Best Illustration Schools 2023

With so many career options out there, you might be wondering why anyone with a pencil can bother going to college. After all, if they have the skills and the passion, what more do you need? Well, to succeed in it as a profession, you will need to be trained in any of these best illustration schools.

Illustrators play a vital role in everything from comic book drawings to fashion design to technical manuals. Attending the school not only helps illustrators improve their technical skills and connect with groups of like-minded people but also provides networking opportunities.

With the right network, Illustration can go from a hobby to a high-paying job. If you know the publishers, production companies, and studios involved, you are more likely to get your work the attention it deserves.

This writing will expose you to the best illustration schools available for you to earn a degree and prepare for a fruitful career.


What are Illustration Schools?

Illustration Schools is an educational institution that conducts training and education in drawing and Illustration. This type of art school allows students to hone their existing talents and learn new drawing techniques.

Although not necessary, Illustration Schools help prepare an artist for a satisfying career with her Illustration. In today’s world of technology and computers, finding a real Illustration job can be very difficult.

Many illustrators have been replaced by computer image editors that can create graphics faster. But computer imaging programs lack something very important: passion and originality.

There are very few jobs for illustrators, so it’s a highly competitive field. Usually, only the most talented illustrators can make living drawing illustrations. This is where Illustration Schools come into play.

How important are Illustration Schools?

Illustration Genius in fields such as filmmaking, architecture, literature, and fashion has transformed the 21st-century illustrator into a visual poet. Illustration School’s goal is to guide and inspire students to master and apply the fundamentals of drawing, digital imaging, painting, and other creative arts.

Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge, technology, and acquired flexibility to all aspects of illustration design and take the industry by storm.

What are the admission requirements to Illustration Schools?

Talent is clearly the primary requirement for admission to Illustration School. Those wishing to enroll in these schools must be able to draw reasonably well.

Illustration School students are also required to take drawing, Illustration, and art classes during their studies. If these are not available, you will need to take a private drawing class or tutoring.

An impressive portfolio is also usually another common requirement for most ILLUSTRATION Schools. An illustrator’s portfolio usually consists of his best works of artwork. Many schools required different types of drawings. Some may prefer a tangible paper-based portfolio, while others may prefer a scanned digital copy of the applicant’s artwork.  

What can I do with an Illustration degree?

It seems very difficult, but there is work for Illustration. You just need to know where to look. Publishers and magazines often hire illustrators to create drawings and graphics for their books and magazines, for example.

Also, hospitals and medical journals often hire medical illustrators to create diagrams that are easy for people to understand. An illustrator with a funny sense of humor can work as a cartoonist or cartoonist.

However, many illustrators work as freelancers. Some may paint portraits of people on the street or at craft fairs, and a select few may exhibit their work in museums and galleries. Authors often hire freelance illustrators to create illustrations for their books, especially children’s books.

What are the best Illustration Schools?

  • Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, Rhode Island)

The Rhode Island School of Design is the best art school in the world in almost every way, so it’s no wonder it tops the list. RISD hosts and trains the country’s best artists who are responsible for changing the way we see the world.

Part of this training includes creating spaces and tools. Their Illustration division at RISD provides not only a fully equipped printing studio but also computer resources with the latest software, including the Adobe suite.

In addition, RISD provides networking opportunities for students through networking events such as Design Portfolio Reviews. During judging, students meet with industry experts to network and receive feedback on their work.

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  • Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, FL)

One of the younger schools on this list, the Ringling College of Art and Design was founded in 1931 as a branch of Southern College. But for decades, Ringling has made a name for itself as a school that teaches artists practical skills.

This emphasis can be seen in the two paths available for the Illustration major. For traditionalists, there is the common Illustration path. Here you will learn composition, design, line drawing, etc. Learn to tell your audience clearly and simply, and tell your story in just a few strokes.

Visual development is an avenue for those looking to break into the entertainment industry. With this in mind, students use the latest technology to learn about art. Graduates of this degree pursue careers at companies such as Disney and EA Games.

  • School of Visual Arts (New York, NY)

At the School of Visual Arts, illustrators not only learn how to make the most of their skills and tools but also how to interact with their audience.

For this reason, SVA regularly organizes exhibitions and events that show illustrators how their work impacts the audience.

In the Man Made Monsters exhibition, illustrators will bring to life fictional biographical texts about monsters we have created. Painted with solid lines and bright colors, these works shock the audience and make them reconsider the relationship between good and evil.

The faculty at many of the world’s top art schools is made up of some of New York’s most successful professional artists.

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  • Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA)

Founded in 1930 as the Art Center School, Art Center College of Design has built a reputation for its hands-on thinking and use of cutting-edge technology.

This is especially true of her Illustration program at the school, which trains artists to be problem solvers who use their work to meet the needs of their audiences. 

Art Center’s Illustration program leverages new technologies and focuses on traditional subjects such as Illustration and fine arts as well as commercial areas such as consumer goods and entertainment arts.

