BFA in Design with concentration in Illustration

Bring Ideas to Life with Visual Storytelling

The Illustration program teaches creative students how to develop engaging visual and interactive experiences that inform, entertain, and inspire. Illustrators and animators illuminate ideas, enrich narratives, and build entire worlds through imaginative visual solutions. Students learn how to employ design fundamentals, problem-solving skills, and communication theory to develop an expert-level understanding of visual project development. Graduates of the KU Illustration program work in analog and digital media for publications, film and television, video games, motion graphics, fashion, advertising, and more.

The BFA in Design, Illustration degree consist of a carefully-arranged sequence of courses that follow a four-year track from the fall semester of a student's year of admission to the program. Studios are typically only available in either fall or spring semesters and cannot be compressed into an accelerated time frame.

Year 1
BDS 101 (Studio)4ILLU 200 (Studio)4
BDS 103 (Studio)4ANIM 200 (Studio)4
Core 34: English (SGE)0103DRWG 213 or ANIM 121 (Studio; ANIM 121 4 credits))3
HA 151 (Core 34: Arts and Humanities (SGE))060 3Core 34: Math and Statistics (SGE)0303
ADS 3201ADS 3403
 15 17
Year 2
ILLU 205 (Studio)4ILLU 3104
ILLU 215 (Studio)4VISC 3014
ADS 348 (History of Illustration; Fall 2025)3PNTG 2633
Core 34: English (SGE)0103Core 34: Natural and Physical Sciences (SGE)0404
ADS 3201ADS 3201
 15 16
Year 3
ILLU 330 (Studio)4ILLU 335 (Studio)4
ILLU 320 (Studio)4ILLU 325 (Studio)4
Core 34: Arts and Humanities (SGE)0603Core 34: Communications (SGE)0203
Core 34: Social and Behavior Science (SGE)0503ADS 402 or 346 (ADS 346 Fall only)3
 14 14
Year 4
ILLU 455 (Capstone Studio)4ILLU 465 (Studio)4
Major Studio Elective4Major Studio Elective4
ADS 4503ADS 4551
Core 34: Social and Behavior Science (SGE)0503Core 34: US Culture (SGE)0703
 Core 34: Global Culture (SGE)0703
 14 15
Total Hours 120

ADS 320: KU Design Professional Lecture Series: Three credit hours of ADS 320 are required.

Major Studio Electives (8 Credits)

ANIM 121Drawing for Animation4
ANIM 210Visual Development for Animation4
ANIM 215Second-Year Studio I: Media In Motion4
ANIM 221Animation Drawing Colloquium1
VISC 310Letterpress4
VISC 410Digital Letterpress4
VISC 435Book Arts4
VISC 440Bookmaking4
VISC 415Motion Design4
IXD 415Emerging Technologies 14
ADS 531Internship Credit1-6
ADS 532Study Abroad: _____3
ADS 533Study Abroad Documentation3
ADS 560Topics in Design: _____4
Any studios offered in Visual Art including Visual Art (ART), Life Drawing (DRWG), Painting (PNTG), Printmaking (PRNT), Ceramics (CER), Expanded Media (EXM), Sculpture (SCUL), Metalsmithing/Jewelry (METL), Textile Design (TD)


*  - This course is a Required major course and is also part of Core 34: Systemwide General Education.  If this course is not taken to fulfill the Core 34:SGE requirement, it must be taken in place of elective hours.

**  - This course is a Recommended Core 34: Systemwide General Education course.  This specific course is not required but is recommended by the program’s faculty.

***  - This course is a Required Core 34: Systemwide General Education course.  This program is approved by the Kansas Board of Regents to require this specific Core 34:Systemwide General Education course.  If a student did not take this course it must be taken in addition to other degree requirements.