15 Best Medical Illustration Programs in 2023 | Apply Now

In the rapidly evolving field of medical illustration, staying up-to-date with the latest technology and software is crucial for aspiring professionals. 

As we approach 2023, it is essential to identify the best programs available that can equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this niche industry. 

With a plethora of options to choose from, selecting the ideal medical illustration program can be a daunting task. 

To simplify your search, we have meticulously curated a list of the 15 best medical illustration programs in 2023. 

Whether you are an aspiring medical illustrator or seeking to enhance your existing skillset, these programs offer top-notch education and training opportunities tailored to your needs.

About Medical Illustration Programs

In the medical illustration, art and science are combined to produce visual representations of biological and medical concepts. Medical illustrators create accurate and educational images by combining their artistic talents, anatomical expertise, and medical knowledge.

These graphics are crucial in healthcare and medical research by promoting communication, education, and understanding among medical professionals, patients, and the general public.

The value of medical illustrations in research and healthcare

Medical graphics are crucial in many areas of study and healthcare. They are utilized in various publications, including medical textbooks, academic journals, patient education materials, anatomical atlases, surgical manuals, and pharmaceutical ads. 

These drawings make these explanations of intricate medical procedures, anatomical features, and disease processes easier. 

In addition, they help with scientific concept visualization, medical equipment design, and surgical planning. In situations where photography or other imaging techniques might not be appropriate or available, medical graphics are vital.

Functions of Medical Illustration Programs in Professional Development

Medical illustration training programs are essential for preparing people to work as expert medical illustrators. Students who complete these programs will thoroughly understand anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical jargon, and scientific visualization methods. 

Additionally, they instruct students on how to use a variety of traditional and digital art supplies, as well as software and techniques unique to medical illustration.

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Things to Take Into Account When Selecting a Medical Illustration Program

Accreditation and recognition: 

It’s critical to consider Accreditation and recognition while selecting a medical illustration school. To be accredited, the program must adhere to specific academic criteria and quality benchmarks. Search for courses that have received Accreditation from recognized bodies like the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Examine the program’s curriculum and courses to see if they correspond with your interests and professional objectives. Look for classes that provide a solid foundation in 3D modeling, animation, digital imaging, medical terminology, and anatomy. Examine the program’s coverage of interactive media creation, medical, legal illustration, and surgical and scientific visualization.

Faculty and expertise

Look at the credentials and experience of the program’s professors. Skilled and experienced teachers can considerably impact the level of education you receive. 

Look for professors who have training in scientific research, medical illustration, and the arts. Consider whether the professors are knowledgeable in the subject and connected to the industry.

Facilities and resources

Consider the facilities and resources offered to program participants. Verify if the program provides access to facilities such as fully-stocked art studios, computer labs with the necessary software, anatomy labs, and libraries with a wealth of medical reference books. 

A thorough education in medical illustration requires adequate access to digital imaging tools, 3D modeling software, and other industry-standard resources.

Examine the program’s internship and job placement chances. A robust program will offer opportunities for students to get real-world experience through internships, partnerships with businesses in the industry, or collaborations with medical institutes. 

Additionally, research the program’s track record regarding alum achievement and job placement rates. This information can help you understand how well the curriculum prepares students for careers in medical illustration.

Considering these criteria, you can choose a medical illustration program that best fits your educational and professional goals.

1. Augusta University 

Total on-campus Cost: $21,254

Augusta University is one of the top universities with a top-notch medical illustration department. 

The extensive curriculum offered by Augusta University gives students the tools they need to succeed in this sector because of its long history and dedication to quality. 

The Augusta University curriculum goes beyond conventional art education by mixing cutting-edge digital technologies and sophisticated scientific topics into its coursework.

The highly qualified professors at Augusta University, many of whom have backgrounds in both medicine and the arts, are one feature that distinguishes the institution from others. 

These professionals offer students priceless advice that helps them thoroughly understand human anatomy, surgical techniques, and medical imaging methods. 

Additionally, students get access to cutting-edge equipment and software through the university’s advanced facilities, which medical illustrators use in the industry worldwide.

Augusta University offers several possibilities for students to get real-world experience through internships, research projects, and its outstanding academic offerings.

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2. Cleveland Institute of Art

Total on-campus Cost: $58,880

One of the top US schools offering medical illustration programs is the Cleveland Institute of Art. The institute’s dedication to quality and thorough curriculum helps students develop essential skills that position them for a lucrative future in this specialized field. 

The Cleveland Institute of Art’s program provides a remarkable synthesis of artistic talent and scientific understanding, giving students the tools to represent intricate medical concepts effectively.

The Cleveland Institute of Art stands out partly because of its knowledgeable professors. Besides being great painters, the lecturers are specialists in several medical specialties. 

Their breadth of knowledge enables them to instruct students precisely and accurately on complex topics, including anatomy, physiology, and surgical procedures.

