Cartooning Degree Programs and Majors

Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in cartooning, generally resulting in a bachelor's or MFA degree. Programs typically include hands-on studio or lab exercises that allow students to complete their own drawings and illustrations.

Essential Information

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. Depending on the level of study completed, graduates could pursue careers in areas such as film, commercial art or academics.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma, standardized test scores, portfolio, bachelor's degree for master's
  • Program Length: 4 years for a bachelor's, 2 years for a master's

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. Most cartooning bachelor's degree programs require students to hold a high school diploma, as well as submit official transcripts and standardized test scores. In addition, students generally must submit a portfolio of their cartooning work in order to be considered for admission. Courses may include:

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

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 and usually involve a combination of advanced cartooning coursework and a thesis. Most degree programs can be completed in two years or fewer. Most 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. First year studies are 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

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 hold jobs in fields like newspaper cartooning, film animation, and commercial illustration jobs. Graduates of MFA programs in cartooning may be qualified for some of the same jobs as BFA graduates, with additional options to pursue a career in the academic world. Some possible career options for a graduate of an MFA program include college cartooning professor, freelance cartoonist, and digital animator.

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.

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