There’s a new path into the promising job market of health care - and it all begins with an art degree. By blending scientific knowledge with artistic and communication skills, students can prepare for a high-demand career with the potential to change lives, improve health, and educate people all over the world.
Medical Illustration students will take classes from KCAD, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Michigan State University. Classes are scheduled year-round in order to take advantage of open schedules and facilities at MSU, and you can earn the degree in just three years. Our pre-professional program prepares students for graduate or professional level study.
AT KCAD: Beginning in their first semester, students participate in studio classes where they learn to develop a mastery of multiple illustration techniques. This continues through their senior year. Art History and general education classes make sure students graduate with a well-rounded education.
AT FERRIS AND GRCC: Students will attend biology and medical terminology classes to expand their understanding of the human body and the language used to describe it.
AT MSU: Students will be immersed in histology and gross anatomy classes alongside students preparing for other careers in health care. MSU instructors will also guide illustration classes on certain topics.
KCAD’S BFA in Medical Illustration is a pre-professional program. This degree offers students preliminary training for becoming a medical illustrator through coursework that prepares graduates for admission to graduate school in medical illustration.
After completing the three-year program, your BFA in Medical Illustration will be awarded by KCAD.
Download the brochure here, or click on the links below for more information on this exciting new degree.
Get the scoop on the advantages of this unique collaboration.
See how Medical Illustration combines equal parts art, science and communication.
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Current Medical Illustration students: click here for information about registering and paying for GRCC or MSU classes.
An introduction to the computer as a design tool using the industry standards in page layout and digital illustration, and photo manipulation software, the Adobe Creative Suite. File transport (PDF) and font management software will also be introduced.
An introduction to the fundamentals of photography using both manually adjustable 35mm film cameras and digital cameras. This course includes black and white film development and darkroom printing as well as digital camera use and basic image manipulation controls using PhotoShop. The aesthetics of photography will be discussed in terms of its history, and artistic and technical advancements. Students must own or have use of a digital camera (prosumer grade or above; camera phones are not acceptable).
A problem-solving course covering the principles of composition and modular design systems. Uses predominately abstract shapes and black, white, and achromatic gray ranges.(Students who have earned credit for VISC 110, Design I, may not use credit earned in KCPA 110 to meet graduation requirements.)
A problem-solving course which studies the properties and interactions of color and its resulting perceptual effects in pictorial space.
A survey of contemporary and historical illustration techniques and movements. Career options will be covered, along with the fundamentals of composition and color, the application of media, and the basic elements of picture making.
Freehand drawing using basic perspective principles and quick sketch techniques.
Advanced freehand drawing and sketching with the addition of color media.
Exploration of color media and processes within specific illustration assignments.
Develops pen and ink skills and integrates traditional and digital media within the scope of monochromatic production. The goal will be to convey an aesthetically powerful illustration, which effectively provides a solution for a specific visual communication problem.
A drawing and painting course in super realism using various media.
Develops an entry level of digital illustration painting experience using Adobe Photoshop, utilizing basic Photoshop concepts, principles, and tools applied to the sequential development of illustrations.
Painting illustrative subject matter using fundamental water-based painting techniques.
Drawing the surface and structure of the head, hands and feet in a variety of different mediums, perspectives from direct observation.
The student will focus on in-depth human & anatomical based concepts and subject matter, dealing specifically with body systems investigation and narrative concepts associated with body processes. The execution processes in this course will utilize both traditional and digital media.
Advanced digital illustration experience using appropriate digital software. Students create digital illustrations for client specific print media: two-dimensional still image.
Covers concepts as an introductory course to digital 3D organic and inorganic model construction, whereby the virtual models designed are rendered and composited for 2D illustration purposes to solve specific conceptual problems.
This advanced course serves as a platform to investigate and discover human and natural science 3D animation to educate and instruct the viewer.
A capstone course focused on the creation of a professional, industry specific digital portfolio.
Advanced studio in medical illustration with emphasis on accuracy and realistic development of representations of directed anatomical content utlizing traditional and digital media to express visual solutions.
Advanced concepts and subject matter dealing specifically with medical, natural science subjects/topics, to serve as a basis for the development of a cohesive body of work. Exploration, Research and execution of thematic based work based on observation and visualization skills through diverse digital media in 2D and 3D. This course serves as a capstone to the Medical Illustration Program, the equivalent of 2 credits will be devoted to research/theme development and 3 credits will be devoted to development of the body of work.
This course focuses on using writing to develop ideas, hone critical thinking skills, and express ideas clearly and appropriately according to audience and purpose. Students write in a variety of modes and spend a portion of the semester engaging in scholarly research. Students also develop their public speaking skills.
This course provides a core understanding of effective storytelling. It examines the ways in which storytellers-both past and present-craft, organize, and convey ideas to successfully impact audiences, doing so through both inquiry into established narratives, as well as students' own experiments with narrative forms.
This course examines what it means to be a member of a particular society and how individuals both form and are formed by society. It will provide students with a better understanding of the social and cultural worlds they inhabit.
This course is an inquiry into the nature and power of philosophy to transform the way we experience the world around us and understand our place within it. Through a selection of readings representing various philosophical traditions and perspectives, critical discussion, and writing, students will examine some of the great questions that have intrigues philosophers from antiquity to present.
An overview of the Western Art tradition from prehistory through the Renaissance using a socio-cultural methodology in a chronological framework. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 110, Prehistoric through Middle Ages, may not use credit earned in KCAH 111 to meet graduation requirements.)
A survey of Western art from the Baroque to the present, this course will continue building upon the foundation of Western Art I; Prehistoric through the Renaissance, using a socio-cultural methodology in a chronological framework. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 111, Renaissance through 20th Century, may not use credit earned in KCAH 112 to meet graduation requirements.)
Download the catalog for the most recent course listings and prerequisites.
Contract medical illustrator, freelance medical illustrator, 2D and 3D animator, multimedia and interactive designer, medical sculptor.