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Develop your talent for creative storytelling while honing your skills in drawing, painting, design, and research.

You will enjoy a variety of studio courses and become familiar with multiple media. Alumni of the program are successful illustrators of children’s books and graphic novels. Their work appears in newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, advertising, animated films, television, and video games.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Core studio coursework include drawing, painting, and digital illustration. Sample courses include:

  • Animation
  • Computer Art
  • Illustration Concept
  • Electronic Illustration
  • Illustration Communication

View official major requirements

Practical Experience

The illustration program also offers learning opportunities outside the classroom to help students explore their interests and identify future career paths.

  • Take the Art in New York City MAYmester course.
  • Contribute to on-campus publications like 360 Degrees , Jerk , or Perception.
  • Compete in the National Society of Illustrators student competition.
  • Attend University Lectures and Syracuse Symposium events.

Study Abroad

Challenge your perspective and build your resume with a study abroad experience during your four years. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad boasts more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Illustration majors most often go abroad to the Syracuse University center in Florence. Learn more about global study opportunities for the College of Visual and Performing Arts .

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in illustration you can enjoy a career as a/an:

  • Print illustrator
  • Graphic novelist
  • Creative director
  • Video game developer
  • Animation illustrator

Or continue your education and earn a graduate degree in areas such as art leadership, business, or art education. Recent graduates have attended many of the top graduate schools in the U.S.