Students have access to cutting-edge equipment, practical training opportunities, and theoretical knowledge, allowing them to hone their understanding of medical science while honing their artistic abilities.

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3. Johns Hopkins University

Total on-campus cost: $71,901

One of the top universities for medical education and research is Johns Hopkins University, which has a lengthy history in this field. 

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that their medical illustration program is regarded as one of the best in the industry. This program, which has a long history from 1911, combines creative talent and scientific expertise to produce incredibly accurate and comprehensive graphics in medical textbooks, journals, and educational materials.

Students in the Medical Illustration program at Johns Hopkins University receive thorough instruction in traditional and digital illustration methods. 

The faculty comprises seasoned professionals who are leaders in their disciplines, guaranteeing that students receive the highest caliber training. 

Additionally, the curriculum provides exceptional chances for collaboration with other divisions of the university’s esteemed School of Medicine, enabling students to collaborate with medical professionals and researchers on cutting-edge initiatives.

Additionally, Johns Hopkins University offers outstanding career chances for graduate degrees in medical illustration.

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4. University of Georgia

Total on-campus cost: $26,688

One of the top universities offering studies in medical illustration is the University of Georgia. Its extensive curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities provide students with an outstanding educational experience in this subject. 

The University of Georgia’s teaching members are highly qualified experts who offer top-notch instruction and direction to aspirant medical illustrators.

Modern facilities are one of the main reasons the University of Georgia stands out. The institution proudly provides state-of-the-art labs with cutting-edge hardware and software that help students hone their digital rendering, 3D modeling, and animation abilities. 

These tools guarantee that program graduates are well-equipped to handle the demands of a rapidly changing sector.

In addition, the medical illustration department at the University of Georgia provides a well-rounded curriculum that blends artistic skills and scientific understanding.

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5. Rowan College

Total on-campus cost: $32,099

Rowan University is one of the top schools to consider when pursuing a medical illustration profession. Rowan University offers students an exceptional opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in this subject, thanks to its extensive curriculum and renowned instructors. 

Modern facilities and a focus on giving students real-world experience show how committed the university is to greatness.

Students in the medical illustration program at Rowan University are given the tools and resources they need to succeed in this cutthroat business. 

A wide range of topics are covered in the curriculum, such as anatomy, physiology, surgical methods, and digital media. Graduates are guaranteed excellent artistic skills and a thorough comprehension of medical principles through this interdisciplinary approach.

The curriculum at Rowan University has a lot to offer, and one of those things is its highly qualified staff.

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6. University of Illinois at Chicago

Total on-campus cost: $30,866

One of the top universities with a medical illustration department is the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). UIC is a top option for aspiring medical illustrators due to its illustrious reputation and dedication to perfection. 

Students in the program at UIC receive a thorough education that combines artistic skill with scientific understanding, ensuring they are prepared for success in this specialized profession.

The medical illustration program at UIC benefits from partnerships with prestigious Chicago-area hospitals, which is one of its main advantages. 

Through this partnership, students can acquire practical experience working closely with healthcare professionals and researchers, giving them a unique perspective on the industry. The UIC faculty comprises seasoned professionals who contribute knowledge and connections to the classroom to enhance learning.

Students at UIC have access to cutting-edge tools and services that foster their artistic growth.

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7. Iowa State University

Total on-campus cost: $21,186

Iowa State University’s illustration program is next on our list of best medical illustration programs. 

ISU allows students to obtain a thorough education in the arts and sciences while strongly emphasizing interdisciplinary education. The curriculum is meant to allow students to convey complicated medical information visually.

Modern facilities and cutting-edge technology are available to students at ISU, enhancing their educational experience. Highly skilled individuals make up the faculty, who offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom. 

They assist students as they navigate various courses covering anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical terminology, and digital illustration skills. 

Additionally, there are possibilities for research and internships that give students hands-on experience in the industry.

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8. Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Total on-campus cost: $57,401

One of the top universities offering a top-notch education in medical illustration is the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which has a long history of recognition. 

The program provided by RIT stands out as one of the best in the industry thanks to its dedication to excellence and a strong emphasis on fusing art and science. 

Students at RIT gain access to a cutting-edge curriculum that combines classic art methods with advanced technology to better prepare them for the changing demands of this particular field.

Students at RIT have access to cutting-edge facilities and materials that enhance their educational experience. The curriculum includes specialized labs outfitted with advanced imaging tools that let students experiment with different methods of viewing challenging medical ideas. 

RIT’s affiliations with prominent medical institutes offer students various internship and group project options. This exposure to real-world situations further improves their skills and comprehension of medical illustration.

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9. Arcadia College

Total on-campus cost: $59,980

Arcadia University is one of the top universities for aspirant medical illustrators, which has cemented its position in the industry. 

Arcadia offers students a top-notch education in this subject thanks to its extensive curriculum, knowledgeable faculty, and cutting-edge facilities. 

The Arcadia University program combines anatomy and physiology with artistic approaches to produce accurate and artistically appealing medical graphics.

