Skip to content

Build your illustration practice at a top research university in a vibrant, creative city.

The MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture (MFA-IVC) program combines studio practice in illustration and writing with the study of visual and material culture. With a focus on illustrator authorship, this two-year, fully residential program is made for illustrators, comic artists, and designers who are interested in popular visual matter of the modern and contemporary periods. We draw on the vast resources of Washington University, including the Dowd Illustration Research Archive.

Curriculum and Student Work

The MFA-IVC curriculum is designed to help students find their voice, discover a conceptual home for their work, frame their practice, and build an audience.

See the full curriculum.

Jul 26, 12 – 4pm • Sam Fox School

Sep 20, 6:30 – 9pm • Kansas City

Featured student work

Faculty and Peers

The MFA-IVC program is built on the strengths and expertise of the school’s illustration and design faculty.

They are leading illustrators, writers, and scholars who create picture books, zines, graphic nonfiction, and comics. They research and write on diverse topics, like spatial justice, feminism, politics, illustration + design theory, and material culture. And, they love teaching.

Core program faculty:

  • John Hendrix, chair
  • D.B. Dowd
  • Heidi Kolk
  • Shreyas R Krishnan
  • Dan Zettwoch

Learn about our faculty’s work

Facilities and support

Located on the main floor of Weil Hall, the Roxanne H. Frank Design Studio — “the Roxy” — is the MFA-IVC’s home base. Each student has their own studio space and access to printers, scanners, Wacom tablets, cutting mats, bookbinding tools, and central AV. With ample space for pinups and group critiques, the Roxy also provides numerous areas to work, study, and relax.

Students also have access to the full suite of Sam Fox School shops, machines, printing and printmaking tools, and more. Plus, they enjoy access to all the academic resources of a tier-one research institution.

Check out our facilities.

Scholarships and fellowships

Over 92% of incoming graduate students at the Sam Fox School received a partial or full-tuition scholarship.


Get the lowdown on your application, portfolio, and future career opportunities from our program mascot, Lightnin’ George. Or, ask your own question!


Take our virtual tour, or schedule a campus visit! There’s no better way to get a feel for the program and what opportunities St. Louis has to offer emerging artists and designers.

The Graphic Vindicator

The Graphic Vindicator is the official publication of the MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture program in the Sam Fox School at WashU. To request a print copy via mail, click here.

Request more information