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!

 

CURRICULUM

YEAR ONE

SEMESTER 1

  • Cartooning Studio I
  • Drawing Workshop I
  • Life Drawing Session
  • Publication Workshop I
  • Reading and Writing Workshop I
  • Survey of the Drawn Story I
  • Visiting Artists Seminar I

SEMESTER 2

  • Cartooning Studio II
  • Drawing Workshop II
  • Publication Workshop II
  • Reading and Writing Workshop II
  • Survey of the Drawn Story II
  • Field Trips and Visitors I

YEAR TWO

SEMESTER 3

  • Thesis Project I
  • Thesis Seminar I
  • Externship/Internship: Community Narratives
  • Professional Practices
  • Visiting Artist Seminar II

SEMESTER 4

  • Thesis Project II
  • Thesis Seminar II
  • Field Trip and Visitors II

Course Descriptions

YEAR ONE

SEMESTER 1

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

Drawing Workshop I
Drawing is seeing, a powerful tool for creating and thinking. This class focuses on observational drawing.

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.

Reading and Writing Workshop I
What is good writing and how do you create it? This class poses this question by various exercises, writing assignments and close readings of classic literature, essays, graphic novels, and plays.

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, this lecture gives 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.

SEMESTER 2

Cartooning Studio II
Continuation of the studio class that explores the formal underpinnings of comics and an overview of tools and techniques. Weekly assignments will challenge students to create clear and compelling visual narratives.

Drawing Workshop II
A continuation of Drawing Workshop I with an emphasis on perspective and figure drawing and sketchbook practice.

Field Trip and Visitors I
A weekly seminar where guest artists are invited to talk about a wide array of tools and techniques and their own approach to their work. This class also includes field trips to locations like Montreal, Boston, and New York to visit artists, studios, publishers, print shops, and museums.

Publication Workshop II
A continuation of Publication Workshop I, this class will teach students to color a comic, build a web site, and create printer-ready documents. Student will also gain experience by working on professional assignments supervised by the instructor.

Reading and Writing Workshop II
A continuation of Reading and Writing I with an emphasis on dialogue and scriptwriting.

Survey of the Drawn Story II
This course will cover 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 will develop a deeper understanding of the modern classics, which will inform their own creative work.

YEAR TWO

SEMESTER 3:

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 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/Externship: Community Narratives
Students can 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 II
A series of seminar/studio dialogue with the CCS artist-in-residence and visiting artists.

SEMESTER 4:

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

Thesis Seminar II
A continuation of the studio seminar that provides 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.

Field Trip and Visitors II
A continuation of Field Trip and Visitors I, this class will include lectures and field trips to visit artists, studios, publishers, print shops, and museums.

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.