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New Mexico State University ranks nationally for its animation program

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State University (NMSU) is hoping to grow its animation program. The news comes after being ranked nationally for the 12th time.

The animation program at NMSU is seeing a big boom in applicants.

“It started out as a very young program and a very small program,” said Assistant Professor Derek Chase.

Students work on 2D and 3D animation among other concepts, but most importantly they’re given complete creative control.

“It’s kind of fun mix of different styles,” said Edward Bakshi.

This is why Chase and Bakshi believe the program continues to receive nationwide recognition.

Out of 200 public institutions, NMSU’s program is ranked 19th this year, up from 22nd last year, in Animation Career Review. Rankings like this help the school recruit more students to the program, and they’ve gotten so much interest they now have to turn away applicants.

“We’re competitive while also being affordable, I think that that’s a big factor in us having that ranking,” said Chase.

They hope as the program continues to succeed so they can hire more staff and add more specialties.

“Our program has been growing, and our faculty has been growing, and I think we do have an interest in growing our faculty and to continuing to accept more students,” said Chase.

Some programs are just now getting up and running.

“We have everything from traditional figure drawings to advanced composting. We’re starting a rigging animation now,” said Bakshi.

Ultimately, they hope to help give students the creative edge when it comes time to apply for jobs.

“We’ve been really pleasantly surprised to see the different fields that our students will actually get into,” said Chase.

Right now, NMSU said they have more than 400 film and animation majors with a majority of the students coming from here in New Mexico.