehensive and focuses on individuals who wish to intensely study animation. The sequence of the curriculum means that you begin by learning about creative presentation an the psychology of play and finish with a project and a portfolio in computer animation. In fact, you will complete 7 portfolios by the end of the program each building upon the skills of the previous. Other core component parts of this curriculum include engaging courses like technology in the entertainment and media industries, 3-D foundations, model creation, 2-D animation, lighting and shading, character rigging, history of visual communications, compositing fundamentals and more. We selected this program for its fun relevant and engaging quality academic programming, its accelerated and flexible online format as well as its value. The cost for this degree is $671 per credit hour and requires 90 credit hours for completion.

  • Homepage
  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $671
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: Accelerated Courses

9.)Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design


Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) is a for-profit art and design school located in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. There are 923 student enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1. Study 3D animation, animation, art education, illustration, and graphic design among others. The Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools and Design accredits RMCAD to award bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Online, RMCAD also offers a Master of Arts in Education, Leadership, and Emerging Technology as well as bachelor’s degrees in Graphic Design, Illustration and others. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design uses liberal arts to enhance the creative experience like classes in animation mathematics, film studies, creative writing, composition, Art history, and history of graphic design. The bachelor’s programs at RMCAD clearly have the artistic as well as the analytical thinker in mind.

RMCAD offers a fully online Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D animation. Students work on teams as RMCAD recognizes animation as a “team-based production process.” Therefore, students will work closely in groups to execute their vision. The Learning Management System (LMS) makes this vision a reality for students who pursue this course online. The core program includes 2D and 3D concentrations, stop-motion, anatomy and figure studies, modeling, character design, virtual environments, story boarding and line of action. As a bachelor’s degree, all students are required to complete their core liberal arts program in tandem with their core 3-D animation course material. The foundation classes include life drawing, topics in color and elements and principles in 2-D design as well as space and materiality in 3D design. We selected this program for its excellent curriculum, flexible online format and for its affordable tuition rate. The cost of this program is $464 per credit hour and requires 123 credit hours for completion.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $464
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: N/A

10.)Berkeley College


Berkeley College is a private four-year institution located in New York, New York. There are 4,76 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 23:1. The campus represents a diverse student body from multiple cultural and ethic backgrounds. The are additional campuses in Dover, Neward, Parmus, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park New Jersey as well as their Berkeley College Online campus. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Berkeley College to award associate and bachelor’s degree programs. Berkeley College provides a number of career-ready degree programs offered at one of their campus locations and online. Some of the most popular programs include business management, criminal justice, fashion merchandising and design. BC has a wide-range of student services to ensure your success as a graduate including remedial services, academic/career counseling, and placement services for graduates.

Berkeley College offers a B.F.A. in Graphic Design with elements of animation. This program includes a number of areas for online media and imaging and is designed to ensure that you have a wide range of career options upon graduation. As a B.F.A. all students will engage with the liberal arts core curriculum that includes writing and research ethics and psychology as well as the graphic design core curriculum. The graphic design curriculum includes painting, drawing, digital page layout, 3D design and modeling, web design, digital photography, animation, game design and so much more. The program finishes with a capstone project. This exciting project utilizes cumulative skills acquired and includes research and portfolio building. We selected this program for its quality well-balanced academic offerings, its flexible online model and the affordable tuition rates. The cost of this program is $766 per credit hour and requires 120 credit hours for completion.

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  • Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit: $766
  • Flexibility-enhancing Program Features: N/A