What are the top East Coast illustration schools?

Top 20 Illustration Schools and Colleges on the East Coast - 2024 College Rankings
1School of Visual ArtsNew York
2Rhode Island School of DesignRhode Island
3Pratt InstituteNew York
4Fashion Institute of Technology New York
5The New School’s Parsons School of DesignNew York
6Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland
7Syracuse UniversityNew York
8Massachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts
9Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia
10University of the ArtsPennsylvania
11Pennsylvania College of Art and DesignPennsylvania
12Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
13University of HartfordConnecticut
14Moore College of Art & DesignPennsylvania
15Maine College of Art and DesignMaine
16University of ConnecticutConnecticut
17Queens CollegeNew York
18Eastern Connecticut State UniversityConnecticut
19Central Connecticut State UniversityConnecticut
20Kutztown University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania

Our 2024 list of the Top 20 Illustration Schools in the East. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) is a community of creatives that includes faculty and alumni who were involved in five of the 2024 Academy Award-nominated films as Computer Animators, Illustrators, Producers, and more. Within SVA are a number of departments that provide degree programs at all levels. 

The SVA Illustration Department has several paths, courses, and workshops for students seeking careers in Illustration, Entertainment, Animation, and other related areas. For degree-seeking students, the department provides an Illustration BFA and an Illustration as Visual Essay MFA. BFA program features include access to faculty and mentors who are professionals in the industry; opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships and other experiential learning programs; and a senior portfolio curriculum that allow students to develop professional works in an area of focus. 

Illustration BFA students will complete 120 credit hours, including 72 credits in studio art courses. Coursework explores drawing and illustration, painting, storytelling, writing, comics, books and zines, digital coloring, and visual computing. Elective studio courses allow students to explore areas such as motion graphics, web design, and stop-motion animation. Course examples for the program include Creating Unforgettable Characters; Pictorial Projects I-II: Illustration; Cool Books; Digital Collage Illustration: Telling Stories in Layers; Still and Moving: Low-Tech Animation; and Motion Graphics Techniques I-II. 

Before graduating from SVA, Illustration students have plenty of opportunities to compete in competitions and work for places such as The New Yorker and The Village Voice. SVA Illustration graduates go on to establish successful careers in fields such as Advertising, Textile Design, VFX Art, Animation, Fashion Design, Book Publishing, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Film, Packaging, and Greeting Card Design. 

For students seeking a degree in a specialized area of Illustration, School of Visual Arts has a Comic BFA Program. The curriculum for this program is similar to the Illustration BFA curriculum. Comic BFA students will also take other courses such as Principles of Cartooning I-II; Lettering Comics; Graphic Design Solutions for Illustrators and Cartoonists; Comic Book Superheroes and American Society; and Pictorial Projects I-II: Cartooning. 

SVA’s MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department was established in 1984. The department’s full contact MFA is a competitive 60 credit hour, two-year program that accepts just 20 students per year. All MFA students benefit from 24/7 access to personal workspaces; guest lecturers, speakers, and mentors; the Illustration Business Boot Camp; internship opportunities; and participation in exhibits and gallery shows. 

Students in all SVA programs have access to the school’s study abroad program as well as SVA offices in Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai, China, where students can collaborate, network, participate in workshops, and attend lectures. 

In addition to coursework and projects in computer illustration, creative writing, storytelling, and visual essay, SVA MFA students have the opportunity to audit classes in Fine Arts, Animation, and Film. Course examples for the program include Drawing II; The Digital Book; Painting I-II; Creative Writing Workshop I-II; Book Seminar; Perpetual Appetizers; Studio Workshop I-II; History of Storytelling; and computer Illustration Portfolio. 

The SVA Illustration as Visual Essay MFA program culminates with a Thesis Project completed over two courses. 

For students seeking a shorter program, SVA has numerous options. Examples include Illustration as Design as Illustration (10 sessions); Animals and Creatures in Illustration (10 sessions); Careers in Illustration: A Drawing Workshop (six sessions); Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists (10 sessions); Etching: Illustrating Books with Prints (10 sessions); Comics Poetry: Experimenting with Text and Image (10 sessions); Fearless Drawing (four sessions); and Silkscreen: The Artist's Book Series (10 sessions). These single courses and workshops can last anywhere from a few days to several months, and some options can be completed entirely online. 

Graduates of the School of Visual Arts are prepared for careers across industries. As mentioned, Illustration alumni have worked on major productions and won Academy Awards. They have launched their own studios such as Augenblick Studios and Titmouse, and worked with top studios such as Pixar, Disney, and DreamWorks. Others have worked with DC Comics and Marvel, or for brands such as Prada and Vans. 

School of Visual Arts opened in 1947 as the Cartoonists and Illustrators school. Classes began with just three teachers and 35 students. Today, SVA serves approximately 3,440 students enrolled in dozens of BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS programs. School of Visual Arts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), with individual program accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

2. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design

Illustration is the largest major at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The program, which serves approximately 300 undergraduates, also launched an MFA in 2022. 

The Illustration program at RISD features access to RISD Museum, Gelman Student Gallery, Woods-Gerry Gallery, and ISB Gallery; printmaking studios and labs such as the Co-Works Research Lab, Nature lab, and Color Lab; and the Fleet Library. 

Collectively, these academic resources provide access to more than 90,000 works of art and 150,000+ circulating books; software such as Maya, After Effects, and InDesign; concerts, lectures, screenings, visiting artists, and art directors; industry leaders from across the U.S. who offer feedback through annual portfolio reviews; and a mix of student and curriculum related exhibitions throughout the academic year. 

The undergraduate Illustration program, which leads to a BFA, requires completion of the Foundation Year. Courses include First-year Literature Seminar; Drawing I-II; Topics in History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences; Spatial Dynamics I-II; Theory and History of Art and Design I: Global Modernisms; and Theory and History of Art and Design II: Premodern Worlds. During the Foundation year, students will also select one non-major studio elective. 

Other course examples include Augmented Design; Digital 3D for Illustrators; Illustrator as Designer; Words, Images, and Ideas; Character and Environment Design for 3D Gaming; Type in Motion; Animalia; Editorial Illustration; Merging Worlds; Visual Thinking; and History of Illustration. 

