US Best Graduate School Programs


Hi guys Rob here,
to help some of the people thinking of going back to graduate school I will be posting
the ranking from US news & World Report of the best Graduate programs.

(Note I will NOT be posting any FOR PROFIT programs on the thread since I feel strongly that most are a waste of time. Why? Click here:slight_smile:

First on the list:
BEST Multimedia / Visual Communications right now in the US:

[li]Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh ,[/li][li]California Institute of the Arts Valencia,[/li][li]Rhode Island School of Design Providence,[/li][li]School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago,[/li][li]University of California–Los Angeles Los Angeles,[/li][li]Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy,[/li][li]School of Visual Arts New York,[/li][li]University of Southern California Los Angeles,[/li][li]Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond,[/li][li]New York University New York ,[/li][li]Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY[/li][/ol]


I think the list is lacking a few schools and there should be different areas for grad study (e.g. technical or artistic).


I think it’s really helpful.
I’m just considering choosing a school for further study.


School of Visual Art in NY is a For Profit school. It seems you defeated your own argument.


Roberto, I agree with you regarding most for-profit schools. I also think that you did a great job in summarize the top grad programs. BUT. … this list is misleading.

For example, let’s take RISD,which I am familiar with. They do NOT have a graduate animation program. They do have a digital program that is more human-computer design. If you are into designing interfaces for phones or ipods, this would be a great place. I guess animation and computer graphics can be done in that program,but that is not usual.

Carnegie Melon also is very human-computer oriented, although they do have a new entertainment design program.

CalArts has a great masters but it is in experimental animation only! They, themselves. note that their program is primarily designed for those that already have an animation background.The same can be said for SAIC too.

I think that the School of Visual Arts in NY is for-profit. Please check this out. However, unlike most for-profit schools, they do seem to be good.

Rensselaer also has a funky experimental type of program that might not appeal to many folks. It needs to be closely checked out.

UCLA certainly has a good reputation. However, due to the state cutbacks, it isn’t the school that it was. We visited their school of Film and Television. They had peeling paint on the walls, older equipment, mediocre maintenance on building and facilities etc. It palled in comparison to University of Southern California who had all brand new stuff.

NYU also has a very good, well-known program. However, their graduate animation program is NOT in the Tisch school. It is in the school of Continuing and Professional Studies. Moreover, students graduate with an MS degree,which is NOT a terminal degree for teaching,which seems to detract from the reason why folks get master’s degrees.

In addition, NYU’s program is a bit funky. They do have a number of traditional offerings that you would expect in an animation program such as lighting, rigging, etc. HOWEVER, these are electives only . Most of their program has enough required courses to only allow for two electives from these areas unless the student wants to spend an extra semester taking these courses.

One school that you omitted that is considered quite good is Pratt Institute. Their computer arts program is very good and has a very good reputation.

Bottom line: your list.while good, is misleading. Folks really need to check out the schools mentioned very carefully.


Taxguy: Carnegie Melon also is very human-computer oriented, although they do have a new entertainment design program.

I couldn’t find Entertainment design graduate program ( ). How you came to know about it.

@Rob: Thanks for the post;)


Are you sure you’re not referring to this one?


The Viz Lab at Texas A&M is also very highly regarded with Pixar, ILM, etc. recruiting students from the program every year.


I’m currently a student at NYU. The first two semesters of their program has a general focus, in which you learn the basics of design, modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, and so forth. In the third semester, you pick a specialization and take the two electives most suited towards that path. So although there’s only one rigging and one animation elective, for example, students in a different 3D track, such as visual effects, will have learned enough from the required classes to make a basic rig and do some simple character animation.

The curriculum isn’t as tightly focused on individual disciplines as some schools. It tends to lean towards the workflow of the NYC commercial industry, in which CG artists are expected to know a little bit of everything. I like it, but if a student is only interested in specializing in only one thing, such as animation, it might not work out.


Are you referring to the program in SCPS?


@gawl126 Thanks, I was referring the wrong one.
The tuition + living cost $57,816,60 :eek:for a year at Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University!

Any one know why MS Visualization at TexasA&M is listed under certificate program. It’s MS, so it’s obviously a masters degree right?
here’s the link -


Okay cool I’m thinking about UCLA right now.

I taught myself FCP and a bit of After Effects when I volunteered to make videos for church’s weekly video announcements (we set up a green screen). I have had experience in high school with AutoCad and 3ds and I am hoping to learn maya or C4D at my community college. Hoping to get into Animation for Broadcast and major in something within the visual arts realm. I think UCLA would be a good choice?
Hopefully they do some remodeling heh?

I also heard UCSC made a new digital arts building I wonder if that is worth looking into? S:|


Check out:

I do know that they have a masters in entertainment technology. Check out:

Also Chiskon, reread what I said about UCLA in my prior post,which is post number 5, in this thread…


The tread was supposed to be across the world right? Cause lots of european schools have much better programs then the US, and they’re less expensive. And while some schools have wonderful artistic animation degrees, they don’t go in depth in their master degree programs.
This is an add on to your posts, and it doesn’t have a lot of colleges, institutes or universities that have masters in animation, just a very very few are listed here.

For General 3d MA:
Cal Arts
Pratt Institute
RIT (not a lot of info)
Bournemouth University
Art Institute

For more Technical 3d MA:
Bournemouth University (UK)

Just Certificates:
Gnomon School
Vancouvour Film School (I’m not sure iif its just cirtifates or if they have MAs too…can’t find postgraduate degree section)


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