New Student Programs

Illustration

About the BFA in Illustration

Our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration program prepares students in the most current expressions of the illustrative arts profession. With a developed background in fine arts, graphic design, and advertising, illustrators may direct their careers in many different directions, including book and magazine publishing, advertising, company literature, packaging, television, as well as commercial and feature film industries. Illustrators must know design, communication principles, and problem-solving techniques, but most importantly, they must know how to draw.

Illustration students learn to understand the mechanics of tools and media. They choose the media best suited to express their ideas, organize their compositions to greater enhance communication, conceptualize ideas, and above all, refine their visual sensitivities to levels expected of professional artists. Their background is further developed by a well-integrated core curriculum of fine art and design.

Special illustration workshops and an ongoing lecture series expose students to current developments in their intended field, while the Professional Portfolio Development course assists graduating seniors with practical preparation for the transition from student to professional practitioner.


For Orientation


On Campus Freshmen Students

If you are attending New Student Orientation as a freshman you do not need to bring a portfolio.  We do not evaluate non-college level work for incoming freshmen. All AP credits will be evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and do not require a portfolio review.


On Campus Transfer Students

No student is required to bring a portfolio, however, any students attempting to place into upper-level courses will need to complete a portfolio review.

Students who are attempting to transfer credits for upper-level classes in the following disciplines should plan to bring a portfolio, as well as syllabi and course descriptions for those transfer classes.  In addition, you may want to bring an additional copy of your transcripts:

  • • Advertising Art Direction
  • • Illustration
  • • Interior Architecture
  • • Fine Art
  • • Product Design
  • • Graphic Design

Students must bring a portfolio consisting of the following:

  • • 8-10 images from each course to be evaluated
  • • A course description/and or syllabus for each course being evaluated
  • • The format may be a hardcopy or digital

The following courses do not require a portfolio review and will be applied to a student’s degree after the transcripts have been evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and the Art and Design department, unless the course is otherwise names, then clarification of course content may be needed.

  • • Art History I and II
  • • Beginning Drawing
  • • 2-D Design
  • • 3-D Design

On Campus 2nd BA Students

If you took art and design classes as part of your undergraduate degree you must bring a copy of your transcript and portfolio to be reviewed at Orientation.

We regret that we are unable to register any 2nd BA student for upper level courses without a portfolio review.

Students must bring a portfolio consisting of the following:

  • • 8-10 images from each course to be evaluated
  • • A course description/and or syllabus for each course being evaluated
  • • The format may be hardcopy or digital

2nd BA students cannot transfer credit to Columbia College Chicago, however they can be waived out of course work that they have previously completed.


Distance Freshmen Students

We do not evaluate non-college level work for incoming freshmen.  All AP credits will be evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and do not require a portfolio review.


Distance Transfer Students

Students should expect to see the results of applying to transfer course credit in the following classes:

  • • Art History II
  • • Beginning Drawing
  • • 2-D Design & 3-D Design (unless course is otherwise named, then clarification of course content may be needed)

For more information regarding our transfer credit policies please review the Art & Design Transfer Credit Policies.


Recommended First-Semester Classes


We recommend that all students take following classes in their first semester as a Fine Arts major:

  • • 22-1105 Introduction to Visual Culture (3 credits)
  • • 22-1910 Making I (3 credits)
  • • 22-1930 Medium (1 credit)
  • • 22-1940 Methods (1 credit)
  • • 22-1950 Materials (1 credit)

Plus the following general education classes:

  • • 48-1100 First Year Seminar
  • • 52-1151 Writing and Rhetoric I

For more information about our exciting new Foundations program please visit our website.