Throughout the RISD Illustration BFA program students will participate in a number of workshops such as Maya Basics, Pigments & Emulsions, and ZBrush Sculpting and Illustration. The BFA Program at Rhode Island School of Design culminates with the completion of a professional portfolio and public exhibition. 

The Illustration MFA at Rhode Island School of Design is a 60-credit hour advanced studio program that consists of seminars, art and design coursework, and electives from any department. Studio examples include Perception and the Art of Communication; Social Engagement and Agency; and Narrative Structures. Seminar examples include Contemporary Visual Narrative; Isms and Illustration—Critical Theory and Illustration History; and Media Issues and Literacy—Research Practicum. 

Elective examples include Visible Cities; Environmental Aesthetics; Losing Paradise, Inventing the World; Future Gender; and Traditions, Trappings, Culture, Kitsch. Other course examples include Building Narrative: Writing Workshop; and Graduate Illustration Studio I-IV. 

The MFA program at Rhode Island School of Design culminates with the Graduate Thesis completed across two Seminars: Articulating Connections-Guided Thesis Prep; and Paradigms and Contexts—Publishing the Thesis and Beyond. 

Graduates of the Illustration programs at RISD have been hired at major studios and networks such as DreamWorks, HBO, Pixar, PBS, and Fox. Some RISD alumni have also gone on to launch their own studios and freelance businesses. 

Founded in 1877 as both a school and a museum, Rhode Island School of Design is one of the first independent colleges of art and design in the U.S. This private, nonprofit college serves 2,620 students enrolled in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. 

RISD is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and MA in Teaching programs have special accreditation by the National Architecture Accrediting Board, Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, and the RI Department of Education, respectively.

3. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute (Pratt) has several paths to study Illustration for individuals seeking a shorter program and those seeking a four-year degree. Established in 2014, Pratt’s School of Design has a four-year Communications Design BFA that features project-based coursework in a collaborative studio environment. The program also has an Illustration emphasis that explores advanced level storytelling, image-based communication, authoring, and socio-political commentary. 

Consisting of 126 credit hours, the Communication Design BFA encourages experimentation, with elective coursework that allows students to develop skills in focused areas. Examples of available topics include Animation, Graphic Novels, Children’s Books, 3D Modeling, Editorial Illustration, Illustrated Typography, Concept Art, and Independent Publishing. 

Course examples for the program include Illustration Intensive 1-3; Dynamic Imagery; Integrated VisCom; Space, Form & Process; Typography and Information Design; Visualization/Representation; Branding and Messaging; Digital Prototyping; Time and Movement; and Professional Practice. The Communications Design BFA at Pratt Institute culminates with the Illustration Senior Thesis. 

For students seeking a shorter program, the School of Art at Pratt Institute has a two-year Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) and an AAS program. The Illustration AOS is a 69-credit hour program that features hands-on learning; the opportunity to earn work experience through the internship program; courses taught by industry professionals; and intensive portfolio development courses. 

Also consisting of 69 credit hours is the Graphic Design/Illustration AAS, consisting of a Liberal Arts component that allows students to transfer into Pratt’s Fine Arts or Communications Design BFA programs. Both the AOS and AAS explore Illustration for print and web; industry software; drawing; traditional and digital methods; advertising and editorial; visualization; and professional practices. 

Across all listed degree programs, students have access to maker spaces and labs that feature state-of-the-art equipment; and opportunities to study abroad in Berlin and the UK.

Graduates of the Communications Design and Illustration programs at Pratt Institute are prepared to pursue careers across industries. Program alumni have been hired at places such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Amazon, Digital Domain, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, Pegasus Books, Gameloft, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Penguin Random House, Cricket Media, and Scholastic. 

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute was one of the nation’s first colleges to welcome students without regard to color, gender, or class. The school serves approximately 5,050 students across campuses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Utica, New York. More than 70 degree programs are offered across six schools and The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Pratt Institute is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

4. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York, New York
Fashion Institute of Technology

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) houses the School of Art and Design, which provides 17 undergraduate majors in Art, Design and Fashion. This includes an Illustration major leading to an AAS or BFA. Program features for both options include real-world classes; mentoring workshops led by art directors and professional illustrators; participation in student art exhibitions; and access to the Society of Illustrators—the industry's top professional organization. 

Students in the BFA program also have the opportunity to participate in the FIT Internship Program and/or study abroad in Florence. The BFA has two schedule options: Traditional Daytime and the Evening/Weekend BFA. 

Course examples across programs include Illustration Process I-II; 2D Computer Animation; Visual Storytelling for Evolving Media I-II; Advanced Visual Story Studio; Digital Illustration Techniques; Stylistic Illustration; Illustrating the Written Word; Illustration Process I-II; Illustration Rendering Techniques; Visual Interpretation; Computer Typesetting and Design; and Advanced Pictorial Problem Solving. 

The FIT Illustration BFA culminates with the Illustration Portfolio Thesis presented before faculty and peers. Graduates of the AAS are eligible to apply for admission to FIT’s Illustration BFA as well as the school’s BFA programs in Animation, Interactive Media & Game Design, Textile/Surface Design, and Toy Design.

Graduates of the Illustration BFA at Fashion Institute of Technology are prepared for immediate entry into the field or a graduate program, such as the 60 credit-hour Illustration MFA. Housed in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies, the MFA highlights field trips to studios in LA and New York; real-world projects; guest lecturers; and professional internships. 

Course examples for the program include Integrating Digital with Traditional Media; Directed Projects in Illustration; Drawing for Illustration; Narrative Art; Creative Writing for Illustrators; Digital Bootcamp; Sequential Storytelling; Survey of Digital Illustration; Art is Where You Look For It: Diversifying Illustration's Application; Illustration in Motion; and The History of American Illustration. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Studio Visits: New York or LA courses, which provide face-to-face interactions with east and west coast-based professional animators, illustrators, and art directors through in-person meetings at studios and office visits. 

In the final year of the FIT Illustration MFA program, students will complete the Visual Thesis Studio course and Visual Thesis – Exhibition and Promotion. The Exhibition takes place at a gallery. 

The program culminates with a Visual Thesis Exhibition at a gallery. Past projects have focused on animations, installations, children’s books, concept art, murals, reportage drawings, and graphic novels. 

