If you have amazing creativity and are good at putting your imagination to reality, perhaps taking an online Bachelor’s in Animation is a suitable pathway to prepare for your career in this industry. Drawing, design, film, art, and illustration are all creative pursuits that you may find interesting, which is why an education in animation is your cup of tea. Nonetheless, a degree in this field prepares you for a thriving career in the arts and digital industry.
Animators create visual effects in films, television, and video games. The need for new, talented animators increases as the demand for traditional arts and design occupations declines. Did you know that the field of animation is expanding? Its estimated worth of US$18 billion is expected to grow by more than 50% by 2026!
Prepare for your dream job as you enroll in the best online Bachelors in Animation degree. You can gain a competitive advantage over talented individuals without formal education by completing the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in computer animation online.
For an audio summary of this article, listen here:
An online bachelor’s degree in Animation is among the best educational pursuits for would-be animators and those wanting to enter this growing industry. As technology advances, prospective students can learn more about the tools, techniques, and software an efficient modern animator uses today.
As film and video game supply and demand rise actively, many employers worldwide hire new and talented animators. It’s time to get an online bachelor’s degree in animation designed to prepare you for a professional career in this field.
Many online schools offer Animation degrees online, enabling you to land a job in the animation industry. However, a few schools offer an online bachelor’s degree solely in the Animation field. Fortunately, we were able to include the best colleges and universities that match our ranking criteria.
On our list are the five schools, in random order, offering excellent undergraduate programs in Animation. Each recommended school meets the following criteria:
- Offered 100% online or as a hybrid undergraduate Animation degree,
- Highlight Animation-related courses to ensure the mastery of 2D and 3D art and technology, which are vital in the animation industry,
- Prepares students for web content creation, multimedia design, video game animation, and computer graphics jobs, on top of developing their skills in creating 3D models,
- Provides real-world experiential learning opportunities, capstone projects, and internships, enriching the student’s portfolio,
- Utilizes effective and convenient online learning platforms,
- Taught by Animation professionals who share real-world insights into the industry,
- Allows transferable credits and come with financial aid and tuition assistance options.
- Regionally accredited, such as by the SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
You can visit our Methodology page for more information about our rankings.
Best Online Bachelor’s in Animation Degree Programs
Full Sail University
Online Bachelor of Science in Animation (Hybrid)
Among the degrees offered by Full Sail University is their famous online Bachelor of Science in Computer Animation. Whether it’s to create crowd scenes for a film, a commercial, or a video game, computer graphics are used almost everywhere today in the entertainment industry. This online degree from Full Sail University teaches all the skills needed for these activities.
Animation students in this degree program learn about production pipelines used in professional studios and workshops, including the following hard skills:
- Visual development
- Stop motion
What Makes this Program Unique:
As part of the Full Sail program, prospective students will have exposure to using their Project LaunchBoxTM, which provides students with powerful technology to help them create projects. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, you can access your files, multimedia creations, and coursework.
Did You Know?
With accelerated programs, all books, and lab fees included in tuition, Full Sail takes a different approach to education. With this online bachelor’s in animation degree, you will be assured that the tuition is fixed. There will be no additional or hidden fees, which also means that book and other supplies expenses are already included. You can finish the program early and start an entry-level career as soon as you wish.
Online Bachelor of Science in Animation and 3D (online)
WilmU’s Animation and 3D bachelor’s degree program include a lot of activities and mastery of skills. In this online program, you get to practice and brush up on your skills in animation, drawing, sketching, rigging, creating characters, morphing, lighting, and texturing. With Wilmington’s 100% online animation bachelor’s degree, you’ll be prepared for a career in this rapidly expanding field.
What Makes this Program Unique:
With tutoring from faculty with extensive industry experience, you’ll learn real-world animation concepts and practice professional workflows. A professional portfolio is ready for you to share with prospective employers after completing the course. You will also be adept at using Harmony ToonBoom and SideFX Houdini software, which are high in demand among modern animation employers today.
Did You Know?
With this bachelor’s degree program, you can earn a Dual-Credit Certificate® while earning your degree or accelerating into a master’s degree.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
Online Bachelor of Arts in Animation (online)
RMCAD offers an emphasis on 2D and 3D Animation online degrees. This Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation degree is designed to help students develop their artistic, creative, and unique sides. More importantly, online students can collaborate with talented animators from different backgrounds as they learn animation concepts and techniques.
What sets RMCAD from the rest is its renowned faculty of professional artists, designers, and liberal arts professionals.
Students pursuing this fine arts degree receive the support and skills that will enable them to flourish as artists and animators. This online degree focuses on teaching students how to be original animators and tell compelling stories.
What Makes this Program Unique:
The Online Animation Degree at RMCAD prepares students for successful careers. Many of their graduates have landed stable jobs at some of the most prestigious animation companies like Pixar, Nickelodeon, Blue Sky Studios, Lola VFX, and Cartoon Network.
