View Full Version : 4 year colleges that teach visual effects / cg?

09 September 2009, 12:05 AM
I'm wondering if anyone has any links to lists of 4 year colleges in the U.S. that teach visual effects / 3d... I'm not interested in art schools / non-traditional schools but rather want a real university because part of it is I want to finish my bachelor's degree (not saying the other schools are worse / bad but just I want to also have my 4 year degree from it)


09 September 2009, 07:30 AM
ETA: There is an entire forum on the boards here dealing with schools. You should post there.

I can't speak with any authority on the US system, but I don't know of any decent 4 year uni courses in Australia that focus on 3D/VFX exclusively.

The main reason:

They are too slow. By the time you reach the end of a 4 year course in this industry a lot of the stuff you have learned is hopelessly out of date and that is assuming that it was bleeding edge when you started. Usually Universities have prolonged requirements to have course content approved, reviewed etc before it is taught, meanting that when you start the info is already out of date.

Hence the proliferation of non-traditional schools and specific training like Animation Mentor and FXPHD. They can react a lot more quickly to industry trends and aren't bogged down by beaurocracy.

09 September 2009, 08:58 AM
Hey, thanks for the post.. actually I agree with you on everything you said about the specialty schools, its just I have already completed a lot of college units (over 2 1/2 years) so if I figure if I can transfer to a school and do a year or so in vis fx it'd be cooler than doing some other major so I get some more training in that and my 4 year degree.

09 September 2009, 09:53 AM
I know from a career growth point of view you probably want to get your bachelors, but if you want to work in the industry it probably won't make a difference one way or another if you have it or not. It's probably the last thing an employer will look at, well behind your portfolio in terms of importance. it would be cheaper, and time better spent to sit at home, and maybe collaborate online, and build up your portfolio.

Thats said if you ever want to move industry, having the bachelors will be valuable.


09 September 2009, 09:47 PM
Hmm interesting question... you might want to look at Carnegie Mellon and see if they offer what you are looking for... they are known to be good with "Tech" and "art"

09 September 2009, 01:11 AM
SCAD has a good Visual Effects department (and an excellent Technical Direction minor) and offers a BA, BFA, MA, and MFA in VSFX. I'm not sure from your post if you want to finish your current bachelors or simply transfer and end up with a bachelors in the end. It should be fairly easy to transfer 1-2 quarters and possibly more depending on your current degree. I would be happy to tell you what I think will/won't transfer (although ultimately it's up to the transfer review committee) if you want to tell me in more detail what kind of classes you are taking.

I have not found it to be "too slow" since the first two years are geared towards general education and developing a semi-decent traditional arts background so really only the last two years is software intensive and might be rendered obsolete the next year.

SCAD is the only school I know of with a 4 year program dedicated to VSFX. The other two schools I know of with a heavy focus on VSFX are AAU and VFS but they are combination VSFX/Animation programs (you can chose a concentration) and I'm not sure VFS's program actually ends you up with a bachelor's.

09 September 2009, 02:36 AM
There's a few schools I'm aware of that you might want to look into. There's a program at CSU Chico that has an Applied Computer Graphics degree. I recall another program at the University of Hawaii (might be another university in hawaii) that has a similar program (I don't remember the name, you'll have to do a little searching yourself). You might also want to try USC and major in Computer Science with a minor in 3d animation. I'd probably do that if I had the funds before. A plus for USC would be that one of the Professors in the computer science department is actually the head of digital training at DreamWorks Animation. But I'm guessing you want more of a specific degree vfx degree, right?

I've ran across a bunch of other programs from Universities (not art and non-traditional schools) which have pretty interesting interdisciplinary programs that you'd probably love. You really just need to search.

Everyone has their own philosophy regarding school. I'm the one who went to a traditional University and earned a B.S. in Computer Science with a Minor in Math, taking online classes at fxphd, and will be applying to a traditional University for graduate school. I'm also the type that wouldn't attend an art school because I want the degree. My advantage here would be that I have more jobs that I could apply for inside and outside of the industry if I need or want a change of pace. My disadvantage is that I don't really have much experience with 3d software packages since I did computer science, but I'm making up for that by taking online classes.

Good luck on your search!

09 September 2009, 10:28 PM

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