FIT Illustration alumni have established freelance careers and full-time employment with a wide variety of agencies, studios, and publications. Examples include DreamWorks, LucasArts, DDB, Revlon, Ogilvy, Young & Rubicam, Disney, BBDO Worldwide, Warner Bros., Hallmark, Vogue, American Greetings, and Harper’s Bazaar

Fashion Institute of Technology opened in 1944 inside the High School of Needles Trades. On the first day of class, the school had 100 students. Today, FIT spans an entire city block and it serves approximately 8,150 students. The school is also part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System. 

Programs at FIT are provided at the undergraduate and graduate levels across five academic divisions. Fashion Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

5. The New School’s Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The New School’s Parsons School of Design

The New School’s Parsons School of Design (Parsons) is home to the School of Art, Media, & Technology (AMT), which has an Illustration BFA program that takes four years to complete, full-time. Students have the opportunity to create an interdisciplinary path of study, which can include adding a minor such as Comics and Graphic Narrative, Immersive Storytelling, or enrolling in a dual BA/BFA. 

Other program features include internships with Parsons partners such as Nickelodeon, The New York Times, Barnes & Noble, and Apple; access to The New School libraries, studios, computer labs, archives, and the state-of-the-art Making Center; Collaboration Studio courses and other collaborative projects; participation in events such as Comic Arts Brooklyn, MoCCA Fest, and Pictoplasma; and study abroad opportunities in Paris, Florence, and London. 

The Illustration BFA program at Parsons also provides access to New York–based professional organizations such as American Illustration and the Society of Illustrators, which helps students connect with professional illustrators, other artists, and publishers. 

Consisting of 120 credit hours, the Parsons Illustration BFA begins with the First Year Curriculum (FYC) requirement, which explores art and design concepts, 2D and 3D processes, digital design, drawing, and critical practices. FYC course examples include Integrative Studio; Drawing/Imaging; Time; Objects as History; Space/Materiality; Integrative Seminar; and Sustainable Systems. Other course examples include Language & Letterform; Core Studio 4D; History of Modern & Contemporary Art: Recitation; Introduction to Visual Culture: Lecture; Topics Studio; and Professional Practices. 

The Illustration BFA program at Parsons School of Design culminates with the Thesis Project, completed over two courses. Graduates are prepared for positions in illustration, publishing, comics, animation, installation design, toy design, advertising, game art, motion graphics, graphic novels, product design, fine art, and surface design. Program alumni have been hired by companies and organizations such as Rockstar Games, The New York Times, Urban Outfitters, Viking Books, LAIKA, Tiffany & Company, The Society of Illustrators, Amplify, Manhattan Youth, Curriculum Concepts, Brooklyn Print House, and Vice Media. 

The New School was founded in 1919. Parsons School of Design was established as The Chase School in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase. In 1904 Frank Alvah Parsons joined the school, eventually becoming its sole director. The Chase School became Parsons in 1941, and joined The New School in 1970. Today, The New School serves 10,000 students, with 5,000+ enrolled in Parsons School of Design. 

The New School provides more than 120 degree and diploma programs across six colleges and schools, including Parsons Paris. The New School is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), with Parsons School of Design included within the scope of MSCHE accreditation.

6. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has several paths to study Illustration. For artists seeking an undergraduate degree, MICA has an Illustration BFA with Preproduction and Sequential Art tracks. At the graduate level, students can choose between the Illustration MA and the Illustration Practice MFA. 

Students in the Illustration BFA program will complete the First Year Experience (FYE) consisting of 18 credit hours. FYE course examples include Drawing: Tradition and Innovation; Form & Face; and Systems & Time. In addition to other required courses such as Sophomore Illustration I-II; Junior Illustration I-II; and Senior Illustration I-II, BFA students may add a Studio concentration in an area such as Book Arts, Animation, Graphic Design, or Printmaking. 

In addition to concentration options, all BFA students benefit from MICA’s relationships with organizations such as Baltimore Comic-Con, the Toronto Comics Art Festival, the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Arts, and the Small Press Expo. 

During the final year of the program, MICA BFA students will develop a professional portfolio, while exploring topics such as business practices, intellectual property, and copyright issues. 

Graduates of the MICA Illustration BFA program have been hired for internships, full-time positions, and freelance assignments at places such as DC Comics, DreamWorks Animation, Johns Hopkins Institute of Nanobiology, National Geographic, LucasArts Entertainment, Pixar, Google, Anthropologie, Apple, The New York Times, and Whole Foods Market. Some Illustration graduates go on to launch their own studios, while others have enrolled in MICA’s Illustration MA or Illustration Practice MFA programs. 

The MICA Illustration MA is a one-year program for practicing Illustrators seeking career advancement or individuals interested in launching a career in illustration. Consisting of studios, lectures, workshops, and open electives, the 30 credit hour MA features collaborative projects with the Center for Design Thinking and graduate students from other departments at MICA; learning that takes place in a state-of-the-art studio environment; an open-plan; and courses taught by leaders in the field. 

The Illustration MA program at MICA culminates with a capstone portfolio project, exhibition, and review panel. 

The Illustration Practice MFA is a 60 credit-hour program that features opportunities to collaborate with MICA’s Dolphin Press & Print; Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies; the Modern Graphics History Library at Washington University; and the Center for Design Thinking at MICA. Students in this two-year program will also collaborate with other industry professionals and peers. All Illustration Practice MFA students have the opportunity to communicate with visiting critics and artists-in-residence. The MICA Illustration Practice MFA culminates with the MFA Thesis. 

Graduates of the Illustration MA and MFA programs at Maryland Institute College of Art work in leadership positions such as Senior Illustrator, Managing Illustrator, Art Director, Program Director, Design Manager, Creative Director, Educator, Gallery Manager, Exhibiting Artist, and Curator. Program alumni have also gone on to launch their own studios and freelance businesses. 

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art is the nation’s oldest independent, continuously degree-granting college of art and design. The school serves nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate, and open studies students from 49 states and 52 countries. Programs at MICA lead to a BFA, MA, MFA, MBA, MPS degree, or post-baccalaureate certificate. Maryland Institute College of Art is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

7. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University

Syracuse University (SU) is home to the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), which houses the School of Art. Within the school is an Illustration program with BFA and MFA options. BFA students have the opportunity to focus in one or more of the following areas: Editorial, Visual Development, Product, and Sequential. The Editorial Focus is for students who would like to specialize in illustrating for magazines, book covers, newspapers, and online publishing. 

