MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture

The Sam Fox School’s new MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture program explores the idea of illustration authorship by combining studio practice in illustration with curatorial training in visual and material culture. This program is ideal for illustrators, designers, and those interested in working with popular visual matter of the modern period: how it was made and by whom, who it was for, and how it remains relevant today.

This is a two-year residential program, launching in fall 2019. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work as author-artists of graphic novels and picture books, professors of illustration, critical writers on popular culture, and curatorial staff in museums, libraries, and auction houses.


The MFA-IVC program is built on the strengths and expertise of the School’s illustration and design faculty, and the vast visual culture resources of Washington University, including the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, a preeminent site for studying the history and culture of American illustration.

About the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts offers rigorous degree programs in design, art, and architecture; an outstanding collection of a world-class art museum, and the unparalleled resources of a leading research university. With a nationally recognized faculty, innovation and collaboration are at the core of our mission. We recognize that design and the visual arts play significant roles in shaping social, environmental, political, and technological conditions. Our School is flexible, attuned to the realities of our complex and global century.

The Sam Fox School is comprised of three central units, each of which boasts a rich history:

  • The College of Art was founded in 1879 as the first professional, university-affiliated art school in the United States, and is the only art school to have fathered a major metropolitan art museum.

  • The College of Architecture was established in 1910, and has the distinction of being one of the 10 founding members of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

  • The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (formerly the Washington University Gallery of Art) was founded in 1881 as the first art museum west of the Mississippi River.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

About Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis’ mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge, and protect the freedom of inquiry through research, teaching, and learning.

Washington University creates an environment to encourage and support an ethos of wide-ranging exploration. Washington University’s faculty and staff strive to enhance the lives and livelihoods of students, the people of the greater St. Louis community, the country, and the world.

Washington University in St. Louis