Illustration MFA


You see the world differently. Now learn to share that vision with others.

FIT’s Illustration MFA will not only elevate your visual storytelling skills. It will foster an entrepreneurial spirit that professional illustrators need. In an increasingly visual world, come refine your visual voice — and learn how to make sure it’s heard.


Illustration MFA degree

Illustration MFA

The curriculum provides a broad perspective on the illustrator’s role across print and digital media, along with classes in creative writing and research. When you graduate, your visual thesis will be displayed in a gallery exhibition. These projects have included animation, concept art, children’s books, graphic novels, murals, reportage drawings, interactive digital media projects, and site specific installations.

Degree Details


Create art. Cross boundaries … Our graduates create work that earns international acclaim—no matter where they come from.

Beyond Graduation

Many graduates pursue freelance illustration opportunities in newspapers and magazines, children’s books, and graphic novels. Alumni have gone on to teach at FIT, the School of Visual Arts, Queens College, Brooklyn College, Wagner College, Columbus College of Art and Design, Brigham Young University, Duke University, the College of Creative Studies, University of Maryland Global Campus, and other institutions, including specialized high school and museum programs.

Alumni have worked for clients such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Plan Sponsor Magazine, NBC News, ABC, ESPN, TruTV, HarperCollins Publishing, Macy’s New York, Martha Stewart, the American Museum of Natural History, Barron’s Educational Series, Candlewick Press, Computer Associates, Crain’s New York Business, Doubleday, Dunkin’ Donuts, Six Flags, General Mills Cereals, Trailside Museum and Zoo, Major League Baseball, and Upper Deck Trading Cards.

Illustration MFA Beyond Graduation

Learn From the Best

The faculty includes the executive director, past presidents and board members of the prestigious Society of Illustrators; members of the Art Directors Club of New York and the Society for Publication Designers; and winners of the Society of Illustrators Distinguished Educator Award. Faculty members are all active professionals working in a variety of areas of specialization such as editorial illustration, advertising art, children’s books, graphic novels, design, fine art gallery exhibition, and other fields. Meet more Illustration MFA faculty.

Brendan Leach

An award-winning graphic novelist and comics artist, Leach’s books have been published by Top Shelf Comics, Secret Acres, Czap Books, and Grindstone Comics. His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, The Xeric Foundation, The SPX Ignatz Awards, American Illustration, and 3x3 Magazine. He is currently serving as chair of the MFA in Illustration program.

John Jay Cabuay

John Jay Cabuay

John Jay Cabuay is a Filipino-American illustrator based in New York City. His illustrations have graced the covers of newspapers, magazines, and book jackets worldwide. He received his MFA in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. He was featured in Taschen’s 100 Illustrators, a book about 100 important illustrators around the globe. Cabuay first major picture book, Get Up Stand Up, was published by Chronicle Books. He is currently working on his second major picture book due for release in spring 2024.

Contact Us

Illustration MFA

236 West 27th Street, Storefront Studio, Room SF111-A
(212) 217-4300

Brendan Leach


Interested in applying or have a question? Fill out this inquiry form

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