Minor or Certificate in Comic Studies

Comic Studies has come to San Francisco State University, and now, you'll be able to receive a minor in Comic Studies or a certificate in Creative Nonfiction Comics Making!

Read interviews with Professor Nick Sousanis on the founding of the Comic Studies Program:

comics studies grads

The first five students to graduate with the CMX minor.

Program Outcomes:

  1. Analyze and express how comics uniquely convey meaning as a distinct medium, identifying significant formal features in their development and speaking to their purpose and contribution to storytelling;
  2. Articulate a broad understanding of the history and evolution of the comics medium, an awareness of existing and emerging genres and styles of comics across the globe;
  3. Articulate an awareness of historically significant creators, and the place of individual works in relation to larger contexts;
  4. Effectively communicate a narrative or idea through the comics form utilizing a variety of different approaches;
  5. Recognize the ways that they can employ the comics form to speak to real-world situations including an awareness and sensitivity of the way in which working with visual images can provoke different effects than working solely with text;
  6. Use comics form as a means of self-discovery and expression.

Comic Studies Minor (12 units)

Students completing the minor will be required to take one core course and 9 additional units of electives.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Core (3 units)

  • CMX325 (HUM 325) Comics and Culture

Electives (9 units)

Select three of the following:

  • CMX 304 (HUM/LS 304) Making Comics 1 
  • CMX 504 From Superman to the Supercrip: Comics and Disability
  • CMX 540 Topics in Comics: 
    • SF Underground 
    • Queer Comics 
    • Superheroes 
    • Political Cartooning 
  • CMX 541 Manga
  • CMX604 Advanced Making Comics
  • CMX 625 Advanced Readings in Comics
  • HIST 304 Teaching History through Comics 
  • ENG 300/CW 501 Graphic Memoir
  • COMM 428 Health Communication in Visual and Graphic Medicine 
  • GEOG 434 The Geography of Health & Health Care 
  • LS 426 Thought & Image
  • WGS 580 Feminism and the Speculative: Another World is Possible
  • GER 620 German Comics in English: Encounters, Conflicts, & Changes 
  • AFRS 675 Afrofuturism: Africana Speculative Fiction, Comics, and Music
  • HUM 706 Image & Culture (Comics)

This certificate program provides training in all aspects of the creation of nonfiction comics for professional publication. This cohort-driven program, is built around two intensives: the first a deep exploration of the practices and methods of nonfiction comics, and the second a production lab in which the cohort produces comics for publication in collaboration with campus partners.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify significant formal features in the creation of comics and speak to their purpose and contribution to the storytelling and meaning-making.
  2. Perform in-depth analysis in the form of a work of comics to delve into the mechanics of its construction and offer deep insight into the author’s choices so to inform their own.
  3. Effectively communicate a narrative or idea through the comics form, with a command of a variety of techniques to produce comics.
  4. Create comics utilizing a variety of different approaches.
  5. Demonstrate command of a variety of techniques and steps that go into making a comic – from conception, to layouts, to producing a finished work and create comics utilizing a variety of different approaches.
  6. Develop their own method for comics-making in order to convey narratives and conduct research most effectively for themselves.
  7. Recognize the ways that they can employ the comics form to speak to real-world situations.
  8. Gain experience and confidence in grasping all the steps to producing publishable work – including pitch, proposal, negotiating contracts, time management, delivery schedule, etc.


  • CMX 650 The Affordances of Creative Nonfiction Comics
  • CMX 675 The Lab: Nonfiction Comics in Action 

We have several outreach programs, including:

Accessible Comics for Blind/Low Vision Readers Ongoing Initiative

Comics in the Classroom events we've hosted for teachers and most recently in partnership with the SFUSD

Thomas Bentley Rue Platinum and Golden Age Comic Book and Adventure Strips Collection, which is a collection of comics from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Read an article about this collection.

Have questions? Then send an email to Comics Studies Coordinator Nick Sousanis at sousanis@sfsu.edu.

Archival CMX Offerings

The classes offered for CMX vary each semester, so make sure to check if you're interested. Here are the past posters created to advertise the classes.