Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and Digital Photography
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Online Bachelors Degree in Illustration at Sessions College

Online Bachelors Degree in Illustration

BFA in Illustration

Your portfolio starts here. Launch your creative career by building the skills and portfolio to excel in a professional environment.

NEXT CLASS: Sept 27th mid-term. Apply Now

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The online Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Illustration program prepares new and current illustrators for their careers as professional creatives. This BFA program is designed to produce graduates with the skills and attributes for tomorrow’s challenges: resourceful, adaptive critical thinkers who are prepared to excel in a professional environment, and whose work is based on effective research, problem-solving, and design methodology.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Illustration program is a 120-credit program completed in 10 semesters by a student on a full-time schedule. The program is suitable for both aspiring high school graduates and adult learners looking to advance their skills or earn a degree.

Jordon Schranz

During the BFA program, students focus on advancing their artistic aesthetic, technical and conceptual skills, expanding their view of visual languages and storytelling, and history and global impact of illustration and imagemaking.

Jordon Schranz

Sessions College, Department Head of Illustration

BFA Program At a Glance

Earn a BFA

The #1 credential for creatives.

100% Online

Flexible program designed for adult learners.

Under 4 years

Graduate in less than 4 years.

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1to1 Faculty Feedback

Learn from creative professionals.

Study At Your Own Pace

Full and part-time schedules available.

$510/Credit Tuition

Recognized for affordability.

Studying Online at Sessions

Founded in 1997, Sessions College has delivered accredited and affordable fully online programs for creative professionals for more than 20 years. Take a virtual college tour in this video!

BFA in Illustration Student Experience

The Sessions College BFA in Illustration program inspires students to advance their creative careers by developing work for a global audience that is aligned with their future career goals.

Build a Foundation in Relevant Skills.

During the first two years of the program, you’ll establish a strong foundation in the technical, design, and critical thinking skills required by employers in creative industries. No textbooks required; you will learn by applying current art, design, and software skills to a wide range of projects.

Customize Your Creative Path.

Our BFA is focused on helping you achieve your creative ambitions. In year three, working closely with our faculty, you’ll develop a customized educational plan to help you craft a portfolio of work to achieve your personal or professional goals. Adapt your classes by working on projects that inspire you and advance your career.

Focus on Research and Presentation.

Upper level courses provide a highly structured context for students to deepen their research, illustration, and presentation skills. Mentored by experienced faculty, you will delve deeper into your projects, and develop the communication skills to ace your client interviews.

Experience Real-World Applications.

Study professional practices and gain invaluable work experience with a real client or employer, as part of your program. Discover how to market and monetize your work in interactive media and accounting classes.

Be Industry Ready.

Employers are looking for problem solvers and adaptable professionals. Throughout the program, you’ll access industry-relevant opportunities to develop and advance your proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

Build a Professional Portfolio.

The program is relentlessly focused on helping you generate compelling creative work. Your final BFA portfolio and exhibition will speak for itself, helping you express your passions and talents in pursuit of your desired career path.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design is a 120-credit program completed in 3.3 years. Part-time schedules are available.

Illustration Major - Year One

First Semester

Second Semester

Third Semester

Illustration Major - Year Two

Fourth Semester

Fifth Semester

Sixth Semester

* Elective course requirement may be fulfilled by any lower level 3-credit course, subject to availability and prerequisites.

Illustration Major - Year Three

Seventh Semester

  • ILL 360 Project Planning and Creative Workflow - 3 credits
  • ILL 301 Drawing and Visualization - 3 credits
  • ILL 302 Visual Storytelling and Storyboarding - 3 credits
  • GEN 409 Cultural Anthropology* - 3 credits

Eighth Semester

  • ILL 304 Special Topics - 3 credits
  • ILL 322 Figures and Environments - 3 credits
  • ILL 333 Mixed Media Exploration - 3 credits
  • GEN 402 Communication* - 3 credits

Ninth Semester

  • ILL 404 Senior Project - 3 credits
  • ILL 412 Global View of Illustration - 3 credits
  • DEG 410 Internship and Entrepreneurship - 3 credits
  • GEN 401 Accounting for Creatives* - 3 credits
Illustration Major - Year Four

Tenth Semester

  • DEG 344 Professional Practices - 3 credits
  • DEG 460 BFA Portfolio - 3 credits
  • BFA Elective** - 3 credits
  • GEN 410 The Science of Light, Color & Motion* - 3 credits

* General Education course work.** BFA Elective course requirement may be fulfilled by any 3-credit course in the degree program, subject to availability and prerequisites.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: 100-200 Level

DES 101 TYPOGRAPHY I - 1.5 credits

Explore the critical role of typography in graphic design. Course projects build an understanding of the anatomy of the letterform, the distinguishing features of different typefaces, and creative applications of type. An assured grasp of typography is essential in any visual communication project.

