There are four steps required to get a computer animation degree: find an accredited school, submit a portfolio, pay tuition fees and complete the coursework. Computer animation is the creation of animated character drawings using a computer software program. Computer animation is widely used in both commercial marketing and movie production firms.
There are a wide range of schools offering computer animation degrees, though both traditional and online programs. It is important to select an accredited school. Accreditation is provided upon successful completion of an academic and administration review by a third party. This firm acts on behalf of the government to ensure a specific level of academic quality and solid administrative policies. Only accredited schools qualify for government funded student aid programs.
Traditional classroom-based programs are available through a range of universities, community and career colleges. There are specialized schools that focus purely on the visual arts that offer excellent computer animation programs. When reviewing schools, look at the biographies of the faculty and their productive work. Most professors also have an extensive portfolio of computer animation projects.
Online schools are very popular, but it is very important to check the quality of the faculty, evaluation and instruction methods. Review the level of interaction with the instructors. Determine if there are opportunities for individual instruction on visual composition, software programs and advanced techniques.
A portfolio of your best animation work is requires as part of the admissions process for a computer animation degree. The specific requirements vary by school, so it is important to investigate the exact specifications to ensure that your portfolio will qualify. Many students attend portfolio preparation classes in anticipation of applying to this program. The preparation classes are usually one year in length and focus on improving drawing techniques and the quality of your work.
The tuition fees for a computer animation degree are slightly higher than a Bachelor of Arts program. In addition to the fees, students must purchase specialized computer animation software and have regular access to a high quality computer. Look for information on scholarships, grants and other student aid programs to assist with the cost of this degree. Investigate the career center and look for assistance with securing part-time work during the school year to assist with program costs.