What makes a top VFX college or university? A quick web search of top visual effects colleges brings up over half a million hits. Narrowing this list down to a workable number can be achieved by evaluating VFX colleges based on what they have to offer and how they offer it. The list can be shortened further by evaluating what you hope to get from the curriculum that a particular VFX school has to put forward. 

When evaluating visual effects (VFX) colleges there are certain steps that should be followed, and specific questions that should be asked. The first step in the process when looking for a VFX college involves making certain that it is an accredited institution. If you know that a school is accredited then you can rest assured that you will be receiving a quality education. Checking a schools accreditation can be accomplished by going to the U.S Department of Education web site, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx.

The next step involves evaluating the expertise of a school’s professors. Highly regarded VFX schools will have qualified teachers who are familiar with the visual effects industry. They will understand not only what you need to learn academically, but also how to gain a foothold in the trade once you graduate. Faculty bios are a good place to access this information, and are usually available through a particular college’s web site.

 Once you know the college or university is recognized and the faculty is well respected you can begin the process of self evaluation. Are you artistically inclined, or lean more to the technical aspect of visual effects? Do you know exactly what area you want to go into, or are you undecided at the present time? Some of the top VFX schools will offer a curriculum that gives you an opportunity to decide which discipline you might choose to branch into. That is not to say that a school that focuses on only one or two disciplines can not be considered a top VFX college. It comes down to deciding between an immediately focused education, or a generalized education that allows you to gain focus further down the road. 

This self evaluation can be taken a step further by narrowing your list based on how you learn most effectively. If you are self motivated or prefer distance learning you will want to find out which schools offer online classes. If you are a people person and crave that classroom contact then your focus should be on brick and mortar colleges.

There are certain services offered that set VFX colleges apart from the rest. With the downturn in the economy a great education can be ified if you have trouble finding employment. The upper echelon of VFX colleges will offer internship and job placement programs.
In closing, searching for a fully qualified and well respected VFX college requires some research, but using the conditions mentioned above can help you taper your catalog of candidate schools down to a small list of exceptional VFX colleges.

Did you know:

According to US News and World Reports the following are the top 2010 National Schools offering Art majors

1.      Yale University – New Haven, CT
2.      University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
3.      Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
4.      Brown University – Providence, RI
5.      Rice University – Houston, TX

If you are interested in Top Visual Effects Colleges, you may also be interested in finding more information on Top Graphic Design Colleges, Top Photography Colleges, Top Illustration Colleges and Top Interior Design Colleges. Feel free to browse these art school profiles and securely submit your information to request information.


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