• An Undergraduate Degree (B.A., B.S. or B.F.A.) demonstrating high academic achievement.
  • Exemplary Science Preparation (comparable to pre-med) is required of all applicants, regardless of your major, with one semester in each of the following courses:
      General Chemistry: at a level for science majors,
      Vertebrate Anatomy: * with mammalian (cat) dissection lab,
      Vertebrate Physiology: * including organ systems,
      Upper-Level Biological Science: At least one of the following five specific advanced sciences: Cell Biology, Developmental Biology (Embryology), Histology, Molecular Biology, or Immunology.

      *A two semester course in Human Anatomy and Physiology may be substituted for both courses

  • A Strong Art Portfolio demonstrating ability to realistically render observed subject matter in the following:
      General Drawing: Realistic drawings created from direct observation expressing form in space, light on form, and a variety of surface textures. Examples should demonstrate skilled draftsmanship, ability to render detail, and should include still-life arrangements and animal and plant studies.
      Figure Drawing: Advanced studies of the human figure drawn directly from the model. Examples should include both long and short poses and may be rendered in a variety of media.
      Graphic Design: Layouts that integrate image and typography for a pre-selected format and audience. Client-oriented visual communication projects.
      Color Media: An accomplished use of transparent watercolor, opaque paint media, and colored pencil should be included. Landscape and still-life subject matter rendered in a representational manner should demonstrate accurately matched colors creating form and depth.
      Digital Media: A competency in use of digital media (for example, experience with raster, vector, 2D or 3D applications).
  • Excellent Written and Verbal Communication Skills with at least one course in English composition.

  • Portfolio Guidelines

  • 20 samples of artwork
  • Examples of all 5 required art categories:
    • General Drawing
      Figure Drawing
      Graphic Design
      Color Media
      Digital Media
      (See Prerequisites above or PDF Brochure)
  • A minimum of 5 figure studies.
  • A minimum of 2 digital media pieces (graphic design, illustration, or animation).
  • A minimum of 2 graphic design pieces.
  • A maximum of 2 examples of art outside the required categories which may include:
      Sculpture, Fine Art Prints, Multimedia Presentations, or Photography.***
  • Medical or Anatomical subject matter should NOT be included. (See FAQs)
  • Only properly identified artwork will be reviewed.
  • ***Categories of art not helpful to the Committee in predicting how successful a student will be in this career include: images drawn exclusively from photographic reference, abstract or non-representational art, collage, fantasy drawings, photography, non-representational sculpture, and functional art (fiber arts, pottery, etc). It is acceptable to include one or two examples in your portfolio to round out your presentation as an artist; however, these should not dominate your portfolio nor should they be substituted for the required categories such as life drawing.

    ***Do NOT include anatomical or medical illustration in the portfolio. Illustrations of dissections should be avoided.

    Click to view a Sample Portfolio

    The Portfolio Upload

    Click to begin your SlideRoom Portfolio & Applicant Profile
    Use the above link to submit a digital Portfolio along with an Applicant Profile beginning November 1st.
    The deadline is January 15th for enrollment the following August.

    Application Process

    A class of seven students is selected each year to matriculate in early August. The Application process occurs in two steps.

    Step One - Portfolio & Applicant Profile

    After reading the specific Prerequisites and Portfolio Guidelines, interested candidates use the following link to submit a 20-image Portfolio and to complete an Applicant Profile form between November 1st and January 15th of the admission year. There is a $10 fee to submit the online Portfolio/Profile.

    The last day to submit is January 15th.

    Link to submit your Portfolio and to complete your Applicant Profile:

    Step Two - Application & Interview

    Following the January 15th Portfolio/Profile due date, the Admissions Committee:
  • notifies all candidates who qualify for final consideration,
  • provides access to the online application web site, and
  • invites them for interview to review the original art from their portfolio.
  • Only those applicants invited to continue should submit the application.
    Candidates may be asked to bring additional artwork.
    All candidates are asked to bring a sketchbook, if they keep one, to share with the Committee.

