5 Best Online Animation Degrees

Are you a creative artist looking to bring your work to life in 2D and 3D? Check out our Best Online Bachelor’s in Animation Degrees!

From cartoons and action-packed movies to video games and more, animators have a huge impact on the visual media we take in today. The industry has come a long way since the early days of shadow play and flip books. If you’re a creative person in awe of digital and visual effects used in movies, computer games, and more, a degree in animation may be perfect for you! You’ll be able to tap into the creative side of your brain each and every day. With the rise of technology and people’s continued love of film, games, and TV, the need for animators is steadily growing. 

What is an Animation degree? 

Earning a bachelor’s degree in animation will open up many creative doors for graduates. Most animation degrees cover all aspects of multimedia design, including 3D modeling, character creation, and more. Students pursuing an animation degree often work to build a portfolio that they can then share with potential employers. With this degree, you’ll be qualified for careers as a games developer, graphic designer, illustrator, web designer, and more. You can work in television and film, or you can even freelance and work for yourself! The options are endless.

How much can you earn with an Animation degree? 

Multimedia artists and animators can make upwards of $70,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, your salary will only rise based on your level of education and years of experience, as well as your skill level. You’ll need to create a stellar portfolio of work if you’re looking to get hired by the likes of Pixar or Dreamworks. Luckily, jobs in this industry are projected to grow 8 percent from now until 2026.

What is required for an Animation degree? 

Requirements will vary depending upon what type of program you’re applying to. To apply for a bachelor’s program, you’ll have to have a high school and/or associate’s degree. Additionally, even for an undergraduate degree, many colleges require applicants to have a portfolio of designs. Some of the below programs also require internships or final projects. During the course of your studies, you’ll gain plenty of experience and you’ll develop a full portfolio to show potential employers. 

What are the best Animation degrees?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Academy of Art University

    20-Year ROI
    $753,855

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $20,952(in state) / $20,952(out of state)
    • An art portfolio is not required to gain admission
    • Graduate with a professional portfolio or demonstration reel
    • Small classes and one-on-one mentoring by industry professionals

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online32

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School11.52%
    100%
    OSR Score

    The university’s School of Animation and Visual Effects now offers an online BFA degree in Animation and Visual Effects. Students may choose one of the following primary areas of emphasis: visual effects, 3D modeling, 3D animation, 2D animation and stop motion, and storyboarding. This 132-credit program requires all students to complete a collaborative studio experience project to earn their degree.

  2. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

    20-Year ROI
    $648,048

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $16,268(in state) / $16,268(out of state)
    • Student-to-faculty ratio at RMCAD is 7:1
    • Offers multiple start dates throughout the year
    • All students pay the same tuition regardless of residence

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online9

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School17.07%
    99%
    OSR Score

    Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design’s online Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Animation is a 123-credit program. Required courses may include 3D Computer Fundamentals, Experimental Computer Animation, and 3D Computer Lighting and Materials. All animation students will also be required to complete a thesis to earn their degree.

  3. Rasmussen College

    20-Year ROI
    $644,699

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,360(in state) / $9,360(out of state)
    • You are not required to login at specific times each day
    • Students can transfer up to 67% of the credits required for their degree
    • Software, hardware (when applicable), and course materials are provided

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online12

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department7
    Popularity at SchoolNot Reported
    91%
    OSR Score

    Rasmussen College’s School of Design offers a Graphic Design Bachelor’s degree with a specialization in Animation and Motion Graphics. Students in this 181-credit program can choose between an Advanced Design Internship track or a Media Campaign Design. The internship track is only available to residents of MN, WI, FL, ND, and KS.

  4. Southern New Hampshire University

    20-Year ROI
    $882,666

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $30,756(in state) / $30,756(out of state)
    • No application fee
    • Thirty percent tuition discount for U.S. service members and spouses
    • Ranked the Top Most Innovative School by U.S. News and World Report

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate78%
    Programs offered online43

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,209
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School< 1%
    87%
    OSR Score

    Southern New Hampshire University now offers an online 120-credit Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a concentration in 3D Modeling and Animation. In this program, you’ll learn how to use the same software that professionals use, including Adobe Creative Suite and Autodesk’s Maya and Mudbox. SNHU offers six eight-week undergraduate terms and students can transfer up to 90 credits.

  5. Savannah College of Art and Design

    20-Year ROI
    $697,731

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $35,910(in state) / $35,910(out of state)
    • Courses begin and end on a 10-week schedule
    • Free tools and downloads available to fully enrolled eLearning students
    • Taught by the same world-class faculty as SCAD’s on-the-ground courses

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate93%
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School14.85%
    83%
    OSR Score

    The Savannah College of Art and Design now offers a 180-credit online BFA in Animation. Required courses may include Media Literacy Theory, Principles of Screen Design, and Animation: Concept Development. Most undergraduate students complete this degree program within four years.