Diploma Opportunities


Diploma Programs

The American Academy of Bookbinding currently offers Fine Binding and Comprehensive Bookbinding diploma programs. The Fine Binding Program concentrates on bindings as fine art and prepares students for making one-of-a-kind bindings ready for competition. The Comprehensive Bookbinding Program specializes in aspects of the conservation and restoration of books, along with established practices for edition binding.

Students can apply for the diploma program of their choice after attending the four core courses at AAB: Introduction to Bookbinding Level 1 & Level 2, Fundamentals of Half-Leather Binding, and Fundamentals of Full Leather Binding. Students who come to the program with experience can test out the two intro-level courses through a portfolio review. Both fundamentals courses are required before a diploma path is chosen.

Since students will enter their chosen program with varying experience levels, each will have slightly different diploma requirements. Students will have the opportunity to meet with their Program Director throughout the year to discuss their current work and determine the next steps toward fulfilling the diploma requirements.

In addition to the required coursework, students enrolled in the diploma program will need to complete ten bindings at home, independently in their own studio. These homework assignments ensure that each diploma student can independently complete projects at a professional level. Upon completing the diploma requirements, and with the program director’s approval, the student will begin work on their diploma projects. Experts in the field will then jury the diploma projects, and successful candidates will graduate with an official diploma from the Academy. As students are expected to attend only a few weeks of courses a year at the Academy, the average length of time needed to complete all diploma requirements is four to six years.

Both diploma programs have overlapping courses with one another. Whichever program a student chooses, they will have become exceptional bookbinders upon completion of their diploma.

For more information please view the guidelines below.

Fine Binding Guidelines  |    Comprehensive Bookbinding Guidelines

Please note: The Comprehensive Bookbinding Program is formally known as the Integrated Studies Program and is in the process of being updated with new information. The updated Comprehensive Bookbinding Program will be announced in the spring of 2023.

Graduates / Candidates*

Cathy Adelman | 2003 FB
Jeffrey Altepeter | 2003 FB
Cynthia Bélanger | 2003 FB
Mark Kirchner | 2003 FB
Sabina Nies | 2005 FB
Lang Ingalls | 2007 FB
Brenda Parsons | 2008 C
Coleen Curry | 2009 FB
Sophia Bogle | 2009 C
Ruth M. Strach | 2009 C
Karen Hanmer | 2014 FB
Lisa Isley | 2014 C
Marilyn Mohr | 2014 C
Sialia Rieke | 2015 FB
Malina Belcheva | 2015 C
Susan Peacock | 2016 C
Emily Bell | 2017 C
Susan Hulme | 2017 FB
Sharon Fickeissen | 2018 C
Deborah Thompson | 2020 FB
Camille K. Botelho | 2023 FB
Jennifer Büchi | 2023 FB
Jodee Fenton | 2023 FB
Brenda Gallagher | 2023 FB