Academy of Art University's School of Illustration offers an innovative curriculum that blends digital technology with classical training to meet the marketplace’s growing need for trained artists in both areas. Learn more.
What are the top illustration schools in Connecticut for 2022?
|1||University of Hartford||Hartford|
|2||University of Connecticut||Storrs|
|3||Western Connecticut State University||Danbury|
|4||Central Connecticut State University||New Britain|
Our 2022 ranking of the top five illustration schools in Connecticut. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford Art School (HAS) at University of Hartford (UHart) serves 400 students enrolled in nine undergraduate majors and three low-residency graduate programs. Illustration is offered at both degree levels. The Illustration BFA consists of 122-126 credit hours, including 20 credit hours in the Foundation Year. Examples include Painting, Drawing, Illustration: Landscape Space, 4D Studio, Illustration: Narrative Composition for Illustration, Academic Writing I-II, and Painting/Drawing: Observation to Abstraction.
Students in this professional BFA Program must complete 77–80 studio credits in the major, plus 45–46 academic credits. Coursework for the UHart HAS Illustration BFA explores both traditional and digital mediums. Examples of required courses include Illustration I (Oil), II (Acrylic) and III (Watercolor), Digital Illustration, Figure Illustration, Intro to Illustration, Drawing for Illustration, Sophomore Review, and Junior Review. Elective options include Advertising, Editorial, Book, Portfolio Prep, and Senior Project.
Graduates of the UHart HAS Illustration BFA Program are prepared for careers in Advertising Illustration, Book Illustration, and Editorial Illustration.
The low-residency Illustration MFA program is designed for working adults. In-person sessions take place during the summer semester, with travel during spring and fall to New York City, California, Ohio and Pennsylvania to meet with illustrators, licensing experts, agents, and illustration entrepreneurs. Students will interact with more than 50 professionals from the animation, editorial, comic book, advertising, children’s book, and product design industries.
Other MFA Program features include workshops, business, promotional, and marketing coursework, optional internships and study abroad experiences, and studio and museum visits. UHart MFA students have visited Disney Animation Studios, Norman Rockwell Museum, Electronic Arts (EA), Lucasfilm, DreamWorks Animation Studios, Nickelodeon Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, the Society of Illustrators, Brandywine Museum, and Communication Arts Magazine, and more.
Graduates of the UHart HAS Illustration MFA Program work in advanced or leadership positions in the field of Illustration.
University of Hartford has been continuously accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) since 1961. Chartered in 1957,(Uhart is a four-year private university that serves around 5,925 students from 49 states and 44 countries. Around 200 programs spanning the Arts, Business, Education, Engineering and Technology, Health, and Humanities are provided across seven colleges and schools.
2. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
The School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut (UConn) houses the Department of Art & Art History. Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department has four degree programs leading to a BA or BFA, seven concentrations, and two education abroad programs. The Art BA and Art BFA Programs offer an Illustration/Animation Concentration that explores traditional techniques, and new and emerging technologies.
Consisting of 120 credit hours, the BA and BFA Programs feature a project-based curriculum with collaborations and team projects, small class sizes, access to state-of-the art computer labs, exhibition spaces, and art-making studios, education abroad, and internship opportunities. Each year, UConn hosts an on-campus Internship Fair to secure internships. Many internships lead to full-time employment upon graduation. UConn students have interned at Disney, Connecticut Museum of Natural History, NASA, The Bronx Zoo, NBC Sports, GE, and the State Department of Education, among others.
The Illustration/Animation Concentration requires 30 credit hours. Course examples across programs include Life Drawing, Animation Fundamentals, Topics in Illustration, Studio Concepts, Introduction to Digital Media, Graphic Design: Process and Thinking, Illustration, Animation Fundamentals, Life Drawing II, and Going Pro (Professional Practices in Illustration and Animation).
The Art BA and BFA Programs at University of Connecticut culminate with the Senior Project course and participation in the Senior Show.
Most graduates of the UConn Illustration/Animation BA/BFA Programs are offered positions within six months of graduation. Program alumni have gone on to successful careers as Illustrators, Educators, Designers, Professional Artists, Curators, Photographers, and Arts Administrators, among others. Some program alumni have been accepted into MFA Programs at the Royal College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Yale University, Goldsmith's, University of London, and Virginia Commonwealth University, and Yale University.
