There are many listings out there of animation schools around the world.
The AWN website has catalogued over 4000 animation schools in their Schools Database. You can sort by country, and by type of program they offer. But this database is very big, and some schools are listed as offering a lot of different type of programs, so it’s hard to tell what their specialization really is.
Here are a few programs of which we have personal knowledge, and in which we think visitors to this site might be especially interested. They focus on schools that have a reputation for independent/experimental animation, not primarily commercial or character animation, and that are taught in English. All information posted, including fees, are subject to change, of course.
TIP: When looking into any program, it’s a good idea to find a recent graduate from the program and ask them for their first-hand opinion. Most people are happy to answer questions, whether their experience was good or bad.
- The California Institute of the Arts, CA, USA
CalArts has one of the only animation programs in the USA that is actually called ‘Experimental Animation‘ and it is world-famous. You can earn both a BFA and an MFA with this concentration. Tuition fees are $45,030 per year. The BFA is four years, and the MFA is three years. CalArts is located outside of LA in Valencia, California. Haptic Advisory Board member Stefan Gruber is a graduate of CalArts.
- Rhode Island School of Design, RI, USA
RISD offers a four year BFA called ‘Film/Animation/Video‘, and many excellent student films have been coming out of this program of late. Tuition is $46,800 per year.
- University of Southern California, CA, USA
USC offers a well-respected four-year Bachelor of Arts in Animation and Digital Arts. Tuition is $21,860 per year.
- Akademie voor Kunst en Vormgeving St. Joost, Breda, the Netherlands.
This school offers a 12 month Masters of Animation taught in English. Its accreditation is a little bit different than the other Masters courses at the school (as of Aug 2016), but still results in a Master of Design.
The cost is reasonable by US standards (roughly €5,000 for non-EU students), and as of 2015, there was a scholarship program in place for non-EU students that let you receive €3,000 back after graduating.
Plus: the Netherlands has a special ‘Search Year’ visa for non-EU students who graduate from a Dutch institution. This means that it’s relatively easy to stay in the country for an extra year (with permission to work).
- KASK, the Royal Academy of Fine Art, Ghent, Belgium
KASK has a well-respected animation department. They have a Bachelor + Master program taught in Dutch (Flemish), but they recently started offering also an English language Masters of Animation. Not much concrete information online about it yet, but it looks like fee are ballpark €2,000-€3,000 per year.
- The Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia
This school offers a two-year MA in Animation taught in English. This school has a long reputation with people like Priit Parn and Ulo Pikkov teaching. Looks like the fees are €2,300 per year. If you are particularly interested in this school because of Priit Parn, make sure to check the most recent developments around his employment.
- The Royal College of Art, London, UK
The RCA in London has a well-known two-year MA of Animation. Fees for non-EU students for both years together was 28,400 British pounds ($41,100) as of 2016.
- The National Film and Television School, London, UK
in London has a well-respected two-year Directing Animation Master. Tuition fees for non-EU students are 27,000 British pounds ($39,000) a year.
As listed above in the Bachelor section, CalArts, the California Institute of the Arts, offers an ‘Experimental Animation‘ MFA. It’s a three year program and tuition fees are $45,030 per year. CalArts is located outside of LA in Valencia, California.
- The Arts University Bournemouth, UK
This school offers a PhD within which you can concentrate on animation. As of 2016 it cost 16,500 British pounds ($23,870) per year for 2-3 years.
Loughborough makes it possible to achieve a PhD in an animation subject under a research group called the ‘Animation Academy‘. Fees for non-EU students in 2016 were 14,300 British pounds ($20,690) per year.
- The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary
MOME contains one of the premiere animation departments in Europe. It is well-known for its BA and MA programs (taught in Hungarian, but there have been international people who have studied there). They also offer a DLA (Doctorate of Liberal Arts) program that can be done in English. No solid information on fees, but it is a couple thousand euros a year.