Best Animation Schools Online – With Cheap Tuition Fees

Studying animation on campus can be cost-intensive and daunting to students. For this reason, most schools now resort to online animation programs where learners can get the best of learning at their convenience and an affordable rate.

Therefore, this article will list the best animation schools online with cheap tuition fees. Carefully read through!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for animators and media arts professionals is 8% over the next five years, as fast as the average. The average annual salary for these professionals is around $72,000.

Before we go on to list the best animation schools online, it would be nice if you get to know why animation schools online are a better option and what the program looks like.

See the table below for s a quick overview of the content.

Why Should I Choose Animation Schools Online?

Despite the differences in curriculum and duration, online animation programs offer the best knowledge to students. This is because, in online study, students get more immersed in the practical aspect of the sub-areas that make up the program.

More so, students take courses on web designing, graphic processing, 3D modeling, digital art, motion graphics, digital effects and animation, image editing techniques 2D animation basics, and much more.

With the various specialties offered in the online animation program, graduates can choose from the specialty. With this degree, you’ll be qualified for careers as a games developer, graphic designer, illustrator, web designer, and more. You can fit in well in television and film or work freelance jobs.

In addition to the technical aspect of animation creation, the online program also walks students through idea creation and storytelling. This is done through specific art and design classes that enhance storytelling and expression ability.

Furthermore, you’ll have access to interactive tools that will enhance learning. Online coursework includes video lectures, audio recordings, readings, interactive presentations, assignments, quizzes, and exams. The online program unites professors, students, and classmates, working together to create a strong community within the online classroom.

Lastly, despite the flexibility of online study, an online animation program offers students the best practical knowledge. So, in this article, we will list the best animation schools online.

Read: 13 Best Animation Schools In California 2023

What Should I Expect In An Online Animation Program?

An online Animation Program comprises fundamental topics such as digital art, 2D and 3D computer-based animation, and motion graphics. Most online animation degree programs combine general education courses and required computer animation courses in video and audio technology areas.

This program covers digital characters and color theory, digital design, scriptwriting, and storyboarding. Generally, courses under this program comprise 2D Animation Basics, Flash Animation, Digital Effects, Animation, and Image Editing Techniques.

What Are The Requirements To Study Online Animation Program?

Students intending to pursue an online Animation program must take the general education courses administered by their chosen schools. Furthermore, applicants should have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and computer technology courses and mathematics.

Due to the nature of animation programs, aspirants need to know industry software like; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe in-Design, and other computer animation software.

Lastly, students should have access to personal computers and USB drives to store portfolio contents, projects, and other related coursework.

How Much Does It Cost To Study Animation Online?

The tuition fee is also not as expensive as on-campus programs. For example, the online program of Full Sail University’s bachelor’s degree in computer animation for eight semesters costs $7,125 per semester on average and $746 per credit hour.

Online animation schools allow students to complete their course requirements at their own pace and time.

One of the benefits of attending online animation schools is that it enables students to save not only on tuition but other fees like housing, transport, and other expenses that are bound to be incurred in on-campus learning. More so, the flexibility of online animation schools enables students to work while learning and also learn at their convenience.

How Long Does It Take To Study Animation Online?

It takes about 180 credits, or four years, to graduate with an online computer animation degree. The duration of an online Bachelor’s degree in animation depends on various factors: whether students take courses synchronously or asynchronously, in-person requirements, whether certain degree concentrations require more credits than others, and how many credits are needed to graduate. On-campus requirements will vary by program.

Another factor affecting program length is whether it’s taught independently or in cohorts. Independent formats are taught asynchronously, and you can usually take heavier or lighter course loads. Cohort programs expect students to take courses at the same pace as their peers and usually take longer. This format presents a more traditional, on-campus feel.

List Of Online Animation Programs

If you wish to undertake the online animation program, you can opt for any of the three programs, pending their availability in your choice of institution.

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation

The online Bachelor of Fine Arts is a 4-year program offering students basic animation knowledge. In this program, students are introduced to animation history courses that examine the development of linear and nonlinear animation techniques, storyboarding, compositing, modeling, and experimental animation.

Students create a professional portfolio showcasing their skill and talent in animation, drawing, storytelling, and design principles such as composition and presentation. Students take courses in Storyboard design, Character animation, motion studies, Stop motion animation, Virtual environments, etc.

Online Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design

In this program, students focus their studies on animation or visual effects. The curriculum incorporates the basics of media art and highlights technological aptitude rather than storyboard development. Students often work to understand some of the top software while developing their portfolio of game-related animation. Students take 2-D and 3-D modeling courses, Texture mapping for games, Observational and perspective drawing, and Advanced level design.

Online Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects

An online master’s degree program offers students a deeper knowledge of animation principles and techniques learned in the undergraduate program but with a focus on individual creative development and professional studio practice.

In the 2-year course, students can experiment with new software techniques and storyboard ideas.

Successful graduates have advanced working knowledge of professional tools and programs utilized by animators.

Students learn about Software for modeling and animation, Animation and technology history, Mixed media and traditional animation, Preproduction principles, and 3D animation workflow.

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Best Animation Schools Online With Cheap Tuition

Each online animation program has different course offerings, requirements, and concentrations, but most programs will cover similar content relevant to animation careers. Here is the list of the best animation schools online with cheap tuition.