Visual Development is designed for students with an interest in character development for gaming and animation. In the Product Focus, students will explore illustrating as it relates to packaging, patterning, and products. Students in the Sequential Focus will learn to illustrate for comics, graphic novels, and children’s books. 

Other Illustration BFA program benefits include a two-week animation and film industry immersion in LA; participation in on-campus workshops and lectures; access to state-of-the-art production facilities, labs, and studios; participation in the SU internship program; and the opportunity to study overseas through the VPA study abroad program in Italy, or through Syracuse SU Study Abroad. More than 100 programs are accessible across 60 countries.    

The SU Illustration BFA program requires 122 credit hours of study. Students will take courses such as Illustration I-II; Media Arts Techniques I-II; Introduction to Digital Illustration; Observational Drawing Workshop; Intermediate Illustration I-II; and The Business of Illustration. In addition to one or more focus areas, BFA students may complete 18 credits of studio electives. The program culminates with the Senior Portfolio, completed across two courses. 

Graduates of the Illustration BFA program at Syracuse University are prepared to pursue roles across many creative industries. Program alumni work in children’s book publishing, visual development for games, editorial illustration, graphic novels and comics, animated films, licensing, advertising, and marketing, greeting card design, and television production. 

The Illustration MFA at Syracuse University is an experimental, cross-disciplinary, and research-focused program that provides opportunities to interact with professionals at New York studios and within the arts and publishing industries. Consisting of 60 credit hours, the program includes 27 credits of studio electives. Other electives, such as elective travel courses, allow students to take an intensive three-credit course for four hours Monday through Friday during the two-week long MAYmester and the Summer Program.  

Course examples for the program include Story Lab; Play Matters; Visual Integration; Visual Voice I-II; and Entrepreneur. The culminating experience for the SU Illustration MFA is the 12 credit-hour Thesis. Graduates are prepared for advancement opportunities in their current careers, and for leadership positions in fields such as comic book publishing, film and animation, game design, advertising and marketing, magazine and newspaper publishing, book publishing, medical and scientific illustration, fine art, product and toy design, and education. 

Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is an R1 research university that serves approximately 22,700 students from all 50 states and 120 countries. More than 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degree programs are provided across 13 colleges and schools. In addition to campuses in Syracuse, Manhattan, Washington DC, and Los Angeles, Syracuse University operates overseas centers in France, Italy, London, Poland, Chile, and Spain. Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

8. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) has an Illustration BFA program that requires 120 credit hours of study. Housed in the Illustration Department, the BFA program provides opportunities to complete independent study, an internship, and/or a course assistantship. All options are open to upper-division students. Sophomores also qualify for the course assistantship option.

The curriculum for the MassArt Illustration BFA consists of 18 credits in Studio Foundations, 42 in Illustration, and 18 in Studio Electives. This is in addition to core education and other requirements. Course examples Media Techniques; Narrative Illustration; Digital Painting and Techniques; Word and Image; Advanced Drawing for Illustrators; Virtual 3D Illustration; Book Arts; Experimental Illustration Techniques; Black and White Illustration; Color for Illustrators; and Professional Illustration. 

In the final year of the Illustration BFA program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, students will complete the Thesis Project I: Research, Thesis Project II: Imagery, Senior Illustration, and Illustration Portfolio courses. Final student portfolios will be presented to professionals from the editorial, publishing, advertising, and corporate markets. 

Graduates of the Art and Design programs at Massachusetts College of Art and Design have been hired at a variety of studios, companies, and organizations. Examples include the Hasbro, Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Time Inc., Discovery Channel, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New Balance, Boston Children's Museum, PUMA, and the Attleboro Art Museum. 

Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the nation’s first and only public college of art and design. Founded in 1873, the school serves approximately 1,785 students enrolled more than 40 degree, minor, and certificate programs. Approximately 155 continuing education students are enrolled in over 100 classes and workshops in all areas of art and design. Massachusetts College of Art and Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). MassArt is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

9. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University

The School of the Arts (VCUarts) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) houses the Department of Communication Arts. Within the department is a BFA program that explores Illustration, 3D Modeling, Drawing, and more. All BFA degrees in the Communication Arts Department begin with the Art Foundation Program (AFO). This studio-based experience prepares students for their next three years at VCUarts. Consisting of 32 total credit hours, the AFO requires courses such as Drawing Studio; Surface Research; Focused Inquiry; Time Studio; Survey of Art; and Project Studio. 

Upon completion of the AFO, students will move on to the 120-credit hour Communication Arts BFA. Course examples include Illustration Drawing and Painting; The Figure in Illustration; Color Theory; Digital 3D Studio; Concept Drawing; 3D Modeling for Concept Design; Sequential Imaging; 3D Image and Movement; Digital Drawing; Imagery for Children; Game Design, Theory and Practice; History of Visual Communications I-II; Drawing Studies; Imagery for Science Fiction and Fantasy; and Piloting the Enterprise. This course focuses personal branding, business operation, and strategic professional development. 

Students in the VCU Communication Arts program may complete an internship and/or a study abroad experience for an entire semester or during the summer, winter, or spring break. Examples of study abroad locations include Dubai, Italy, South Africa, Greece, France, Korea, Argentina, and Germany. 

In the final year of the BFA program, students will complete a professional portfolio that aligns with their goals. 

Graduates of the Communication Arts BFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University are prepared to pursue roles across many creative industries. Program alumni have found success as Editorial Illustrators, Interactive Media Designers, Children’s Book Illustrators, Web Illustrators, Graphic Novelists, Comic Artists, Storyboard Artists, Concept Artists, Game Designers, 3D Modelers and Animators, Character and Creature Designers, Fine Artists, VFX Artists, and Art Directors. 

