Combining art and science, medical illustrators provide visual support for the health science and medical instruction fields. From traditional carbon dust renderings to three-dimensional, animated digital imagery, medical illustration spans the fullest range of artistic media. Building on a foundation of drawing and design, students learn how to translate anatomical and surgical sketches into instructional illustrations, courtroom exhibitions, computer graphics, ads, and more.
The major combines the study of the visual arts with science, including gross anatomy. Through collaboration with area hospitals, students are able to draw from direct observation of operations in progress. Digital technology integrated into the studio environment enables students to create highly polished, sophisticated images and well-designed, interactive, educational media presentations that include motion graphics and sound.
Students may select electives that enhance their studies or allow them to pursue an area of personal or professional interest. Electives are available in graphic design, new media design, 3D digital graphics, illustration, graphic visualization, industrial design, interior design, fine arts studio, environmental design, ceramics, glass, metals, textiles, woodworking, filmmaking and photography. To be eligible for these electives, students must complete the foundation program or have the permission of the instructor. Additional selections are offered as special topics courses.
Medical illustration, BFA degree, typical course sequence
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|FDTN-111, 112||Drawing I, II||6|
|FDTN-121, 122||2D Design I, II||6|
|FDTN-131||3D Design I||3|
|FDTN-132||3D Design II||3|
|BIOM-111, 231||Human Biology I (SMTL) and Lab||8|
|BIOM-112, 232||Human Biology II (SMTL) and Lab||8|
|LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar†||3|
|LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing||3|
|Year One: College Experience||0|
|ILLM-507||Computer Applications In Medical Illustration||3|
|MEDS-250, 251||Anatomy and Physiology I, II||7|
|ARTH-135||LAS Perspective 2: History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval||3|
|ARTH-136||LAS Perspective 3: History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern||3|
|LAS Perspective 1, 4||6|
|ILLM-501||Human Gross Anatomy||6|
|ILLM-502||Illustrating Human Anatomy||3|
|ILLM-503||3D Modeling Organic Forms||3|
|ILLM-506||3D Animation Organic Forms||3|
|CIAS Studio Elective§||3|
|LAS Immersion 1, 2||6|
|ILLM-515, 516||Contemporary Media I, II||6|
|ILLM-517||Portfolio and Business (WI)||3|
|CIAS Studio Electives§||6|
|LAS Immersion 3||3|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||124|
Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2015-16 academic year.
‡ Illustration electives include the following: Illustration I (ILLS-213), Digital Illustration I (ILLS-219), and Zoological and Botanical Illustration (ILLS-323).
§ CIAS Studio Elective courses are those designated with studio/lab hours listed in the course description.
Art history electives
|ARTH-135||History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval|
|ARTH-136||History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern*|
|ARTH-221||Contemporary Design Issues|
|ARTH-311||Art of Italy: 1250-1400|
|ARTH-312||Art of Italy: 1600-1750|
|ARTH-317||Art Florence and Rome: 15th Century|
|ARTH-318||Art Florence and Rome: 16th Century|
|ARTH-345||History of Architecture Interior and Furniture I†|
|ARTH-346||History of Architecture Interior and Furniture II†|
|ARTH-364||Art of Paris|
|ARTH-366||18th, 19th Century Art|
|ARTH-368||20th Century Art: 1900-1950|
|ARTH-369||20th Century Art: Since 1950|
|ARTH-373||Art of the Last Decade|
|ARTH-378||Baroque Painting in Flanders|
|ARTH-379||Renaissance Painting in Flanders|
|ARTH-392||Theory and Criticism of 20th Century|
|ARTH-457||Art and Activism|
|ARTH-541||Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome|
|ARTH-550||Topics in Art History|
|ARTH-554||Late Medieval Art|
|ARTH-558||The Gothic Revival|
|ARTH-561||Latin American Art|
|ARTH-566||Early Medieval Art|
|ARTH-568||Art and Technology: Machine Aesthetic Cyborg|
|ARTH-572||Art of the Americas|
|ARTH-574||Dada and Surrealism|
|ARTH-576||Modernism and Realism|
|ARTH-581||Russian Realist Art|
|ARTH-586||Studies in Material Culture|
|ARTH-587||The Gothic Cathedral|
|ARTH-588||Symbols and Symbol-Making|
* This course is required for students in majors in the schools of American Crafts, Art, Design, and Photographic Arts and Sciences (BFA programs only).
