Congratulations @VFS (ranked #1) & @AlgonquinColleg ‏for finishing in the top 100 international animation schools

Congratulations @VFS for ranking as the best Animation school in the world

An introductory note from the editor:

We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the “best” schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. In preparing this year’s list, we surveyed over one hundred animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.  The criteria for this list includes the following, in no particular order:

  • Academic reputation
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Geographic location

No one school is perfect for everybody, and there is no single opinion that trumps all when it comes to which school is the “best”. Ultimately, every student has different needs regarding the academic rigor of a program, technology requirements, campus culture, tuition cost, and career focus. Our hope is that as 2018 begins, these comprehensive rankings are a starting point for students to discover the schools that are the best fit for them.

The top twenty five schools are ranked 1-25 at the bottom of the article. The remaining 75 schools are listed alphabetically by country, rather than ranked numerically. 

Check out the top 100 rankings:

Algonquin College. Ottawa, Canada. 

This year the school celebrates its 50th year anniversary! Their one year Pre-Animation & Illustration course is $3,323 per semester for domestic students and a $4,527 premium for international students. For a more in depth education, they also have three year Animation program and a three year Game Development program. Each program costs roughly $4,300 per semester for domestic students and roughly a $4,500 premium for international students. Their site has the full breakdown of fees and curriculum for more information.


10. Think Tank Training Centre. North Vancouver, Canada.

Perhaps the most unique school on this list, this school only accepts twelve new students per term, and only offers a single one year program that can be customized exactly to each student’s specific needs in the career they’re pursuing. This limited class size allows every artist to have an abundance of one on one time with their instructors to develop their skills as much as possible in a year. The one year program is $38,400 CAD for Canadian students and $50,800 for international students. They also offer a four month mentorship program that’s $12,500 CAD for domestic students and $16,500 CAD for international students. Not only is their student showcase gallery jaw dropping, I also get the impression that not a single student falls through the cracks and graduates with a lackluster portfolio. Think Tank might be the best bang for your buck in the education industry right now.

9. Lost Boys Studios – School of Visual Effects. Vancouver, Canada.

Founded in 2006, this school focuses purely on VFX training, but it’s quickly becoming one of the best VFX schools on the planet. Because of their specialization, they only offer three focused programs of study. Effects Technical Director is twelve months of Houdini training and runs $36,900 for Canadian students and $39,900 for international students. Lighting Technical Director is a four month Katana training program that’s $12,900 for domestic students and $13,500 for international students. Advanced Visual Effects Compositing is twelve months of Nuke X training and costs runs $39,900 for domestic students and $41,900 for international students. They offer a variety of services to help students find housing and make financial plans, but the main selling point is that their graduates have gone on to work at virtually every top VFX studio on the planet over the past decade.

8. Sheridan College. Ontario, Canada.

They offer programs one year or longer in the following fields: Visual and Performing Arts (seven programs), Film, TV, and Journalism (seven programs), Animation and Game Design (eight programs), Material Art and Design (ten programs), Applied Computing (eleven programs), and Design, Illustration, and Photography (five programs). Students have a variety of scholarships, bursaries, and other financial aid and assistance benefits that are available to them, including a work study program. Sheridan is well known for both is high quality campus and research labs with cutting edge technology that students can utilize for their studies. Their four year Honours Bachelor of Animation is $10,163 for Canadian students and $26,906 for international students.

7. Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. Ludwigsburg, Germany.

This school continues to help its students become the envy of the world. The student reels of fresh graduates often outshine the show reels of even industry veterans. If you want to accelerate your career, this might be the school for you. These are the main courses to choose from: Animation, Camera, Screenplay, Documentary Directing, TV Journalism, Film Music, Sound Design, Interactive Media, Montage/Editing, Motion Design, and Production.

6. Supinfocom Rubika. Valenciennes, France. Pune, India. Montreal, Canada.

Don’t confuse this with Motion Picture in Arles (MOPA), which split off from the Supinfocom family two years ago. Founded in 1988, this is the original school that has been a leader in the animation industry training across the globe. Their main Bachelor Rubika cycle is a three year multidisciplinary training program that lets students prepare for careers in Animation, Industrial Design, or Video Game Design. Each year some of the world’s best aspiring artists come to this school with highest hopes, and many of them reach their dreams. Each year, Supinfocom Rubika continually has some of the most jaw dropping student galleries out of every school on this list.

5. Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts). Vancouver, Canada.

VanArts continues to raise the education bar every year. They’ve consistently been in our top ten rankings and they keep getting better and better! Their main programs are in 2D/3D Character Animation, Acting for Film & Television, Broadcasting & Online Media, Game Art & Design, Professional Photography, Visual Effects for Film & TV, and Web Development & Interactive Design. Their Animation and VFX twelve month programs are $30,750 per year for Canadian students and $37,750 for international students, whereas their Game Design twelve month program is $25,750 or $31,750 depending on student citizenship. They also offer part-time courses and summer courses, as well as articulation agreements with several universities in Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. These agreements allow students to save tuition costs by obtaining a diploma in a year or less at VanArts and then have the credits transferred to one of over ten other schools.

4. National Film and Television School. Beaconsfield, United Kingdom.

Hundreds if not thousands of NFTS students have become nominated for Oscar and BAFTA industry awards in the past few decades, and that trend is far from slowing down. Eleven graduates worked on Wonder Woman and the total list of all the box office films and television shows that grads worked on in the past three years is almost as long as this entire Top 100 list! Their Masters and Diploma course topics include Animation, Cinematography, Composing, Creative Business, Digital Effects, Directing, Editing, Marketing, Producing, Screenwriting, Sound Design, and Game Design & Development. On top of this they also have 32 short courses planned for the next ten months!

3. MOPA – Motion Picture in Arles. Arles, France.

This school can make you famous. Founded in 2000 as Supinfocom Arles, two years ago MOPA split from the Supinfocom family to become Motion Picture in Arles. Last year their awards page had 93 graduation films, 611 festival selections, and 52 prizes or awards. This year they’ve added more awards from SIGGRAPH, Hamburg Festival, GLAS, Paris Courts Devant, Clermont – Filmfest, ASIFA – China, and Festival D’annecy. On a personal note, I love how much MOPA showcases their students’ artwork on their site more than any other art school on the planet. Some students first go through a preparatory year of art fundamentals for €5,550 to help them pass the entrance exam. From there, they will go through a “first cycle” of at least three years of study at €6,550 to €8,700 per year. They then have the option of undergoing a “second cycle” of two more years of specialization for €7,900 to €9,500 per year.

2. GOBELINS, The School of Visual Communication. Paris and Noisy-le-Grand, France.

For the past 50 years, GOBELINS has been a famous and widely acclaimed school in the animation industry. This year, that trend continues. They have Summer short courses in July 2018 that range from €1,500 to €2,900, as well as one year courses for careers in Video Game, Motion Design, Photography, and 3D Animation, but their main program is a four year Animated Filmmaking degree that’s the highest badge of honor an animation student can achieve upon graduation. Despite being world renowned, their tuition rates have barely risen in the past year. Aspiring artists should consider their two year Master’s program in Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking, which is €8,100 for EU citizens and €12,800 per year for non-EU artists.

1. Vancouver Film School (VFS). Vancouver, Canada.

Every artist from every country should consider VFS as their first choice for professional training.

From January to June 2018, over $500,000 in grants will be available to students in amounts ranging from $500 and $10,000 for Canada’s most talented new artists. Even better, some of their degree paths are offering full-ride scholarships! This year, 24 VFS grads worked on TV shows nominated for this year’s Emmy Awards. They even have a service that lets students pick their roommates to ensure the best quality of life when enrolled at VFS.

Their degrees span topics such as 3D Animation + Visual Effects, Acting Essentials, Acting for Film + Television, Animation Concept Art, Classical Animation, Digital Design, Film Production, Foundational Visual Art + Design, Game Design, Makeup Design for Film + Television, Sound Design for Visual Media, Writing for Film and Television, and Programming for Games, Web + Mobile. Their site has full curriculum and tuition data for all of the programs listed above.