If you dream of landing a job in any of these companies, you’ll have access to the same experience these current staff have. Their faculty staff will help and assist you every step of the way as you pursue an online bachelor’s in animation.
Did You Know?
- With years of experience and insight, RMCAD’s faculty will guide you through your program. You will have access to some industry secrets that not all schools can have.
- Students, alumni, and the broader community can continue to engage with each other through a variety of events. The entire RMCAD experience includes exhibitions, lectures, workshops on career development, and more. This means your network can grow more and more, even as you finish this online program.
Academy of Art University
Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects
The Academy of Art University offers an online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects. Become a part of this exciting, growing industry by studying at the School of Animation & Visual Effects (VFX). In the heart of the animation industry, the Academy offers courses in visual effects, 2D animation, and storyboarding.
What Makes this Program Unique:
The only Animation & VFX school in the country that boasts an actual studio for learners to practice their animation talents. They have established their very own production studio which is called Studio X. It is a highly collaborative, in-house, and student-friendly environment for serious animators. The students from this setting worked on famous movies like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station.
Did You Know?
Using their revolutionary online courses, students can get the same rigorous education on campus with more convenience. You also have the option to combine online and on-campus formats.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Online Bachelor of Arts in Animation
In the SCAD Core, students develop critical thinking, communication, and foundational studies skills. But apart from these soft skills, the Savannah College of Art and Design offers an online BFA in Animation that will teach you all the hard skills required of animators. This can be completed by finishing all 180 credits, and students usually finish everything in four years.
Some of the core courses to take are the following:
- Media Literacy Theory
- Concept Development
- Principles of Screen Design, and Animation
What Makes this Program Unique:
You can succeed wherever you are with SCAD. There are more than 800 computers networked in Montgomery Hall, which lowers rendering times and reduces static electricity. A 60,000-square-foot facility houses a theater, studio environment, and green screen lab at SCAD Digital Media Center in Atlanta. You’d definitely enjoy the benefits from all these facilities even as an online student.
Did You Know?
- SCAD locations always have something going on, no matter where you go. Their signature events allow students to meet lauded guests, expand their networks, and gain press exposure.
- During the largest student-run film festival in the world, you’ll take part in film screenings, conferences, discussions, and workshops that give students a chance to shine alongside today’s brightest minds.
- Get a worldly perspective, add an international dimension to your résumé, and find inspiration in a new setting by spending a quarter abroad at SCAD Lacoste, the university’s international location
- You can also take advantage of other study abroad trips available through SCAD.
Career Options to Pursue After Graduating from Online Animation degree programs
Some people automatically relate animation to video games, but other work options are available if you don’t really want to work in this field. For one, you can become a storyboard artist. For television programs, movies, and commercials, you may outline a master plan with visual illustrations. Artists create storyboards for directors before filming begins. As a storyboard artist, you’ll have to decide on lighting, props, and camera angles.
Video Game Developers
Game developers help turn concepts into playable games. In this modern tech-savviness, more and more people are turning to video games as their main entertainment. As a video game developer, you will need to code programming languages, visual elements, and other game features. A career in video game development can be extremely rewarding if you enjoy video games and computers.
You’ll engage with multiple forms of media as a multimedia designer. You’ll be exposed to handling all media forms like art, design, and sound. There are many industries to work in like the social media or film industry. Your skills could be put to use in designing a 3D environment for a video game or creating an animated video that captures consumers’ attention.
In this job occupation, you’ll need to use a lot of creativity and animation skills to create audience-grabbing content.
It is no secret that a great logo can make a big difference for your business! As a digital designer, you will need to ensure that brands make use of the right materials and assets. One digital asset that you need to master is the logo.
The task of a logo designer is to create a visual representation of your brand that is simple, smart, and memorable. The graphics or typographic treatments you design will be used by design firms, publishing houses, and advertising agencies.
Cartoonists draw still images for the purpose of entertaining, educating, and persuading the public. Aside from the younger generation, even adults continue to watch cartoons. According to Statista, over 60% of Cartoon Network viewers are adults between the ages of 18 and 49.
There are many uses for cartoons, including marketing, advertising, marketing materials, comic books, video games, and graphic novels.
A campaign or project’s art director develops and manages its overall concept and themes. Assuring elements and collaborations come together as a cohesive whole may require them to work with animators, graphic designers, and advertising professionals.
Hands-on production tasks are assigned to the production artist on a daily basis. It provides you with an opportunity to apply your skills to the final stages of creative development, which is a great place to start for someone interested in a career in the field. All the art and media content you design will be sent out into the world, so you need a strong eye for details.
Your skills will also be honed through collaboration with team members like creative directors, web developers, copywriters, and videographers who can provide you with feedback.
Courses to Take in an Online Bachelor’s in Animation Degree
This course is the best fit for beginner and intermediate animation learners. Dynamic, shading, and environmental concepts can be incorporated into the reproduction of various forms found in nature. Through an online Computer Animation program, students learn how to draw figures and animate characters to be more realistic-looking.
