|1||University of Hartford||Hartford|
|2||University of New Haven||West Haven|
|3||University of Connecticut||Storrs|
|4||Central Connecticut State University||New Britain|
|5||Paier College of Art||Hamden|
Our 2019 ranking of the top illustration school programs in Connecticut. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
University of Hartford traces its roots back to 1877, when one of the three founding schools, the Hartford Art School, opened. It was initially called the Hartford School for Decorative Arts. Today, University of Hartford (chartered in 1957) offers 100 degree programs in the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions. The school serves approximately 5,000 undergraduate and nearly 1,500 graduate students from 48 states and 48 countries.
University of Hartford has two program options for aspiring illustrators including a BFA and MFA in Illustration. Offered through Hartford Art School (HAS), which serves around 310 students, the BFA curriculum is designed to introduce students to the techniques and processes used by illustrators. It covers the three primary markets for illustrators: advertising illustration, book illustration, and editorial illustration. Sample courses for the program include Digital Illustration, Drawing for Illustration, Foundation 2D, 3D and 4D Studio, and Intermediate Illustration.
Students in the program will complete a portfolio and a senior project. In the portfolio preparation course, students learn to prepare their work for professional presentation. Per the school, “considerable emphasis is placed on the development of personal style and direction throughout the program.”
The MFA In Illustration is a low-residency program designed for working adults. Also offered through HAS, the MFA combines “intensive, on-campus sessions” in the summer with travel during spring and fall. Fall and spring semesters take place off-campus in places such as Dallas, San Francisco, Pasadena, New York City and other destinations.
Other program highlights include guest speakers, museum visits, and studio visits to places such as Communication Arts Magazine, Electronic Arts Entertainment, Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, Nickelodeon Studios, and the Society of Illustrators.
Founded in 1920, University of New Haven serves 7,000 students enrolled in 57 undergraduate majors, 31 areas of graduate study, and a doctorate in criminal justice. The school consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the School of Health Sciences, the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, and the Tagliatela College of Engineering. The Illustration BFA program is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences.
Per the school, students in the program will “develop their ability to create compelling and effective visual communication, built on a solid foundation in drawing, design, painting, liberal arts, and art history.” Students will also learn about character development, narrative forms, and storyboarding, “both in the studio and through visits with professionals in the field.” Students will hone their craft using the latest digital technologies.
Sample courses for the program include Calligraphic Drawing, Narrative Drawing, Printmaking – Relief and Intaglio, and Rapid-Pose Life Drawing. In addition to a variety of courses, students will have the opportunity to complete an internship and they have access to the Career Development Center. Benefits of the center include career assessments, networking, and job shadowing, as well as on-campus interviews and salary negotiation coaching.
Note: The Illustration BFA program will be offered exclusively at the main campus in West Haven beginning Fall 2019. This program, along with all academic programming, will cease at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts at the close of the academic year in May 2019.
The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881 under the name Storrs Agricultural School (SAS). At the time, SAS was a two-year vocational school, which eventually became Storrs Agricultural College, and began officially admitting women. Today, UConn serves more than 32,000 students enrolled in 113 majors, 90 research and professional practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs across 14 schools and colleges. The School of Fine Art at University of Connecticut (UConn) houses the Department of Art and Art History, which offers a BFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Illustration/Animation. MFA programs are also available.
Per the school, emphasis for the Illustration/Animation Concentration is on “creative process, visual thinking, communication, authoring extended illustration and/or animation works, and understanding professional practice.” The program “emphasizes visual problem solving, creative invention, visual storytelling, and the development of imagery for communication.”
Students in the program will complete general education requirements in areas such as Arts & Humanities, Diversity & Multiculturalism, and Science & Technology. They will also complete 24 credits of Art Foundation courses and Art History coursework, as well as 30 credits in Illustration/Animation, and 12 hours of electives.
Students will pursue a wide variety of projects in both digital and analog environments including book, editorial, institutional, and children’s illustration; character and environment design; comics, cartoons, and graphic novels; design for products; self-promotion, 2-D and stop-motion animation; and more. Internship and study abroad opportunities are also available.
Graduates of the BFA program have pursued careers such as Advertising Designer, Animation Director, Art Director, Cartoonist, Editorial Illustrator, Exhibit Designer, Medical Illustrator, Storyboard Artist, Type Designer, and many others.
Founded in 1849 as the New Britain Normal School, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) serves nearly 11,900 students enrolled in more than 100 academic programs across five schools. The Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences houses the Art Department, which offers a BA in Art with an Option in Illustration Studio.
Students in the program will complete more than 40 credit hours of study in Art and more than 40 in electives and the focus area. Sample required courses include Design, Drawing, History of Art, Modern Art, Sculpture, and Three-Dimensional Design. Students may choose an individual planned program of study to be developed in conjunction with the departmental advisor and they may take a minor in a field outside of the Department of Art,
An Art Capstone is part of the program as well as internship opportunities.
Paier College of Art was established as the Paier School of Applied Art in 1946 by Edward T. and Adele K. Paier, who were both experienced in art business, and education. The school was accredited as a four-year, degree-granting institution in 1982 and now serves dozens of students enrolled in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, and Photography programs.
The curriculum for the BFA in Illustration covers book illustration, editorial illustration, general illustration, graphics, reproduction, and typography, with specialties within these areas such as designing, illustration, writing, and production of children’s books. Sample courses for the program include Art of the Cartoon, Book Illustration, Children’s Book Design, Comic Book Storytelling, Creative Processes, Experimental Artist Book, Illustration, Illustration Methods, Landscape Painting, Painting III: Trompe L’Oeil, and Studio Explorations.
Students will also take courses such as Business Practices, Philosophy, and Psychology. All students will complete a number of projects throughout the program, which culminates in a final portfolio.