|1||University of Arizona||Tucson|
Our 2019 ranking of the top illustration school program in Arizona. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
The University of Arizona was established in 1885. The school’s first graduating class in 1895 consisted of two women and one male. Today, the school serves nearly 45,000 students enrolled in more than 370 academic programs at all degree levels. University of Arizona offers its academic programs through 19 colleges. Among them is the College of Fine Arts, which houses the School of Art. Here, aspiring illustrators can earn a BFA or MFA in Studio Art with an Illustration + Design Emphasis. An Interdisciplinary Practice MFA that allows students to engage in multiple studio disciplines is also available.
The BFA Illustration + Design (I+D) Emphasis consists of 24 units of upper division coursework in this area. Students will also complete 42 upper division units in Studio Art. Foundation coursework, electives, and Art History are also required. Sample courses for the program Amalgam, Design, Figure Drawing, Gaze, Illustration, Mapping, Material Studies, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Space, Surfacing, and Water Color Painting.
Program highlights include field trips, team projects with community clients, internships, and study abroad programs. Students will have the opportunity to apply to the annual Spring Portfolio Review, which accepts 18-22 students in the Illustration track and 18-22 students in the Design track. Students will also participate in a final exhibition and leave the program with a “high quality portfolio and web presence,” says the school. With this, graduates are “prepared to go directly into the field and/or apply to graduate programs.”
The MFA in Studio Art with an Illustration + Design Emphasis is a 60-unit, terminal degree that “combines conceptual, technical, and critical thinking skills that enable students to gain a deeper understanding of their own artistic ideas and vision.” Students in the program will take 30 units in studio art courses: 2D Painting and Printmaking, 3D and Extended Media, Photography, Illustration + Design or Interdisciplinary Practice, 12 units in elective coursework, three units in Contemporary Art: Concepts and Issues, three units in Graduate Professional Practice and 12 units of Art History.
A Graduate Interdisciplinary Critique is part of the program as well as a Thesis Exhibition that provides the opportunity to present an original group of works to the public.