Founded in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university that serves approximately 28,410 students. The largest employer in Richmond, Virginia, VCU provides more than 200 academic programs across 15+ colleges, schools, and centers. Virginia Commonwealth University accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

10. University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of the Arts

The School of Design at University of the Arts (UArts) serves around 200 students enrolled in six BFA programs and three minors. All School of Design students benefit from collaborative projects between majors; a Design internship at an individual artist studio or places such a Cartoon Network, Anthropologie, and Barnes & Noble; professional preparation course and activities; and access to the Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace and the Center for Immersive Media (CIM). 

The Makerspace is a 3,500-square-foot digital and fabrication studio outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, and printed circuit board (PCB) printers.

At 5,600 square feet, the CIM is the largest space of its kind in the region. The facility houses an optical motion-capture system, a 16-station computing classroom with PCs optimized for real-time computer graphics rendering, two large project rooms, a four-channel audio system, video projectors, and lighting instruments with adjustable color and zoom. In the CIM, students can explore augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), human-computer interaction (HCI), and performance motion capture. 

The School of Design also provides an Illustration BFA and a minor in Figurative Illustration. Consisting of 15 credit hours, the Figurative Illustration minor requires Illustration I: Pictorial Foundation; Illustration II: Illustration Methods; Figure Anatomy; and Responsive Drawing. For the remaining credits, students may take Figure Communication or Figure Painting. Like all UArts minors, the Figurative Illustration minor is open to all students. 

The UArts Illustration BFA is a 120 credit hour program that provides intense training using the latest industry software including InDesign, Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and After Effects. All students will complete the School of Design Core—a distinctive first-year experience with course modules in the Makerspace and CIM. Examples of areas covered include visual communication, design technology, design thinking, and team building. 

Illustration BFA students will complete 61.5-63 credits in the major. Course examples for the program include Illustration with Traditional Media; History of Illustration; Object and World Building; Conceptual Problem Solving & Narrative Development; Illustration with Digital Media; New Media Illustration; Drawing as Seeing; Figure Painting; Design Studio; Thinking Through Science; and Digital Design Lab. 

Professional development courses include Business & Preparation for Design Practice; Figurative Interpretation & Personal Voice; Illustration Markets & Promotion; Professional Practice; and Illustration Portfolio Builder. To enhance the degree, all students have access to 17 minors outside of the minors provided through the School of Design. Examples include Animation; Game Art; Film; Graphic Design; Creative Writing; Print Media; Painting; Advertising Practices; Art History; and Business. 

The Illustration BFA program at University of the Arts culminates with the Illustration Thesis Studio and Illustration Thesis II courses. 

Graduates of the Illustration and Figurative Illustration programs at University of the Arts are prepared to pursue positions at studios, magazines, newspapers, networks, publishers, major brands and retailers, advertising firms, toy makers, government agencies, and more. Program alumni have worked with Marvel Comics, Cartoon Network, Simon & Schuster, NASA, Disney, Hasbro, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Blizzard Entertainment, Mattel, The New Yorker, Hallmark, The Wall Street Journal, MTV, Ralph Lauren, PBS, Harper-Collins, New York Times, Fisher Price, Major League Baseball, Newsweek, Random House, Time, NASA, Penguin Group Publishing, MTV, Martha Stewart, ESPN, Facebook, Fortune, 20th Century Fox, Rolling Stone, Reader’s Digest, and National Geographic Magazine (Nat Geo). 

Founded in 1876 as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of the Arts serves approximately 1,315 students enrolled in more than 40 degree programs in fine arts, design, media arts, dance, music, theater, and crafts. More than 20 minors are available and open to all students. UArts programs are offered in the Schools of Art, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theater Arts, and Graduate and Professional Studies. University of the Arts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

11. Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania College of Art and Design

Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (PCA&D) has an Illustration BFA program that allows students to incorporate a certificate or minor into the curriculum. PCA&D minors are 18 credits and certificates are 10.5-18 credits. Examples of minors and certificates include Graphic Design, Animation & Game Art, Packaging Design, Filmmaking, and UX/UI Design. An 18 credit hour Illustration minor is also available and it can be added to any PCA&D program as a specialization. 

Within the PCA&D Illustration BFA program are two concentrations including Classical and Contemporary. The Classical concentration focuses on traditional and digital painting techniques, visual and written storytelling, and narrative image making. Students in this concentration might work on projects such as book covers, comic books, scientific illustration, or visual development for film. The Contemporary concentration explores current and emerging trends in the Illustration industry. Students in this concentration might work on projects such as illustrations for products, editorial publishing, and posters.   

Other Illustration BFA program features include opportunities to create entrepreneur-based projects; participation in the PCA&D mentorship program; online community projects; the annual Design in a Day event with participants such as Friendship Gallery and the Lancaster Public Library; and a required internship either off-campus with a local client or studio, or on-campus through PCA&D’s in-house internship program, The Agency. 

The Illustration BFA program at PCA&D culminates with the Senior Project, presented at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design Senior Show. Graduates are prepared to pursue titles such as Comic Book Artist, Toy Designer, Commercial Illustrator, Art Director, Concept Artist, Scientific Illustrator, Courtroom Sketch Artist, Editorial Illustrator, Fashion Illustrator, and Storyboard Artist.

Program alumni have worked for clients such as Disney, Hasbro, A&E Network, PBS Kids, The Wall Street Journal, Adidas, HBO, Time Warner Cable, Fox Interactive, and ESPN. 

Founded in 1982 by working artists, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design is a private non-profit art college that serves approximately 200 students. PNCA programs include six majors leading to a BFA, 13 minors, and 13 certificates. Pennsylvania College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

12. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester New York
Rochester Institute of Technology

The College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology houses the School of Art, home to the Illustration Program. Specific program options for Illustrators include an Illustration BFA, and BFA and MFA degrees in Medical Illustration. The Medical Illustration MFA is one of only five programs of its kind in North America, and the only program of its kind in the Northeast. 

All programs feature small class sizes of no more than 16 students; access to RIT facilities such as Studio 96, the Illustration Studio, and Witmeyer Mac Lab; and lectures and demos led by 15+ visiting artists each year. School of Art students also benefit from cooperative education and internships with top companies; networking opportunities through RIT’s industry partnerships; and study abroad experiences in countries around the world. Students in all programs also have the opportunity to exhibit their work in one of RIT's gallery spaces, and participate in Creative Industry Day where they can interview with company representatives for cooperative (co-op) education experiences and permanent positions. 