† This course is required for students majoring in interior design and furniture design.
Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only
Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.
Medical illustration students learn to provide visual support for communications and instruction in medicine and allied health sciences. Graduating students rely on their course work in biology, anatomy, and art in their professional roles.
Medical illustration, BFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)
|Course||Qtr. Cr. Hrs.|
|2013-215||Foundation Vector Imaging||1|
|2013-216||Foundation Raster Imaging||1|
|2013-211, 212, 213||Drawing I, II, III||9|
|2013-231, 232, 233||2D Design I, II, III||9|
|2013-241, 242, 243||3D Design I, II, III||9|
|1720-050, 052||First-Year Enrichment||2|
|2039-225, 226, 227||Survey of Western Art and Architecture I, II, III||9|
|2019-311||Digital Illustration I||3|
|1004-212, 259||Human Biology II, III||8|
|Choose three of the following courses:||9|
|2019-306||Head, Hands, Facial Expressions|
|2019-323||Zoological and Botanical Illustration|
|2019-345||Illustration Techniques I|
|2021-xxx||Figure in Motion|
|Art History Electives§||9|
|2020-431, 432||Human Gross Anatomy||8|
|2019-304||Anatomical Figure Drawing||3|
|2020-407||Anatomical Wet Media Illustration||3|
|2020-406||Anatomical Drawing and Illustration||3|
|2020-408||Computer Application Anatomical Illustration||3|
|Anatomical Drawing II||3|
|2020-410||Anatomical Illustration Mixed Media||3|
|2020-501||Advanced Medical Illustration||3|
|2020-504||Surgical Drawing and Illustration I||3|
|2020-505||Surgical Drawing and Illustration II||3|
|2020-506||Computer Animation in Medical Illustration||3|
|2020-507||Marketing and Business Practices||3|
|2020-508||Medical Illustration Portfolio||3|
|Total Quarter Credit Hours||189-196|
* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.
† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
§ Please refer to the list of art history electives.
Students have the opportunity to select electives that enhance their studies or allow them to pursue an area of personal or professional interest. Electives are available in the following areas: graphic design, illustration, graphic visualization, industrial design, interior design, fine arts studio, environmental design, ceramics, glass, metals, textiles, woodworking, filmmaking, photography, and imaging technology. To be eligible for these electives, students must complete the foundation program or have the permission of the instructor. Additional selections are offered as special topics courses.
Art history electives
Students are required to select three art history electives to broaden their understanding of the historical development of the arts. Art history electives include:
2039-300 History of Design
2039-306 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design I
2039-307 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design II
2039-308 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design III
2039-310 History of Crafts
2039-315 Pre-Columbian Art
2039-316 Florence and Rome 1400-1470
2039-317 Florence and Rome 1470-1520
2039-318 Florence and Rome 1520-1590
2039-320 History of Art Criticism
2039-330 Philosophy in Art
2039-340 Symbols and Symbol Making
2039-355 Latin American Art
2039-360 18th and 19th Century Art
2039-368 Scandinavian Modernism
2039-375 20th Century Art Since 1950
2039-376 Renaissance Painting in Flanders
2039-385 Installation Art
2039-390 Native American Art and Culture
2039-395 Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
2039-410 The Art of Art History
2039-415 Thinking About Making
2039-425 Public Art/Public Spaces
2039-430 Dada and Surrealism
2039-433 What Is Post Modernism?
2039-435 Art of the Last Decade
2039-438 Body in Art
2039-440 Conceptual Art
2039-443 Art and Technology: From the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
2039-452 Art and Activism
2039-459 Art Central Italy 1250-1400
2039-469 Baroque Rome