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Graduate Programs

Illustration (M.A.)

MICA's M.A. in Illustration is a one-year program for those interested in a career in illustration or in refining their existing illustration practice.

The program is an immersion into the field with focus on studio work and professional practices, preparing you to build a compelling portfolio, for freelance opportunities, or for application to competitive M.F.A. programs, including those at MICA.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Illustration is a 30-credit program. Its curriculum is paced to help you develop the vocabulary, and conceptual, observational, and handcrafting skill sets, tool sets, and mindsets needed to begin professional initiatives or pursue more specialized study. In the M.A. in Illustration program, you will work independently and collaborate with others, gain a global purview through historical study and exposure to diverse contemporary practitioners, and expand the scope of your professional practice through making skills and professional development. The degree culminates in independent work in the form of a capstone portfolio project, exhibition, and review panel.

A final review with guest critics, practitioners and faculty includes a public talk/presentation of a portfolio (to secure commissioned work and employment); a written working philosophy; a web presence; and an exhibition of work. In addition to the portfolio, you will create a digital archive for future professional presentation, project proposals or other educational pursuits.

Program Facilities

Students in the M.A. in Illustration program work in an open-plan, state-of-the-art dedicated studio environment and can take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with students from other graduate programs, as well as MICA research centers such as the Center for Design Thinking.

Who Should Apply

The program seeks applicants of all experience levels, including those entering the field of illustration for the first time as well as experienced illustrators who seek to expand their skills and experience. We encourage a diverse group of applicants with experience or education in complementary fields who seek tools, abilities and context in order to pivot and launch successfully into industry positions in a shorter amount of time than an M.F.A. program. Some applicants may seek to gain experience, further develop their portfolio, and undergo appropriate preparation for an application to M.F.A programs further in the future.

Illustration of the ingredients and kitchen tools used to make strawberry buckwheat bars. All items are shown against a pink background.
Vibrant illustration of melting popsicles and lemons on an green tile background.
Illustration of the views and wildlife a visitor to Mammoth Cave would see above ground, in the mid-region of the cave, and at the lowest levels.
Illustration of a forest with two boots visible from behind a bush. The phrase "Anywhere But Here" is in the top left corner in curly script.
Illustration of the ingredients and kitchen tools used to make strawberry buckwheat bars. All items are shown against a pink background.

Strawberry Buckwheat Bars

Illustration M.A.

Artist
Ashley Caswell
Vibrant illustration of melting popsicles and lemons on an green tile background.

Phoneleom

Illustration M.A.

Artist
Lillian Crooks
Credit

Image courtesy of the artist. 

Illustration of the views and wildlife a visitor to Mammoth Cave would see above ground, in the mid-region of the cave, and at the lowest levels.

Mammoth Cave

Illustration M.A.

Artist
Matt Rockerfeller
Credit

Image courtesy of the artist. 

Illustration of a forest with two boots visible from behind a bush. The phrase "Anywhere But Here" is in the top left corner in curly script.

Anywhere But Here

Illustration M.A.

Artist
Monica Amnues
Credit

Image courtesy of the artist. 

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