Explore the frequently asked questions and get the answers to some of our most popular queries.
The school was named after Emile Cohl, the French inventor of animation. During his early years he exported his skills to the U.S., challenging the motion picture industry to grow through his revolutionary approach to animation and entertainment. The Academy reflects his dual culture, pioneering personality, and immense talent, which has become a perfectly matching standard for ECAA’s vision and mission.
Our groundbreaking program is valued at $50,000 per year, per student. Everyone who is admitted to the program is fully sponsored through the generous philanthropy of donors who support our mission. Each person admitted into the program will embrace our rigorous curriculum with the dedication necessary to surpass expectations. ECAA is a highly competitive program, and admission is not easy. Once you are admitted, you will pour your heart and soul into succeeding, and that is not free.
Enrollment in the Academy is 100% sponsored and participation in the curriculum does not require payment from the student in any capacity.
First, our program is fully sponsored by donors, so students do not have to indebt themselves to student loans or financial hardships to enroll or attend.
Next, our instructors are world-renowned artists and mentors who will share more than their skill, but their life lessons, and real-world experience to provide an education that is not readily available in a textbook – or through other higher learning approaches. They are favorably compensated as partners in developing the best talent available, which allows them to pour themselves into the process as dedicated educators – not just teachers collecting a paycheck.
Third, our French influence imparts a highly recognizable art and animation focus that allows sponsors, mentors, Board of Trustee members, and students to establish a position as elite world players in our artistic movement.
Finally, our program is extraordinarily intense. The mandated 1,500 hours of course load per year requires a commitment that is unmatched in other scholastic institutions. This fantastic approach to betterment allows our highly skilled talents to excel in versatile, multi-dimensional careers after graduation.
Although 2019 is our inaugural year at ECAA, our flagship Lyon, France location has spent more than 35 years creating a blueprint for success that will be replicated in our Los Angeles, CA location. You can find a selection of alumni success stories here.
No. Even with its financial tuition requirement, landing at the top end of art schools throughout the world, our Lyon, France location’s education, which is mirrored at ECAA, fills hundreds of vacant spots in a ridiculously short period each year during open enrollment. Our groundbreaking approach in offering sponsored tuition allows ECAA to admit the best talent who do not have the financial ability to attend our flagship location.
Yes. Any work created by any student at ECAA, before, during, or after their enrollment at the program, on campus or off, or as freelance artists, belong to the student. Unless the artwork is for sale, and becomes another’s property, students will maintain full ownership. ECAA may use these works for marketing and promotion purposes, but the rights will remain with the student.
No. $249 is all you will be invited to pay for both the admission process and the 3-year program. Please note that as in any other school, application fees are non-refundable.
If accepted into the program, you will also be given a survival art kit, to reduce down to nothing your art supplies costs.
The initial criteria are that you must:
The more important aspect of admission is talent. You must be artistically talented and have a portfolio that allows your skillset to stand out from the other applicants.
No. Anyone can apply/attend ECAA that is 18 years old or above.
Although the numbers vary, ECAA reviews approximately 5,000 portfolios each year.
Every year, ECAA admits 40 talented students to participate in our 3-year, fully sponsored tuition enrollment program.
To submit your portfolio, please go to https://ecaa.slideroom.com.
Each submitted portfolio should include: ONE unique PDF file including a minimum of fifteen works you entirely created. Please submit diverse techniques: black & white and color works; sketches and finished works.
Please join a minimum of three realistic works in each of the five following categories, totaling a minimum of fifteen works:
To ensure a non-biased, merit-based selection, please do not include any information within the shared PDF such as, but not limited to, name, email, links, texts or personal photos.
From the submitted portfolios, only 500 of the most skilled students will be invited to visit our campus for round two of our admittance requirement: The eligibility and skills test. This evaluation will assess procedural logic, English comprehension levels, drawing skills, and overall abilities that cannot be measured using grades or testing scores.
The final selection stage sets your artistic talent aside and measures the whole student, and your ultimate, defining goals. Our selection process is administered without bias, as the portfolios are reviewed without personal information – allowing your artwork to speak for itself. Preserving your personal anonymity allows diversity to shine through, which is continued in our final selection stage: a 5 minutes video cover letters which will be reviewed by a panel of non-biased, thirdparty psychologists & recruiters to determine your ability to learn, measure your aptitude for teamwork and assessing your overall dedication to personal and scholastic success, and challenge your expectations and motivation to both join our program and work in the Gaming, Animation or VFX industries.
Yes. Among many other skills, the selection process is partly based on your drawing capabilities. As an artist, drawing should be the cornerstone of your approach to betterment, and we can only help you sharpen those skills if you have already mastered the basic techniques.
No. All portfolios submitted for review are considered complete upon receipt. Because of our blind approach to reviewing portfolios, we cannot match previous submissions with additional material.
The admission process will be documented and communicated at each phase, including a notification that your application has been received, and further contact each step thereafter, including your advancement or departure from contention in the admission process.
