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Cartooning Degree Programs and Majors

Learn about undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered in cartooning. Get detailed information about program prerequisites and required coursework. Also find out what career options graduates can explore.

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Essential Information

Earning a degree in cartooning can prepare students for a variety of art-related careers. Students in cartooning degree programs may study both theoretical and compositional aspects of cartooning. They can study figure drawing, etching, cartooning principles and digital cartooning techniques. Programs typically include hands-on studio or lab exercises which allow students to complete their own drawings and illustrations. Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in this field of study, generally resulting in a Bachelor of Master of Fine Arts. Depending on the level of study completed, graduates could pursue careers in areas such as film, commercial art or academics.


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cartooning

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Cartooning is a course of study designed to introduce students to a variety of art and cartooning-specific topics. Most programs take four years to complete and involve technical and theoretical cartooning training.

Educational Prerequisites

Most cartooning bachelor's degree programs require students to hold a high school diploma. Students generally must submit a portfolio of their cartooning work in order to be considered for admission. Official transcripts and standardized test scores are usually required.

Program Coursework

The curriculum of a BFA in cartooning involves a combination of technical and theoretical cartooning courses. Students may engage in hands-on lab sessions and take courses in some of the topics listed below.

  • Cartooning history
  • Principles of cartooning
  • Watercolor techniques
  • Pastel techniques
  • Illustration etching

Popular Career Options

Although cartooning is a specific art form, graduates of a BFA in cartooning may be qualified for a variety of careers in the arts. Students may work for themselves or engage in one of the jobs included below.

  • Newspaper cartooning
  • Film animation
  • Commercial illustration

Continuing Education Info

Graduates of a BFA in cartooning may choose to pursue an advanced degree in the field, such as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Cartooning. Students may also gain on-the-job experience and training at a newspaper or magazine. Continuing education courses in specific areas of the field, including advanced drawing techniques or computer animation, may be available.

Master of Fine Arts in Cartooning

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Cartooning is a graduate degree program that gives students the opportunity to pursue an advanced program of study in the field. Most degree programs can be completed in two years or fewer.

Educational Prerequisites

Most MFA programs require students to hold a bachelor's degree in a related field. Applicants must submit samples of their cartoon work in the form of a portfolio.

Program Coursework

The curriculum of a MFA degree program in cartooning usually involves a combination of advanced cartooning coursework and a thesis. Students' first year is generally dedicated to learning advanced drawing and cartooning techniques, such as:

  • Lettering by hand
  • Silk screening
  • Digital cartooning
  • Figure drawing
  • Observational drawing

Popular Career Options

Graduates of MFA programs in cartooning may be qualified for some of the same jobs as BFA graduates. MFA graduates may also choose to pursue a career in the academic world. Some of the possible career options for a graduate of an MFA program include:

  • College cartooning professor
  • Freelance cartoonist
  • Digital animator
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