What are the top illustration schools in Florida for 2022?

Top Florida Illustration Schools - 2022 College Rankings
1Ringling College of Art and DesignSarasota
2University of Central FloridaOrlando
3University of MiamiCoral Gables

Our 2022 ranking of the top illustration schools in Florida. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design

Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) has an Illustration Program that features a rigorous studio-based curriculum with a liberal arts foundation, networking opportunities with visiting artists from major studios such as DreamWorks, internships at Disney, Hasbro, Pixar, and others, and participation in real-world projects with local businesses.

Leading to a BFA in Illustration with a General Illustration or Visual Development Emphasis, the program also provides access to painting and drawing studios, two Cintiq labs exclusively for illustration, and three additional Cintiq labs with 24-hour access. Every RCAD Illustration student receives a laptop fully equipped with the latest Adobe Creative Suite software.

Students in the General Illustration Emphasis will study illustration as it relates to digital and traditional media, 2D and 3D, techniques used in the industry, and the fundamentals of anatomy, color theory, and composition. The Visual Development Emphasis explores illustration as it relates to games, comics, live-action and animated productions for TV, advertising, graphic novels, film, publishing, toy design, and themed entertainment.

Course examples across emphasis areas include Development of Art and Ideas, Illustration I-II, Illustration Media, Advanced Illustration, Digital Illustration, 2D Design, Figure I-IV, 3D Design for Illustration, Visual Development I-IV, Film & Narrative, and Professional Practices.

To enhance either emphasis area, RCAD offers 10 Minor options consisting of 15 credit hours taken outside the BFA degree program. Examples include Business of Art + Design, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Graphic Design, Realistic Painting, and Visual Development.

In addition to the internship program, Illustration BFA students have the opportunity to participate in RCAD’s semester-long exchange program or a four to five week summer program in Florence, Italy at Studio Arts Center International (SACI), and the student-run annual illustration show known as Illest of the Ill.

Graduates of the Illustration BFA Program at Ringling College of Art and Design have been hired at major studios and companies such as Cartoon Network, Walt Disney, Apple, Google, Zynga, American Greetings, Marvel Comics, Hallmark, Riot Games, Lucasfilm, United Airlines, EA Games, and GM, among others. 

Ringling College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Co-founded in 1931 by entrepreneur, circus showman and promoter John Ringling, and Dr. Ludd M. Spivey, president of Southern College (now Florida Southern College), the school had just 75 st udents and 111 course offerings when it opened. Today, RCAD serves more than 1,600 students enrolled in BFA degrees in eleven disciplines and BA degrees in two.

2. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
University of Central Florida

The College of Arts and Humanities at University of Central Florida (UCF), houses the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD), home to the Studio Art Program. Degree options for Illustrators include a BA with a Studio Track, a Studio Art BFA, and a 24 credit hour Studio Art Minor.

The BA and BFA Programs offer Specializations in Drawing and Illustration, Drawing and Printmaking, Book Arts, Type and Design, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Ceramics. Students specializing in Illustration can expect to take courses such as Intermediate Illustration, Advanced Illustration, Art as Interface, Design Fundamentals-Three Dimensional, Advanced Drawing, and Screenprinting. Students in both pathways have the opportunity to complete an internship and participate in local and international study experiences.

To graduate, BFA students must complete the Portfolio and Exhibit/Seminar courses and BA students must pass the Studio Art Portfolio Review.

Graduates of the UCF Studio Art Programs are prepared to seek positions in the Entertainment, Publishing or Advertising fields, among others. The Studio Art Programs also prepare students for graduate study.

3. University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
University of Miami

Serving more than 4,200 undergraduate students, 640 graduate students, and employing 450 full-time faculty, the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Miami is the school’s largest academic unit. The College also houses the Department of Art & Art History—home to the Studio Art MFA Program.

This three-year program provides the opportunity to Specialize in one of five Concentrations including Digital Imaging-Illustration/Photography, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, and Sculpture.

Studio MFA students will take 24 credits in the Concentration, 12 elective credits, and nine in Art History. Several seminars are part of the program as well as an Exhibition Preparation course and the Master’s Thesis.

Graduates of the Studio MFA Program at University of Miami will leave the program with a professional portfolio of their best work and the skills and experience to pursue careers in Art Education, Studio Art, and any other area in the Visual Arts, including Illustration.

The University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1925, this private research university opened in 1926 with 646 full-time students enrolled in programs across the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Music, and the Evening Division. Today, University of Miami serves more than 17,000 students enrolled in nearly 350 majors and programs across 12 colleges and schools.