Undergraduate Certificate Program Comics Studies

PSU comics studies student at a comic store

Comics Studies Certificate Overview

The Comics Studies Program draws from theory and hands-on practice, preparing participants to work in the field of comics and cartoon art as writers, artists, and scholars. Portland is particularly well known as the home of numerous artists, authors, scholars, and publishers specializing in comic art, and this program seeks to enhance ties with the local comics community. Comics studies at Portland State University is a vibrant, dynamic program on the cutting edge of contemporary literature and art practice that serves our students, our mission as a university, and our local community.

Portland is one of the largest hubs for comics in the country. Dark Horse Comics, Inc., founder, and president, Mike Richardson, didn’t just get his degree at PSU, he also chose the PSU library as the home for the Dark Horse Comics archives.

In addition to Dark Horse Comics, the Portland area is home to Oni Press, Image Comics, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The comics studies certificate is available to graduate, undergraduate, and postbaccalaureate students. It features an exciting mix of classes with exceptional faculty across the disciplines as well as special courses with highly-lauded comics industry professionals. Classes are taught by a mix of PSU professors, comics professionals in Portland, and guest writers and artists from companies like Marvel, DC, and The New Yorker. Competitive internships with local companies are also offered each term.

The comics studies certificate is a great complement to programs such as English, art, or publishing, but students from all majors and levels are able to complete the program.

Degree Details

  • C
    Certificate Program
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Comics Studies Certificate: Why PSU?

Portland is an important hub for the comics industry, serving as the home to many comics publishers and creators. Studying comics in Portland provides the opportunity for hands-on experience in the comics industry and gives students the opportunity to participate in an active local community.

The Comics Studies Program has professors who are accomplished professionals in the comics industry. You can learn writing from Brian Michael Bendis, winner of five Eisner Awards. Bendis is the co-creator of Miles Morales, featured in the Oscar-winning animated feature: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie. Students also have the opportunity to work with David Walker, writer of Luke Cage and Cyborg. Portland State is inspired by the creativity and innovation arising from the local comics culture and strives to create a center for comics culture where scholars, students, creators, and fans can come together.

The Comics Studies Department helps connect its students with internship opportunities that can only be found in Portland. Our students intern at Dark Horse Comics, for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, and others.

What can I do with a certificate in Comics Studies?

Comics studies graduates have received positions working for Dark Horse and Oni Press, while others have gone on to additional graduate study. Graduates of our program are taking what they learned at PSU and getting jobs doing what they love in Portland and beyond, as comics artists, writers, and scholars. Portland is one of the true creative hubs of the entire art form, and Portland State is a natural fit for cultivating young aspiring comics writers and artists.

Featured Courses

  • ENG 496 Comics Theory
  • WR 398 Writing Comics
  • ART 299 Creating Short Comics
  • ART 356 Visual Storytelling
  • ENG 490 Comics History


  • PHL 317U Philosophy of Art
  • WR 460 Introduction to Book Publishing
  • WR 462 Book Design Software
  • JPN 345 Manga Now!


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).