The Illustration BFA at Rochester Institute of Technology has an 81% employment rate and the Medical Illustration BFA and MFA have a 100% employment rate. Graduates of the Illustration BFA Program work in Design, Fine Arts, Advertising, Media, Publishing, Journalism, Public Relations, Marketing, and the Performing Arts. Examples of job titles include Multimedia Illustrator, Digital Artist, Editorial Illustrator, Comic Artist, Book Illustrator, Creative Director, Advertising Illustrator, Concept Artist, Sequential Illustrator, Illustrative Designer, Textbook Illustrator, Political Cartoon Artist, Game Asset Illustrator, Animation Artist, Motion Graphics Artist, and Graphic Novel Illustrator. 

Medical Illustration BFA graduates hold positions such as Medical Editorial Illustrator, Medical Book/Texts Illustrator, Information Graphics Illustrator, 2D Medical Animator, Medical-Legal Illustrator/Litigation Support Specialist, Forensics Illustrator, Medical Interactive/Interface Designer, Exhibitor, Ophthalmologic Illustrator, and Prosthesis Designer/Anaplastologist. 

Graduates of the Medical Illustration MFA Program at Rochester Institute of Technology often take on leadership roles in Medical and Legal Illustration, Information Graphics, Animation, and Computer Modeling. 

Rochester Institute of Technology was founded in 1829 as the Rochester Athenaeum. With global campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo, this research university serves more than 20,000 students, making it one of the largest private universities in the U.S. RIT provides 200+ academic programs across 10 colleges and institutes, and the School of Individualized Study. Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

13. University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
University of Hartford

Hartford Art School (HAS) at University of Hartford (UHart) serves 400 students enrolled in nine studio majors leading to a BA or BFA, and two MFA programs. All HAS students benefit from interactions with visiting artists; partnerships and programs with local galleries and organizations, including the Launchpad program with Five Points Gallery; and study abroad experience at institutions such as Glasgow School of Art (Scotland), University of Tasmania (Australia), and Slade School of Fine Art (London). 

All UHArt HAS students also have opportunities to complete an internship with industry leaders and HAS partners such as ESPN; Taylor Design; The Visual Brand; Florence Griswold Museum; Art Basil/Bass Museum; and Five Points Center for the Visual Arts. 

For students seeking an Illustration degree, Hartford Art School has BFA and MFA options. An 18 credit hour Illustration minor is also available. The Illustration BFA requires successful completion of the HAS Foundation Year. Featured courses include 4D Studio I-II; Foundation Issues in Art Making I-II; Academic Writing I-II; and 3D Studio I-II. Students will also select six credits of electives from a pre-selected list. Examples include Illustration: Narrative Composition for Illustration; Painting/Drawing: Observation to Abstraction; Sculpture: Object vs. Experience – What is Installation Art?; and Painting, Drawing, Illustration: Landscape Space.   

After passing the Foundation Year, students will select courses from a variety of studio options in areas such as Editorial Illustration; Digital Illustration; Book Illustration; Drawing for Illustration; and Advertising Illustration. 

In the final year of the UHart Illustration BFA program, students will finalize a number of samples to be included in a professional portfolio. The portfolio course also covers the business of illustration, billing, taxes, dealing with art agents, interviewing, and career opportunities. 

The Illustration BFA program culminates with the Senior Project, which includes one-on-one critiques with faculty, and group meetings with peers. 

Graduates of the Illustration BFA at University of Hartford are prepared for careers in areas such as Book Publishing, Magazine Illustration, Comics, Graphic Novels, Advertising, Editorial, Fine Art, Exhibit Design, Animation, Game Art, and Graphic Design. 

The Illustration MFA at University of Hartford is a low-residency program designed for practicing Illustrators with full-time, professional careers. Intensive on-campus sessions take place during the summer semester, with travel during spring and fall to places such as California, New York, Ohio, Georgia, and Pennsylvania to tour studios and interact with professionals in animation, children’s book publishing, editorial, comic book publishing, advertising, and product design.  

UHart MFA students have visited Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Animation, the Society of Illustrators, Disney Animation Studios, Electronic Arts (EA), Lucasfilm, DreamWorks Animation Studios, Brandywine Museum, Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mazza Children’s Book Museum. 

The Uhart Illustration MFA requires 60 credit hours. For the 2023-2024 school year, students spent the fall semester in New York. Courses included New York Illustration Issues and New York Illustration Assignment, worth a total of four credits. Other course examples include Illustration in Context; Advanced Illustration; Digital Illustration; Children’s Book Illustration; and Reportage Illustration. 

Each semester, students will complete one thesis course leading up the final course—Thesis Project 5. The final Thesis includes a capstone body of work, marketing plan, and descriptive essay of work. 

Graduates of the Illustration MFA program at University of Hartford are prepared for advancement in their current careers, leadership roles across industries, and research or teaching positions. Some graduates also go on to launch their own studios or freelance businesses.  

Chartered in 1957, University of Hartford is a private four-year university that serves approximately 5,915 students from 48 states and 51 countries. The school provides nearly 180 programs spanning the Arts, Business, Education, Health, Humanities, and Engineering and Technology. Programs at UHart are housed across seven colleges and schools. University of Hartford has been continuously accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) since 1961.

14. Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moore College of Art & Design

Moore College of Art & Design (Moore) has an Illustration program with BFA and minor options. The Minor requires 15 credit hours including Illustration Concepts and Practices I-II, and nine credits selected from other illustration courses. The minor can be added to any program, and it helps prepare students to pursue careers at newspapers, magazines, publishing companies, advertising agencies, web design firms, fashion design companies, and more. 

The Illustration BFA program at Moore College of Art & Design allows students to customize the curriculum to match their interests. The program also highlights field trips to comic cons and studio tours; workshops and critiques; mentoring by leading design professionals; and access to state-of-the-art computer labs, the FabLab, illustration studios, the print center, and production facilities. 

All Moore College students will begin with the First-Year Foundation Experience. During this time, students will take courses such as 2D and 3D Design; Creative Design; Visual Thinking; and Drawing Strategies. The experience also includes a trip to New York City to sketch and observe work within the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). All Foundation students will also have access to Padlet—a digital bulletin board for posting links, files, and artwork. Padlet also allows faculty to track student's progress as an artist. 

