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Illustration Emphasis Starting Fall 2020

Illustration Emphasis

Our department now offers an Illustration emphasis! Illustration is an expanding field with numerous career paths in publishing, editorial, concept art, and advertising. Through this emphasis, students will learn an exciting approach to telling stories, building worlds, and expressing ideas, exploring the many different avenues illustration can take them down. There are no limitations on how an illustration can look, what media it can be made from, or what surface it can sit on. Through illustration, students will gain experience telling engaging, personal stories in a professionally applicable way.

Illustration students at the U will be exposed to a variety of courses in drawing, painting, and design courses, all anchored by a core of illustration classes focused on narrative techniques, concept development strategies, and industry expectations. This program allows students to choose their own path in illustration, and tailor their learning experience through a broad range of projects. Students can decide what kind of image-making will serve their goals best, whether that be digital or traditional, figurative or abstract.

Through this emphasis, students will

  • Explore digital and traditional methods of making images
  • Become familiar with illustration’s rich history, and trends in contemporary illustration
  • Have access to industry-standard software and hardware
  • Learn strategies for developing concepts and communicating ideas visually
  • Practice making images that are both engaging and informational
  • Prepare for a career in the illustration industry

An emphasis in Illustration can prepare students for a wide variety of careers

  • Advertisement illustration
  • Editorial illustration
  • Book illustration
  • Children’s Book illustration
  • Fine Art
  • Concept Art
  • Scientific illustration
  • Surface/Textile Design
  • Comics & Storyboard art
  • Fashion illustration

Emphasis Area Requirements

- Illustration Curriculum


- Michael Hirshon

Additional Information

- MFA Program
- Scholarships and Financial Aid