SVA or SCAD, for Animation


Hi guys,

I was just accepted into the MFA program of both SVA and SCAD, SVA is for Computer Arts, and SCAD for Animation. Well, I searched on Google, found both of the programs are great, and have no idea to choose either of them.

I'm a 3D guy, familiar with all part of Maya, and really want to work in 3D field after I graduated.  Since I have little experience in 2D part (actually my drawing is really suck, and I plan to start learning during this summer.), can anybody give me some suggestions about the choice? Any comment is welcome.

With Thanks.


I went to SCAD for 3D Animation, and I can say its a pretty great school. They’ve since divided their 3D department into 4 separate tracks that overlap where it matters, so you can focus on what you like more. I do work in the industry and I can definitely attribute that to going to SCAD, and what I like be about the school is that regardless of how good you are they force you to grow and do better. I won’t speak for SVA because I know nothing about it, but I can tell you SCAD is a great school for VFX.

Hopefully someone else will speak for SVA


Thanks for your suggestion

The only thing bother me about SCAD is it’s location. I searched on the Internet, and found some comments said Georgia is not very safe, I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but it really make me feel afraid. And also, Manhattan is a big city with more industries there, which means more opportunities to find a job. Well, I know that the most important thing for job is my portfolio, but is that really unnecessary about the location?

Thanks again for your apply.


My daughter is in the same boat as you. She applied to MFA programs at RIT and SVA and got into both. She didn’t apply to SCAD. Her take on SVA is that not only do they have brand new facilities but they also are located in Manhattan. They have to have fabulous connections in Manhattan. If you don’t want to work in NY then maybe SCAD would be better.

Frankly she liked the RIT MFA program better than either of these programs,but she is a bit worried about RIT’s connections in the field.


i dont recommend scad. i went there and its there to suck your money out of you. In retrospect i should have done tutorials at home and saved 10s of thousands of dollars.

the location is really the biggest reason not to go there, go to a school that is near actual studios. go to gnomon or a cali school, or an nyc school. So that you can actually work or intern in the industry. Overall though, in retrospect, getting a degree was a waste of time and money. the only thing that was worth while are the contacts.


I can’t speak for SCAD, but SVA does a good job of preparing their students for working in New York’s TV commercial industry. There are dozens of studios in new york that do visual effects and animation for commercials (examples: Framestore, The Mill, MPC, Psyop, etc…). About half of the 3d artists in these studios are graduates from SVA.

I would say that drawing/painting is important if you want to do animation or modeling/texturing. But it’s less important if you want to do more technical things like lighting, dynamics, and rigging.


Thanks for all your help, finally I decided to go to SVA because of some of the reasons. It’s really hard for me to make a choice, anyway, I’ll work harder to improve my skills these years, thanks for the help again.


I’m surprised you didn’t look at AAU.


We actually did look at AAU. We also liked the work that we saw. However, we got too much of a “money-grubbing, for-profit” feel from them. Also, they have probably more mixed and negative reviews than that of any other stand alone art school in the country. Also, my daughter really didn’t want to study in California. Finally, living in Sanfrancisco is just has high as living in Manhattan. Since she wanted to live and work in NY, she considered SVA the better optioin.


This webiste just put out a list of the top 100 animation, gaming, and design schools.,9

Looks like with either decision you would’ve ended up in their top 10 so it looks like your alright.


Are you implying that online resources, tutorials, and training that do not issue degrees (or any other certificate) can teach an artist what SCAD and alike schools will teach in a course


I read over this list twice and didn’t see UCLA. Are they kidding? Also, they aren’t comparing apples to apples. For example, Gnomon does NOT award any degree either undergrad or graduate.


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