Colleges and Courses for Cartoonists

Read about the degree program and personal enrichment course options that colleges and universities offer for aspiring cartoonists. Find out how cartooning courses can develop both a student's technical skills and business acumen. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Cartooning programs are available through many schools throughout the U.S., and stand-alone workshops or short courses are offered as well. These programs and courses teach you how to develop characters and tell stories through art, and they're available in for-credit and non-credit formats.

Schools Community colleges, universities, vocational schools and art institutes
Programs Certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in cartooning, comic art or illustration
Courses Illustration skills, storytelling, drawing and perspective, portrait and figure drawing, color composition, caricatures

Which Colleges Offer Courses for Cartoonists?

You can find cartooning courses offered through many art and continuing education departments at community colleges, universities, vocational schools and art institutes. You can find some stand-alone classes in cartooning that don't require you to enroll at the school. However, many courses that grant academic credit require that you apply to the school in order to attend the classes. These colleges offer courses for cartoonists:

  • Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA)
  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MN)
  • School of Visual Arts (New York, NY)
  • The Kubert School (Dover, NJ)
  • Sessions College (Tempe, AZ)

What Could I Learn?

Whether they're offered as part of an academic program or as extension classes, cartooning courses build on your artistic abilities through a combination of hands-on practice and lectures from experienced industry professionals. These courses teach you basic drawing and illustration skills using different media, including manual means and computer applications. Other topics might include human and animal figures and anatomy, color composition and caricatures. Some cartooning concepts you can learn include:

  • The art of cartooning
  • Storytelling
  • Drawing and perspective
  • Portrait drawing
  • Figure drawing

You could also take courses that address the business side of the field. Curricula generally incorporate an introductory study of the various markets of the industry, such as greeting cards, comic books and newspaper strips. Some cartooning courses additionally examine the issues surrounding finding work and getting published as a cartoonist.

Can I Earn an Undergraduate Degree in the Field?

Many schools grant associate's or bachelor's degrees as well as certificates in cartooning or related fields, such as comic arts, drawing or illustration. Degree programs in these areas often focus on developing your technical skills and narrative voice and prepare you for employment in many different markets. Most degree programs in the field require that you submit a portfolio that showcases your background and skill in art before you can begin cartooning coursework. Some vocational schools also have cartooning non-degree programs that provide coursework and training in cartooning.

What About a Graduate Degree?

At the graduate level, students may have options based on their interests, needs and goals. A Master of Arts in Illustration degree may be available through a 36-credit format. For more intensive programs of study, you might consider a Master of Fine Arts in Illustration degree program. A thesis project may be required. Coursework might include these areas of interest:

  • Artistic ability
  • Research and conceptualization skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Marketing strategies
  • Current trends and industry standards

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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