DES 102 TYPOGRAPHY II - 3 credits

Learn advanced concepts in typography including type fusion, information hierarchy, expressive type, and 3D type applications. Assignments include advertising, product packaging, civic branding, and currency design. The focus of the course is on improving your design by learning to see type differently.

DES 104 COLOR THEORY - 1.5 credits

Focus on developing appropriate color systems for creative projects. Projects explore the principles, terminology, and applications of color theory, with an emphasis on manipulating color. A working knowledge of the expression and perception of color, and color interaction, lends credibility and sophistication to a professional creative’s work.

DES 105 DESIGN AND COMPOSITION - 1.5 credits

Discover the principles of effective composition for creative work. Composition, literally the assembly of elements, is the artful arrangement that guides the eye and unifies an artistic piece of work. Case studies and hands-on projects address closed/open space, negative space, movement, and more.

DES 111 Drawing I - 3 credits

Learn how to analyze what you see in the world around you and communicate it on paper. Through hands-on projects, and guided by a professional artist, you will explore the critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, and composition, building a solid foundation for all your art and creative work.

DES 121 PHOTOSHOP I - 3 credits

Get a thorough grounding in Adobe Photoshop, the premiere image manipulation tool for creative projects, print/Web design, and photography. You’ll learn to choose and use the best techniques for common Photoshop jobs including selecting and isolating objects, creating image composites, masking and vignetting images, setting typography, and improving images with retouching and effects. Every digital artist must tame this creative powerhouse of a program.

DES 141 ILLUSTRATOR I - 3 credits
Today’s digital image-makers and designers rely on Adobe Illustrator to create vector art for illustrations, logos, and other graphics for print or the web. In this course, students gain facility with Illustrator, learning how to build artwork using shape and freehand drawing tools and exploring the creative possibilities of transformation, distortion, and type tools.

DES 151 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY I - 3 credits

Explore the interaction of photography techniques and environmental factors to create powerful digital images. Students learn the fundamentals of lighting, perspective, and set up and explore techniques for classic assignments: portraits, product shots, indoor and outdoor location shoots, and fast-action sports. Whether you’re a fine artist, graphic designer, Web developer, or photographer, a mastery of digital photograph gives you creative control of the medium.

DES 222 PHOTOSHOP II - 3 credits

Transcend the basic current Photoshop skillset to learn vector illustration techniques, photo-realistic painting tools, high-impact typography approaches, and professional photo editing methods, all with attention to preserving the editability of your original images. Students will build proficiency with the Pen tool, select perfect color harmonies with Kuler, use Smart Objects and Smart Filters to non-destructively edit images, and even create paintings with custom brushes and the Mixer Brush.

DEG 260 PORTFOLIO REVIEW - 1 credit

The course provides students the opportunity to gather and develop a portfolio of work and present it to faculty for two rounds of feedback. Faculty feedback will help students identify specific works or subject areas that need improvement. The class structure provides the ability to revise a portfolio for a final presentation, during which students present both their final work live. The class not only helps students understand the strengths of their portfolio from a real-world perspective, it also provides experience in developing and presenting their portfolio that will be useful to their future development as creative professionals.

ILL 101 DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION I - 1.5 credits

Learn how an illustrator approaches perspective, lighting, storytelling, and expression and how basic shapes, symbols, gradients, fill colors, symbols, Bezier curves, and text can be combined to create artwork in Illustrator. Creative class projects include still life illustrations, editorial art/brand logos, and character illustrations.

ILL 104 INTRO TO DRAWING - 3 credits

Students learn how to draw with proper techniques, learning how to represent what they see through studies in contour drawing, perspective, positive/negative space, and value. By the end of the course, students will capture a complex still life. As students progress through the exercises in this class, they will develop a better understanding of the forms you are observing and become more skillful in representing those forms.

