What are the top illustration schools in Oregon for 2021?

Top Oregon Illustration Schools - 2021 College Rankings
1Pacific Northwest College of ArtPortland
2George Fox UniversityNewberg

Our 2021 ranking of the top illustration schools in Oregon. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon
Pacific Northwest College of Art

Founded in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is a Fine Arts and Design college that offers 12 undergraduate majors in art and design, eight graduate degrees, one Post-Baccalaureate program, and eight minors. Serving 650 students, the school has “Four Core Themes” including Critical Inquiry, Professional Practice, Studio Practice, and World View. Program areas covered include Animated Arts, Graphic Design, Intermedia, and Illustration, to name a few.

The Illustration Program is one of the top undergraduate options at PNCA. A BFA is available as well as a Community Education Certificate. PNCA also offers an MFA program. The BFA in Illustration “combines development of technical skill in traditional studio media and new and emerging technologies,” says the school, along with “conceptual inquiry to empower {students} to create visual messages capable of engaging clients and changing culture.”

Course highlights include 3D Design, Advanced Illustration Studio, Cultural Marketplace, Design & Image, Drawing for Illustration, Exploring Visual Culture, Painting for Illustration, Time Arts, Visual Elements 2-D, Visual Elements: Digital Tools, Visual Elements: Digital Tools, Word & Image, Visual Technique, and Writing in Context. A Thesis is also required.

Other program highlights include mentorship programs, professional practices instruction, portfolio preparation, and internship opportunities. Internships for seniors and recent graduates have taken place at companies such as Dark Horse Comics, Microsoft, Nike, Nintendo, and Wieden+Kennedy.

PNCA students also have the opportunity to show their work at the school’s annual end-of-year showcase hosted by the Illustration Department at a downtown Portland gallery.

2. George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon
George Fox University

George Fox University (George Fox) was founded in 1885 as the Friends Pacific Academy, where future President Herbert Hoover was one of the school’s original nineteen students. The oldest Christian university on Oregon, George Fox has grown into a multi-campus/site institution serving around 4,100 students enrolled in more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs in more than a dozen colleges and schools.

The School of Design houses the Department of Art and Design, which offers a BA in Illustration. The curriculum for the program covers digital tools, traditional media, and portfolio. Course highlights include 2D Computer Animation, Creative Suite, Dimensional Illustration, Illustration and Logo Craft, Image Construction and Photoshop, Motion Graphics, Print and Packaging, Storyboarding and Concept Design, Typography, and Watercolor. Students will also complete the Art & Design Professional Networking Seminar for five semesters out of eight.

Other program highlights include small class sizes with courses taught by industry professionals, internship and apprenticeship opportunities, and frequent events and trips including art retreats, gallery openings, workshops, and excursions into Portland. Around 92% of George Fox University graduates are employed, admitted to graduate school, or volunteering within 12-months of graduation. Most Illustration BA graduates go on to work in all areas of Advertising, Animation, Entertainment, Film, Game Design, Interaction Design, Publishing, Web Design, and more.