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Master of Fine Arts in Medical Illustration Rochester Institute of Technology



COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

Course info


A medical illustrator is a professional artist with advanced education in the biomedical sciences, cutting edge digital media, and the principles of visual communication. RIT’s MFA in medical illustration is one of only five such programs in North America and the only program in the northeast. It combines training in human anatomy (with complete cadaver dissection), immunology, histology (the cellular structure of organs), and patho-physiology (the study of disease) with extensive training in 2D and 3D digital graphics, interactive media, and animation.

Collaborating with scientists, physicians, and other health care professionals, medical illustrators translate complex scientific information into visual images that support medical education, science research, patient care, advertising, and litigation. Illustration projects are designed for use in print, projection, broadcast media, and distribution via the web and mobile devices.

The two-year program emphasizes visual problem solving, determining the best approach to communicate a difficult concept. Students also gain real world experience collaborating with medical researchers and observing live surgery in an operating room. The program culminates with the production of a thesis project, which requires extensive background research and an original body of artwork on a complex medical topic.

The MFA in medical illustration has established the following program goals and student learning outcomes:

Demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge in the biomedical sciences

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of human anatomy, molecular biology, physiology, and related biomedical sciences

Visualize scientific structures, processes, and concepts

  • Visualize and accurately render anatomic, tissue, cellular, and molecular structures
  • Illustrate physiological processes and abstract scientific concepts through visual storytelling

List instructional objectives to communicate biomedical content to a variety of target learners

  • Identify the target learners (audience) for each set of instructional illustrations
  • Describe the level of scientific literacy of each group of target learners
  • Create a set of instructional objectives for each instructional illustration

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Master of Fine Arts in Medical Illustration.

Full Time (59 credit hours)

Tuition fees

$50,136.00 (37,57,067) per year

USD $50,136 is for 12-18 Credit Hours; USD $37,602 for 9 Credit Hours




College of Health Sciences and Technology

153 Lomb Memorial Drive,


New York,

14623, United States

Entry requirement for international students

Applicants should hold

  • 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.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required.

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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