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School of Illustration

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

The MFA Illustration Graduate School curriculum emphasizes visual communication and a mastery of technical and conceptual abilities and involves intensive education in the formulation of ideas, problem solving and artistic skill. Students are asked to stretch their talents and refine the skills that will enhance their art, broadening the opportunities for their work. Development of the individual's style and viewpoint is a focus of graduate studies in Illustration.

Graduate students receive classical art instruction and an exposure to new media. The graduate student will develop a portfolio that demonstrates a personal style and a high level of professional skills. A refined illustrative style and voice will culminate in the graduate student's individual focus for their Final Project in areas such as editorial, advertising, graphic novel and children's books. The Final Project is exhibited to the public upon approval of the Final Review committee.

MFA graduates of the School of Illustration will meet the following student performance criteria:

  • MFA Thesis Project

    • Plan a portfolio of works directed towards legitimate markets
    • Produce a professional-level portfolio consisting of 15 works directed towards legitimate markets
  • Artistic Ability

    • Demonstrate the skills necessary in the chosen medium or mediums to successfully complete their thesis project
    • Create compelling images
    • Maintain a consistent ’language’ or ’signature style’
  • Research and Conceptualization Skills

    • Clearly identify their audience
    • Conduct research for reference
  • Presentation Skills

    • Professionally present and discuss their work with a review committee.
  • Professional Readiness

    • Develop both digital and print materials to market themselves and their work
    • Demonstrate an understanding of current trends and visual industry standards by describing how their work will address a specific market

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
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