ILL 111 LIFE DRAWING I - 3 credits

Follow traditional method to learn the standard measures and proportions artists use to achieve naturalistic and expressive figure drawings. Illustrations and activities guide students through the structure of the human skeleton and help them understand how the body’s anatomy shapes its external form. The course builds progressively from the fundamentals to the challenges of portraiture, three-dimensional form, composition, and expression.

ILL 142 ILLUSTRATOR II - 3 credits

Create photo-realistic illustrations, complex patterns, rich designs, and learn how to speed your efforts with helpful workflow features. You’ll build on your existing Illustrator skills to tackle high-end projects with depth, dimension, and wow power.

ILL 202 DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION II - 3 credits

Learn advanced illustration and Adobe Illustrator techniques for communicating your creative concepts. This course explores a professional illustrator approaches creating editorial illustrations, icons, retro poster designs, illustrations with depth, and identity designs. Open-ended projects will help you develop portfolio-quality illustrations, and peer discussions and critiques will provide valuable interaction opportunities.

ILL 204 PAINTING I - 3 credits

After a thorough orientation to the painter’s materials (paint, canvas, brushes, and solvents), students study a systematic and time-honored approach to painting that enables them to capture proportion, perspective, and lighting. Students learn how to build a foundation with preparatory sketches and underpainting, then gain control over value through monochromatic painting and color studies.

ILL 206 CARTOONING AND SEQUENTIAL - 3 credits

Explore storytelling through cartoons and sequential art. Learn how to create a narrative by developing a story or character in a series of scenes. Fundamental concepts in comic art are used as the springboard for projects, which may be completed in traditional or digital media.

ILL 207 PORTRAIT PAINTING - 3 credits

Portraits have a rich history and hold great meaning to viewers by presenting the likeness of a person. Historical, naturalistic representations of subjects, as well as stylized or idealized ones, offer interesting challenges to painters. With a palette of oils, students learn how to tackle the challenges of portraiture including utilizing knowledge of anatomy, starting with effective drawings, considering lights and darks, mixing flesh tone paints, and laying on color.

ILL 208 WATERCOLOR - 3 credits

Watercolor painting has a rich tradition dating back centuries, and is still enjoyed by today’s artists for its unique color effects and wide range of techniques. Explore traditional watercolor techniques including washes, glazes, scumbles, resists, and more, and learn how to make the techniques part of your personal painting style.

ILL 209 COMMERCIAL ILLUSTRATION - 3 credits

Explore business applications for your illustration work, from editorial and commercial to advertising and marketing. In this survey course, you will explore different genres of project work, learning how contracts and copyright work and how to represent yourself professionally and effectively.

ILL 210 TECHNICAL ILLUSTRATION AND INFOGRAPHICS - 3 credits

This course explores approaches and concepts in technical illustration and infographics. Students learn methods for creating instructional illustrations that communicate clearly and effectively. Information design theories will be discussed and put into practice.

ILL 212 LIFE DRAWING II - 3 credits

Tackle advanced techniques for life drawing. Learn how to observe and capture the clothed human figure and explore basic techniques for animal drawing. Form, structure, and motion will be essential concepts as you find ways to address subjects that interest and engage you.

ILL 259 CAPSTONE PROJECT - 3 credits

The course provides students the opportunity to complete a multidimensional illustration project in three stages, working closely with a faculty member. The project will challenge students to demonstrate their proficiency key aspects of the Illustration program. The project will require research, concept development, and critical thinking, providing students with the opportunity to explore a professional, iterative process as well as experience simulated client interactions.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: 300-400 Level

ILL 360 PROJECT PLANNING AND CREATIVE WORKFLOW - 3 credits

What kind of illustrator do you aspire to be? In collaboration with your faculty mentor you will review and analyze your current portfolio, research industry trends, identify the type of work you want to create during the remainder of your program of study that could be for commercial use or fine art imagery, enhance your creative workflow while producing new portfolio pieces, and develop a list of potential employers to contact for internship opportunities. This multi-faceted course has been developed to provide a path for your academic and professional success.

ILL 301 DRAWING AND VISUALIZATION - 3 credits

Now it's time to "dig deeper" and enhance your illustration skills and creative voice by exploring advanced illustration concepts including a focus on visualization, dramatic, reflective, and atmospheric lighting, convincingly and creatively representing objects and/or the human figure in space, and develop environments in linear perspective. Building upon your technical and conceptual skills you will also delve into developing imagery based upon your own imagination.

