Illustration Curriculum

Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   Senior  


Course title Fall Spring
FD101 Visual Elements: 2D 3 *
FD102 Visual Elements Digital Tools * 3
FD105-106 Basic Drawing 3 3
FD111 3-D Design 3 *
FD112 Time Arts * 3
** FN100 First Year Seminar (see note below) 1
LA121-122 Writing in Context 3 3
LA125 Exploring Visual Culture 3
Studio Elective 3
TOTAL 15-16 15
*Can be taken Fall or Spring
**FN100 First Year Seminar is required of all freshman with fewer than 30 transfer credits. Revised 3/5/14

Design Arts


The Illustration department’s curriculum emphasizes a strong interdependence between timeless technical mastery and contemporary marketplace savvy. Our students learn to approach their work both as artistic visionaries and as pragmatic professionals. They acquire proficiency in traditional studio media as well as the latest technology-based mediums. They learn to think in terms of client needs and deadlines, social contribution and critique. Above all, students learn to generate powerful, relevant ideas and to communicate them through an equally powerful and distinct artistic voice.

By fusing professional practice with personal vision, Illustration students develop the hybrid skill-set needed to flourish in today’s dynamic, multi-media marketplace. Whereas many illustrators learn primarily how to draw, our students learn that their drawing skills are simply one powerful tool among many that are needed to create the visual messages that will skyrocket a company or redirect a culture. Rather than technicians who merely render old ideas visible, PNCA illustrators become creative fire-starters. They learn to engage marketplace and culture with strong conceptual strategies and an array of media, which, when combined, help their work go beyond making tired sense to making fresh meaning.

Learn more about the current students and faculty of the Illustration program on the Illustration Tumblr site.

Each year, the Illustration department hosts an end-of-year showcase of student work at a downtown gallery. Photo by Kaija Cornett ‘12.

Professional Development

  • Unique mentorship programs which hones individual students skill sets for application to the contemporary illustration marketplace
  • Professional practices instruction
  • Portfolio preparation
  • Internships for seniors and recent graduates at companies like Nike, Wieden+Kennedy, Microsoft, Dark Horse Comics, and Nintendo

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