Animation Career Review has ranked the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design No. 2 among the nation’s top public animation schools and colleges in 2021.

As an online resource for aspiring animators, graphics designers, digital artists and more, Animation Career Review has published a list of the top 100 schools across different programs since 2012. This year, UCF has been ranked among the top animation programs, illustration program and graphic design programs.

“SVAD is thrilled to represent the 2021 Animation Career review No. 2 spot for Public Animation Schools in the entire U.S.,” says Associate Professor Matt Dombrowski ’05 ’08MFA, who serves as the school’s experimental animation area coordinator. “At UCF and SVAD, we strive to provide affordable, innovative and inspiring educational opportunities to foster the next generation of creative professionals. SVAD emerging media alumni have been and continue to represent UCF on some of the biggest film, television, video game and design projects in the industry.”

UCF’s prestigious bachelor’s and master’s degree programs with a focus in animation include character animation, experimental animation, and animation and visual effects. UCF’s animation tracks have steadily risen in the ranks over the years. The school is ranked among the top 20 in the following animation categories:

  • 2 nationally among public schools and colleges
  • 21 nationally
  • 3 in Florida
  • 3 nationally among schools offering an animation-related MS/MA
  • 4 in the South
  • 11 nationally among schools offering an animation-related MFA
  • 18 nationally among schools offering an animation-related BFA

In 2019, the tracks ranked fifth nationally among public schools and colleges, later rising to third in 2020 and second in 2021. The BFA, MS/MA, and MFA programs ranked higher in 2021 than in previous years, as well.

“This increase is due to the hard work of our faculty, students, and alumni,” says Associate Professor Cheryl Briggs, area coordinator for character animation and program director for animation and visual effects.

animated squirrel holds a cup and smiles while standing in front of computer monitor
Many UCF animation graduates are working for major animation and gaming companies on award-winning projects.

Animation Career Review also recognized UCF among the top illustration programs in the country in 2021 for as well as its strength in graphic design:

  • 2 in Florida among art BFA – illustration specialization
  • 3 art-illustration bachelor’s program in the South
  • 4 graphic design BFA in Florida
  • 7 art-illustration bachelor’s program among public schools and colleges
  • 14 graphic design BFA in the South
  • Top 25% art-illustration bachelor’s program nationally
  • 46 graphic design BFA nationally among public schools

SVAD was also recognized by College Rank, an online resource for upcoming college students to view nationally ranked colleges and universities. SVAD ranked ninth in the top 20 animation schools and degree programs in 2020.

Many UCF animation graduates are working for major animation and gaming companies such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, PIXAR Animation Studios, Blue-Sky Animation Studios, Weta Digital, Framestore, MPC, Titmouse, Netflix, Genius Brands, Reel FX, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Animal Logic, Blur Studios, Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Riot Games, Turtle Rock Studios, and Blizzard Entertainment or creating simulations for organizations including the U.S. Navy, NASA, DISTI, and Lockheed Martin.

“UCF gave me a really solid foundation for my career. It was great getting to learn different aspects of the pipeline like modeling and texturing as well because those skills have been helpful in getting jobs after school,” says Teresa Falcone ’14 who has worked as an animator on award-winning films including Smallfoot, Coco, Onward and Soul.

The latest work from SVAD Emerging Media graduates  can be viewed virtually at Revival: BFA Exhibition II, SVAD 2021 Premieres and Graphic Design Senior Showcase.

Visit to find out more about UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design.