ILL 302 VISUAL STORYTELLING AND STORYBOARDING - 3 credits

Professional illustrators are frequently hired to create visual narratives and storyboards for a variety of media and purposes such as publications, books, sequential art, ad campaigns, exhibitions, and film/television. This course provides you with the opportunity to advance your storytelling ability and produce well-conceived and compelling visual stories and high-quality storyboards for a variety of applications.

GEN 409 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY - 3 credits

As a designer, you will communicate ideas to complex and diverse audiences. This course explores multiple theories of cultural anthropological that inform the way we understand identities and societies. Areas of focus include language and communication, economic and political systems, ethnocentrism and culture, kinship and descent, marriage and family, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion and belief systems, the effects of colonialism and industrialization, and the impact of globalization on culture.

ILL 304 SPECIAL TOPICS - 3 credits

Building upon concepts from ILL 360 Project Planning and Creative Workflow, you will continue to enhance your ability to produce compelling illustrations and artwork in alignment with your professional and creative goals. A multitude of concepts could be focused upon such as lighting, figure in space, perspective, scale, architecture, history of storytelling and structure, symbolism, typography, development of environments, use of technology, application of art/design principles, and synthesis of ideas. In collaboration with your instructor, you will select or “spec out” and complete multi-faceted projects that support your portfolio goals. In this course, your instructor will serve as your client, and your class grade will be based not only on the quality of your work but also on your ability to research a concept, meet deadlines, synthesize drawing and artistic principles, and effectively present professional level work.

ILL 322 FIGURES AND ENVIRONMENTS - 3 credits

You will focus on advancing your ability to convincingly represent the human figure and characters in space, within multiple environments while considering historical context. Concepts to be addressed include anatomy, gravity, weight, movement, light, color, and the history of representing the figure. Additionally, students will explore architecture, structural elements, and scale with an emphasis upon developing compelling and vivid environments.

ILL 333 MIXED MEDIA EXPLORATION - 3 credits

Time to get messy and have some art-making fun! In this course, you will explore, experiment, and expand your ability to conceptualize and develop compelling and innovative images through the use of technology, digital compositing, traditional drawing and/or painting techniques, mixed media, collage, and/or other art-making strategies. You will stretch your creative skills, discovering new avenues for your art and illustration, inspired by the concepts and strategies used by great artists past and present.

GEN 402 COMMUNICATION - 3 credits

Engage in the process of examining, analyzing, summarizing, and evaluating communication strategies and theories. Students will demonstrate how to apply various communication principles through speech, including the consideration of the communication process, receiver perceptions, and verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as listening. The theory of communication will be explored in regard to engaging small groups, the public, and a variety of organizational contexts. Additionally, a broad range of communication venues and considerations will be evaluated including interviewing, mass media, the use of new technologies, the influence of relationships, body language, intercultural perspectives and gender, as well as how to address conflict and negotiations.

ILL 404 SENIOR PROJECT - 3 credits

Follow your creative passion by conceiving, producing, and promoting an innovative collection of images in alignment with your artistic and professional goals. This is your opportunity to focus on creating a unique cohesive series of images informed by research as well as instructor and peer feedback. During this course you will advance your ability to produce, promote, and present your unique artistic work. At the conclusion of the course, you will exhibit your creative work through a website, social media, self-published book, exhibition, or other physical or virtual venue, as well as share it with your instructor and your peers.

ILL 422 GLOBAL VIEW OF ILLUSTRATION - 3 credits

Contemporary illustrators and fine artists must be prepared to produce work that appeals to a global audience. You will research illustrators and creative image makers who produce international work. Based upon your findings, you will develop and produce a multi-faceted illustrative and/or narrative project focused on gaining the attention of an international audience. By considering cultural differences, you will develop the cultural sensitivity required to be a global creative and the skills to effectively research compelling and contemporary imagery for domestic and international audiences.

DEG 410 INTERNSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP - 3 credits

To get your foot in the door in your creative field, experience matters. In this industry-focused class, you will engage with a professional client or employer in your local area and expand your experience in the field, with the benefit of the insightful support of your instructor. Working for a real client or employer will provide you an opportunity to hone your problem-solving, client communication, and project management skills, creating a business solution(s) that will stand out in your portfolio and on your resume.

