D'Angelo Center at Dusk

Illustration, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Art and Design

Overview

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.

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.

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.

Contact

Elizabeth DeLuna
Professor and Chair
718-990-5603
[email protected]

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Admission

In addition to applying to St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, each B.F.A. candidate must submit their portfolio of original artwork to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoom. This online portfolio service allows you to upload, label, arrange, and submit your portfolio electronically to faculty reviewers. We request 12-15 images using JPG format, but also accept other file types as per the instructions on the SlideRoom portal. Specific instructions for your portfolio upload are available on the department page, and in the SlideRoom Portal.

After completing the St. John's Undergraduate Application, you will be able to upload your images via SlideRoom.

Portfolios and applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but you must submit your portfolio via SlideRoom on or before January 15 to be considered for one of the visual art scholarships. For early action, please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom by December 15.

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

Scholarships

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 January 15 to be considered. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo at 718-990-6250 or [email protected].

Courses

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*

ART 1105Introduction to Graphic Design
ART 1110Foundation Design
ART 1130Color Theory
ART 1200Drawing I
ART 1210Drawing II
ART 1270Illustration I
ART 1280Digital Illustration
ART 2220Anatomy & Figure Drawing I
ART 2230Anatomy & Figure Drawing II
Choose one painting class from ART 2310, 2320, or 3340
ART 2240Drawing as Illustration
ART 2265Global Sketchbook
ART 2280Illustration II
ART 3110Professional Portfolio
ART 3570Junior Sequential Art
ART 4115Senior Sequential Art

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

Required Art History Courses

ART 1710History of Art I
ART 1720History of Art II
ART 2750Historical Modernism 1848-1945
ART 2145History of Visual Communications

Choose One of the Following: 

ART 4125Creative Thesis (9 credits)
ART 4909Internship (9 credits)

In addition, you must select five art electives (15 credits total). 

Required Core Curriculum Courses

DNY 1000C
ENG 1000C
ENG 1100C
HIS 1000C
MFL Electives (2)
MTH 1000C
PHI 1000C
PHI 2200C
PHI 3000C
SCI 1000C
One social science elective from: ANT, ECO, GEO, GOV, LIN, PSY, or SOC
SPE 1000C
THE 1000C
THE 2000-level
THE 3000-level
 
 

Career Outcomes

Thanks to their strong personal and professional connections, our professors help students build their own networks in New York’s art scene. Seniors land internships with publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, graphic design studios, museums, galleries, and other organizations that enable them to launch successful careers.

A survey by The Wall Street Journal includes St. John’s among its Top 100 colleges that are “most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions — areas that are growing, pay well and offer high levels of satisfaction.” Studios, galleries, multimedia communications firms, and businesses in general rely on the creative intuition and skills of designers to reach their target audience. This competitive field is expected to grow an estimated 13 percent, especially in the interactive media sector. Our alumni find great success within their field of study and most of our interns are hired by the hosting firm before they even graduate.

    Global Approach to Education

    Since 1998 the Department of Art and Design has been a leader in Global Education. B.F.A. candidates may apply for a study abroad semester, during which they will experience the cultural riches of Rome, Italy, Paris, France and/or Limerick, Ireland first-hand. We also offer individual course opportunities in a variety of locations around the globe. We encourage students to use our global art offerings to broaden their understanding of humanity from both a global and personal perspective.

    Below is a sampling of some of the courses we offer abroad:

    • The Italian Sketchbook
    • Drawing and Design in Rome
    • Photography in Paris
    • Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy
    • Art and Architecture in France
    • Monuments of World Architecture
    • The City of Rome
    • A variety of “Special Topic” short-term classes abroad

    Additional Information

    At St. John's, you gain a solid foundation in the visual arts and emerging media and their applications across various media and disciplines. You learn from experienced and internationally-known faculty whose work appears in prestigious media companies, product and publication design, galleries, museums, and publications in New York City, across the country, and around the globe.

    The Department of Art and Design awards two full-time, four-year tuition 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 January 15 to be considered.