The Illustration program of Academy of Art University provides the skills to develop portfolios with samples in Children’s Book, Editorial, Licensing, Package Illustration, Concept Art, Book Covers, Preliminary Art, Advertising, or Institutional Art portfolios. Both representational and stylistic approaches for print and or web are taught. Students graduate with a portfolio created in a personal style and medium of choice that is market appropriate.
Program Learning Outcomes
The MFA Illustration Graduate School curriculum emphasizes visual communication and a mastery of technical and conceptual abilities and involves intensive education in the formulation of ideas, problem solving and artistic skill. Students are asked to stretch their talents and refine the skills that will enhance their art, broadening the opportunities for their work. Development of the individual's style and viewpoint is a focus of graduate studies in Illustration.
Graduate students receive classical art instruction and an exposure to new media. The graduate student will develop a portfolio that demonstrates a personal style and a high level of professional skills. A refined illustrative style and voice will culminate in the graduate student's individual focus for their Final Project in areas such as editorial, advertising, graphic novel and children's books. The Final Project is exhibited to the public upon approval of the Final Review committee.
MFA graduates of the School of Illustration will meet the following student performance criteria:
MFA Thesis Project
- Plan a portfolio of works directed towards legitimate markets
- Produce a professional-level portfolio consisting of 15 works directed towards legitimate markets
- Demonstrate the skills necessary in the chosen medium or mediums to successfully complete their thesis project
- Create compelling images
- Maintain a consistent “language” or “signature style”
Research and Conceptualization Skills
- Clearly identify their audience
- Conduct research for reference
- Professionally present and discuss their work with a review committee.
- Develop both digital and print materials to market themselves and their work
- Demonstrate an understanding of current trends and visual industry standards by describing how their work will address a specific market
Academy of Art University offers some of the best training and hands-on experience to help accelerate your career. We pride ourselves in doing an exceptional job preparing you to excel in your future careers in illustration. Our degree programs are designed to equip aspiring illustrators with a comprehensive toolbox of marketable skills that lead to success in the illustration industry.
Book Cover Artist
Create narrative art for book covers as a book cover artist. You'll conceptualize and execute eye-catching imagery for cover layouts, and communicate story notes in a single image.
Children's Book Illustrator
With the vibrant children's book market, you'll be able to create illustrations for a wide range of audiences and story styles as a children's book illustrator. With an emphasis on storytelling, a diversity in approaches and styles makes this a flexible and exciting career path.
Create and sell your own stories as a comic artist. Layout artists draw pages for comics, inkers create line art for comics, and writers provide the story framework.
Create preproduction art from rough ideation to model packets as a concept artist. You'll create environments, character designs, and concepts for games or films, and work with a variety of teams to create new worlds and stories.
Illustrators solve visual problems and tell stories in formats that range from infographics to comic books. You can make 3D visualizations, book covers, posters, cards, graphic novels, collectibles and more. You are also responsible for managing and maintaining your own business.
In the emerging market of interaction design, the interactive illustrator creates art for inclusion in digital mediums such as smartphones, computers, and tablets. Understand and influence user behavior with a strong illustrative style and give life to interactive experiences.
Create the illusion of being inside a heart, sitting in an ancient temple, or explaining disease vectors as medical or scientific illustrator. Combining meticulous research and execution skills with artistic vision, you'll distill complex concepts into simple and beautiful illustrations.
As a reportage illustrator, you'll be tasked with documenting moments for TV, the Internet, sketchbooks, and specialty publications. Courtroom, combat, and corporate presentation artists must work efficiently and accurately to define a moment in time.
As a storyboard artist, you'll break down and draw shots for commercials, films, fames, cartoons, and more. Set the tempo and timing of key shots to interpret the director's vision under tight deadline.
Get more detailsVisit official programme website
Programme StructureCourses include:
- Clothed Figure Drawing
- Perspective for Characters & Environment
- Digital Painting
- Color Theory
- Concept, Technique and Illustration
- Character Design for Children's Books
- 36 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- StartingApply anytime.
- StartingApply anytime.
DisciplinesVisual Arts View 533 other Masters in Visual Arts in United States
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
- College transcripts must show the classes/subjects, grades, credits and number of hours completed for each class
- Applicants and sponsors must complete the Affidavit of Support Form
- An art portfolio in your chosen discipline is required with detailed descriptions for all international graduate school applicants
- An official bank letter (from student. family/parents/sponsor) must show a minimum balance of $42,000 USD or equivalent
- We do not require TOEFL or IELTS scores and do not have a minimum score requirement
- Photocopy of your valid passport
- Photocopy of your 1-20, 1-94, or other visa document
- If your transcripts are not in English. they must be translated and notarized
International1191 USD/creditTuition FeeBased on the original amount of 1191 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
National1137 USD/creditTuition FeeBased on the original amount of 1137 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.
Updated in the last 6 months
Check the official programme website for potential updates.