Scientific Illustration and Visualization


In our unique program, you can blend your interests in science and art to prepare for exciting visual communication careers. With our diverse courses and research opportunities, you’ll learn to push the boundaries of visual storytelling and integrate scientific study with fine art training. Whether you want to illustrate drug interactions for pharmacists, design anatomy materials for an educational publisher, or pioneer cutting-edge digital visualization techniques, you’ll gain the creative and technical skills to make your mark in the world of scientific illustration and visualization.

illustration of an mosquito. Artwork by Jamie Hefley, © Jamie Hefley

Communicating science through art

Iowa State University’s interdepartmental undergraduate major in Scientific Illustration and Visualization (formerly Biological and Pre-Medical Illustration) is a shared program of the Iowa State College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and the College of Design. The program is housed in LAS and is administered by an advisory board of faculty members from both colleges plus the College of Veterinary Medicine.



Affiliated faculty members maintain well-funded research programs offering undergraduate students a wealth of opportunities to conduct research and hone their techniques alongside some of the most well-respected scientists in their field. Students see their scientific illustration techniques at work in the lab and in real world science communication deliverables.

Matilda Hogan

The program has given me a solid understanding of both science and art, and has deepened my appreciation for communicating science through art.

Matilda Hogan, ’24 biological and pre-medical illustration