Online Illustration Degree Programs

Through a degree program in illustration, you'll study various art techniques and learn how to manage an art studio and teach art to students. Explore online options and coursework for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in this field. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Programs in Illustration are Available Online?

Because illustration requires a great deal of hands-on practice, online degree programs in this area of study are particularly rare. Those that do exist are typically only offered by for-profit schools; however, several on-campus programs are available at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels.

An associate degree program in illustration provides a general knowledge of digital and studio art forms, whereas a bachelor's degree program allows you to practice different areas of illustration, such as cartoons, storybooks, comic books and satirical illustrations. Once you have reached the master's degree level, you are usually expected to choose a particular area of concentration, such as digital animation, advertising, painting, drawing or cartooning.

Online AvailabilityAssociate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in illustration are most commonly available on-campus but may be offered online by for-profit schools
Common Associate Topics Digital layout, painting, graphic design, anatomical and still-life drawing
Common Bachelor's TopicsElectronic illustration and publishing, children's book illustration, color, typography, symbology
Common Master's TopicsContemporary art, art history, studio management, marketing

What Will I Learn in an Associate Degree Program?

In an associate degree program, you'll learn the basics of anatomical drawing, photography and digital design. You'll also explore illustration concepts as they pertain to a variety of art media. Many associate degree programs provide instruction in the following topics:

  • Hand-drawing techniques
  • Still-life drawing
  • Digital layout
  • Painting
  • Airbrush
  • Graphic design.

Once you've obtained your associate degree in illustration, you can pursue entry-level positions at publishing houses, advertising agencies or Web and graphic design agencies.

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor's Degree Program?

A bachelor's degree program will prepare you to work as a professional illustrator for publishing companies, advertising departments or animation studios. Your program will likely emphasize industry-standard techniques and technologies, including Adobe Creative Suite programs like Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Your studies may focus on some or all of the following subjects:

  • Symbology
  • Typography
  • Electronic illustration
  • Electronic publishing
  • Commercial illustration
  • Children's book illustration
  • Color techniques

What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program?

As you study for your master's degree, you'll learn how to tell a clear and innovative story through illustration. With a number of various concentrations available, master's degree programs allow you to enhance your skills and develop or hone your artistic style. Graduate programs in illustration typically finish with a culminating project or experience, often in the form of a teaching internship or thesis. Thesis projects generally combine a written component with the development of a professional portfolio. Some of the subjects you can choose to examine in-depth include the following:

  • Marketing
  • Contemporary art
  • Publications
  • Art history
  • Studio management
  • Narrative art
  • Character creation

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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