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Illustration, M.F.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months


The Illustration master program from Fashion Institute of Technology SUNY is for self-motivated illustrators who want to further develop their personal vision and for experienced illustrators seeking to reinvigorate their careers. Studio practice in drawing, painting, and digital media—and the integration of all three—provides a platform for you to find your own voice. Through a focus on studio practice along with classes on creative writing and research, you’ll gain a broad perspective on the illustrator’s role across different media. A faculty of noted illustrators offer rigorous assignments designed to elicit high-quality, competitive work. You’ll hear distinguished guest lecturers and take advantage of FIT’s New York City location with frequent field trips to museums and galleries.

The program culminates in a visual thesis body of work that is displayed in an exhibition at The Museum at FIT. Exhibits have included animation, concept art, children’s books, graphic novels, murals, and reportage.


  • The faculty includes the Executive Director, past presidents and members of the board of directors of the prestigious Society of Illustrators, members of the New York Art Director’s Club and the Society for Publication Designers, and winners of the Society of Illustrators Distinguished Educator Award.
  • Award-winning alumni work has been recognized in the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition, as well as  other industry competitions.
  • Digital Boot Camp, which takes place before the start of classes, introduces students to graduate-level study and promotes camaraderie among class members.
  • Students travel to the west coast to visit entertainment studios, artists and illustrators.
  • Faculty and students have received numerous awards, including gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, the Stevan Dohanos Award, the Hamilton King Award, National Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council Award, Frank R. Paul Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science Fiction Illustration, and the Chesley Award from the Association of Science Fiction/Fantasy Artists for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
  • Students and alumni are regularly recognized as award and merit winners in Communication Arts, 3 x 3 Magazine, American Illustration, and other industry publications.
  • Some alumni go on to teach at FIT and other higher education programs, and lecture and teach in specialized high school and museum programs.
  • Clients of alumni include: Harper Collins Publishing, Macy’s New York, Martha Stewart, The American Museum of Natural History, Barron's Educational Series, Cablevision, Candlewick Press, Computer Associates, Crain's New York Business, Doubleday, Plan Sponsor Magazine, TruTV, ESPN, ABC, Dunkin’ Donuts, Six Flags, General Mills Cereals, Trailside Museum and Zoo, Major League Baseball, and Upper Deck Trading Cards.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Digital Boot Camp 
  • Thesis 1: Initiating the Process 
  • The History of Amencan Illustration 
  • Drawing for Illustration 
For more information please visit the program website.

      Detailed Programme Facts

      • Programme intensity Part-time
        • Average part-time duration 36 months
      • Languages
        • English
      • Delivery mode
        On Campus

      English Language Requirements

      This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

      Academic Requirements

      You need the following GPA score:

      Required score: 3

      Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

      Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

      Admission requirements

      • For admittance to degree candidacy, students must have satisfied all outstanding prerequisites, completed a minimum of 60 approved course credits, achieved a final grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and had their thesis approved by the defense committee. Students must have advanced to degree candidacy before being permitted to attend graduation ceremonies.

                Tuition Fee

                • International

                  11793 USD/credit
                  Tuition Fee
                  Based on the original amount of 11793 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
                • National

                  11793 USD/credit
                  Tuition Fee
                  Based on the original amount of 11793 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
                • In-State

                  5771 USD/credit
                  Tuition Fee
                  Based on the original amount of 5771 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
                We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

                Living costs for Manhattan

                • 900 - 1400 USD/month
                  Living Costs

                The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


                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.

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                Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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