Programs

The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) offers the two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree, One- and Two-Year Certificates, and summer workshops, with the option to complete the second year of the program in low residency.

Master of Fine Arts

A Two-Year, Master of Fine Arts Degree Program. After completing the One-Year Program, the second-year curriculum revolves around a yearlong thesis project. The thesis program may be completed on location or by distance in a low residency online and correspondence program.

Two-Year Certificate Program

After completing the One-Year Program, the second-year curriculum revolves around a yearlong thesis project. The second year may be completed on location or by distance in a low residency online and correspondence program.

One-Year Certificate Program

This nine-month program (one academic year) is designed to quickly accelerate a cartoonist’s growth. CCS faculty, along with frequent visiting artists will introduce a myriad of tools, techniques, and approaches to cartooning. Writing, drawing, graphic design, screen-printing, and computer skills that relate to publishing will be covered.

Applied Cartooning Track

A new two-year Master of Fine Arts track at The Center for Cartoon Studies. It is designed to help students develop exceptional visual communication skills and apply those skills in fields outside of traditional publishing. Comics, an unparalleled—and currently underutilized—communication tool, have the unique ability to communicate complex information quickly and effectively, share powerful and precise visual narratives, and engage readers of all ages, nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds. For details, click here.

Admissions

Click here for information on ADMISSIONS to CCS and to APPLY ONLINE!

Program Credit Requirements   

Master of Fine Arts:   60 credits, 17 classes
Master of Fine Arts in Applied Cartooning Track:   60 credits, 17 classes
2-Year Certificate:   60 credits, 17 classes
2-Year Certificate in Applied Cartooning Track:   60 credits, 17 classes
1-Year Certificate:   30 credits, 9 classes

Curriculum

YEAR ONE: SEMESTER 1

  • Cartooning Studio I    4.5 cr
  • Life Drawing Session    3 cr
  • Publication Workshop I    3 cr
  • Survey of the Drawn Story I    3 cr
  • Visiting Artists Seminar I    3 cr

Total Semester Credits, 16.5

YEAR ONE: SEMESTER 2

  • Cartooning Studio II    4.5 cr
  • Publication Workshop II    3 cr
  • Survey of the Drawn Story II    3 cr
  • Visiting Artists Seminar II    3 cr
  • Life Drawing Session (Optional)

Total Semester Credits 13.5

YEAR TWO: SEMESTER 1

  • Thesis Project I    6 cr
  • Thesis Seminar I    3 cr
  • Professional Practices    3 cr
  • Visiting Artist Seminar III    3 cr
  • Life Drawing Session (Optional)

Total Semester Credits 15

YEAR TWO: SEMESTER 2

  • Thesis Project II    6 cr
  • Thesis Seminar II    3 cr
  • Visiting Artist Seminar IV    3 cr
  • Internship 3 cr
  • Life Drawing Session (Optional)

Total Semester Credits 15

Course Descriptions

Cartooning Studio I
This studio class explores the formal underpinnings of comics and provides an overview of tools and techniques involved in making them.

Life Drawing Session          
This course focuses on building a solid foundation in basic drawing skills through observation.

Publication Workshop I
This course focuses on graphic design and desktop applications.  Weekly assignments revolve around creating online and traditional publications using various technologies and applications.

Survey of the Drawn Story I
From the tapestries of Medieval Europe to the woodcut novels of Frans Masereel, to MAUS and the modern graphic novel, these lectures give an exhilarating overview of the drawn story.

Visiting Artists Seminar I
A series of seminar/studio dialogues with the CCS artist-in-residence and visiting artists.  This class may also include field trips to locations like Montreal, Boston, and New York to visit artists, studios, publishers, print shops, conventions, and museums.

Cartooning Studio II
A continuation of the studio class that explores the formal underpinnings of comics and provides an overview of tools and techniques.  Weekly assignments challenge students to create clear and compelling visual narratives with an emphasis on dialogue and scriptwriting.

Publication Workshop II
A continuation of Publication Workshop I, this class teaches students to color a comic, build a web site, and create printer-ready documents using industry standards.  Students gain experience by working on professional assignments under the supervision of faculty.

Survey of the Drawn Story II
This course covers contemporary comics history with a focus on self-publishing, the rise of alternative comics and the modern graphic novel.  Through critical reading and discussion students develop a deeper understanding of the modern classics, which informs their own creative work.

Visiting Artists Seminar II
A series of seminar/studio dialogues with the CCS artist-in-residence and visiting artists. This class may also include field trips to visit artists, studios, publishers, print shops, conventions, and museums.

Thesis Project I
Independent Study
The student will formulate a yearlong project that builds upon the skills acquired during year one. This class will involve research and creating a preliminary proposal to present to a thesis committee comprised of CCS instructors. In addition, students will choose an artist as their thesis faculty advisor. They work with the thesis advisor on a one-to-one basis and establish a work schedule to research, write and visualize their thesis project.

Thesis Seminar I
This studio seminar provides an opportunity for all current graduate students to participate in and experience group critique of their work and that of others. Seminar includes discussion of intention, structure, content, context and meaning of the studio work, and sessions with guest critics and artists.

Internship
Students choose between community-based teaching externships and industry internships.

Professional Practices
Students are introduced to career paths available to cartoonists as they prepare to enter the professional arena.  By assembling a portfolio and creating promotional materials they learn how to market themselves as artists.  Students learn the vernacular of the publishing industry and are instructed on their creative rights.  Featured speakers lecture on the professional aspects of cartooning.

Visiting Artists Seminar III
A series of seminar/studio dialogues with the CCS artist-in-residence and visiting artists.

Thesis Project II
Students continue to work on their yearlong thesis project guided by their thesis advisor.  Students are required to produce a publication documenting their thesis by semester’s end as well as exhibit their work.

Thesis Seminar II
A continuation of the studio seminar that provides an opportunity for all current graduate students to participate in and experience group critique of their work and that of others. Seminar includes discussion of intention, structure, content, context and meaning of the studio work, and sessions with guest critics and artists.

Visiting Artist Seminar IV
A continuation of Visiting Artist Seminar, this class includes lectures and field trips to visit artists, studios, publishers, print shops, and museums.

Course Schedule

A detailed printed copy of the entire semester schedule and academic calendar is provided to each admitted student prior to the beginning of the semester.  It is also posted in the classroom and lab, and on the Intranet (cartoonstudies.org/intranet).  Classes meet Monday through Thursday between 10am and 6pm.    

Full-Time / Part-Time Enrollment

The Center for Cartoon Studies offers programs that are for full-time enrollment.  Part-time status is not available at this time.

Credit Transfer Into Program

The Center for Cartoon Studies doesn’t accept credits from outside institutions. Our programs are structured to accommodate varied levels and the curriculum is designed as a sequential program.

Transfer Statement 

Credits earned at The Center for Cartoon Studies are transferable only at the discretion of receiving school.

The Center for Cartoon Studies is approved to grant the Master of Fine Arts Degree and One- and Two-Year Certificates by the State of Vermont Department of Education, and is a member of the Vermont Higher Education Council (VHEC). CCS is not accredited.