Universities, Art Schools, and Independent Research Options

This page isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list, but rather a general guide to some of the top design schools in North America. The order does not indicate any particular ranking system. Tuition costs are not factored into the listing.

The criterion for which schools made the list is primarily based on alumni recommendations, networking opportunities, post-grad employment, and observation of the quality of student portfolios and submissions to film festivals. The emphasis is on public institutions, as not all private art schools can be accounted for.

It is recommended that you still conduct research on your own to find the college or grad school plan that best suits your particular interests and skills.

Reputable Design Colleges and Online Programs

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, CA
Gnomon School, Los Angeles, CA
Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL
University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA
SCAD, Savannah, GA
Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL
CG Master Academy, Los Angeles, CA
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York, NY
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Vancouver Film School, Canada
MICA, Baltimore, MD
Carnegie Melon, Pittsburg, PA
RISD, Providence, RI
MIT, Cambridge, MA
American Film Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, NY
Tisch School of the Arts, New York, NY
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA/Sacramento, CA
The Center for Cartoon Studies, Hartford, VT
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA

Study Abroad

City University of Hong Kong, China
The National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Gobelins, Paris, France
ISART Digital, Paris, France
Seneca College, Toronto, Canada
CDW Studios, Australia
Tokyo Animation College, Japan
Osaka Animation College, Japan
Kyoto Seika University, Japan
Digital Hollywood University, Tokyo, Japan
HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, The Netherlands
The Animation Workshop, Viborg, Denmark
The Game Assembly, Malmö, Sweden
Köln International School of Design, Germany

Specialty Courses and Programs

CG Cookie
Feng Zhu Design School
Silver Drawing Academy
Aaron Blaise Creature Design
Art Camp
Taught by a Pro
Stan Winston School of Character Arts
Schell Sculpture Studio
Bloop Animation
World of Level Design

General Courses

Khan Academy
Future Learn

Grants and Financial Aid

National Endowment for the Arts
Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship
Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition
Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship
Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund
Phyllis Craig Scholarship
Kodak Scholarship Program
Student Academy Awards
ACR Aspiring Animation Professional Scholarship
Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation


The Disney College Program


Alliance of Artists Communities Residency Directory