Another major component of all programs at Moore College of Art & Design is the internship opportunity. Moore is the only art and design college in the U.S. to provide a $1,000 paid internship for every single student. Students have interned at places such as Anthropologie, Night Kitchen Interactive, Super Signs, and Torpedo Factory Art Center. Many of these internships have led to offers for full-time employment. 

After the Foundation Year, students will enter their chosen major. Course examples for the Illustration BFA program include Illustration Practice; Pictorial Fundamentals I-II; Digital Image Making; Illustration Junior Studio I & II; Digital Painting for Illustrators; Life Drawing Color; and Business for Illustration. A variety of unique electives allow students to enhance the degree. Examples include Portrait & Caricature; Sequential Illustration & Animation; Licensing Art for Retail Products; Sequential Illustration & Personal Narrative; and Illustration for Children. 

In the final year of the program, students will complete the Senior Studio and the Senior Thesis courses.  

Around 97% of Moore College BFA alumni are employed or in graduate school within one year of graduating. Examples of companies that have hired Moore graduates include Nickelodeon, Tyco Toys, Smithsonian Institution, Penguin Group, Philadelphia Zoo, Super Signs, mock5 design, Carter’s, Kangaru Toys & Stationery, Dynamite Entertainment, Quad, and Studio Yotta. 

Founded in 1848, Moore College of Art & Design is the nation’s first and only historically all-women’s visual arts college. Also a private, non-profit college, Moore serves approximately 390 students enrolled more than 20 degree and minor programs. Moore College of Art & Design is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

15. Maine College of Art and Design, Portland, Maine
Maine College of Art and Design

Maine College of Art and Design (MECA&D) has an Illustration BFA program that features courses taught by professional Artists and Illustrators; small class sizes with shared workspaces; and access to state-of-the-art labs, studios, and other production facilities. BFA students also have the opportunity to complete an internship at places such as Hasbro Toys, Illustration Institute, and The Via Agency before graduating. 

Course examples for the MECA&D Illustration BFA include The Graphic Novel; Methods and Media in Illustration; Setting the Scene; Illustrative Typography; Picture Book; Illustration in Context; Digital Imaging; Portrait Drawing in Illustration; Space & Temporality; and Illustration Majors Studio. The program culminates with the creation of a portfolio of the student's best work. 

Graduates of the Illustration BFA program at Maine College of Art and Design are prepared to pursue roles in children’s book publishing, game design and development, animation and film, concept art, storyboard art, poster design, comic book art, magazine illustration, graphic novels, toy design and production, poster design, newspaper publishing, brand design, album art, web design, architecture, scientific illustration, and education. 

Founded in 1882 as part of the Portland Society of Art, Maine College of Art & Design serves approximately 460 degree-seeking students and 1,500 continuing education students enrolled in 11 studio majors leading to a BFA, a low-residency Studio Art MFA, and a 10-month MAT program. Maine College of Art & Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

16. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut (UConn) is home to the School of Fine Arts, which houses the Department of Art and Art History. Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the department has Art BA and BFA programs that provide the opportunity to study Illustration through a concentration (BFA) or electives (BA). 

Consisting of 120 credit hours, the BFA program curriculum explores both traditional approaches in Illustration and new technologies. The Illustration/Animation concentration allows students to create projects in digital and analog environments including character and environment design; children’s illustration; 2-D and stop-motion animation; comics, cartoons, and graphic novels; design for products; book, editorial, and institutional illustration; and self-promotion. 

Also consisting of 120 credits, the BA includes 24 Art Studio elective credits, allowing students to create an informal focus in Illustration. Students in this program have access to courses such as Illustration; Animation Fundamentals; Topics in Illustration; Life Drawing; Studio Concepts; Introduction to Digital Media; Graphic Design; and Going Pro: Professional Practices in Illustration and Animation.  

In addition to a variety of courses, both BA and BFA students benefit from small class sizes; collaborative, project based-learning; study abroad opportunities; and access to state-of-the art computer labs, exhibition spaces, and art-making studios in the UConn Bishop Center. Facilities include a high-powered Cintiq computer lab for high-end 3D work, a speedy render farm, and a brand new 688 ft Motion Capture Studio. 

In addition, each year UConn hosts an on-campus Internship Fair. Many internships lead to full-time employment upon graduation. UConn students have interned at places such as NASA, Disney, NBC Sports, the Connecticut Museum of Natural History, The Bronx Zoo, GE, and the State Department of Education. 

The Art BA and BFA programs at University of Connecticut culminate with the Senior Project course and participation in the Senior Show. Graduates are prepared to pursue roles across industries. 

UConn Art BA and BFA alumni typically land positions within six months of graduation. Program alumni have gone on to successful careers as Children’s Book Illustrators, Product Designers, Comic Book Artists, Editorial Illustrators, Cover Art Designers, Cartoonists, Storyboard Artists, Character and Environment Designers, and Graphic Novel Illustrators. 

UConn Illustration/Animation alumni are employed at major studios and companies such as Pixar, Google Creative, Lego, YouTube Gaming, and Stoopid Buddy Studios.  

Some graduates go on to be accepted into MFA programs at the places such as Yale University (Yale); Goldsmiths, University of London (Goldsmiths); Royal College of Art (RCA); Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). 

University of Connecticut began as Storrs Agricultural School in 1881. The school opened with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn’s more than 18,000 faculty and staff members serve a coed population of approximately 32,100 students across the main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses. 

Programs at UConn are administered across 14 colleges and schools. Options include eight undergraduate degrees in 123 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 95 fields of study, and six professional degree programs. University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

17. Queens College, Queens, New York
Queens College

Queens College is home to the School of Arts (SoA). Founded in 2022, the SoA provides a Design BFA with a concentration in Animation and Illustration. The school also has a 21 credit hour Animation and Illustration minor that can be added to any major. The Design BFA with an Animation and Illustration concentration requires 120 credit hours. Students in this program will take required courses such as Design I-III; Illustration I; VT: Introduction to Digital Animation; and Basic Software for Design. 

The concentration allows students to select courses from a list of close to 40 options. Examples include Illustration II; Children’s Book Illustration; Graphic Novel I-II; Storyboarding and Storytelling; Book Design and Production; Game Design; Animation and 3D Modeling; Publication Design; Traditional Animation; Design Thinking; Creative Coding; Introduction to Adobe Illustrator; and Advertising Design. 

