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Illustration and Design Degree Programs in Brookline, MA

There are almost 30 schools within 25 miles of Brookline, Massachusetts that have degree programs in design and illustration, including three located less than five miles from the downtown. Read an overview of the three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Brookline, MA, Illustration and Design Schools

There are a number of schools in the Brookline area that offer degree programs in design, but this article will profile three that have both design and illustration programs. The programs are summarized below; students will also find a table with at-a-glance school facts. A paragraph about one other college and a university that offer programs for aspiring illustrators and designers can be found at the end of the resource.

  • The Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston is located less than two miles from the downtown Brookline area and offers bachelor's degrees in illustration, as well as graphic, industrial and fashion design.
  • Boston-based Suffolk University is four miles from downtown Brookline and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in interior design and graphic design.
  • Students may also pursue a bachelor's degree in illustration or graphic design at Lesley University, located almost five miles from Brookline in the city of Cambridge.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

Comparison of Schools

This table has been designed to provide undergraduates with a statistical 'picture' of the three featured schools. Use it to find out which program is the most affordable, enrolls the most students or is the most selective.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design Suffolk University Lesley University
School Type Four-year; public Four-year; private, non-profit Four-year; private, non-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 2,095* 8,215* 4,859*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Midsize city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $11,725 in-state; $31,225 out-of-state* $33,934* $25,095*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 89%* 80%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 73%* 84%* 71%*
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 89% for full-time students 76% for full-time students, 33% for part-time students* 76% for full-time students, 33% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (students who began in 2008 and graduated by 2014) 70%* 55%* 58%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs in design and illustration. All of the BFA programs require 120 credits in liberal arts, art history and electives, in addition to studio work and courses in the major field of study.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration

The bachelor's degree program in illustration requires courses in basic and human figure drawing, along with digital illustration, technical and color illustration. Students also complete an illustration thesis and a portfolio.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Graphic design courses in this program include typography, information architecture, visual language and graphic design research. Undergraduates may choose among the following professional electives: advertising, website design, dynamic typography and digital photography. Students also compile a graphic design portfolio and develop a comprehensive final project.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design

Industrial design students learn about design principles, industrial design drawing, manufacturing, surface modeling and product development. They also develop their industrial design portfolios and complete a final project. Some professional elective options that could be of particular interest to industrial design students include furniture design, package design, interior architecture and advertising design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design

This program requires coursework in textiles, pattern drafting and fashion illustration, as well as clothing construction, tailoring and design creativity. Two fashion projects are required during the senior year. Throughout the program, students learn how to design men's and women's clothing and accessories. They may design ready-to-wear outfits, high couture statement garments and dramatic costumes for theater.

Suffolk University

The School of Art and Design at Suffolk University offers undergraduate degree programs in interior design and graphic design, as well as a graduate-level graphic design program. Students can take advantage of a range of on-campus traditional fine arts and electronics studios and enjoy the thriving art scene in the surrounding Back Bay community of Boston.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and also requires 124 credits of coursework. Courses include topics in interior design theory and materials, orthogonal drawing, furniture and lighting. Students also learn about interior codes and the communication practices and contractual agreements used in the field. An internship or portfolio is also required.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design curriculum includes 124 credits in art, art history, graphic design and general education courses. Undergraduates complete courses in drawing, painting, 2-D and 3-D design, imaging, typography and computer applications in design. Additionally, students take four courses specifically focused on graphic design. Studio electives include topics in advertising design, graphic novels and environmental graphic design. The program may include an internship or a thesis.

Master of Arts in Graphic Design

Students with an undergraduate degree in graphic design complete approximately 30 credits of coursework. However, those with an undergraduate degree in another visual arts subject or an unrelated area may need to complete several hours of prerequisite coursework. Requirements include graduate seminars and studios in graphic design. The program culminates in a thesis project and portfolio review.

Lesley University

At the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, students interested in a career in design or illustration may pursue a four-year undergraduate degree in one of these fields or a five-year double major in both subjects. Students in the BFA programs complete a year of foundational studies that can help them figure out their artistic direction, develop creative abilities and explore a variety of mediums.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration

The illustration curriculum includes coursework in drawing, color, art history and composition. Both traditional illustration techniques and digital-based methods are taught. Students can learn to create illustrations for comic books, concept art and children's books, among other areas. They also participate in an internship during the third or fourth year of the program.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

This program trains students to work in the field of graphic design. Courses in the program include typography, photography, drawing, design and illustration. Students must complete an internship in their junior or senior year.

Other School Options

Newbury College, located right in Brookline, offers a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Boston University has BFA and MFA programs in graphic design.

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