What are the top illustration schools in Oklahoma for 2023?

Top Oklahoma Illustration Schools - 2023 College Rankings
1Oklahoma Baptist UniversityShawnee
2University of Central OklahomaEdmond
3Oklahoma Christian UniversityOklahoma City

Our 2023 ranking of the top illustration schools in Oklahoma. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Baptist University

Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) is home to the Warren M. Angell School of Visual and Performing Arts, which houses the Art and Design Department. Within the Department is a Studio Art Program that requires 128-129 credit hours to graduate. Leading to a BFA, the Program allows students to focus in a particular area such as Illustration, Painting or Applied Design. The OBU Warren Studio Art BA also provides opportunities to study Illustration through required courses and electives.

Across programs, features include field trips every other year to New York City to meet with professional artists and designers; participation in the Student Art Club beginning in the first semester; and art scholarships for qualifying students.

Course examples for the Studio Art BFA include Illustration I-II, Figure Drawing, Printmaking, 3D Design, Color Theory, Design Basics, Advanced Drawing, and Painting I-II. Students may also take up to 21 elective credits, which provides additional opportunities to study Illustration and other creative areas. In the Illustration II course, students will begin to build a portfolio based on their media of choice with a variety of professional style assignments in various fields of Publication.

The Studio Art BFA Program at Oklahoma Baptist University culminates with the Senior Project and Exhibition. Program alumni go on to establish careers Advertising Designers, Graphic Designers, Art Educators, and Illustrators in a wide variety of industries and fields. Examples include Publishing, Film and Animation, Television, Game Design, News Media, Graphic Design, Architecture, Web Design, Science and Medicine, and Museums.

Founded in 1910, Oklahoma Baptist University serves approximately 1,400 students from 29 states and 12 countries. Programs include nine bachelor's degrees in 80 areas of study, and four master’s degree programs in Business Administration, Marriage and Family Therapy, Christian Studies, and Intercultural Studies. Oklahoma Baptist University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).

2. University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma
University of Central Oklahoma

University of Central Oklahoma has two paths to study Illustration. At the graduate level, students with a degree in a creative field can enroll in the Illustration MFA Program. Housed in Jackson College of Graduate Studies and the NASAD-accredited School of Design, this competitive 60 credit-hour program is designed for students interested in Commercial Illustration or Teaching. Students will explore Storytelling, Design History, Illustration, Teaching Methods, Illustration History, Branding, and Marketing.

Course examples include Graduate Illustration I-IV, History of Illustration, Business of Illustration, Design Theory, ClockTower Studio, Contemporary Illustration Practice, Criticism Seminar, and Teaching Practicum Design. In the final year of the program, students will complete the Portfolio Development, Thesis Development, and Thesis Exhibition courses.

Graduates of the UCO Illustration MFA Program are prepared for leadership positions such as Creative Director, Advertising Manager, Senior Illustrator, Lead Exhibition Designer, Creative Consultant, Production Manager, and Art Educator. Some program alumni go on to launch their own studios or freelance businesses.

At the undergraduate level, University of Central Oklahoma has a Design BFA that allows students to develop solid skills in Illustration through Design electives and the required 18 credit hours of Professional Preparation coursework. Cures examples include Illustration I-III, Illustration for Children’s Books, History of Illustration, Bookmaking & Prototyping, Character Design, Advertising Design, and Advanced Bookmaking. Other opportunities include the Advanced Portfolio Development course, the Study Tour in Design, and a Design Internship.

Graduates of the Design BFA Program at University of Central Oklahoma are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as Advertising, Magazine Illustration, Book Cover Art, Graphic Novels, Book and Magazine Publishing, Illustration for Animation and Games, Brand Management, Comics, Graphic Design, Storyboard Art, Scientific and Medical Illustration, and Poster Art.

Founded in 1890 as the Territorial Normal School, University of Central Oklahoma serves nearly 14,000 students enrolled in 100+ undergraduate areas of study and more than 70 graduate areas of study. Programs are housed across six colleges and the W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute. The school also houses UCO Connected Campus, which provides a variety of online degree programs; the Academy of Contemporary Music in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and downtown campuses at Carnegie Center and Santa Fe Plaza. University of Central Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Christian University

Oklahoma Christian University (OC) houses the College of Humanities and Bible, home to the Division of Fine and Performing Arts and the Graphic Design BFA Program. While most of the Art and Design Programs at Oklahoma Christian University provide opportunities to study Illustration, Graphic Design is the only program at OC that allows students to Specialize in Illustration and Fine Arts. Including courses such as Conceptual illustration, Figure Drawing, and Visual Storytelling, the Division’s 126 credit-hour Graphic Design BS is the next best option.

Across programs, features include 25 different field trip options; guest speakers; 14 internship opportunities (students can complete multiple internships throughout the program); study abroad programs in places such as Austria, New Zealand, Korea, and Japan; and access to a state-of-the-art computer labs equipped with industry-standard programs such as InDesign, Photoshop, After effects, and Illustrator.

Consisting of 126 credit hours, the Graphic Design BFA consists of courses and elective options such as Illustration I-II, Visual Storytelling, Conceptual Illustration, Figure Drawing, Digital Imaging I-II, Print + Social Media Design, Typography Visual Language, Interactive Media Design I-II, and Elements of Visual Thinking. Students may choose an additional 15 credit hours of electives from any Art and Design courses.

Upon completion of the Graphic Design BFA and BS Programs at Oklahoma Christian University, students will have a professional portfolio consisting of their best Illustration, Graphic Design, Advertising, Web Design, and Motion Graphics projects. The final portfolio will also include the students various internships.  

Graduate of the Graphic Design BFA (Illustration/Fine Arts) and Graphic Design BS Programs are  prepared for careers in areas such as Children’s Book Illustration, Fine Art, Comics, Storyboard Art, Book Illustration, Advertising Illustration, Gallery and Exhibition Design, Editorial Illustration, Graphic Design, Magazine Illustration, Surface and Textile Design, Motion Design, Fashion Illustration, Interactive Media Design, Game Art, Concept Art, Character Development, and Scientific illustration.

Established in 1950 as Central Christian College, Oklahoma Christian University opened as a Junior college in Bartlesville with just 97 students. Today, OC is a four-year university that serves 2,200 students enrolled in nearly 100 programs and areas of study across 10 colleges and divisions. Oklahoma Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).