Apr 07, 2020  
2019-2020 University Catalogue 
2019-2020 University Catalogue

Illustration, BFA

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Damali Beatty, ‘19

Adam Osgood, Program Director



Illustration is a unique art form that finds its home in popular media, bringing life to concepts and stories through image making. Whether created digitally or by hand, illustration can be both a masterful work of art and a practical business application. Illustrators work in a variety of mediums to create images with meaning, purpose, and unique vision. UArts Illustration helps students discover and develop their unique visual voice through training in technique, image-making, concept development, and self-promotion. Our curriculum encourages students to dive deep and explore options that are relevant to their field of interest. We have a big tent philosophy that celebrates the range of career paths for an illustrator, from children’s books to concept art to product design, and beyond. Located within the School of Design, Illustration students experiment and collaborate with related disciplines.

Program Objectives

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of figure study and picture making, along with traditional and digital technical skill development, leading to successful image making as it relates to the multi-faceted and ever-changing illustration industry;
  • Discover and develop point of view (critical thinking, self-discovery, and effectively combing content and technique in a unique expression). This includes acquiring critical drawing and thinking skills and developing intellectual curiosity leading to successful problem solving and meaningful visual communication;
  • Understanding the unique aesthetic of the illustrator as designer and the development of knowledge and skills leading to successful design outcomes;
  • Discover the languages, concepts, and practices of contemporary illustration across connected disciplines and have options to further explore those areas in depth;
  • Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the history of illustration;
  • Demonstrate habits of mind (studio process, research, personal discipline, time management, professional culture of the program) as well as the ability to critique, articulate their work, and present ideas;
  • Acquire and demonstrate knowledge and skills of professional development (presentation, audience awareness, marketing, promotion, business, Web design, entrepreneurship).  Preparing for a life in the arts and the flexibility to enter diverse professional areas within it.

Program Requirements (120 credits)

Major Requirements (61.5 - 63 credits)

Students who major in Illustration will complete 61.5 - 63 credits; students who declare a concentration within the Illustration major will complete 64.5 - 66 credits.


Illustration students who declare a concentration should complete the corresponding concentration course sequence below.  Eligibility, process, including entry to fouth year capstones based on completing concentration and subject to portolio review.

Discipline History (12 credits)

Critical Studies (30 credits)

Composition (6-9 credits)

Students are placed into one of the following composition sequences after the completion of a writing placement exam. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA.

Critical Approaches to the Arts and Culture (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Thinking Through Science (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject ANTH, PSYC, SOCI, or SCIE

Critical Studies Electives (9-12 credits)

Students who complete the developmental composition sequence complete 9.0 credits of CS electives; all other students complete 12.0 credits.

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
  • Select courses from  : Art History or Critical Studies Elective.

Electives (15 - 16.5 credits)

  • Illustration students without a concentration who complete DESN*305 Business Communication for Design Professionals must complete 16.5 free elective credits. Students who complete DESN*499 Design Internship must complete 15 free elective credits.
  • Illustration students with a concentration who complete DESN*305 Business Communication for Design Professionals must complete 13.5 free elective credits. Students who complete DESN*499 Design Internship must complete 12 free elective credits.

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