GEN 401 ACCOUNTING FOR CREATIVES - 3 credits

Any creative who wants to establish a freelance career or succeed in business will benefit from a basic understanding of accounting. This course includes a focus on basic accounting principles and how they can be applied within the context of a small creative business. You will explore and identify how to use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), ledgers and journals, and how to follow and apply accounting strategies and cycles when running a creative focused business. Additionally, this course provides an introduction to bank reconciliation strategies, balance sheets, financial statements, assets and liabilities, and equity, as well as an exploration of business ethics.

DEG 344 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES - 3 credits

During this class you will develop and/or enhance your creative business forms and collateral materials based upon industry standards and best practices. In preparation for running your own professional creative business, you will also create a business plan and marketing plan as you explore an ethical and scalable business philosophy. You will focus on networking with industry peers through local professional organizations and/or respected creative work sharing sites and implement your internship outreach plan in preparation for the DEG 410 Internship and Entrepreneurship course.

DEG 460 BFA PORTFOLIO - 3 credits

In collaboration with your instructor, you will finalize your portfolio, business materials, and resume, in preparation for pursuing or advancing your creative career. The course structure includes the opportunity to enhance your portfolio as well as demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate the depth of your conceptual and technical skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, work ethic, and passion for developing impactful and compelling professional work.

BFA ELECTIVE 3 credits

For your elective course, choose an available 3-credit course from our degree programs to add depth to your portfolio by demonstrating additional/enhanced skillsets. Selection of course must be in alignment with prescribed prerequisites.

GEN 410 THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT, COLOR, AND MOTION – 3 credits

Any creative professional – artist, designer, or photographer – creates artwork, images, or animations in a natural world that is governed by the laws of physics. In this introductory science class, students will explore and apply scientific principles that are fundamental to visual perception. Students will learn the scientific basis of key concepts in light, color, and motion, explore research methods to discover how they work, and express this scientific knowledge in their creative work. Students will graduate the course with a solid understanding of how scientific theories, research, and experimental methodology are applied, building a foundation for future learning.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

BFA Program Outcomes

By completing the program, students develop the following competencies:

1. Drawing and Painting

Draw and paint utilizing traditional media and classic techniques, demonstrating a command of proportion, perspective, value contrast, and the human figure. Effectively combine media and image-making techniques in order to produce professional pieces of creative work.

2. Illustration

Conceptualize, create and finalize illustrations for a range of commercial applications in traditional or digital media in alignment with creative briefs. Demonstrate knowledge of illustration history, visual storytelling, typography, industry trends, and other means of visual communication.

3. Technology

Create images and graphics by effectively and efficiently using creative software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, as well as other industry and web-based technologies.

4. Art/Design Principles

Demonstrate the ability to produce visually compelling artwork by effectively applying knowledge of color theory, art/design principles including pattern, rhythm, typography, and composition, as well as an advanced attention to detail.

5. Research, History, Criticism

Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize historical concepts and artistic styles, effectively communicate and defend aesthetic ideas based upon research, critically evaluate the work of multiple illustrators and fine artists as well as consideration of the influence of illustration on art, design, and culture. Consider research as well as context when producing your innovative work.

6. Portfolio

Successfully conceive, produce, and present a coherent body of compelling and effectively produced illustrations and creative work by applying technical expertise, visual storytelling, creative problem solving and presentation in response to constructive feedback that showcases your skills and unique artistic voice to potential clients and employers. Through your work demonstrate a professional aesthetic based upon your individual focus as an illustrator and visual artist.

7. Critical Thinking, Communication, and Writing

Effectively generate, clearly convey, and support ideas by employing critical thinking, communication, and writing skills while considering divergent perspectives, cultural framing, historical context, research, and ethical concerns.

8. Professional Practice and Readiness

Demonstrate the ability to fulfill creative briefs, accept constructive feedback, develop and implement a professional branding, file management and workflow system, cultivate a client network and entrepreneurial strategies, apply ethical business practices and accountability, consider the impact of culture and organizational behavior, and consistently strive to exceed expectations.

Outcomes Assessment

To learn more about our outcomes assessment process, visit our Academic Team.

Sessions Student Work

BFA FACULTY

Jordon Schranz, Department Head of Illustration

Jordon Schranz is an audio/visual artist and designer whose work has been exhibited internationally in New York, Chicago, El Paso, Berlin, Bogotá, and Ciudad Juárez. In addition he has performed hundreds of shows across the United States as part of the free jazz trio, "The Eastern Seaboard" and in the avant-rock group "Quivers" with Ninni Morgia, including New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit. Jordon has an MFA in Combined Media from the City University of New York
and a BFA in Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art.

