What are the top illustration schools in Tennessee for 2022?

Top Tennessee Illustration Schools - 2022 College Rankings
1Watkins College of Art at Belmont UniversityNashville
2Nossi College of ArtNashville

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

1. Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee
1. Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee

Watkins College of Art at Belmont University has a studio-based Illustration Program that leads to a BFA. The program, which consists of the BELL Core (Belmont’s General Education Core), explores the illustration process, traditional and digital media, visual storytelling, graphic design and typography, technical and conceptual development, service learning, and professional practices. The program is also multidisciplinary, allowing students to develop projects and portfolios in areas such as Advertising Illustration, Character Design & Development, Illustration Design, Art Licensing & Surface Design, Editorial Illustration, and Book Illustration & Sequential Art.

Other Watkins BFA Program features include access to fully equipped, state-of-the-art computer, drawing, and printmaking labs, study abroad experiences in places such as Italy, Japan, China, Spain, Hong Kong, China, Greece, Ireland, and England, faculty and guest exhibits, artist workshops, the Belmont USA program, which offers semester-long programs in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., and up to two internships. Watkins students have gained experience at Warner Bros., The Buntin Group, Prosper Press, Advent, Vanderbilt University Creative Services, and Anderson Design Group, among others.

The Illustration BFA Program at Watkins College of Art culminates with the Senior Project and Professional Portfolio of the student’s best work. Projects will be presented at the Watkins Senior Exhibition.

Graduates of the Illustration BFA Program at Watkins College of Art at Belmont University are prepared to pursue positions such as Comic Book Illustrator, Fine Art Illustrator, Children’s Book Illustrator, Courtroom Illustrator or Sketch Artist, Graphic Novel Illustrator, Medical Illustrator, Storyboard Artist for Film and Animation, Game Artist, Animation Illustrator, Forensic Animator, Product Illustrator, Fashion Illustrator, and Editorial Illustrator.

Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, formerly Watkins College of Art, was established in 1885. Serving around 200 students, the school merged with Belmont University in 2020. Watkins College of Art at Belmont University is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The school offers BFA degrees in Art Education, Studio Art, Illustration, Photography, Design Communications (graphic design) and Experiential Design’ BA degrees in Art, Photography, and Art History; Minors in Art History, Design Communications, Painting, Photography and Studio Art; and one MFA in Visual Arts.

Serving close to 7,100 students, Belmont University opened in 1890 as Belmont College for Young Women. The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Nossi College of Art, Nashville, Tennessee
Nossi College of Art

Nossi College of Art (Nossi) offers a Bachelor of Graphic Arts in Illustration Technology that requires 133 credit hours to graduate. This four year program consists of courses such as Adobe for Illustrators and Advanced Photoshop, Illustration Environments, Motion Graphics, Illustration for Stock Art, Advanced 3D Technologies, Production Art, Success Strategies, Advertising and Editorial Illustration, Graphic Design Processes, Sequential Art, Advanced Typography, Book Publishing Illustration, Alternative Mediums, and Introduction to 3D and Animation.

In the final year of the program, students will complete an Independent Study course, Portfolio and Promotion, and the Capstone. In the Capstone course, students will have the opportunity to create a body of illustrations that can be used in a promotional campaign.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Graphic Arts in Illustration Technology at Nossi College of Art will have the Skills and experience needed to compete for positions such as Editorial/Advertising Illustrator, Political Cartoonist, Book Publishing Illustrator, Fashion Illustrator, Sketch Artist, Comic Illustrator, Multimedia Artist/Animator, 3D Modeling Artist, Package Designer, Sequential/Concept Artist, and Illustrator Agent or Representative.

Nossi College of Art is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Established in 1973 as a Fine Art school by Nossi Vatandoost—an artist listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in America—Nossi College of Art launched in Madison, Tennessee with painting, photography, and airbrush courses. Today, Nossi provides programs in Graphic Design, Photography, Filmmaking, Culinary Arts, and Illustration to around 300 students each year.