Scientific Illustration

Requirements  |  Pre-medical Emphases Courses  |  Advisers

Scientific IllustrationAbout the B.A. in Scientific Illustration

  • Preparation for professional careers in biological illustration
  • Preparation for graduate study in medical illustration
  • Nationally recognized Art Gallery and experimental and white cube student galleries
  • Internships at studios, research institutions, hospitals and zoos
  • Opportunities to study at some of the top universities around the world

The Scientific Illustration program combines study in Biology and Studio Art. Two emphases exist: Scientific Illustration and Pre-Medical Illustration. The former prepares students for a number of possible careers in biological illustration, graphic design or laboratory research. The latter prepares students for graduate study in medical illustration.

Prospective students must present evidence of capability in science and a portfolio demonstrating skill in representational drawing. 

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Scientific Illustration

(93–99 credits as listed below, with Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and electives to total 128 credits)

Adjustments in the requirements for the major in Scientific Illustration can be made with the approval of the program adviser. A maximum of 96 credits in art and science can be counted toward the degree. Additional coursework is required for a degree in Scientific Illustration with an emphasis in pre-medical illustration.*

1. Seventeen courses in Art and Design and Art History

  • AD 102 Studio Art Foundations I
  • AD 103 Studio Art Foundations II
  • AD 104 Drawing I
  • AD 105 Drawing II
  • AD 200 Painting I
  • AD 206 Introduction to Graphic Design
  • AD 226 Illustration I
    or AD 228 Children’s Book Illustration
  • AD 250 Graphic Design I (Typography)
  • AD 270 Digital Imaging
  • AD 300 Advanced Drawing
  • AD 304 Figure Drawing
  • AD 387 Internship**
  • AD 383 Senior Studio
  • AD 484 Senior Seminar
  • One 100-level course in Art History.
  • One 200-level course in Art History.
  • One additional 200- or 300-level Studio course.

2. Three courses in Scientific Illustration

  • SI 301 Scientific Illustration I
  • SI 302 Scientific Illustration II
  • SI 490 Senior Thesis

3. Six courses in Science

  • BI 101 General Biology I
  • BI 102 General Biology II
  • BI 211 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology
  • BI 222 Plant Biology
  • BI 317 Developmental Biology or BI321 Human Genetics and Development
  • CH 101 General Chemistry I

4. Recommended

  • AD 201 Color and Design
  • AD 208 Photography I
  • AD 251 Graphic Design II (Interactive Design)
  • AD 271 Digital Imaging II
  • BI 329 Ecology
  • BI 330 Conservation Biology

**Two- or four-credit internships consisting of supervised training in illustration, design, computer imaging, systematics and/or collections management may be set up at a studio or research institution in the Philadelphia area. Past internship sites include the Academy of Natural Sciences, Jefferson Hospital and the Philadelphia Zoo.

Coursework Required for an Emphasis in Pre-medical Illustration

1. One additional Art and Design course

  • FA 208 Photography I

2. Three science courses, in addition to

  • BI 101, BI 102 and CH 101
  • BI 205 Human Anatomy
    or BI 211 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology
  • BI 206 Human Physiology
  • BI 325 Cell Biology
    or BI 317 Developmental Biology
    or BI 321 Human Genetics and Development
    or BI 327 Histology


Request More InformationQuestionsApply Now

Visual & Performing Arts News
Prospective Student Events
Visual & Performing Arts Website

Contact Us

Art & Design Department 
Spruance Fine Arts Center