|1||Texas A&M University||College Station|
|2||University of Texas at Dallas||Dallas|
|3||Sam Houston State University||Huntsville|
|4||The Art Institute of Austin||Austin|
|5||University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio|
Our 2018 rankings of the top 5 animation school programs in Texas. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
Texas A&M University is the state’s first public institution of higher learning. Established in 1876, the school is home to 68,625 students enrolled in nearly 400 degree programs across 16 colleges and schools. The College of Architecture, which broadly defines animation within “Visualization,” offers several programs for aspiring animators. Options include BS, MS, and MFA degrees in Visualization.
Sample courses include Drawing for Visualization, Graphic Design, Color Theory, Visualization Technology, Programming, Visualization Studio, Digital Painting, and Visual and Performing Arts. The interdisciplinary Visualization programs offered in the College of Architecture prepare students to work in animation, technical animation, illustration, and many other areas.
The University of Texas-Dallas (UT Dallas) was established as a member of the University of Texas System in 1969. The school is home to more than 27,600 students enrolled in 130 academic programs across seven schools. The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) offers a variety of interdisciplinary programs for aspiring animators including a BA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication with Animation, (BA ATEC), an MA in Arts and Technology (MA ATEC), an MFA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (MFA ATEC), and a PhD in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (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. Courses such as Topics in Animation, Topics in ATEC, and Topics in Game Development are also available.
Established in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute or School, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) serves more than 20,000 students, making it the twelfth largest university in Texas. The school offers more than 80 bachelor's degree programs, more than 50 master’s degree programs, and six doctoral programs across seven colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication 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 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, game production, fine art, video production, and advertising.
The Art Institute of Austin is a branch of the Art Institute of Houston. The school has been in existence for and it is home to more than 1,300 students. The Art Institute of Austin offers more than 20 diploma and degree programs in the areas of Design, Media Arts, Fashion, and Culinary Arts. The Media Arts Department offers several program options for aspiring animators. Offerings include a BFA in Media Arts and Animation and a BS in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. A BFA in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production is also available
Students in the BFA in Media Arts Program will study Digital Imaging, Cinematic Storytelling, 2D Animation, 3D Modeling, Computer 3D Modeling and Animation, 3D Character Animation, 3D Textures, Web Animation, Storyboard Rendering for Animation, Digital Editing, Creative and Collaborative Project Management, and more. BS students will study Motion Graphics, Conceptual Storytelling 3D Design, Advanced Visual Effects, Interactive Visual Design, 3D Modeling and Animation Techniques, Maps Mattes, and Masks, Post-Production Management, and more.
The Digital Filmmaking Program consists of courses such as Motion Graphics, Editing, Digital Storytelling, Scriptwriting, Conceptual Storytelling, and Sound Design. The bachelor’s degree programs consist of 180 quarter credit hours of study and they prepare students for careers in animation, visual effects, game art, filmmaking, and many others.
University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) was established in 1881 as Incarnate Word College. The school serves close to 11,000 students enrolled in more than 130 programs across 10 colleges and schools. The School of Media and Design (SMD) offers several programs for aspiring animators, including a BFA in 3D Animation & Game Design with a 3D Animation Track or a Game Design Track.
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.