Admissions season approaching
October 10, 2016
Sandra Gabelli discusses PI3K and cancer cells
October 17, 2016

Prerequisite Sciences – any advice?

The first-year Medical and Biological Illustration students just took their last exam in the med-student Human Anatomy course on Monday! This is likely the toughest course in medical school anywhere in the world, and, unlike the medical students who earn pass/fail marks, our students earn letter grades. Because the Hopkins Human Anatomy course starts within the first month of classes, it is essential that incoming students enter our program with a firm foundation in preparatory sciences.

To help best prepare applicants for the challenging sciences taken during our program, the Admissions faculty have selected 4 sciences that will offer incoming students the minimum preparation for success at Hopkins. All applicants are required to complete all 4 prerequisite sciences prior to enrollment in the program (August, 2017). At least 2 must be completed prior to submitting your portfolio by January 15th. Taking more than the minimum can offer better preparation and a better knowledge base for a future career in medial illustration.

Vertebrate Anatomy

with dissection lab

A strong Vertebrate Anatomy lecture class combined with a hands-on dissection lab is essential preparation for the science classes taken during the program at Hopkins. Artists who have hands-on experience with dissection develop a tactile memory for the different organs, textures, locations and inter-relationships that will inform the art they create later during the program. Learning anatomical terminology and scientific names is encouraged.

Vertebrate Physiology

Knowing how these various structures function is equally important preparation. Understanding the complex processes of the cells, tissues, and organ systems of the body is the foundation of medical research. Look for a class that includes organ systems physiology.

General Chemistry

A foundation in the fundamental principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, the periodic table, stoichiometry and chemical equations, gas laws, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, and elementary thermodynamics are helpful preparation.

Upper-Level Biology

 5 Choices: Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Embryology, Immunology, or Histology

Not every university or college offers the same courses. Because of this, the faculty have a short list of 5 courses they believe will offer applicants a chance to prove their ability to achieve high marks in a tough science, like those taken during our program. In addition, these courses will further prepare applicants for the concepts they will later illustrate in the program and profession. Each should be an advanced course typically taken in the last years of undergraduate study (i.e. junior / senior level coursework). Applicants need to take only one of these five options for this prerequisite.

With medical research increasingly focused on molecular and cellular structures, medical illustrators are illustrating these concepts more and more. A firm foundation in this level of science will help when communicating with clients and creating illustrations. Each of the above Upper-Level sciences will offer a solid foundation.

Key topics covered in these courses might include:

  • Biochemical and physiological mechanisms underlying cellular function.
  • Properties of cells which make life possible and mechanisms by which cells provide energy, reproduce, regulate and integrate with each other and their environment
  • DNA; RNA; transcription and translation; protein synthesis
  • cell organelles, cytoskeleton, transport, and cycle control
  • cell membrane and membrane dynamics
  • chromosomal organization; epigenetics; etc.

As always, if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us – or Request Information.

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