Jun 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Illustration, M.F.A. (low residency)

Required credits: 60

C.F. Payne, Director, M.F.A. in Illustration Program, 513.746.8404, cfpayne@hartford.edu

The low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Illustration is specifically designed to meet the needs of practicing illustrators and designers seeking the terminal degree in the discipline while maintaining active, full-time professional careers. The independent, tutorial-based program structure requires two and one-third years to complete. Students are expected to be in residence at the University for two-week, intensive summer sessions and at one-week, off-campus residencies, in selected cities, during both the fall and spring semesters. Off-campus host cities are carefully chosen for their proximity to major illustration markets and practicing professionals. Recent off-campus locations include New York City, Pasadena/Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. During the nonresident portions of the program, students maintain ongoing contact with the program director, their thesis advisor, and faculty through the use of online, fax, telephone, and express-mail services. Thus, the low-residency structure of the program provides nontraditional, working students the opportunity to complete a professional, terminal degree while simultaneously continuing to meet employment and family obligations.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the M.F.A. in illustration requires an initial interview with the program director. Please contact the Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services (860.768.4371) or the Hartford Art School (860.768.5527) for interview contact information. After completing the interview, interested applicants should provide the following materials to the Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117:

  1. A portfolio of work that indicates the applicant is an established artist/illustrator. This portfolio can be in the form of a website link or a CD with a minimum of 15 images.
  2. A personal letter of intent describing the applicant’s reasons for seeking admission to the program and what the student expects to gain from it.

Upon recommendation of acceptance by the program director, applicants should complete the following:

  1. Submit the graduate application form and nonrefundable fee to the Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services (860.768.4371). Checks should be made out to the University of Hartford.
  2. Request all college and other postsecondary institutions to forward one official copy of the transcript to the Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117.
  3. Submit a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of CDs. All other materials will become the property of the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford.
  4. Request three letters of reference from professors or other individuals familiar with the work. Recommendations should be completed on the forms supplied and forwarded to Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117.
  5. International applicants must also provide a guarantor’s statement attesting to the resources available for the student and the results of the TOEFL or IELST exam. International students must score a minimum of 550 on the TOEFL to qualify for graduate study. International transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (www.wes.org).

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Some partial-tuition merit scholarships are available for candidates in the program. The awarding of scholarships is determined by the director and Illustration Committee of the M.F.A. in illustration program at the time of admission.

Graduate students in illustration may also apply for various loan programs and should consult the Office of Financial Assistance at the University of Hartford for information, procedures, and deadlines.


All Master of Fine Arts in Illustration candidates are required to maintain continuous enrollment in the program. Leaves of absence must be approved by the director of the program. Reentering the program will require that students reenter in the missed cycle. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, on a scale of 4.0, to remain in good academic standing in the program. Failure to maintain the required minimum GPA may result in the loss of scholarship funding or dismissal from the program.

Plan of Study

A total of 60 credit hours is required for the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Illustration. The program may only be completed on a full-time basis. Students enrolled in the program are considered full time during all phases of the following typical course of study: