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Graduate School of Illustration

Great illustrators engage the imagination, bringing characters, places and stories to life through their captivating images. Earning your masters degree in illustration at Academy of Art University will prepare you for a rewarding career in comic book illustration, concept art, anime, cartoon illustration and other fields.

Guiding students to professional creative futures, Academy of Art University's illustration graduate school offer the best of all possible worlds. Students create strong foundations in classical techniques and new media, develop their unique style, and graduate with a portfolio that impresses potential employers.


Illustration Studio Courses

With an eye to the demands of the creative marketplace, Academy of Art University's masters degree in illustration program focuses on strong foundations from which students can build their one-of-a-kind talent. Students pursuing their illustration MFA at the Academy get more hands-on experience than they would in schools with MA illustration graduate courses. That depth of focus enables them to create a richer and more compelling portfolio.

School of Illustration graduate courses:

  • Traditional Illustration
  • Digital Illustration
  • Visual Development and Concept Art
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Fantasy Illustration
  • Sequential Art and Comic Book Art
  • Childrens Book and Book Covers
  • Graphic Design Illustration
  • Animal Illustration
  • Creature Design
  • Wildlife Illustration
  • Fantasy Life Drawing
  • Fantasy Creature Drawing
  • Character Design
  • Character Drawing
  • Cartooning
  • And more!

Professional Illustration Opportunities

Students pursuing an illustration masters degree at Academy of Art University find incredible career development support. Instructors are all currently working in technical illustration, cartoon illustration, comic book illustration, animation concept art and other illustration fields. In addition to that valuable industry insight, the Academy offers students many opportunities to network with top illustration professionals and get exposure for their work.

  • Spring Show – Each year, Academy of Art University's Spring Show draws crowds of creative professionals and talent scouts from the best companies and agencies across the country. Representatives examine work in digital illustration, anime, technical illustration and more, eager to meet the inspired and original illustrators from the school.
  • Real-World Projects – Academy of Art University's illustration graduate school programs offer students the opportunity to work on professional projects. Collaborating with students from many departments, School of Illustration students complete projects that solve real-world issues for their clients.

Career opportunities in Illustration include:

  • Illustrator in Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Editorial
  • Comic Book Artist
  • Graphic Novel
  • Concept Art and Visual Development
  • Greeting Cards and Paper Goods
  • Children's Book Artist
  • And more!

School of Illustration Facilities

Students completing their illustration masters degree at Academy of Art University will find world-class equipment to aid them in their success at the Academy and beyond. In these state-of-the-art facilities, graduate students experiment with many different media, creating everything from simple pencil sketches to detailed digital illustrations.


Graduate Classes Online & in San Francisco

With illustration graduate classes online and in San Francisco, Academy of Art University has flexible programs for completing a masters degree in illustration. Courses in illustration graduate school programs offer the opportunity to earn an accredited degree through classes that promote creative collaboration and interaction with instructors and other students. The Academy's online program engages students with an innovative, hands-on experience.

No matter whether students complete their illustration masters degree online or in San Francisco, they graduate with a diploma ready to make a living doing what they love.

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Academy of Art University - School of Illustration
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