About School

CIA offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 15 majors across art, design, craft, and integrated media. We extend our programs to the public through gallery exhibitions, artist lectures, a continuing education program for adults and children, and the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, an art and independent film program. With 655 full-time students and 670 total students, CIA offers a personal educational experience with the benefits of a larger institution. Students choose from 15 majors and live and work in Cleveland’s University Circle, one of the country’s most unique cultural centers – recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the ten prettiest communities in the country.

General Info

Student Portfolio Examples
Follow this link to check out some live portfolios from Cleveland Institute of Art students.
Student Project Examples
Follow this link to view some of the top projects created by Cleveland Institute of Art students.

Courses

Animation

Courses include 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Motion Graphics, Storyboarding & Sequential Art, Acting, Human and Animal Anatomy and many more. Students are introduced to many different skill based classes early in the major. They spend time studying the human figure, animal anatomy, 3D modeling, sculpting and 3D animation, while mastering traditional 2D animation principles. During their sophomore year students learn to design characters, study color, storyboarding and film analysis. There are also field trips to the zoo and natural history museum for research and inspiration.

Game Design

In CIA's Game Design major, you'll develop gaming experiences and build the foundation for a career in game design and art- and media-related industries. Our students work with innovative production processes including 3D modeling, animation, programming, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), visual design, audio, interactie storytelling and game production. You'll learn the techniques while understanding the theory, criticism and context of video game culture and digital media. While creating interesting and usable content, you'll build character and level development skills with an understanding of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and political aspects of human interaction.

Illustration

As an Illustration major at one of the best art schools in the country, you will enhance your figurative and observational drawing and design skills. You will learn to creatively translate concepts and emotions into imagery that best communicates a story. Original thinking, the ability to formulate and express clear, relevant thoughts, problem solving and engaging story telling are core skills we teach in our Illustration program. You will experiment with a broad array of traditional materials and techniques, including pencils, acrylics, oils, inks and collage, while mastering contemporary digital processes using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You will research, visually develop and execute finished Illustrations at the highest level relevant to all current and emerging markets, including entertainment, gaming, licensing, advertising, social expression and publishing fields. As a graduate of our Illustration department, you will be prepared to enter the industry as a staff artists, freelance illustrators or creative entrepreneurs.

Industrial Design

The Industrial Design program at the Cleveland Institute of Art consistently ranks as one of the top programs in the country. In fact, we are known for producing graduates who work at the top of their field, solving real-world problems and becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Our rigorous curriculum centers on research, conceptualization, and refinement. This approach provides you with a strong understanding of the innovation process, users, market forces, manufacturing, sustainability, and business practices. As an Industrial Design student, you will develop skills in visual communication, form development, and presentation as well as strengthen your knowledge of manufacturing, ergonomics, and marketing. You also will study drawing, modeling, and computer-aided design, which are critical to developing and communicating ideas.

Graphic Design

As our methods of communication become increasingly mobile, we rely more and more on the art of design to communicate in creative and engaging ways. At the Cleveland Institute of Art, our Graphic Design curriculum takes into account these dramatic changes that are transforming the graphic design industry and the importance of clear visual communication.

As a Graphic Design major, you will explore both innovative and traditional methods of graphic design including typography, print and web design, package design, and signage. You will be introduced to forms, methods, conventional and experimental types of media, and concepts crucial to creative development, self-expression, and effective visual communication and production.

Drawing

In the Drawing major at CIA, students use traditional and nontraditional materials as well as unconventional tools to master a visual vocabulary that includes scale, proportion, perspective, composition, line, mass, and modeling. Our students learn to research concepts and source materials as a basis for developing their work. Drawing majors experience drawing from observation, from imagination, and through experimental processes. As they develop their own body of work, they begin to understand drawing as it appears in pop, common, and high culture. All of this comes together senior year in a thesis project that incorporates research, ideation, experimentation, evaluation, reflection, refinement, and production.


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