ECAA’s campus is open to visitors once a week during the two selection months of each year. Please contact the Admissions department for a detailed schedule of events.
No. The Academy offers fully sponsored tuition, so financial aid is not offered, or necessary. We do not require proof of income or tax documents from you or your parents. ECAA is designed to admit anyone with astonishing talent, no matter their gender, age, race, religion, or financial circumstances.
Your portfolio should be a complete reflection of your skill, uniqueness, and awesome personality. We are seeking talent that is comprised of the whole you – not just your ability to draw!
Yes. In fact, we encourage applicants to engage the process, and submit new material each year that reflects their evolution in the artistic movement. Since the review process is blind, your previous submission will not be taken into account.
The ECAA program begins on the first Monday of September and continues through the last Friday of July.
ECAA does not grant degrees or diplomas but distributes a certificate of completion at the end of the 3rd year. Our curriculum is designed to match studio and entertainment industry requirements. Executives are not interested in a diploma displayed in your living room, but are captivated by your skills, versatility, personality and cost-effectiveness.
Students who have participated in the ECAA program can excel at any career in the field of animation, gaming, VfX and illustration. Alumni from our France-based flagship school now work as 2D Animators, 3D Animators, 3D Modelers, Art Directors, Character Designers, Concept Artists, Game Artists, Level Artists, Lighting Artists, Matte Painters, Previz/Layout Artists, Story board Artists, Texture & Surfacing Artists, Comic Strip Writers, Press Illustrators, Illustrators, and Graphic Designers, both as independent contractors and as permanent employees in major international studios.
Our program is designed to ensure a balanced curriculum that will reap the greatest overall success, including 10% lecture-based classes, and 90% project-based commitments. We believe that while theory is fundamental, it only solidifies its worth if immediately applied to concrete group or solo works. Otherwise, ECAA works exactly like any other US postsecondary art school with instructors, grades, and capstone projects.
During the initial two years of attendance, each course is applied to 40 students. Our 35+ years of experience allows us to attest to this perfect balance between personalized mentoring and constructive autonomy. Students progress as they learn, but not with a teacher holding their hand 24/7. During the third and final year, most classes are split in Gaming and Animation majors, with a focused attendance of 20 students per class.
The program’s mission is to train and mentor students up to a Masters’ Degree equivalent level in a three-year period, designating ECAA as a highly intense program. Our curriculum equals: 7 hours of course work per day, 5 days a week, 42 weeks per year. Although we cannot mandate how you spend your time outside of the Academy, working while attending ECAA would be a demanding use of time and physical resources.
No. We train future professionals in the animation, gaming and VfX industries. Therefore, our program does not include any off-curriculum courses (Kinesiology, Geology, Calculus, Geography, etc.) as traditional colleges would instruct. We focus our curriculum around the skills recruiters will require you to master when entering the competitive artistic fields the program is preparing you for.
Yes! If you have an amazing opportunity, we would be happy to endorse your exit from the program. Because our Academy offers fully sponsored tuition, we have no financial obligation to keep you on campus. Please know that any exit from the Academy is final, and that the purpose of delivering a certificate of completion at the end of the third year is designed to sharpen your portfolio for prospective employers to view. The goal of an ECAA education is to open doors for our graduates throughout the world, and includes connections in the entertainment and gaming industries, but the opportunities are endless!
Our intensive learning program is designed to fully immerse our talents in a unique scholastic process. Your attendance is necessary, and your admission into the program is a commitment to upholding that requirement. Courses will not be offered online, and remote learning is not an option.
No. Housing is not included in our fully sponsored tuition opportunities.
ECAA is in an urban setting that helps define our commitment to an on-the-rise Los Angeles, CA area that will help define the growth of an artistic community. The entire campus is only accessible with an assigned magnetic pass and is monitored by 24/7 CCTV, and secured by trained staff.
Yes! ECAA accepts international students from all over the world, but we are currently not able to sponsor any type of scholastic or employment visas (including an I-20 form). Your ability to legally live in the United States for three years is an established requirement for admission.
You are considered an “international” or “non-immigrant” applicant if you need a visa to reside and study in the U.S. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you are not considered an international applicant even if you currently reside outside of the U.S.
The financial requirement for all students, international or U.S., is the same: A one-time $249 fee for portfolio submission. Our 3-year program and the tuition to attend is sponsored fully upon your acceptance.
No. Our program is designed to offer the most talented prospects with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand their artistic abilities without financial worry. The fully sponsored tuition is the only option for entry, which is why the admission rate is limited to only 40 immensely talented individuals.
ECAA’s prominence begins with you, your talent, and your excitement about the successful evolution of the artistic landscape in the United States. Immerse yourself in our informative terrain and engage the process: Greatness awaits.
MEET THE MODERN BENCHMARK FOR SUCCESSFUL, DIVERSE TALENT: THE EMILE COHL ART ACADEMY
We are accepting applications from diverse talent who is prepared to take their place on the world’s artistic stage. Your talent is the focal point of our admission process. Engage it and allow your portfolio to speak for you.