Medical Illustration

How the Medical Illustration Program Works

Medical Illustration students will take classes from KCAD; Ferris State University or 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.


Studio classes begin the first semester, gradually building until students master multiple illustration techniques by your final year. Art history and general education classes make sure you graduate with a well-rounded education.

At Ferris or GRCC

Students will attend biology and medical terminology classes to expand their understanding of the human body and the language used to describe it.


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. After completing the three-year program, your BFA in Medical Illustration will be awarded by KCAD.

A partnership where everybody wins.

Students and KCAD:

Whether students are assigned a certain topic or take an interest in a certain area, they’ll never have to search far for a knowledgeable person to explain the subject and direct the illustration. For any aspect of biology or anatomy, there’s an expert on hand (and a ready supply of examples) to answer questions at MSU. And because of the high demand for MSU classroom imagery, KCAD students have a very good chance of being published illustrators even before they graduate.


Most teaching hospitals rely on an aging database of medical illustrations that are extremely expensive to use and frequently out of date. Existing illustrations may not show what the medical team, patient, or others need to see, and commissioning a new illustration can take months or years. This new partnership links MSU to a ready supply of trained illustrators. Not only are student illustrations free for MSU, but they can be tailored exactly to the medical team’s specific needs and turned around immediately—giving MSU an advantage unheard of in the industry.

It’s a win-win situation, and KCAD's Medical Illustration students can expect a warm welcome and a nurturing atmosphere at MSU.

What will I learn?

See how Medical Illustration combines equal parts art, science and communication.

Make it
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