Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in Texas. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Texas A&M University is home to the College of Architecture, which offers programs for animators at all degree levels. Options include BS, MS, and MFA degrees in Visualization. According to the school, “Animation studies at Texas A&M are part of a broader curriculum offered at the Department of Visualization that produces graduates who prepare for success in a wide range of visualization-related fields by developing artistic and technical expertise.” These interdisciplinary programs focus on the processes of “creation, design and development of the visual experience,” and prepare students to work in animation, technical animation, illustration, and many other areas.
About Texas A&M: With a population of more than 60,000 students, Texas A&M University is one of the largest public institutions of higher learning in Texas. Established in 1876, the school is also the state’s first public institution of higher learning. The school offers nearly 400 degree programs across 16 colleges and schools.
2. University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) is home to the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC). The School offers a variety of programs for aspiring animators including a BA in Arts and Technology (BA ATEC), an MFA in Arts and Technology (MFA ATEC), an MA in Arts and Technology (MA ATEC), and a PhD in Arts and Technology (PhD ATEC). ATEC students have the opportunity to take a total of 15 credit hours/five courses in Animation, Design, Storytelling, and Games, to name a few. They will also take a variety of Topics courses such as Topics in Animation, Topics in Game Development, and Topics in ATEC.
About UT Dallas: The University of Texas-Dallas is a member of the University of Texas System. Established in 1969 and home to approximately 26,797 students, the school offers 130 academic programs across seven schools.
3. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is home to the Department of Art, which offers a BFA in Computer Animation. One of the most popular programs in the Department of Art, the Computer Animation program “offers a highly collaborative experience in 2D and 3D animated storytelling to a diverse student body.” Students in the program can expect to take courses such as 2D Animation, 3D Computer Animation, Character Animation, 3D Animation for Interactive Games, 3D Modeling, the History of Animation, and Pre-Visualization. In addition, all art majors will spend a semester in the W.A.S.H. (Workshop in Art Studio and History) program, which emphasizes contemporary and collaborative art practices. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue careers in animation and film, video production, advertising, game production, and fine art.
About SHSU: Established in 1879, Sam Houston State University is home to approximately 20,120 students, making it the twelfth largest university in Texas. The school offers 80 bachelor's degree programs, more than 50 master’s degree programs, and six doctoral programs across seven colleges and schools.
4. University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas
University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is home to the School of Media and Design (SMD), which offers several programs for aspiring animators. Options include a BFA in 3D Animation & Game Design with two Tracks—3D Animation or Game Design. Many students earn their AAS in 3D Animation or Game Production at Northwest Vista College (San Antonio) or other cooperating community college, before transferring into UIW’s BFA Program. Because the BFA is a “professional preparatory” degree with a heightened focus, it typically takes transfer students two to three years to complete the program, which is the same amount of time it takes other students to complete the degree. As a professional preparatory degree, all graduates of the BFA program are ready to enter the workplace upon graduation.
About UIW: University of the Incarnate Word was established in 1881 as Incarnate Word College. Home to nearly 11,000 students, the school offers more than 130 programs across 10 colleges and schools.
5. The Art Institute of Austin, Austin, Texas
The Art Institute of Austin offers several programs for aspiring animators. Options include a BFA in Media Arts & Animation and a BS in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics. Students in the Animation Program will take a variety of classes such as Character and Object Design for Animation, Cinematic Storytelling, Computer 3D Modeling and Animation, Acting / Movement, 2D Animation, Storyboard Rendering for Animation, Camera and Lighting Techniques, 3D Modeling, 3D Character Animation, and 3D Textures, and Web Animation. Visual Effects & Motion Graphics students will take some of the same classes and others such as Editing for Visual Effects, 3D Effects, Advanced Visual Effects, and Interactive Visual Design.
About The Art Institute of Austin: The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston, is one of The Art Institutes, a system of schools throughout North America. The school offers Diplomas, and AAS, BFA, and BS degrees in Animation & Effects, Film & Production, Gaming & Technology, Visual Design, Interior Design, Fashion, Marketing, and Culinary Arts.