University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Founded in 1881, University of Connecticut began as Storrs Agricultural School with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn’s more than 18,000 faculty and staff members serve nearly 32,700 students across the main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses.
Programs at University of Connecticut are offered across 14 colleges and schools, and include eight undergraduate degrees in 119 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 88 fields of study, and six professional degree programs across 14 colleges and schools.
3. Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Connecticut
Western Connecticut State University’s (WCSU) School of Visual and Performing Arts houses the Department of Art, which has an Art BA Program with an Illustration Option (Art BA: Illustration). Through electives, students in the BA Program will have opportunities to focus on areas such as Web Development, Digital Illustration, and Digital Production.
The Art BA: Illustration Program at Western Connecticut University begins with foundation core courses such as Fundamentals of 2D Design, Art Seminar, and Color Theory. Upon completion of all foundation courses, students will progress to the Illustration Option, which explores both traditional and digital illustration. Course examples include Illustration I-III, Painting, Typography, Digital Illustration, Gallery Interactions, and Advanced Digital Illustration.
In the final year of the Art BA: Illustration Program at WCSU, students will several Capstone Portfolio Pieces and a series of works for the Senior Thesis Exhibition. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in Illustration for industries such as Entertainment, Publishing, Advertising, and many others.
Western Connecticut State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Founded in 1903 as Danbury Normal School (a teacher’s college), WCSU serves just over 4,800 students enrolled in more than 60 degree and certificate programs across two campuses and Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences, Ancell School of Business, the School of Professional Studies, and the School of Visual and Performing Arts.
4. Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut
The Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) houses the Department of Art & Design, home to the Art BA Program. Within the program is an Illustration Studio Option that combines hands-on art making with studio-based research.
Course examples for the program Illustration I-II, Sequential Art, Comics and the Graphic Novel, 3D Design, Painting I-II, Advanced Drawing, Digital Processes in Art Making, New Media Arts, Advanced Watercolor Painting and Related Media, and Life Drawing I-II.
In the final year of the program, Art BA students will take Independent Study in Art and/or Art Education, Exhibition Research, Thesis, and the Capstone in Art. Students will have the opportunity to choose between the Professional Level Portfolio or Research Project in Art for their final project.
Graduates of the Central Connecticut State University Art BA Program are prepared for positions at museums and other cultural institutions, art studios, publishing companies, advertising agencies, animation and film studios, graphic design firms, art galleries, publishers, newspapers and magazines, and art and design consultancies, among others.
Central Connecticut State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Founded in 1849 as the New Britain Normal School, CCSU is the oldest public institution of higher education in Connecticut. Serving nearly 11,800 students, Central Connecticut State University is also the largest university within the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities System.
CCSU offers 100 majors in more than 80 fields of study at the undergraduate level, and degrees in 41 academic fields at the graduate level. Programs at Central Connecticut State University are housed in the Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and the Schools of Business; Education & Professional Studies; Engineering, Science & Technology; and Graduate Studies.
5. Paier College, Bridgeport, Connecticut
The Illustration BFA Program at Paier College explores general, book, and editorial illustration, typography and graphics, and reproduction and perspective. Students will also study drawing, cartoon art, experimental art, painting, comic books, illustrating for children’s books, storytelling, and illustration methods, among others.
Specific course titles for this 130 semester hour Program include Art of the Cartoon, Illustration I-II, Creative Processes, Life Drawing I-III, Comic Book Storytelling, Experimental Artists Book, Illustration Methods I-II, Painting on the Computer, Painting: Still Life, Studio Explorations, and Painting III: Trompe L’Oeil. Illustration BFA students will also take History of Western Art, Effective Speaking, and Business Practices.
The Illustration BFA Program at Paier College culminates with a final portfolio competed over two courses: Illustrator’s Portfolio I and II. Graduates of the program are prepared for positions at magazines and newspapers, animation and film studios, advertising agencies, web design studios, greeting card companies, game design studios, graphic design firms, and, publishing companies, among others.
Paier College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Established as Paier School of Applied Art in 1946, the school serves several hundred students enrolled in degree and certificate programs in everything from Web and Graphic Design to Fine Arts and Photography. Paier College, also formerly known as Paier College of Art, recently moved from Hamden to a new 5.5-acre campus in Bridgeport, Connecticut.