Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Scientific Illustration (Pre-Medical Emphasis) B.A.

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About the Program

  • Provides preparation for graduate study in medical illustration (Pre-Medical Emphasis)
  • Provides preparation for professional careers in biological illustration
  • Allows students to take advantage of a well-respected and innovative biology department
  • Offers internships at studios, research institutions, hospitals and zoos
  • Affords opportunities to study at some of the top universities around the world

Scientific Illustration is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the creation of images used to clarify scientific concepts. The program in Scientific Illustration combines study in biology with instruction in the fine and applied arts. Two emphases exist within the program: Scientific Illustration, which prepares students for a number of possible careers in biological, botanical, or related scientific illustration, and Scientific Illustration (Pre-Medical Emphasis), which 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.


(101 credits as listed below, with Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and electives to total 141 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.

Two Art History courses (8 credits)

Studio Art courses (48 credits)

Two Scientific Illustration courses (8 credits)

Seven Science Courses (28 credits)

BI 101   General Biology I 

BI 102   General Biology II

CH 101   General Chemistry I or

CH 111   Conceptual Chemistry I

CH 102   General Chemistry II or

CH 112   Conceptual Chemistry II


two courses from the following:

  • BI 206   Physiology and
  • BI 211   Comparative Anatomy and Physiology



one course from the following:

BI 317   Developmental Biology or

BI 318   Human Genome and Disease or

BI 325   Cell Biology or

BI 327   Histology


Senior Capstone Experience (9 credits)

Internships or Apprenticeships

Two- or four-credit internships or apprenticeships 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.

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