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The certificate program in Illustration provides you with a solid foundation for creating illustrations, learning illustrative techniques, and understanding an illustrator's creative process.

SMFA offers a unique and flexible approach to illustration, maintaining its fine-art basis while teaching its practical applications. You will acquire general technical and conceptual skills to use in a wide variety of opportunities within the field. You can choose to focus on particular types of illustration, such as editorial illustration for newspapers and magazines, children's book illustration, cartooning, graphic novels, concept illustration for ads and video games, and more. You can also delve into digital and analog techniques, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, watercolor, gouache, or printmaking.

We suggest beginning the program with either Drawing for Illustrators and Figurative Artists or Illustration I. After completing both classes, we recommend taking Fundamentals of 2D Design and Illustration II before progressing to elective courses and concluding with Portfolio Preparation.

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Program Requirements

This program consists of 10 courses comprised of 5 required fundamental courses and 5 electives.

Please note: The semester offering information listed below is generally correct, but is subject to change.

Required Courses

Drawing for Illustrators and Figurative Artists (fall, spring)

Illustration I (fall, spring)

Fundamentals of 2D Design (fall, spring, summer)

Illustration II (fall)

Portfolio Preparation for Illustrators and Designers (spring)

Suggested Elective Courses

Adobe Illustrator: Introduction (fall, spring, summer)

Adobe Photoshop: Introduction (fall, spring)

Anatomy for Life Drawing (fall, spring)

Children’s Book Illustration (fall)

Color Theory for Artists and the Color Curious (fall, spring)

Illustration: A Digital Approach (fall, spring)

Lithography: Art of the Multiple (fall, spring)

Mixed Media Watercolor (fall, spring, summer)

Monoprint (summer)

Screenprinting: A to Z (spring)

Introduction to Printmaking (fall)

Color Production for Print and Screen (offered occasionally)

Web Design I (offered occasionally)

Web Design II (offered occasionally)

Electives Offered on Occasion

Graphic Novel/Comics

Students may petition to choose other Continuing Education courses not listed above as electives, including those from the Graphic Design Certificate electives list.

Program Costs

2019-2020 tuition is $995 per course. The certificate consists of ten courses (10 x $995). You can expect to pay approximately $9,950 in tuition, plus the application fee ($35), for a total cost of $9,985 for the certificate.

There is a $65 registration fee each semester, which covers registration for any number of courses taken that semester. For more information please see our course list. Tuition does not include the cost of class materials/supplies.

How to Apply

To apply to the Illustration certificate program, complete our online application via Slideroom. There is a $35 application fee. Payment is completed online when you submit your application.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, there is no deadline to apply. Our office will contact you within 2-3 weeks.

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