Academy of Art University's School of Illustration offers an innovative curriculum that blends digital technology with classical training to meet the marketplace’s growing need for trained artists in both areas. Learn more.
What is the top illustration schools in Wisconsin for 2022?
|1||Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design||Milwaukee|
|2||University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire||Eau Claire|
Our 2022 ranking of the top illustration schools in Wisconsin. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) has an Illustration Program that leads to a BFA. A major component of the program is MIAD’s Illustration Seminar where students can network through workshops led by industry professionals and alumni. Internships, semester-long study abroad opportunities, and portfolio development courses are part of the program as well as access to MIAD’s new Illustration studios and classrooms and the Emerging Technology Center.
The Illustration BFA Program explores traditional and digital illustration, visual communication, design, and art direction. Course examples Illustration I-IV, Research, Process and Connection, Fabrication, Illustration Seminar I-II, Visual Language, Critical and Creative Forms, Illustration Media, Digital 4D, Computer Studio, Typography, Patterns in Nature, Senior Writing Seminar, and Professional Practice for Illustrators. Students may add a Minor to enhance the degree. Popular Minor options include Book Arts, Advertising, Digital Media Production, Copywriting, Arts Management, Business, and Writing.
The Illustration Program at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design culminates with the Illustration Thesis Project, Portfolio, and MIAD Exhibition. Students are required to be actively involved in the overall preparation of the general MIAD Thesis Exhibition including signage, gallery monitoring, lighting crew, painting crew, etc.
Graduates of the MIAD Illustration BFA Program are prepared to launch their own studios and freelance businesses, or pursue positions in advertising, publishing, animation, fashion, editorial, exhibit design, graphic design, game design, new media, comics, architecture, storyboard art, medical illustration, forensic illustration, children’s book illustration, textile design, and technical illustration.
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD)—a consortium of 42 top non-profit, independent colleges of art and design in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1974, MIAD is Wisconsin’s only four-year, private college of visual art and design. The school serves 900 degree-seeking students, 600 pre-college students, and 250 outreach/special programs students. MIAD offers seven majors and tracks leading to BFA and 13 programs leading to a Minor.
2. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
The Illustration BFA Program at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-Eau Claire) is part of the Department of Design in the College of Arts + Sciences. This immersive, studio-focused program is designed for students seeking careers in Illustration or individuals interested in pursuing a graduate degree upon completion of the program.
Program benefits include opportunities to pursue multiple interests and study in other areas through electives; study abroad experiences in Paris, Florence, or Rome; filed trips to local museums and studios and to New York, Minneapolis, and Chicago; and internships at local and national studios. The Illustration BFA Program also consists of professional workshops, lectures led by visiting artists, participation in student organizations such as Art Student Association (ASA) or None of the Above (NOTA), and access to UW-Eau Claire Foster Gallery—the largest art gallery in the Eau Claire area. The space provides opportunities to view and participate in exhibitions, attend guest speaker presentations, and participate in the Annual Juried Student Art Show.
In the final year of the program, students will complete the Advanced Illustration Studio course, where they will develop a professional portfolio and promotional materials, and learn about the business of Illustration.
Graduates of the Illustration BFA Program at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire are 100% employed or continuing their education after graduation. Examples of potential careers include Illustrator, Comics Artist, Book Illustrator, Storyboard Artist, Medical/Scientific Illustrator, Animator, Fashion Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Courtroom Illustrator, Art Director, and Concept Artist. Graduates have freelanced for or been hired by Marvel Entertainment, Orange Hat Publishing, Rock Candy Games, and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, among others.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1916, UW-Eau Claire is part of the University of Wisconsin System, which consists of 13 universities across 26 campuses and a statewide extension. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire serves more than 10,000 students enrolled in over 200 academic programs housed in four colleges including Business, Arts + Sciences, Education + Human Sciences, and Nursing + Health Sciences.