Which Schools Have Computer Animation Programs in Denver, CO?

Learn about computer animation programs in the Denver, CO, area. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Should Know

Aspiring animators living in and around Denver can find programs at both 2- and 4-year schools. You could earn an animation certificate composed of 15-30 credit hours and might specialize in areas such as motion graphics or 3-D design. Associate's degrees in animation technology with possible specializations in motion graphics or 3-D design may be completed in about 2 years; meanwhile, a fine arts bachelor's degree with a 3-D graphics or digital animation emphasis may be completed in 4 years. Keep reading to determine whether one of the following programs will meet your needs.


Computer Animation Certificate Programs in the Denver Area

Front Range Community College

  • Program Name: Animation Certificate
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours, 10 classes
  • Tuition: $105.85 per credit hour for residents, $434.30 per credit hour for nonresidents (cost for 2011-2012 academic year, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Requirements: 17 years of age or older
  • School Type: 2-year, public; approximately 20,100 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 3645 W. 112th Ave., Westminster, CO 80031
  • Phone: (303) 404-5000

Front Range Community College (FRCC) offers an animation certificate program at its Boulder County and Westminster campuses. Some of the class topics include Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, 3-D animation, game design, digital animatics and animation production. All of these classes offer college credit.

Red Rocks Community College

  • Program Name: Certificate
  • Specialization Areas: Motion graphics and animation, 3-D design and animation (pending approval)
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours, 10 classes
  • Tuition: $174.75 per credit for residents, $462.55 per credit for nonresidents (as of summer 2012, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT scores
  • Requirements: 17 years of age or older (unless granted waiver), Accuplacer placement test (unless exempt through SAT or ACT scores), orientation session
  • School Type: 2-year, public; approximately 9,800 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 13300 W. Sixth Ave., Lakewood, CO 80228
  • Phone: (303) 914-6600

Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) offers a certificate in motion graphics animation, which includes ten classes. Courses include multimedia, drawing and animatics. You'll also take classes using industry-specific software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash, Adobe AfterEffects and Adobe Illustrator. A 10-course certificate program in 3-D design and animation is pending approval and will offer classes in 3-D animation, 3-D game modeling, visual concepts of 3-D design and animation production, as well as training courses in various industry software.

Aims Community College

  • Program Name: Animation Certificate
  • Program Length: 15 credit hours, 5 classes
  • Tuition: $67.36 per credit for residents, $105.73 per credit for out-of-district students, $158.50 for Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) students, $425.25 for out-of-state students (as of fall 2012, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Requirements: SAT scores, ACT scores, college math and English courses or Accuplacer assessment test
  • School Type: 2-year, public; approximately 5,300 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 5401 W. 20th St., Greeley, CO 80632
  • Phone: (970) 330-8008

Another school offering a certificate program related to computer animation is Aims Community College. The school offers a 15-credit Animation Certificate program, which includes courses in animation, video editing and motion graphics. You'll also receive training in industry software, such as Maya and Adobe Illustrator.


Computer Animation Associate Degree Programs in the Denver Area

Front Range Community College

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Animation Technology with a concentration in animation
  • Program Length: 2-years, full-time
  • Tuition: $105.85 per credit hour for residents, $434.30 per credit hour for nonresidents (cost for 2011-2012 academic year, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Requirements: 17 years of age or older
  • School Type: 2-year, public; approximately 20,100 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 3645 W. 112th Ave., Westminster, CO 80031
  • Phone: (303) 404-5000

You can enroll in an associate's degree program in animation at FRCC. Through required courses, you can learn to produce animation used in gaming and on the Web, as well as for cartoons, industry-specific illustrations and interactive CD's. The core coursework offers training in industry software, including Adobe AfterEffects, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Courses are offered in both classroom and computer lab settings.

Red Rocks Community College

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science or Associate of General Studies
  • Field of Study Options: Motion graphics animation, 3-D design and animation (pending approval)
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition: $174.75 per credit for residents, $462.55 per credit for nonresidents (as of summer 2012, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT scores
  • Requirements: 17 years of age or older (unless granted waiver), Accuplacer placement test (unless exempt through SAT or ACT scores), orientation session
  • School Type: 2-year, public; approximately 9,800 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 13300 W. Sixth Ave., Lakewood, CO 80228
  • Phone: (303) 914-6600

RRCC offers both an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and an Associate of General Studies (AGS) in motion graphics animation and is planning to offer an additional Associate of Science degree in 3-D design and animation, pending approval. The AAS degree emphasizes 2-D animation and can prepare you to work in 2-D digital modeling. The AGS degree program focuses on 3-D animation techniques and is designed for transfer to the Metropolitan State College of Denver's Bachelor's degree program in technical communication. Both programs incorporate professional software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Final Cut Pro, among others. The 3-D design and animation degree that is pending approval will offer courses in animation design and drawing, 3-D character design, Maya and advanced 3-D Studio Max modeling.


Computer Animation Bachelor's Degree Program in the Denver Area

University of Colorado Denver

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Fine Art in Fine Arts with a 3-D graphics and digital animation emphasis
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition: $264 per credit hour for in-state freshmen and sophomores, $284 per credit hour for in-state juniors, senior and non-degree seeking students, $813 per credit hour for degree and non-degree seeking nonresidents (cost for 2011-2012 academic year, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT scores, rigorous high school curriculum, personal essay (optional), letters of recommendation (optional)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; over 13,300 undergrads, nearly 10,800 graduate students
  • Address: 1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400, Denver, CO 80217
  • Phone: (303) 556-5600

The University of Colorado Denver's College of Arts & Media houses the Digital Animation Center, which provides state-of-the-art animation labs equipped with industry-standard software programs. The primary software application used in the 3-D graphics and digital animation program is Alias MAYA. Classes follow a sequential schedule, building on skills and knowledge learned in previous courses. Some of the courses you'll take include foundations of digital animation, lighting techniques, modeling techniques, 3-D character creation, character animation and environment creation. The program culminates in a two-course capstone project, in which you'll work as part of a team to create a short film.


Career Info for Computer Animation Professionals in the Denver Area

Animators create visual effects for media like television, video games and movies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers don't usually require that multimedia artists and animators hold a degree, but postsecondary training or degree programs can help you develop your portfolio and hone your technical skills.

According to the BLS, 170 multimedia artists and animators were employed in the Denver - Aurora - Broomfield area, as of May 2011, and their mean annual wage was about $58,000. The BLS projected a nationwide 8% increase in jobs for multimedia artists and animators from 2010 to 2020, which was slower than the average overall occupational growth.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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