In addition, the art center offers unique classes not found anywhere else. For example, in the “Surface World” course, students are asked to create a window display for the luxury brand Neiman Marcus.

By working in groups, students learn how to integrate surfaces and objects into their illustrations and make the most of their surroundings.

  • Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, NY)

If you want today’s sketches to be tomorrow’s clothes, the Fashion Institute of Technology is the place to be. FIT’s faculty includes luminaries such as fashion designer Calvin Klein, interior designer Scott Salvator, and film director Joel Schumacher.

With her AAS and BFA degrees in Illustration, FIT prepares students to tell whole stories with a stroke of a pen.

These degrees are useful for those entering traditional Illustration fields such as book Illustration and advertising, but the FIT program specializes in fashion Illustration.

This is why the program makes use of school-specific services such as the FIT Museum.  At the FIT Museum, illustrators can explore the past and future of the fashion industry.

With her collection of over 50,000 clothing and accessories from the 18th century, illustrators can find design inspiration by studying past works.

  • Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Georgia)

One of the world’s top art schools, Savannah College of Art and Design offers a wide range of degrees for illustrators. Whether you’re pursuing a two-year associate’s degree or a full master’s degree, SCAD has the resources to help you take your art to the next level.  

One of the more unique elements of SCAD’s Illustration program is its commitment to online education. With thousands of art teachers in our online faculty, SCAD can deliver an award-winning education to anyone in the world.

  • Syracuse University School of Visual Performing Arts (Syracuse, NY)

Syracuse University College of the Visual and Performing Arts is recognized as one of the world’s top art colleges. It differs from its sister schools in that it focuses on the humanities.

At Syracuse, illustrators and other artists leave the program as versatile individuals capable of thinking critically about their subject matter.

To this end, the Illustration degree in Syracuse exposes artists to various forms of media. This degree treats Illustration as a form of storytelling and teaches students how to find appropriate narratives for every situation they face.

With these skills, students can work in everything from advertising and newspapers to video games and animation.  Thanks to its liberal arts approach, Syracuse has placed students in companies such as Dawson Design Associates, Alley Architects, and New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

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  • Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, Maryland)

The Maryland Institute College of Art is her one of America’s oldest art schools. Over the years, MICA has fostered some of the country’s greatest artists, including those who have gone on to receive Fulbright Awards, Jacob Javits Fellowships, and many more.

Their Illustration major at MICA brings traditional practices into the 21st century with three focal points. 

For those who want to learn drafting and design, there is the Illustration studio. An up-and-coming book illustrator might choose a book art major, while a cartoonist might prefer a sequential art major.

Regardless of which major they choose, illustrators can also pursue Master in Professional Studies in multiple majors. This advanced degree allows students to be their own bosses and learn about the economics of the art world, from networking to running a gallery.

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York)

For illustrators who want to delve into video games and other cutting-edge fields, the Rochester Institute of Technology is a good choice.

Their Illustration BFA at RIT combines traditional drawing skills with the latest digital imaging techniques to bring artists to the forefront of digital visual communication.

Artists can put their work into practice at RIT’s MAGIC (Media, Art, Games, Interaction & Creativity) center. MAGIC is a research center dedicated to interdisciplinary digital media research and production, allowing illustrators to focus on the future.

Of particular interest to the illustrator is his hub for digital games in MAGIC Center. This hub allows illustrators to design characters and manuals as part of the video game industry. They can also participate in community advocacy programs to make their art truly impact their communities.

  • Pratt Institute School of Art (Brooklyn, NY)

Founded in 1887 by businessman Charles Pratt, the Pratt Institute has been a leader in all areas of art and technology for many years.

Today, the Pratt Institute School of Art is one of the world’s most respected educational institutions. Its faculty consists of practitioners and academics who have won all major awards and recognitions.

Through Graphic Design and Illustration Associate Degree Program, students will acquire the skills necessary to launch an artistic career. This training can be introduced directly into the labor market or switched to a four-year course.

The faculty of this program includes Anthony McBain. McBain himself is also a Pratt University alumnus, Concept He has worked as an artist and illustrator on major video games.  

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What degree is best for illustration?

Bachelor in Graphic Design and/or Bachelor in Illustration 

What subjects are needed for illustration?

 2-D and 3-D design, art history, color theory, and drawing

Are illustrators in demand?

illustration jobs are in demand

Where do most illustrators work?

Most illustrators are self-employed, running their own studios or working from home. They are normally commissioned directly or via an agent to produce drawings for newspapers, magazines, books, and catalogs.


To ordinary people, Illustration is just a fancy word that means drawing pictures for fun children. But for the educated, Illustration is a unique art form that has long contributed to some of the most important works in human history.

To carve a niche for yourself and earn big as an illustration artist, applying and attending any of these best illustration schools will definitely give you an edge.



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