Anne Catharine Blake, Illustration Faculty

Anne Catharine Blake has over fourteen years of teaching illustration and design online, including curriculum development and mentoring faculty. In addition to teaching, she continues to work as a freelance author/illustrator/designer and exhibits her work regularly. Her work has been published in the US, UK, Europe, and translated into Spanish and Chinese. Her illustrations and sketchbooks have been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Canada, England, and France. Some of her papers are housed at the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi.

GETTING STARTED

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Why is earning a Bachelors Degree in Illustration relevant today?

Professional illustrators create images for a range of industries, typically using a combination of traditional and digital skills. This mix of digital and art skills are the focus of the online bachelor's degree on illustration at Sessions College. Our degree programs are developed and taught by faculty with industry experience, so that our students are prepared for jobs in the creative industry when they graduate.

In 2019, the Bureau of Labor predicted that a decline in print media will be offset by new opportunities for illustrators "as the number of electronic magazines and other Internet-based publications continues to grow."

For more information on illustration careers, browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or the O*NET database.

What is the difference between a BFA and a BA?

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is generally considered to be the most prestigious, professionally oriented bachelor's degree in the visual arts.

  • In a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program, you are generally required to complete at least 65% of courses in your art/design major subject, and no more than 35% in general education. In the Sessions College BFA, 75% of the coursework is focused on your art/design studies.
  • In a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program, you are generally required to complete up to 50% of courses in general education, with a lower percentage in your art/design major. The focus of a BA is to provide a well-rounded education.

For more information on the difference between a BA and a BFA, view this GDUSA article about benefits of getting a BFA.

What makes the Sessions College BFA in Illustration program distinctive?

Simply, the program is the most affordable, accessible, and portfolio-focused online Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design available.

  • Affordable. Our $510/credit tuition is up to 200% lower than competitor programs, so you can graduate with a minimum of loan debt.
  • Accessible. Designed for busy adults with weekly deadlines but no set login times, you can complete the program from anywhere in the world, studying full-time or part-time. More than 50% of degree students complete programs while employed.
  • Portfolio-Focused. Build a solid art/design foundation, then customize your advanced level classes around your portfolio goals. Faculty mentoring will help you hone your final BFA portfolio to achieve YOUR creative career goals.

How long does the program take to complete?

Most Bachelor’s Degree programs take four years to complete. Who has that time? You can complete our BFA in Illustration program in 10 semesters or 3.3 years—and sooner if you have credit transfer. With our intensive program, you can graduate faster and get started sooner with your career goals.

What software and/or supplies do I need?

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • A digital camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance .
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC software.
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • Basic drawing and painting supplies including pencils, charcoal, newsprint, and sketch paper.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

There are no textbook or course material costs to participate in this online program. Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1926 that operates as an institutional accreditor of distance education institutions. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How do I apply?

To enter the program you are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will also need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

We have a convenient and student-friendly online application process.

To apply, simply complete our application form and provide transcripts, an application essay, and 5-10 samples or art/design work or alternative written assignment, and a $75 application fee. Applications are reviewed by our Acceptance Committee and generally returned within a business week. See our complete application guide and credit transfer policy.

You can begin your creative journey by completing our online application today. There is no charge until you submit your application materials and no obligation to enroll.

What else do I need to do?

All candidates are expected to complete a 15-minute phone or Zoom interview with one of our Admissions advisors. These talented, friendly professionals will explain the program options, answer your questions, and get you started with your financial aid process, if you are eligible.

What are the tuition and fees?

Effective July 1, 2021, the tuition and fees for Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (BFA) students is as follows:

$510 per credit
$6,120 per semester
$18,360 per calendar year
$61,200 total program tuition

A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation.

We encourage you to compare our tuition and fees to our competitors.  Sessions College is affordable:

  • Tuition guarantee. Your per-credit tuition rate at enrollment is guaranteed to stay the same throughout your program, provide you are continuously enrolled.
  • Same rate for full-time and part-time. Because our programs are designed for busy adults, our full-time and part-time students are charged at the same rate. If you have to go part-time for a while, you are not penalized (NOTE: A program change fee applies.)
  • No mysterious semester or technology fees. Many institutions charge online students additional fees by semester for things like technology, materials, parking, or even stadium use! Our fees are simple so that there are no hidden program costs.

Get Started Today

Take the first step on a rewarding creative journey towards earning a BFA in Illustration.

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