How long is the program?
The program is a dedicated evening and weekend program that runs over three years,
including several classes over the Summer semesters. See the schedule.
How many credits is the program?
The MFA in Illustration program is 60 credits. See the full list of courses and descriptions.
Is the program full time or part time?
In the School of Graduate Studies, nine credits is considered full time. With the exception of one semester, as well two Summer sessions, the program is full-time in the evening and weekends, and tuition is charged accordingly. As a full-time student, there is one single tuition fee. For Summer and any semester that falls below nine credits, tuition is charged on a per credit basis. See tuition and fees.
Am I able to attend the program part time?
No. Students are accepted and enrolled only for the fall semester and must follow the prescribed order of classes.
What do you mean by the term "at least three years of related industry experience?"
It is important that you make the most out of your graduate experience. This rigorous, exciting program is designed so that you find and/or enhance your own voice as a picture maker and storyteller. It is equally important that you arrive with a skill set that will allow you to grow and to have had experience in the working world, alongside other professionals. Not all industry experience need be a linear association to illustration. The program is proud to boast amongst its alumni, art directors, graphic designers, as well as others, who brought presented a strong portfolio and a commitment to success. Three years of industry experience beyond an earned Bachelors degree has proven to be the key to a successful experience in the program for students, faculty and peers.
Is it possible to maintain a full time job and still attend school?
Yes! This program was designed in order to provide the platform for students to be able to continue to freelance and/ or work during the day. Be mindful that studio classes begin between 5 and 6 pm, so one might need to make the necessary accommodations to arrive on time regularly. Our experience has been that most employers support the graduate school commitment if they are given appropriate notice.
Is there a travel component to the program?
Yes! Every fall, in the first year of study, the class takes a day trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum, where we enjoy a close relationship with the director and head curator, visiting just in time to enjoy the brilliant palette of color that New England has to offer. There is a nominal fee for the bus and admission to the museum. At the end of the second year of study, in the beginning of summer, the class travels as a group to Los Angeles, where we enjoy visits to film, entertainment and artist studios. The program cost for this trip is an additional cost to the student, and every student is responsible for the cost of his/ her travel, food and lodging during the trip. The program works very closely with the School of Graduate Studies to arrange group transportation where possible.
Are any classes offered online?
We have classes where enhanced learning opportunities are built in, as well as guest lectures. At this time, there are no classes that are uniquely on line.
Do I show work that is not illustration in my portfolio?
This program is unequivocally about the study of all illustration. However, we do realize that some applicants might come from other areas, i.e. graphic design. We really do need to see drawings and work that speaks to the art and execution of storytelling. Other work, including the moving image is welcome as a complement to these basics. Please be mindful to respect the submission guidelines. Work that is not properly prepared cannot be considered. Note: All portfolio submissions become the property of the School of Graduate Studies and will not be returned. No oversize portfolios, binders, prints or original work will be accepted. The College is not responsible for any media that is received in damaged condition and cannot be viewed. The work should be of professional quality and/or published work.
Do you accept applications after the priority deadline?
Applications that are received by the priority deadline of March 15 will be reviewed and a determination made within 6 weeks. Applications will be accepted until the class is filled.
How many applications do you receive?
There is an average of 50-60 applications for a maximum of 18 spaces in the program.
Is there housing on campus?
FIT does have residence halls. Though unusual, graduate students sometimes live on campus. Admitted students are responsible for arranging their own housing. Learn more about campus housing.
Is financial aid or scholarship available?
Presently, no scholarship opportunity is available. Financial Aid is available for U.S. citizens and is the responsibility of the student to secure. Financial Aid is not available to international students. The MFA in Illustration department does participate in any conversation surrounding financial aid. There is a college-wide work-study program for qualified financial aid students. Learn more about financial aid. Please note that Financial Aid is available during Fall and Spring semesters, not during Winter or Summer. Please plan to make the necessary tuition arrangements, as there are MFA courses during the Winter and Spring.
What requirements apply to International Applicants?
Go to the Graduate International Applicants page.
How do I apply?
See admissions requirements.
Do you accept transfer credits from other graduate programs?
No. The curriculum has been carefully designed to follow not only a sequential order, but also a complementary one. Courses are offered in the same semester so that the content complements and reflects what is being delivered simultaneously.