Medical Illustration MFA

Graduate Admissions Counselor

David Wivell

Department Contact

James A. Perkins

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline February 15 Priority Deadline
Admit Term Fall Term Only
Entrance Exam None
Other Portfolio
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 79
PTE Academic 58


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

A medical illustrator is a professional artist with advanced education in the life sciences and visual communication. Collaborating with scientists and physicians, medical illustrators transform complex information into visual images that are used in education, research, patient care, public relations, legal cases, and marketing efforts.

Plan of study

The MFA program provides training in the biomedical sciences, the principles of visual communication, and a variety of digital media including 2D illustration, 3D computer modeling, animation, and interactive media. Students produce a thesis, which involves independent research and visual problem-solving to communicate a complex scientific subject.


Medical illustration, MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ILLM-601 Human Gross Anatomy 6
ILLM-602 Anatomic Studies 3
ILLM-603 3D Modeling of Biomedical Forms 3
MEDS-630 Human Immunology 4
MEDS-615 Medical Pathophysiology 3
ILLM-606 3D Animation of Biomedical Forms 3
ILLM-607 Computer Applications in Medical Illustration 3
ILLM-608 Scientific Visualization 3
  Studio Elective 3
ILLM-890 Thesis 1
Second Year
ILLM-615 Interactive Media I 3
ILLM-612 Surgical Illustration 3
  Studio Electives 3
ILLM-616 Interactive Media II 3
ILLM-617 Portfolio and Business Practices 3
MEDS-620 Histology and Histopathology 4
ILLM-890 Thesis 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 60


Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MFA in medical illustration, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in a field of the arts, sciences, or education. The undergraduate degree should include studio art courses, one year of general or introductory biology (for biology majors), and a minimum of three advanced biology courses, such as vertebrate anatomy, physiology, neurobiology, cell biology, molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, genetics, developmental biology, or pathology.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Demonstrate, through the quality of the undergraduate record and creative production, a genuine, professional potential.
  • Demonstrate, through the submission of a portfolio, outstanding drawing skills, particularly the ability to draw subjects from direct observation. (Refer to Portfolio Requirements for more information.)
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions. 
  • Those applicants coming from countries where the baccalaureate degree is not awarded for programs in the practice of art may be admitted to graduate study if the diploma or certificate received approximates the standards of the BFA, BA, or BS degrees, and if their academic records and portfolios indicate an ability to meet graduate standards.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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