Formal Education and Training for Scientific Illustrators:

Colleges and Universities


high school preparation | undergraduate programs | graduate programs | certificate programs | informal programs Undergraduate:

Undergraduate programs should include studio art classes (watercolor painting, figure drawing, graphic design), art history, and science (including biology, anatomy, chemistry, physiology, histology). If pursuing a graduate degree in science illustration, the undergraduate program should include foreign language studies and your science courses need to be at a pre-med level. Give consideration to whether the university has a "co-op" program, in which you can gain experience (and college credit) while working within the art community. That will help you to develop your resume. Also give consideration, in your selection of studio art classes, to your portfolio and which classes lend themselves to projects to add to your portfolio.

Iowa State University
Biological/Pre-Medical Illustration

Lamar Dodd School of Art
BFA with interdisciplinary certificate in Scientific Illustration

Rochester Institute of Technology
BFA, Medical Illustration major

University of Birmingham
Certificate of Higher Education in Botanical Illustration

University of Michigan
BFA

The University of Washington


Scientific Illustration Interested in pursuing a career in scientific illustration?

The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration
The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration is a great resource, providing instruction on techniques, information about materials, and more.

Scientific Illustration: A Guide to Biological, Zoological, and Medical Rendering Techniques, Design, Printing, and Display
Another classic for scientific illustrators is Phyllis Wood's Scientific Illustration.