The students enrolled in the Medical and Biological Illustration graduate program represent an even split between biology/pre-med majors and fine art majors. We evaluate art preparation on the portfolio, not grades. We evaluate science achievement by the student’s transcript, considering the final grade and the level and rigorousness of each course. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional.

Our students take some medical school courses with the Johns Hopkins medical students and are held to the same high standards for testing and lab performance. We need to be sure our applicants are qualified to pass these challenging courses as well as to perform rigorous thesis investigations in order to receive their Master of Arts degree from this institution. We screen applicants very carefully for excellent preparation and grades in undergraduate science coursework, to set them up for success at the graduate level.

  • 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 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:
    :: 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.