Best Online Bachelor’s in Animation Programs
Share this Article
Animators create the artwork, models, and visual effects (VFX) in film, television, and video games. As the demand for many traditional art and design occupations declines, new technologies and an ever-growing reliance on mobile devices has increased the need for new, talented animators.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% growth for animators between 2019 and 2029, which is on par with the average growth rate across all occupations. Most professionals complete a bachelor's degree in animation to enter the field, but prospective animators can pursue various program and career pathways. To help aspiring professionals choose the right route, this page provides animation program information and career outlook.
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to Start Your Journey?
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Animation Programs
How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
Related Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Animation Program?
An online bachelor's in animation usually requires 120 credits and takes full-time students four years to complete. Prospective students should possess some artistic talent, along with communication and computer skills.
As animation students progress through their degree, they often build a portfolio to highlight their artistic breadth and technical capabilities. In addition to coursework, a bachelor's in animation usually features extensive collaboration opportunities and lab work.
Animation students may encounter various degree and program types, including a BA, BS, and bachelor of fine arts (BFA). While these options can lead to similar careers, they may differ in course offerings. For example, BA degrees may provide more comprehensive or interdisciplinary training, BS degrees may offer more technical training, and BFA degrees may emphasize creation processes and portfolios.
Prospective students might want to focus more on available concentrations. Choosing a specialization in animation, such as 3D computer animation, visual effects, or game design, can help learners hone in on their ideal careers.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
- Best Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design Programs
- Best Online Bachelor's in Video Game Design Programs
- Best Online Bachelor's in Art and Art History Programs
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Animation Program?
Courses will vary according to your school and program. However, common courses frequently taught in online bachelor's in animation programs include the following.
- Digital Character Design
- This course teaches students the design process for digital characters using various applications and styles, such as 2D and 3D models. Learners examine visual and narrative methods for bringing characters to life.
- In this course, students learn to create storyboards for different types of projects, including film and games. Covered topics include animation elements and techniques, narrative components, and other related pre-production stages.
- Story Development
- Story development courses teach students different methods for story creation within various production types. Learners examine how to develop a premise, structure, and narrative.
- Stop Motion
- This course teaches students how to create animation using stop motion techniques and technologies. Degree-seekers learn how to storyboard for stop motion and puppet animation, along with ways of manipulating and filming action.
- Advanced Figure Drawing
- This course builds on beginner and intermediate figure and animation coursework, teaching students how to combine their skills with color, movement, and character motion to animate more lifelike creations. They may recreate various forms from nature, incorporating concepts like dynamics, shading, and the environment.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
- Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online College Students
- Your Guide to College Loans
- Your Guide to the FAFSA
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Animation Degree?
Graduates with an online bachelor's in animation can pursue different careers in various industries depending on their choices and interests. The BLS projects the addition of nearly 3,000 new animator positions between 2019 and 2029. While most animators are self-employed, 14% work in motion pictures, 7% work in software publishing, and 5% work in computer systems design services.
Discover the possibilities of an online bachelor's in animation. Learn more about animation careers.
- Animators create animations and VFX using different computer programs for various applications and formats. They may specialize in creating certain forms or in a specific medium.
- Art Directors
- Art directors develop and manage the overall concept and themes of a campaign or project. They may work with animators, graphic designers, and advertising professionals, reviewing work and ensuring various elements and collaborations come together as a cohesive unit.
- Graphic Designers
- Graphic designers help clients communicate through visual concepts, illustrations, websites, and other artistic creations. They can work with different texts and images and within various mediums.
- Producers and Directors
- Producers and directors work in film, TV, and other productions. Producers handle budgeting and project planning, and directors supervise casting, filming, and design.
- Computer Programmers
- Computer programmers create and test the code for various programs and applications. They may work closely with designers to ensure that their intended creations transfer seamlessly into computer applications.
Animation Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Animation Programs
Is a bachelor's in animation worth it?
A bachelor's in animation can lead to some of the most exciting careers in film and television. Graduates can apply their degrees to the creative and business sides of the field, along with various other industries. According to the BLS, special effects artists and animators earned a median annual salary of $77,700 in 2020.
What can I do with a bachelor's in animation?
With a bachelor's in animation, graduates can pursue careers as animators, directors, and designers in motion pictures, software publishing, and computer systems design services. They can also continue their studies into master's programs.
Are animation majors in demand?
The BLS projects 4% job growth for animators between 2019 and 2029, equal to the average growth rate for all occupations.
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in animation?
Salaries depend on numerous factors, including location and experience. According to the BLS, animators made a median annual salary of $77,700 in 2020, nearly twice the median annual salary for all occupations. The top 10% of earners made over $142,750 in 2020.
What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in animation?
According to the BLS, art directors made a median annual salary of $97,270 in 2020, with the top 10% making more than $199,250 annually.