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The MFA-IVC program, launching in fall 2019, will prepare graduates to work as professional illustrators, author-artists, critical writers, curators, and professors.

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is launching a new MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture program. The curriculum combines studio practice in illustration with studies in visual material culture. The MFA-IVC program is ideal for illustrators, designers, and those interested in popular visual matter. This two-year residential program will prepare graduates to work as author-artists of graphic novels and picture books, professors, critical writers, and curatorial staff in museums, libraries, and auction houses.

The MFA-IVC program is built on the expertise of the Sam Fox School’s illustration and design faculty, and the vast resources of Washington University, a tier-one research institution. The School’s resources include the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library, Island Press, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, and the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, a preeminent site for studying the history and culture of American illustration.

MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture studios will be located in Weil Hall, a new 82,000-square-foot facility designed by KieranTimberlake, which includes the 2,600-square-foot Roxanne H. Frank Design Studio.

Our illustration faculty’s research includes children’s books, graphic novels, zines, editorial illustration, drawing theory, and writings on visual culture. Our communication design faculty’s work includes book arts, typography, human-centered design, and social practice: John Hendrix (chair), Ken Botnick, Heather Corcoran, Chrissi Cowhey, D.B. Dowd, Jonathan Hanahan, Audra Hubbell, Heidi Kolk, Rebecca Leffell Koren, Shreyas R Krishnan, Penina Acayo Laker, Frank Oros, and Jeff Pike.

For questions, contact John Hendrix, chair, at Application deadline is February 5. To start your application, visit

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