    On the interview day:
  • Candidates have 2 interviews: a 1-on-1 interview the Program Director, and a group interview with faculty on the Admissions Committee.
  • During these two interviews, portfolio originals are spread throughout a conference room in a mini-gallery.
  • As a group, candidates will also tour the Department and medical campus, meet informally with off-site faculty, and have lunch with the current students.
  • Due dates for the application and supporting documents are provided at the time the interview date is set and are no less than three days prior to the interview date. Detailed information about the application is included in the online application instructions. The following supporting documents are requested through the online application system:
    1. Three letters of recommendation. At least one from a science instructor and one from an art instructor.
    2. Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.*
    3. Statement of interest in the program.
    4. Application fee.

    *Unofficial transcript uploads are sufficient for the review process. Official transcripts, those mailed or electronically delivered directly from the administration at one school to an office or department at another school, and that confirm your degree was granted, are needed from accepted students prior to matriculation into the program.

    Final admission status notification to all applicants is provided no later than April 15th.

    April 4, 2017

    Thesis Presentations 2017 – April 14th, 3:00-5:00 PM

    We are pleased to announce the 2017 Thesis Presentations will be held Friday, April 14th at 3:00 PM in the Chevy Chase Auditorium on the main level of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Zayed Tower. This is an opportunity for our faculty and guests to view research in the art of communicating medical and biological science. We invite you to attend and welcome your input on the content and clarity of the scientific research and the educational and teaching value of the images presented. Convenient garage parking is available for a modest fee in the Orleans Street Garage with elevated bridge access to the Zayed Tower of the Hospital.                                             
    December 20, 2016

    A Close Look – Color Media

    Great places to start learning about our Portfolio Categories are the Sample Portfolio page – and the Admissions page – Let’s take a look at the Color Media category. In the Color Media Category, the faculty are looking for “an accomplished use of transparent watercolor, opaque paint media, and colored pencil. Landscape and still-life subject matter rendered in a representational manner should demonstrate accurately matched colors creating form and depth. The main aspects are the understanding of light on form and the skill of direct observation from nature.” Notice in the Color section of the Sample Portfolio a variety of media and distinctive personal styles are shown, yet all examples also accomplish the goal of the category – accurately matched colors creating form and depth. Most are still life and landscape, but we occasionally also see wonderful portraits, animal studies, and figures rendered in color. In addition to good proportions and accurate perspective, these pieces have cast shadows and reflected color adding to the illusion of three dimensional objects depicted on a flat surface. All also were created while directly observing the subjects/objects depicted avoiding photo reference. While the faculty like to see watercolor, opaque paint (oil or acrylic) […]
    November 2, 2016

    A Close Look – Figure Drawing

    The best places to start for learning about our Portfolio Categories is the Sample Portfolio page – and the Admissions page – Let’s take a look at the Figure Drawing category. We consider Figure Drawing to be the advanced study of the human figure drawn from direct observation of the model. Examples should include both long and short poses and may be rendered in a variety of media. We ask for a minimum of 5 Figure Drawings, a majority of which should be long poses but please include a couple of short pose drawings as well (see below). Your Figure Drawings should include the full figure, head to toe. Portraits and hand and foot studies are considered General Drawing. Short Poses Short poses are demonstrations of quick gestural sketches from direct observation ranging from 1 minute to 30 minutes in length. These drawings are intended to capture the essence of the figure’s mass, gesture, weight bearing and balance Take a look at these short poses. Both capture the full figure. In the first, with only a few seconds, the artist captured good proportions and perspective. The cast shadow adds depth and weight to the quickly outlined figure. In […]

    Tuition and Fees

    Tuition for Academic Year 2016-2017 is $50,160/year.

    Substantial Department scholarship funds provide tuition support to all students. Students are encouraged to apply for graduate student loan support. The Financial Aid Office of the Medical School certifies the eligibility of students for US Federal loan programs.

