Top 8 Online Art Schools in the World

Top 8 Online Art Schools in the World

The Best Online Art Schools for 2018 is something we take very seriously and no external influences or payments are entered into at any point. Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.

We feel that traditional school rankings that include peer and employer reviews, faculty to student ratio, citations and other data are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. For a complete breakdown of how we rank the best schools for 2018 please read how we rank the best schools and how we analyse the data in the sections located at the bottom of this page.

These results are based on the quality of student portfolios submitted to the Rookie Awards 2018.

1. Gnomon

Since 1997, Gnomon has been educating many of the world’s best digital artists. The school in Hollywood, California, offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with a BFA degree in Digital Production, full-time vocational programs, specialised courses for high school students, and over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment.

2. CG Spectrum Online College of Digital Arts and Animation

We offer online courses taught by top film and game artists.What better way to break into the film and games industry than to be personally trained by those who have worked on your favourite movies or video games?This is your opportunity to get world class online education taught by the industry’s most talented artists. These are mentors from the top studios in the world who have worked on your favourite films and games!Our training is focused on the skills employers are looking for.

3. Animation Mentor

In 2005, Animation Mentor was the first to offer a world-class animation education online. Today, more than ever, you can count on that same great experience with our proven mentorship educational model, a global campus that’s always on, thousands of hours of educational content, and our commitment to providing you with the most personal and fulfilling learning experience on the planet … all designed to help you — the filmmaker — reach your full creative potential.

4. iAnimate is an online animation school like no other. We offer a complete set of workshops designed to target all your animation needs, and put you in direct contact with veteran animators from the biggest & best studios in our industry. They are passionate about teaching animation and are dedicated to giving you the knowledge and motivation to help you reach your goals.

5. AnimSchool

AnimSchool has over 30 instructors currently working at studios like Blue Sky Studios, Dreamworks, Disney, Sony, and Pixar. We share our passion with aspiring artists after our full-time production jobs. AnimSchool is a growing school! We have 8 staff members, including two full-time 3D animation professionals. AnimSchool students have many opportunities for interaction, help, and problem solving with our full-time pros-almost daily! We work hard to respond to student issues quickly.

6. Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)

AIE offers vocational training in Computer Game Development (Animation and Programming) and 3D animation for Screen, supporting the Australian digital creative industries, which continue to grow faster than any other entertainment or content sector. All AIE’s Bachelor, Advanced Diploma and Certificate programmes are nationally accredited and recognised through the Australian Qualifications Framework.


CGMA was created for everyone: from 2D and 3D artists looking to supplement their college studies to industry professionals looking to stay up to date on emerging trends and techniques in the field. CGMA offers a wealth of creative opportunities for artists of all types and all levels. Through interaction with industry-trained and experienced instructors, our students receive the very best and most current instruction.

8. Yoobee School of Design

Change our world - and yours - through a career in digital design. Build technical skills. Collaborate. Watch your ideas come to life at New Zealand’s largest specialised digital design school. For the past 20 years, Yoobee has been arming creatives with the technical know-how and practical, real-world skills to turn their brilliant ideas into careers. We have campuses in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, as well as online learning options available.

How we rank the best Online Art schools

Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.

The reason we take this approach is because we believe the goal of each creative school is tasked with helping students learn the right creative and technical skills that mirror the requirements of industry. It is their job to train artists to a level that allows them to transition from to a professional environment with ease.

The end result for students is less about grades, it’s about creating a digital portfolio that best showcases their skills and displays an understanding of production pipelines. This is why our judges review portfolios and review student work in the same manner as a professional job application.

The rankings are based on the scores as awarded by the official judging panel. Opinions by the general public are by no means considered.

Students are judged on their creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential.

How we analyse the data

Each school is awarded a final score based on the performance of each student representing their academic facility.

When analysing the average scores of each student per school there are three possible data formulas available to use: mean, median and mode.

The Rookies uses median. The median is the middle point of a number set, in which half the numbers are above the median and half are below. A median is intrinsically understandable. It is the middle number when the values are put in order.

The most important factor here is that a median is not affected by outliers. This means that schools are not penalised for incomplete entries and schools are not favoured for a single high score that is not the norm. Student scores often have outlier values and using the median is the more robust solution to determine an average.

Important details about how a school score is calculated:

  • Schools with < 4 student entries are excluded from ranking.
  • Incomplete student entries are removed from calculations. No penalties.
  • Each student receives a performance score. Max 100 points. (Student Score)
  • Median students score calculated per school. Max 100 points. (Median Student Score)
  • Each category finalist receives 10 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category runner up receives 15 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category winner receives 20 bonus points toward School Score.