Students at Arcadia have access to cutting-edge hardware and software that enables them to hone their digital illustration talents. 

The professors are seasoned experts who bring expertise and contacts to the industry to the classroom. They lead students through practical assignments that test their ability to be creative while preserving scientific rigor.

Along with providing students with an outstanding academic experience, Arcadia University offers many chances to gain practical experience through internships and partnerships with healthcare experts.

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10. University of California, San Francisco 

Total on-campus cost: $58,222

With a reputation for distinction in research and instruction, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is one of the top medical schools in the United States. 

The Master of Science in Biomedical Imaging program at UCSF lasts four semesters. He instructs students in various imaging techniques, such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound, as well as anatomy, physiology, and pathology. 

Additionally, students get the chance to work on projects from the real world and do research, giving them practical experience.

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11. University of Toronto

One of Canada’s top universities, the University of Toronto, has become a popular option for medical illustration students seeking to develop their craft in one of the nation’s liveliest cities. 

To help students advance their knowledge and abilities in medical illustration, the institution provides a four-year Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Communications curriculum that blends science, art, and technology.

Graduates of this curriculum gain skills in digital media, 3D modeling, and animation, as well as a mix of academic and practical knowledge.

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12. Zurich School of the Arts

Students seeking a diversified and exciting educational experience should strongly consider the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland. 

Students interested in medical illustration can earn a Master’s degree in Science and Arts. The course blends cutting-edge technology with conventional illustrative methods to give students a thorough understanding of the subject. 

Students also work with real doctors and scientists, allowing them to practice making medical visual aids firsthand.

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13. Champlain College

Champlain College has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top universities in this industry, thanks to its outstanding medical illustration programs. 

With a strong emphasis on cutting-edge technology and practical knowledge, Champlain gives students the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. 

The college has advanced facilities and offers students valuable exposure to tools and software used in the business.

The faculty of Champlain’s medical illustration department, which comprises seasoned experts who are pioneers in their specialties, is one of its greatest assets. These committed teachers ensure students obtain the best education possible by offering them essential advice and mentorship. 

Additionally, the curriculum at Champlain blends demanding coursework with practical projects, enabling students to put their knowledge to use in real-world situations. This sensible approach improves learning results and equips graduates with the skills they need to succeed in medical illustration.

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14. Southern University of Alabama 

Tuition $7,332

The University of South Alabama has established itself as one of the top schools with top-notch programs in medical illustration. It stands apart from other universities with state-of-the-art research facilities, a committed faculty, and a dedication to education quality.

The University of South Alabama offers a thorough curriculum that combines art and science to help students hone their medical illustration and drawing talents.

The university’s medical illustration program allows students to study under-recognized professionals with years of experience. These professors ensure students receive excellent instruction by offering vital advice and mentorship throughout the program.

Anatomy, pathology, surgical techniques, and digital imaging methods are only a few topics in the curriculum about medical illustration. 

With this all-encompassing approach, graduates gain a wide range of skills that position them for lucrative employment in medical imaging.

The University of South Alabama offers its students cutting-edge amenities to improve their educational experiences.

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What is the role of a medical illustrator?

Medical illustrators are crucial in visually communicating complex medical and scientific information. They use their artistic skills, knowledge of anatomy, and understanding of medical concepts to create accurate and visually compelling illustrations. Medical illustrators produce visuals for various purposes, including textbooks, scientific journals, patient education materials, anatomical atlases, surgical guides, and pharmaceutical advertisements. Their work aids in explaining medical procedures, illustrating anatomical structures, visualizing disease processes, and supporting medical research and education.

How long does it take to complete a medical illustration program?

The duration of a medical illustration program can vary. Undergraduate programs in medical illustration typically span four years, similar to a bachelor’s degree program. Graduate programs, such as a Master of Science in Medical Illustration, may take around two years to complete. However, program lengths can be influenced by factors such as part-time or full-time enrollment, course load, and additional requirements such as internships or thesis projects. Prospective students should refer to the specific program of interest and consult with the university’s academic department for accurate and up-to-date information.

Are there any prerequisites for applying to medical illustration programs?

Prerequisites for medical illustration programs can vary depending on the institution. Typically, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, preferably in a relevant field such as art, biology, or a related discipline. However, some programs may consider applicants from diverse academic backgrounds. Additionally, submission of a portfolio showcasing artistic abilities, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, academic transcripts, and a resume or curriculum vitae is often required. It is advisable to refer to the specific program’s requirements and contact the admissions office for detailed information.


Medical illustration continues to grow and evolve, with new technologies and programs being developed yearly. The 15 best medical illustration programs in 2023 offer students a comprehensive education and training in this specialized field, equipping them with the necessary skills to create accurate and visually appealing medical illustrations. 

Whether you are an aspiring medical illustrator or looking to advance your career, these programs provide excellent learning and professional development opportunities.

Apply now to secure your spot in one of these prestigious programs and take your first step toward a successful career in medical illustration. 



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