    Financial considerations are confidential and individually determined, and do not influence admissions decisions.

    Scholarships and Awards


    • The W. B. Saunders Company Fellowship in Art as Applied to Medicine This fellowship was established in 1964 in honor of Lawrence Saunders upon his retirement after 50 years of distinguished leadership in medical publishing.
    • The William P. Didusch Scholarship and Loan Fund An endowment for student tuition support in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine was established in 1973 with a generous gift from Mr. Didusch. A significant contribution was added to this Fund from the estate of Bertha M. Trott whose death in 1973 ended a life filled with dedication and service to urologists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere. Memorial contributions from friends and colleagues have been added to this Fund since the death of William P. Didusch in 1981.
    • The Kathleen Mackay Powell Memorial Fund An endowment to assist and benefit students in the field of medical illustration given in memory of Kathleen Mackay Powell who studied in the department (1930-31) under Max Brödel.
    • The Elinor Widmont Bodian Scholarship in Medical Art This scholarship fund was established in 2000 by Mrs. Bodian and her family to provide financial assistance to students in Medical Illustration.
    • The Leon Schlossberg Scholarship Fund This scholarship was established in 1999 in memory of Leon Schlossberg’s lifetime association as a medical illustrator for the Department of Surgery and faculty member in Art as Applied to Medicine.
    • The Chester Reather Scholarship in Art as Applied to Medicine An endowment established in Art as Applied to Medicine in honor of Chester Reather’s distinguished career as a medical photographer and research associate at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This fund is used to reward a graduate student with a scholarship for innovative research and creative use of new imaging technology. More on this scholarship.
    • The Frank H. Netter, M.D. Memorial Scholarship in Medical Art Frank H. Netter, M.D. is known world-wide as a medical illustrator who could distill complex medical subject matter into clear, effective teaching images. Dr. Netter was not only a skilled draftsman, but knowledgeable in anatomy, physiology, and pathology through his medical training. Family and friends established this scholarship to recognize a student in Art as Applied to Medicine who displays a similar balance of medical and scientific knowledge with the artistic skills that he exhibited throughout his career. Winners of this award have excelled in their academic courses; displayed exceptional art expression; and most importantly utilized both resources to create well designed and effective didactic illustrations. 2015 Recipient: Laura Roy. More on this scholarship.
    • The Gwynne M. Gloege Scholarship Fund in Medical Art This scholarship fund was established in 2004 by Gwynne Gloege (JHU ’56) to provide financial assistance to medical art students. Financial aid and scholarships are awarded to students within the program based on financial need and academic performance.
    • The Ranice W. Crosby Student Scholarship Fund

    Awards, Lectureship, and Support

    • The Annette S. Burgess Award The alumni of the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine contribute funds each year which provide for an annual award given to the student whose ophthalmological illustration is outstanding. More on this award.
    • The Ranice W. Crosby Distinguished Achievement Award Through the generosity of alumni, colleagues, and friends, a medallion honoring Ranice W. Crosby, Director of Art as Applied to Medicine from 1943 to 1983, is awarded for scholarly contributions to the advancement of art as applied to the medical sciences. The recipient is selected by a committee at intervals of from one to three years. 2015 Recipient: Philippe Gailloud. More on this award.
    • The Samson Feldman Visiting Scholar in Art as Applied to Medicine Rossetta A. and Sadie B. Feldman, sisters of Samson Feldman, established a visiting lectureship to honor his life as an artist and lifelong patron of the arts. Lecturers are selected from distinguished scholars in visual communications with the purpose of presenting contemporary views pertaining to medical art. The selection of lecturers are made by a committee representing the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine.
    • The James M. and Carolyn H. Phelps Fund Support for the preservation and care of the Max Brödel Archives. This fund was established in memory of their parents by the Phelps family.

    All students with disabilities who require accommodations for a course should contact Catherine L. Will, Disability Services Coordinator for Graduate Biomedical Education ( or 410-614-3781) at their earliest convenience to discuss their specific needs. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.