Liberal Arts

Scientific Illustration Degree

Liberal Arts Bachelor's Degree Programs

At BVU the experience and practice of the visual arts is an interdisciplinary pursuit. Within the scientific illustration major, the areas offered are art history, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, drawing, and design. All studio courses for the scientific illustration major involve hands-on experience taught by faculty members who are professional artists.

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Take Me To

Why should I earn a scientific illustration degree?


Take advantage of BVU’s designated scientific illustration program.


Hone your illustration skills in BVU’s modern studios, copying real-life specimens as well as reference materials.


Use your skills to specialize in medicine, paleontology, biology, or chemistry.

What I Can Do With a Scientific Illustration Degree

  • Professional artist
  • Illustrator
  • Professor
  • Arts administrator
  • Science museum exhibit curator

On Campus

On Campus

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Why study scientific illustration at BVU?

Small Class Sizes

Thrive in small, intimate studio classes, an active studio environment, and a focused outcomes-based curriculum.

Studios and Galleries

Dive into BVU’s studio and gallery spaces to learn new techniques in your first year.

Artists Saving Lives

BVU is unique in offering an undergraduate degree specifically in scientific illustration. That means you’ll get in-depth, targeted instruction and hands-on experience you won’t find elsewhere.

Experienced Faculty

Your professors are practicing artists who will mentor you through the compelling demands and rewards of creative study.

BVU seeks to unite students with artists, innovators, and creators to mentor and inspire Beavers while showcasing their own talents and work. Artist-in-Residence Program

Scientific Illustration Courses

  • Major in Scientific Illustration/Pre-Medical Illustration (63 Credit Hours)

    Biology (22 credit hours)

    • BIOL 163 Biological Principles I
    • BIOL 164 Biological Principles II
    • BIOL 240 Microbiology
    • BIOL 426 Ornithology
    • BIOL 428 Mammalogy

    Scientific Illustration Studio (5 credit hours)

    • ARTD 290 Scientific Illustration
    • ARTD 390 Scientific Illustration II
    • ARTD 495 Internship

    Internships consisting of supervised training in illustration, design, computer imaging, systematics and/or collections management may be set up at a studio or research institution.

    Visual Art and Design Core (24 credit hours)

    • ARTD 180 Art Foundations: Drawing
    • ARTD 185 Art Foundations: 3D Design
    • ARTD 190 Art Foundations: Digital Design
    • ARTD 195 Portfolio Review
    • ARTD 240 Visual Literacy and Criticism
    • ARTD 250 Life Drawing
    • ARTD 280 Business of Art
    • ARTD 304 Critical Issues in Modern and Contemporary Art
    • ARTD 492 Art and Design Capstone
    • ARTD 493 Art and Design Practicum

    One course from

    • BIOL 210 Zoology
    • BIOL 222 Botany
    • BIOL 240 Microbiology
    • BIOL 426 Ornithology
    • BIOL 428 Mammalogy

    Recommended General Education and Electives

    • COMM 100 Fundamentals of Communication
    • COMM 225 Relational Communication
    • COMM 227 Advanced Public Speaking
    • COMM 230 Business and Professional Communication
    • ENVS 103 Introduction to Environmental Science
    • BIOL 210 Zoology
    • BIOL 222 Botany
    • BIOL 240 Microbiology
    • BIOL 426 Ornithology
    • BIOL 428 Mammalogy

    Visual Art and Design Studio (12 credit hours)

    • ARTD 270 Illustration & Storyboards
    • ARTD 320 Sculpture
    • ARTD 365 2D Animation
    • ARTD 367 3D Animation

Financial Aid & Scholarships

We’ll help you figure out your options for financial assistance and possible scholarships.

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Scientific Illustration Faculty

Our instructors are committed to helping you build the future of Iowa and beyond.

See Our Faculty

Transfer Your Credits

Do you have previously earned credits or an associate degree? BVU accepts most—if not all—of your credits so you don’t have to retake courses.

View Course Equivalencies

Earn a Master’s Degree Faster with Our Accelerated Program

With BVU's Plus One program, you can earn your special education, teaching English as a second language, or organizational leadership master's within one year of graduating with your bachelor’s degree. 

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Explore a Scientific Illustration Degree

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