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Illustration, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Our Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Illustration guides you in the contemporary delivery of narrative art in digital and print formats.

Our Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Illustration guides you in the contemporary delivery of narrative art in digital and print formats. Our curriculum features courses focused on solid figurative underpinnings to progress toward drawing mastery. As an Illustration major, you gain proficiency in the use of a broad range of media and the advanced practice each of those require. 

Illustrators bring narrative to life through the process of telling stories with images and words. Illustration is widely used in books, advertising, clothing design, packaging, store displays, storyboarding, graphics, video games, animation, character design, and more. Through required design courses for the major, you expand picture making skills to develop artwork that will better express the ideas you want to communicate. 

To learn more about the Illustration program, visit the Department of Art and Design website

St. John’s University has attained the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, held by selective art schools nationwide allowing illustration majors to potentially move into similarly accredited masters programs with ease. 

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Degree Type
Area of Interest
The Arts
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours

Program Mission Statement

Illustration, like Graphic Design, is an applied art and as such seeks to connect Illustration students with career opportunities in the visual communications industry. These careers require not only proficiency in drawing and painting but also technical skills in numerous digital platforms. Equally important to the technical education of Illustration students is intellectual development, which requires all of the knowledge, discipline, sensitivity, and awareness of a liberal arts education. Students in the Illustration program acquire the skills necessary to compete in an ever-expanding and increasingly diverse visual arts industry that serves a vast array of visual communications applications.

Additional Information

You can apply directly to the B.F.A. in Graphic Design by completing the St. John's Undergraduate Application

Please contact the Department Chair directly at [email protected] with any questions regarding this process.

For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John's University, please visit Undergraduate Admission.

The Department of Art and Design awards two full-time, four-year scholarships to first-year students who demonstrate extraordinary proficiency and creative potential in their portfolio submission and have met the academic requirements of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Three additional first-year students who demonstrate excellence in the visual arts are offered a $1,000 incentive scholarship. Students are selected through the portfolio review process and must submit their portfolio in our SlideRoom portal by March 1, 2024 to be considered. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo at 718-990-6250 or [email protected].


To earn a B.F.A. in Illustration, you complete 132 credits in core, major requirements, and elective courses as outlined below. For more information about courses, please see the St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Science section of our Undergraduate Bulletin.

Required Studio Courses*

CourseCourse #Title
ART1105Introduction to Graphic Design
ART1110Foundation Design
ART1115Graphic Design II
ART1210Drawing II
ART1270Illustration I
ART1280Digital Illustration
ART2220Anatomy & Figure Drawing I
ART2230Anatomy & Figure Drawing II
ART2310Painting I
ART2320Painting II
ART2265Global Sketchbook
ART2280Illustration II
ART4112Professional Practices for Fine Art and Illustration Majors

 *Please note that studio art courses meet for six hours per week.

Choose 3 Courses from the following list:

CourseCourse #Title
ART1120Social Media for Artists and Designers
ART1630Digital Photography (Advanced Photo & Imaging)
ART2115Graphic Production
ART2130Motion Graphics
ART3125Advanced Typography

 Required Art History Courses

CourseCourse #Title
ART1710History of Art I
ART1720History of Art II
ART2750Historical Modernism 1848-1945
ART2145History of Visual Communications

Choose One of the Following:

CourseCourse #TitleCredits
ART4125Creative Thesis9

In addition, you must select four art electives (12 credits total). 

BFA Core Curriculum Courses

CourseCourse #Title
FYS1000First Year Seminar
FYW1000First Year Writing
ENG1100Literature in Global Context
HIS1000The Emergence of a Global Society
PHI1000Philosophy of Human Person
SPE1000Fundamentals of Public Speaking
THE1000Perspectives on Christianity

Also the following courses:

  • Ethics (Philosophy or Theology)
  • Foreign Language (6 credits)
  • Mathematics and/or Logical, Quantitive, and Computational Reasoning
  • Science and/or Data Analysis
  • Social Justice (select from approved list of courses)
  • Social Science Elective
  • THE – Sacred Texts and Traditions (select from approved list of courses)

Department Contact

Paul Fabozzi


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