In addition to a variety of Illustration and other related courses, the Queens College Design BFA program has a network of internships that allow students to gain real-world experience while building their professional resume and receiving college credit. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions in animation, illustration for entertainment, game art and design, book publishing, comic books, advertising, magazine and newspaper publishing, fine art, and more. 

Founded in 1937, Queens College is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) System. QC serves over 19,000 students enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degrees in over 170 areas. Queens College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

18. Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut
Eastern Connecticut State University

The Art and Art History Department at Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU or Eastern Connecticut State) is home to the Art BA with an Illustration concentration. Program features include access to state-of-the-art digital and traditional studios in ECSU’s Fine Arts Instructional Center; the opportunities to display student artwork in the Art Gallery and other spaces across campus; and participation in the Eastern Connecticut State University Internship Program.

The Art BFA program begins with 26 credit hours of required Foundation courses such as Digital Illustration; Relief Printmaking; 2D and 3D Design; Drawing I; and Three-Dimensional Design. Upon successful completion of all Foundation courses, students will submit a portfolio for admission to upper level courses. 

The Illustration concentration (IC) requires 21 credit hours of concentration courses and electives. Concentration courses include Illustration I-III; and Figure Drawing I. Electives examples include Scientific Illustration; Advanced 3D Animation; Picture Book Illustration; Visual Journaling & Bookmaking; Scientific Illustration; Painting I-II; Advanced Topics in Illustration; and Polyester Plate Lithography.  

Illustration students will also take the Independent Study and Digital Portfolio Preparation courses. The program culminates with Senior Seminar in Studio Art (Capstone). 

Graduates of the Art BA/Illustration program at Eastern Connecticut State University are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as illustration for books and editorial; preproduction; advertising and marketing; animation, film, television, and video; packaging; game art and design; corporate and not-profit organizations; medical and scientific; fashion and retail; technical and 3D; greeting card design; and architecture. Some program alumni go on to launch their own studios and freelance businesses. 

Founded in 1889, Eastern Connecticut State University school serves approximately 3,980 students from 29 states and seven countries. Programs include 40 majors, 65 minors, and 70+ concentrations leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree. Eastern Connecticut State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

19. Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut
Central Connecticut State University

Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) is home to the Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). Within the college is the Department of Art & Design, which has an Art BA with an Illustration Studio Option. Program features include hands-on coursework and projects; small class sizes; courses led by active professionals in the field; portfolio development courses; and internship and study abroad opportunities. 

Course examples for the Art BA/Illustration Studio program include Illustration I-II; 3D Design; Comics and the Graphic Novel; Life Drawing I-II; New Media Arts; Sequential Art and Advanced Drawing; Painting I-II; Advanced Watercolor Painting and Related Media; and Digital Processes in Art Making. 

In the final year of the CCSU Art BA program, students will take Independent Study in Art and/or Art Education; Exhibition Research; the thesis course with studio-based research; and the Capstone in Art course. For their final project, students can choose between the Professional Level Portfolio or Research Project in Art. 

Graduates of the Art BA program at Central Connecticut State University are prepared to pursue positions at traditional book publishing companies, animation and film studios, children’s book publishing companies, graphic design firms, advertising agencies, comic books, newspapers and magazines, art studios, museums and other cultural institutions, design firms, and art galleries.   

Founded in 1849 as the New Britain Normal School, Central Connecticut State University is the oldest public institution of higher education in the state. Serving approximately 9,710 students, CCSU is also the largest university within the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities System. The school provides 100 undergraduate majors in 80+ fields, and graduate degrees in 41 fields across one college and four schools. Central Connecticut State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

20. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, Pennsylvania – This is Graphic Design
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (Kutztown University or KU) is home to the Communication Design (Graphic and Advertising Design, Interactive, Illustration) program. Leading to a BFA, the KUCD program is accredited by National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). 

Other program features include real-world training through internships at design studios, advertising agencies, and media firms; courses led by active industry professionals; visiting artists and designers; and access to state-of-the-art production facilities, and The IDEA Studio, which hosts a wide range of tools from vintage letterpresses to 3-D scanners and printers. 

Students also have the opportunity to participate in the KUCD Designathon and the IlluXcon Field Trip. Each October, the IlluXcon (IX Art Show) at Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania, attracts some of the top Fantasy Illustrators in the country. Students who participate in the trip have the opportunity to interact with the artists and observe the creative process. 

The KUCD BFA program begins with foundations in design, drawing, and digital skills. The second year of the program explores illustration techniques, visual thinking, typography, digital photography (studio), life drawing (studio), and intermediate digital skills. Students will also take Historical Survey of Graphic Design. Third year students will immerse in all areas of illustration, graphic design, interactive design, and advertising design.

During this third year, students will also begin to develop skills in a chosen area of specialization through electives, studio courses, and/or minor options. Seniors will continue to develop advanced skills in design and their chosen specialization. 

Course examples for the KUCD program include Introduction to Illustration; Illustration I-II; The Art of Creating Children’s Books; Digital Illustration; Illustration for Publishing; Illustration for Design; The Sequential Illustration Experience; Advertising Design I-II; Graphic Design; Graphic Design II: Editorial Design; Print Media Production; Motion Graphics I-II; Publication Design; Poster Design; Package Design; Emerging Media Campaigns; Advanced Advertising Design; and Interactive Design II: Multimedia. Professional practices and portfolio development courses are also part of the program. 

The Communication Design BFA program at Kutztown University culminated with a final project and exhibition. Graduates are prepared to pursue roles across industries. Sample titles include Illustrator, Animator, Creative Director, Greeting Card Artist, Newspaper Layout Artist, Editorial Illustrator, Comic Book Artist, Children’s Book Illustrator, Magazine Illustrator, Storyboard Artist, Fashion Illustrator, Label Designer, Set Design Illustrator, Exhibition Designer, and Freelance Illustrator. 

Founded in 1866 as Keystone State Normal School, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania serves approximately 7,430 students enrolled in more than 130 academic areas of study. Academic colleges include Visual and Performing Arts; Business; Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Education. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).