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To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration at SVA, students must complete 120 credits as follows:

  • 72 credits in studio
  • 30 credits in humanities & sciences
  • 12 credits in art history
  • 6 credits in either studio, general humanities and sciences, art history or special courses
First Year

The first year provides an introduction to the major forms of the visual arts and concentrates on developing your basic skills. Drawing and painting classes will provide the core of your early experience in the discipline of observation and recording, which are the foundations for quality illustration.

Required Courses
AHD-1010 Survey of World Art I
 Survey of World Art IIFDD-1030 Drawing I
FDD-1035 Drawing II
FPD-1020 Painting I
FPD-1025 Painting II
FSD-1050 Sculpture
HCD-1020 Writing and Literature I
HCD-1025 Writing and Literature II
SMD-1020 Foundations of Visual Computing

Second Year

In the second year you will explore the essential principles of illustrationhow to prepare a sketch, how to produce pictures for the mass market. We give you the time and hands-on experience you need to develop the essential skills, and begin teaching you how to solve the problems inherent in creating visual imagery from words and ideas.

Required Courses

One semester of:
HHD-2990 Western Civilization I
HHD-2995 Western Civilization II
ILD-2000 Principles of Illustration I
ILD-2005 Principles of Illustration II
ILD-2010 Painting/Illustration I
or CID-2050 Storytelling I
ILD-2015 Painting/Illustration II
or CID-2055 Storytelling II
ILD-2020 Drawing I
ILD-2025 Drawing II
ILD-2040 History of Illustration

Choose one of the following technique courses each semester:
CID-2148 Digital Coloring for Cartoonists
FGD-2138/FGD-2139, Etching and Monoprint as Illustration
ILD-2104 Hand Lettering
ILD-2108 Drawing with Ink for Illustrators
ILD-2122 Watercolor Techniques
ILD-2126 The Gouache Experience
ILD-2131 Pastel Techniques
ILD-2136 Figurative Sculpture
ILD-2143 Collage Illustration
ILD-2148 Acrylic Painting 

Third Year

Once you have acquired the basic techniques, third-year courses become more conceptual as you begin to develop a personal style of expression. While you are expected to attain a deeper control of the medium in your junior year, there is only one mandatory technical class, which addresses pictorial problem-solving in illustration. Assignments become increasingly professional in nature and reflect the diversity of the marketplace.

Required Courses
HPD-3050 Culture Survey I
HPD-3055 Culture Survey II
ILD-3010 Pictorial Problems I
ILD-3015 Pictorial Problems II

Fourth Year

Your senior year combines the technical skills, conceptual abilities and practical knowledge accumulated during the past three years and is the culmination of your college experience. You will be focusing on developing a portfolio that will enable you to land a job upon graduation and compete as a professional in the marketplace.

Required Courses
ILD-4010 Illustration Portfolio I
ILD-4015 Illustration Portfolio II
ILD-4040 Professional Practice
ILD-4080 Basic Digital Portfolio
or ILD-4090 Intermediate Digital Portfolio

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School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587