What is the top illustration school in Minnesota for 2022?

Top Minnesota Illustration Schools - 2022 College Rankings
1Minneapolis College of Art & DesignMinneapolis
2Minnesota State University-MoorheadMoorhead

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

1. Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis College of Art & Design

The Illustration Program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) takes place in a collaborative environment where students work with peers from all majors. Leading to a BFA, the Illustration Program consists of core required courses, foundation studies, studio electives, and humanities and sciences electives. Studio electives provide hands-on time as well as the opportunity to focus in an area of interest within illustration.

Course examples include Tools of the trade, Concepts and Metaphors, Digital Illustration, Illustration and Products, Illustrated Notebook, Editorial Illustration, Professional Practice, Children’s Book, Illustration Topics, and Advanced Illustration Seminar. In the Professional Practice course, students will have opportunities to work on projects such as promotional materials and art for an advertising campaign, illustrations for a textbook, or a poster for a nonprofit client.

Minor options provide additional opportunities to specialize in an area of interest. Minor options include Advertising, Print Paper Book, Animation, Creative writing, Graphic Design, and Entrepreneurship, among others. Students may also complete the Illustration Foundations Certificate before applying to any BFA or Minor program. 

All MCAD Illustration students may complete an internship, which provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable on-the-job skills and practical experience in a particular career area. The MCAD Study Abroad Program provides additional opportunities fort experiential learning. In partnership with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Exchange Program, the MCAD Study Abroad Program provides experiences at AICAD schools in the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, China, and Singapore.

The culminating experience for the Illustration BFA Program is the Senior Project course (Capstone). Worth six credit hours, the project allows students to complete a series of illustrations for their portfolio, or undertake a research project, or address an in-depth illustration problem. Capstone Projects may also focus on the advancement of a particular strength or style.

Graduates of the Art and Design Programs at Minneapolis College of Art and Design enjoy a 93% employment rate. Nearly 60% of all graduates find positions in their respective fields. MCAD alumni are Illustrators for the American Harry Potter Books and others, for Advertising Agencies, Comic Books, the Court System, Newspapers and Magazines, Fashion Designers, and in the Medical and Technical fields.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). MCAD is also affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). Established in 1886, Minneapolis College of Art and Design serves more than 800 students enrolled in 14 undergraduate majors leading to a BFA or BS, three programs leading to an MA, including the new MA in Creative Leadership, one MFA program, and five professional development certificate programs.

2. Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota
Minnesota State University Moorhead

The College of Humanities at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSU Moorhead or MSUM) houses the School of Art, home to the Studio Art BFA Program, with an Emphasis in Drawing and Illustration. The MSUM School of Art also has three Certificate Programs that can be added to the Studio Art BFA Program. Options include Book Illustration, Scientific Illustration, and Sequential Art.

Certificate Programs require 28-30 credit hours and include courses such as Introduction to Illustration, Virtue and Vice in Gothic Storytelling, Individualized Studies in Illustration, Creative Writing, Printmaking, Stop-Motion Animation, Perceptual Drawing, Typography, Graphic Design, and Papermaking.

The Drawing and Illustration Emphasis Area for the Studio Art BFA Program requires 48 credit hours. Basic Drawing I-II, Advanced Studies in Drawing and Animation, Digital Illustration, Sequential Art, Global Art History, Perceptual Drawing, and Contemporary Drawing Concepts and Methodologies, and Professional Practices I-III are just a few course examples. The Studio Art BFA Program culminates with the Professional Portfolio. BFA students and graduates may participate in the BFA Exhibition held in the MSUM Art Gallery. 

Graduates of the MSU Moorhead Studio Art and Certificate Programs are best-selling Illustrators and Artists, Cartoonists, Medical Illustrators, Freelance Artists and Illustrators, Technical Illustrators, Scientific Illustrators, Exhibit Designers, Animators, Advertising Artists, Public Art Managers, Cinematographers, Studio Artists, Editors, Art Teachers, Sequential Artists, Graphic Production Designers, Web Designers, Sketch Artists, Journalistic Artists, and Tattoo Artists, among others.

Minnesota State University Moorhead is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school opened as Moorhead Normal School in the fall of 1888. The first graduating class of eight students received their degrees in 1890. Today, MSU Moorhead serves around 5,550 students enrolled in 76 majors, 55 emphases and options, 12 pre-professional studies programs, 14 graduate degrees (28 emphasis areas), 38 graduate and undergraduate certificates, and 31 areas of teacher licensure preparation. Programs at MSUM are offered across five colleges that house 25 departments and schools.