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Biological Illustration

The Program

The Biological Illustration program is a rigorous and well-defined program of course work. A prospective Biological Illustration major must arrange for two advisors who agree to supervise the program. One supervisor must be a professional illustrator and the other must be a faculty member in an appropriate science department, such as Botany, Entomology, or Zoology.
Each prospective graduate must present to the program office in 2014 Turlington a portfolio of illustrations that has been approved by the advisors as representative of the student’s accomplishments during the course of study.
After graduation, an illustrator may find employment with museums, or with botany, zoology, entomology, anthropology, or medical departments within universities, botanical gardens, or research organizations, both public and private.

Admission to the Program

Enrollment is restricted to only a few highly qualified students, because of the tutorial nature of much of the instruction. Students should prepare for this major as early as possible in their academic careers. The usual College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requirements and the following are essential:

  • BSC 2010 and BSC 2010L. Integrated Principles of Biology I, Lecture
    and Laboratory (4)
  • BSC 2011 and BSC 2011L. Integrated Principles of Biology II, Lecture
    and Laboratory (4).
  • CHM 2040. Introductory General Chemistry (3).
  • MAC 1142. Precalculus: Algebra & Trigonometry (4).
  • Interview with prospective advisors (a College approved illustrator and a biological scientist)
  • Present introductory portfolio to prospective advisors.

Course Schedule

Major Coursework

  • ART 2305C. Drawing: Form & Space (3)
  • ART 2306C. Drawing: Movement & Motion (3)
  • PGY 3401C. Photography: Black & White or PGY 5246. Biophotography
  • IDS 4906. Individual Work (7). See Below.
  • BOT 2011C. Plant Diversity (4).
  • BOT 2710. Practical Plant Taxonomy (3) or BOT 5725C. Taxonomy of Vascular
    Plants (4).
  • BOT 3303C. Intro. Vascular Plant Morphology (3) or BOT 5225C. Plant
    Anatomy (3).
  • ENY 3005C. Principles of Entomology. (3).
  • ZOO 3203C. Invertebrate Zoology (4).
  • ZOO 3703C. Functional Vertebrate Anatomy (4).
  • IDS 4906. Individual Work*

*Approximately half of the required 7 credits of IDS 4906 should consist
of guided instruction in various aspects of biological illustration,
when available.

The remaining credits should consist of a biological illustration project done under the guidance of a faculty or staff member. This project should result in a tangible end product such as a portfolio of biological illustrations designed to accompany a published scientific work or educational display.

Recommended Electives

  • ART 3310C. Color Drawing 1 (3).
  • ART 3311C. Life Drawing (3).
  • ART 3400C. Printmaking: Intaglio (3)
  • ART 3401C. Printmaking: Lithography (3)
  • BOT 3153C. Local Flora (3)
  • BOT 3303C. Intro. Vascular Plant Morphology (3) or BOT 5225C. Plant
    Anatomy (4).
  • ENY 4161. Insect Classification (3).
  • GEO 4100C. Maps and Graphs (4).
  • ZOO 3303C. Vertebrate Zoology (4).
  • ZOO 4473. Avian Biology (4).
  • Download sample semester-by-semester plan (XLS)


    Jamie Gillooly, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biology
    Phone: (352) 392-2743

    View the Academic Learning Compact