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      SMFA offers a unique and flexible approach to illustration, maintaining its fine-art basis while teaching its practical applications. You will acquire general technical and conceptual skills to use in a wide variety of opportunities within the field. You can choose to focus on particular types of illustration, such as editorial illustration for newspapers and magazines, children's book illustration, cartooning, graphic novels, concept illustration for ads and video games, and more. You can also delve into digital and analog techniques, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, watercolor, gouache, or printmaking.

      We suggest beginning the program with either Drawing for Illustrators and Figurative Artists or Illustration I. After completing both classes, we recommend taking Fundamentals of 2D Design and Illustration II before progressing to elective courses and concluding with Portfolio Preparation.

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      This program consists of 10 courses comprised of 5 required fundamental courses and 5 electives. This certificate has a great deal of flexibility. Students may petition to substitute electives that are not listed below with other classes that would be in keeping with their individual goals.

      Please note: The semester offering information listed below is subject to change.


      Drawing for Illustrators and Figurative Artists (fall, spring)

      Illustration I (fall, spring)

      Fundamentals of 2D Design (fall, spring, summer)

      Illustration II (fall)

      Portfolio Preparation for Illustrators and Designers (spring)


      Adobe Illustrator: Introduction (fall, spring, summer)

      Adobe Photoshop: Introduction (fall, spring)

      Anatomy for Life Drawing (fall, spring)

      Children’s Book Illustration (fall)

      Color Production for Print and Screen (offered occasionally)

      Color Theory for Artists and the Color Curious (fall, spring)

      Graphic Novel/Comics

      Illustration: A Digital Approach (fall, spring)

      Introduction to Printmaking (fall)

      Lithography: Art of the Multiple (fall, spring)

      Mixed Media Watercolor (fall, spring, summer)

      Monoprint (summer)

      Screenprinting: A to Z (spring)

      Typography: Introduction (summer)

      Web Design I (offered occasionally)

      Web Design II (offered occasionally)



      2019-2020 tuition is $995 per course. The certificate consists of ten courses (10 x $995). You can expect to pay approximately $9,950 in tuition, plus the application fee ($35), for a total cost of $9,985 for the certificate.

      There is a $65 registration fee each semester, which covers registration for any number of courses taken that semester. For more information please see our course list. Tuition does not include the cost of class materials/supplies.


      To apply to the Illustration certificate program, complete our online application via Slideroom. There is a $35 application fee. Payment is completed online when you submit your application.

      Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, there is no deadline to apply. Our office will contact you within 2-3 weeks.

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