Body Mechanics and Locomotion
The topic of body mechanics is discussed by understanding different human movements. Through it, an animator can design more realistic animations that improve the realistic appeal of digital media copy.
In visual culture, science, humanities, and social sciences are used to analyze a work. It permeates every aspect of our daily lives, whether it is advertising, art, movies, games, paintings, or anything that can be visualized by anyone.
Production, reception, intention, economics, social, and ideological aspects are all factors to consider when analyzing visual culture. This animation course analyzes how the visual aspect of the work influenced the culture of the work.
Digital Character Design
Online Animation degree program students will learn how to design digital characters using a variety of applications and styles, including 2D and 3D models. Students examine how characters can be brought to life visually and narratively.
In this course, students learn character design principles, anatomy and proportions, gestures and expressions, color and texture, and animation. Using digital characters as a means of conveying emotion and personality, students will learn how to design and create compelling characters.
Students of online Animation degrees learn about stop-motion animation in this course. This is one effective way to handle and control more motion for films and other animated media. Animation techniques are taught in stop-motion courses.
Students take stop-motion courses to gain skills in planning and developing storylines, creating characters and props, and using cameras and software.
Several career paths are available in the Digital Communication discipline related to creating content for the web. In the digital communication course, you’ll cover topics such as SEO, social media, advertising, web design, and email marketing.
History of Cinema
The History of Cinema course explores how cinema evolved as an art form and as a cultural phenomenon. In this animation course, students will learn all about films. There are opportunities to study specific movies, dissect their meanings, and learn about cinema’s influence on our worldview.
Animation Skills Needed for an Effective Animator Today
The ability to create animated graphics is very important as an animator. However, more skills are required other than these hard skills. In addition to artistic skills, computer knowledge and soft skills, they cover a variety of skill sets. Look at the following skills required for animators:
Computer Technical Skills
Animation today is largely digital, with computers used to model, color, and replicate images; skilled animators use specific computer animation skills daily. As animation technology evolves, animators need to keep up and update their computer technical skills.
Here are some tech skills that Computer Animation degree students should be keen about:
- Game design
- Computer generation programs
- Visual Effects
- 3D rendering
- Game art
- Motion capture software
Studio or network animators often work in a team with storyboarders, writers, and other animators to complete projects. Collaboration skills are a must-skill set for anyone who wants to be in the animation industry. After all, communicating effectively and collaborating with other arts professionals are essential to a successful animator.
Most animators work on multiple projects at once, often for clients with different needs. Whether you’re a freelance animator or working in an animation firm, you must have concrete time management skills to determine what tasks and projects need to be prioritized. This way, you can ensure high-quality content for each client and satisfy everyone.
Artistic and Creative Skills
An animator is usually an artist or designer with some combination of artistic training and industry experience. Modern animation requires both artistic talent and high-tech computer skills. As a result of their educational and professional backgrounds, animators should have developed creativity and artistic skills.
Innovative Thinking Skills
The scope of your work may vary, from conceptual sketches through final editing, depending on the scope of your work. Aside from creativity and being artistic, you should have innovative thinking skills to decide how to produce high-quality work and improve outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you learn a bachelor’s degree in Animation entirely online?
With the schools offering online programs today, you will finish an online bachelor’s degree in animation. With the right skills, drive, and talent, you can become an animator by enrolling in the best online animation bachelor’s degree. Modern employers today perceive online programs with the same level of respect and consideration as in-person counterparts.
It is possible to enroll in a comprehensive course, a technical course, or a course that focuses on specific aspects of 3D animation. This will all depend on what your career goals are.
How can a portfolio help you in your animation career?
The scope of work you had is an important consideration among employers. An animation portfolio may be required for you to get started in the industry. You should become exceptionally proficient during your online Bachelor’s in Animation degree program to showcase your best work to potential employers.
Fortunately, many online bachelor’s degree in Animation programs give you opportunities to start crafting your portfolio as early as possible. You can create a video to display your work using either still images or moving images. A solid and diverse portfolio will allow you to stay ahead of the competition, so it’s important to include them in your resume or CV when applying.
How long does an online Bachelor’s in Animation take?
A bachelor’s degree in animation usually requires 120 credits to complete online. You can finish it in two and a half or four years, depending on how many credits you’ll take per semester. As a part-time student, though, it is expected to finish this online degree later.
- Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in animation will have access to many creative opportunities. 2D animation, 3D animation, character animation, graphic design, and 3D modeling are all covered in most animation degrees. Hence, mastering these topics is an advantage on your end.
- Among the careers you can pursue with this degree are those related to the film industry, game development, art illustration, graphic design, web design, and digital media.
- Animators have a huge impact on many sectors of digital media. As the entertainment industry and technology advances, animators should keep up with changes.