The list of animation schools online is chosen based on the following ranking factors:

Reputation – The schools on our list are highly reputable and doing well based on rankings and recognition.

Accreditation – The accreditation status of an institution or program defines that the program is approved.

Tuition Rate -The schools were selected based on their cost of tuition.

The best online animation schools are…

  • Academy of Art University
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
  • Southern New Hemisphere University
  • Full Sail University
  • National UIniversity
  • Rasmussen College


The Academy of Art University in San Francisco offers online animation and visual effects programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels.

In this online animation program, students learn to become excellent storytellers with great visual structure from professionals in the animation industry.

To gain entry, you must meet minimum technical requirements, including an up-to-date browser and computer system, a webcam, a scanner, and the necessary Adobe software (some of which can be downloaded for free). Undergraduate students can tender a portfolio to enhance their application, but these materials are only used for admission to graduate-level programs.

The Academy provides the coursework—including beautifully designed videos, narrated slideshows, digital documents, expert interviews, live streams, and more. As you complete assignments, you directly upload your work to the Academy’s custom-designed Learning Management System (LMS), sharing it with your class. Your instructor can leave visual markups, video, written, and recorded feedback.

Online degree programs at the Academy of Art University hold accreditation from WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). 

Tuition – $29,301


Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design offers an online animation program at the bachelor’s degree level.

To participate in the online animation program, students need to have personal computers with sufficiently up-to-date operating systems. Computer hardware and software requirements include a Wacom Tablet, Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, and Autodesk. Students must also submit a portfolio along with their admissions materials.

The online Animation program teaches students how to use the techniques learned to generate original animation and compelling narratives. 

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

TUITION – $544 per credit hour


SNHU awards an online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts with a concentration in 3D Modeling and Animation.

SNHU’s 3D modeling and animation degree furnishes you with the skill set to be a player in the multidimensional design world. You’ll examine the stages of game models, including observational and conceptual drawing. Furthermore, you’ll master the basics of modeling using a wide range of techniques.

Students get involved in hands-on projects using emerging technology. They are well-equipped to take on jobs in game development, advertising, marketing, virtual education, and other fields that use graphics to provide spectacular interactive experiences.

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and several other accrediting bodies.

TUITION – $320/credit (120 total)

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Full Sail University offers various degrees related to Animation and Graphic Design, such as an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Animation.

The Computer Animation bachelor of science degree program guides students through the same production process used in professional studios – from storyboarding, sketching, and visual development to modeling, character animation, and final compositing. This 29-month online degree has focused on animation highlights, including character rigging, character design & creation, and animation production.

Full Sail holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

TUITION – $746/Credit Hour


This Bachelor of Arts Digital Media program provides hands-on experience using the latest tools and technologies in the current media arts workspace. As a student in the digital media design degree, you’ll be on top of the latest methodologies used for visual communication in business, marketing, education, and entertainment.

The knowledge and experience gained in digital media design courses prepare you for a transmedia, visually literate future incorporating web design, audio, video, special effects, layout and design, image creation and editing, and game design.

At the end of the online flexible class, students will learn how to…

  • Develop a personal vision in the creation of original multimedia content.
  • Create active and interactive content with graphics, animation, sound, and video using media authoring software.

National University has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

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Rasmussen College can help you realize your vision by morning for your skills for the marketspace with an online Graphic Design Bachelor’s degree. The curriculum includes project work and focuses on emerging design trends, like “thumb-friendly” mobile navigation, 3D imagery, mobile video production, and other trends that impact design.

Rasmussen College provides both an online Bachelor’s Degree and an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design, specializing in Animation and Motion Graphics.

The Flex Choice pathway allows students the flexibility for self-directed assessment and coaching assistance which will enable students to receive college credit more cost-effectively. Graduates have worked as graphic designers, 3D animation artists, digital designers, art directors, visual media producers, and more!

Rasmussen College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

TUITION – $23,525

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What Can I Do With An Online Animation Degree?

With an online Bachelor’s Degree in Animation, graduates can apply for entry-level positions in video game development, graphic design, and computer-based illustrations.

More so, successful completion of an online bachelor’s degree program in animation enables the graduates to work and excel in their chosen career path as digital illustrators, multimedia animators, production artists, or in various digital design studios and animation careers.

How Much Does An Animation Expert Earn? Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job outlook for animators and media arts professionals at 8% over the next five years, which is as fast as the average.

The average annual salary for these professionals is around $72,000.

Therefore, there is some comfortable job security with an animation degree compared to many other fields and professions.


Unlike on-campus learning, online learning allows learners to get the knowledge they desire in animation from their convenience; thus, granting them free time to engage in order pursuits. Therefore, an online animation school program offers hands-on, rigorous, and well-rounded training for students to help kickstart a career in animation.

FAQs On Best Animation Schools Online

What do you learn in an online animation class?

An online Animation Program comprises fundamental topics such as digital art, 2D and 3D computer-based animation, and motion graphics.

What do I need to enroll in an online animation school?

Students intending to pursue an online Animation program must take the general education courses administered by their chosen schools. Furthermore, applicants should have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and computer technology and mathematics courses.

What do I need to graduate from an online animation school?

It takes about 180 credits, or four years, to graduate with an online computer animation degree.

How much do animators make?

According to BLS, the average annual salary for these professionals is around $72,000.


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