What are the top illustration schools in Utah for 2021?

Top Utah Illustration Schools - 2021 College Rankings
1Brigham Young UniversityProvo
2Utah Valley UniversityOrem

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

1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Brigham Young University

Founded in 1875 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Brigham Young University (BYU) serves more than 33,000 undergraduate students—the largest undergraduate enrollment of any private university in the U.S. The school also serves close to 3,000 graduate students enrolled in 64 master's degree programs, and 26 doctorate programs. Around 186 undergraduate majors and 110 undergraduate minors are also offered in dozens of colleges and departments.

The College of Fine Arts and Communications serves nearly 5,700 students enrolled in programs in the Department of Art, the School of Communications, the Department of Dance, the Department of Design, the School of Music, and the Department of Theater and Media Arts. All College of Fine Arts and Communications students “undertake research projects, pursue internships, and participate in study abroad programs across the globe,” says the school.

The Illustration BFA in the Department of Design is a limited enrollment program of 40 students. Students in the program “will learn skills that prepare them to excel in the competitive and evolving illustration market. Courses prepare students in how to manage personal business and marketing work as an illustrator.” Course highlights include Advanced Storyboarding, Bookbinding, Character Design for Illustration, Environment Design, Gesture Drawing for Animation, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Photography and Digital Workflow, Marketing Management, Narrative Illustration, Painting-Mixed Media, Professional Practices for Illustrators, Sketchbook, and Typography.

Students will complete several Senior Illustration Studios, the BFA Capstone Project, and an internship. Study abroad experiences are also part of the program as well as job placement services. Nationally and internationally acclaimed artists are also invited to campus each month to present to students.

Graduates of the program “work in diverse genres and publishing markets,” including Advertising Design, Books, Corporate and Institutional Publications, Editorial, Genre Fiction, Graphic Novels, and Young Adult Fiction. Graduates work as Concept Designers creating characters, environments, vehicles, and other digital artwork for entertainment productions.

Other opportunities involve licensed products, toys and collectibles, online exhibitions, and private commissions. Positions may be in-house with production companies, in design studios, or on a freelance or project basis.

2. Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah
Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University (UVU) was established in 1941 as Central Utah Vocational School (CUVS) with the primary function of providing war production training. Today, the school serves nearly 41,000 students, making it the largest public university in the state. More than 200 degree and certificate programs are offered in eight colleges and schools. The School of the Arts houses the Department of Art and Design, which offers an AAS in Art and Design with a Design/Illustration Emphasis, and a BFA with an Emphasis in Illustration.

The AAS is a “two-year work-ready degree,” says the school, “that helps prepare students for entry level jobs within the Illustration industry.” Course highlights for the program include 2D and 3D Design, 3D Computer Modeling, Digital Painting for Illustration, Gestural Drawing, Graphic Computer Applications, Illustrative Media Techniques, Imagination and Visual Literacy, and Spatial Drawing.

The program is 63 credits (minimum) and students can use credits earned to further their studies in a BFA or other program. Graduates are prepared to compete for positions in Advertising, Design Studios, In-house Design Departments, Publishing and Printing Firms, and for Freelance Consulting.

The BFA in Illustration is designed for students wanting to pursue careers in animation, digital illustration or traditional illustration. Courses for this 120 credit hour program are taught by professionals in the field who will guide students through coursework and projects using the latest industry software. Course highlights include 3D Design, 3D Computer Rendering, Advanced Illustration, Anatomy and Figure Structure Children's Book Illustration, Environmental Design and Painting, Figure Drawing, Flash Animation, Narrative Illustration, and Sequential Illustration. Of the projects students will complete, two include the BFA Project and Senior Studio. The BFA Project will be completed over the course of two consecutive semesters, and focuses on the development and execution of a gallery exhibition or professional portfolio and includes collaborative work with a gallery/museum professional in preparation of the exhibition's public viewing.

The Senior Studio “combines and integrates concepts, methodologies and skills developed in previous Art and Design course work, through the completion of a comprehensive project,” says the school. The Studio “requires students to develop their own project/portfolio in consultation with a faculty advisor. Finished projects will demonstrate individual student skills and interests.”

Graduates go on to intermediate to upper level positions at Advertising Agencies, Film and Animation Studios, Game Design Companies, Graphic Design Studios, In-house Design Departments, Magazines, Publishing Firms, Printing Companies, and more. Some graduates are self-employed (freelance) or have started their own companies.