Apr 01, 2023  
2013-2014 Georgia Regents University Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Georgia Regents University Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Medical Illustration

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About the Program

Medical illustration is an interdisciplinary field—a creative combination of the visual arts, the health sciences, education, and communications. Historically, its roots were fully evident by the Renaissance, as seen in the work of research anatomists and educators such as Andreas Vesalius and in the artwork of the great figurative artists such as Leonardo DaVinci. Today, medical illustration involves the conceptualization, planning, design, production, implementation and evaluation of visual solutions for complex communication and education problems in the life and health sciences. Medical illustration incorporates various media and mediums—from static artwork to animation, from anatomical sculpture to instructional games, and from molecular modeling to physiological simulation. In short, medical illustrators visualize better health.

Medical Illustrators are specially trained artist-scientists. Entry into this unique field requires not only a talent for the graphic arts and visual storytelling but also an affinity for science.

The Medical Illustration Graduate Program is housed in the Dept. of Medical Illustration, College of Allied Health Sciences. It is one of only four such programs in the country. The program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Currently, the program can accept a maximum of 9 students per year. Completion of the twenty-one-month curriculum (five consecutive semesters) results in the awarding of a Master of Science in Medical Illustration degree, granted through the College of Graduate Studies.

A medical illustrator’s work, unlike a photograph, must often show what cannot be directly observed in order to best communicate a scientific idea or complex medical concept. Therefore, an understanding of basic medical science is essential. Program students take graduate-level science courses, such as gross anatomy, cell biology and pathology, with the medical and dental students.

The program emphasizes anatomical and surgical illustration for print and electronic publication, as well as for projection and broadcast distribution. Students learn a variety of traditional illustration techniques as well as a great variety of computer graphic techniques to prepare images for print, projection, animated film and interactive multimedia presentations.

Throughout the curriculum, the faculty works with students to develop and refine their problem-solving and visual storytelling skills.

In addition to formal classes, seminars and lectures, students learn by hands-on performance, by participating in project critiques, and through peer-to-peer interactions. To better prepare our students to be productive in the rapidly evolving world of biomedical communications, program assignments are designed to give students practical experience as well as theoretical and factual knowledge.

Program Goals

  • To develop and refine students’ expertise in various graphic and digital media.
  • To provide the scientific foundation to prepare visual solutions to complex communication and education problems in the life and health sciences.
  • To provide practical experience in the crafting of medical illustration.
  • To prepare students for entry into the profession.

Career Opportunities

Medical illustrators work in a variety of venues, including medical, dental and veterinary schools, urban medical centers, large hospitals, and specialty health care clinics. They may work for advertising agencies and publishing companies, as well as for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Medical illustrators may also work with attorneys to produce art to be used as educational exhibits in complex legal cases. Medical illustrators may work as employees—in large departments or single-person offices—or pursue private practice.

Admission Requirements

Applicant Preliminary Evaluation Form and Preliminary Portfolio (January 31 deadline for Fall entry) sent directly to the of Medical Illustration Graduate Program:

Medical Illustration Graduate Program, CJ-1101
Georgia Regents University
Augusta, GA 30912-0300

Preliminary application materials are reviewed by the department’s Admissions Committee. If the evaluation is satisfactory, you must then complete the Online Application for Graduate Programs and submit all required application materials and official documents. In addition, if the preliminary evaluation is satisfactory, you will be invited for an interview. Please do not submit a formal Online Application for Graduate Programs until you have completed the preliminary application process and received notification from the Department.

Completed Online Application for Graduate Programs. Please check the Office of Academic Admissions website for fee information: http://www.gru.edu/Admissions/

Application deadlines for application and required materials and documents:
Early submission of all application materials is strongly advised.

January 31 (Fall entry) - Preliminary Application deadline: The Applicant Preliminary Evaluation Form and preliminary portfolio must be submitted by the applicant directly to the Department of Medical Illustration by January 31. Specific information about the preliminary application process can be found at: http://www.gru.edu/medart/MI-Application.html.

March 31 (Fall entry) - Formal Application deadline - If invited for a personal interview by the Medical Illustration Graduate Program, the interviewee must complete a formal Online Application for Graduate Programs and submit all required application materials to the Office of Academic Admissions.

Note: All required application materials and documents must be received in order for an application to be considered complete and before an admission decision can be made. Applications and supporting materials received after the program deadline will only be considered on a space-available basis.

Minimum GPA Requirements: Minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Minimum Degree Requirement and Official Transcripts: Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. To be used to satisfy degree requirement, evaluation of foreign educational transcripts must show degree(s) earned that are the U.S. equivalency of degree(s) required by the program.

Official transcripts are required from all universities and colleges ever attended. Only in the case of transcripts from international colleges/universities will an official course-by-course evaluation of an official transcript be accepted in lieu of an official transcript.

Official transcripts should be sent to GRU’s Office of Academic Admissions. To remain official, all transcripts must remain in the original, unopened, sealed and stamped/signed envelope from the Registrar’s Office of the issuing institution. Alternatively, GRU will accept official electronic transcripts from the Registrar’s Office of the prior institution. Electronic transcripts should be directed to admissions@gru.edu.

Transcript/credential evaluation of foreign transcripts: An official, professional course-by-course evaluation based on official transcripts and documents is required for all foreign educational transcripts and documents from one of the following three credentials evaluation services: Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE). Silny and WES are recommended. Official evaluations based on unofficial transcripts, documents, or copies will not satisfy this requirement.

References: Recommendations (which include a reference form and letter of recommendation) from three individuals are required. Referees should be individuals qualified to critically assess the applicant’s prior academic (usually college professors), employment, artistic, research and/or clinical experience (clinical or research supervisor/mentor) and qualifications (as applicable) as well as the applicant’s potential as a graduate student in the field/program selected.

Graduate reference forms and letters of recommendation can be submitted online only. As part of the online application process, applicants provide the names and current email addresses for three individuals they have asked to serve as their referees. Once the online application is submitted, each referee will receive an email notification directing him/her to the online site where he/she can complete the reference form and submit his/her letter of recommendation. To change a referee after the application has been submitted, the applicant is instructed to log into his/her CollegeNet account and update the name and current email address for the referee. Status updates of your referees’ submissions will be provided to you directly from CollegeNet.

GRE Requirement: Test takers who took the GRE prior to August 1, 2011 were scored on the old scoring scale of 200-800.  The minimum score requirement of 900 total (combined Verbal and Quantitative Scores) will continue to be used for those who took the GRE prior to the scoring changes.

Test takers who took the GRE after to August 1, 2011 are scored on the new scoring scale of 130-170.  The minimum score of 290 total (combined Verbal and Quantitative Scores) will be required for those who took the GRE after to the scoring changes.

All official GRE scores must be submitted to GRU’s OAA directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) and must be less than five years old. The institution code for submission of GRE scores to GHSU is 5406. Please do not select a department code. 

TOEFL Requirement: Minimum score of 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.

Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test scores are required for applicants whose first language is not English. The institution code for submission of TOEFL scores to GHSU is 5406. Do not select a department code.

Exemption from the TOEFL requirement is allowed for graduate students who submit proof of earning a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college/university where English is the language of instruction.

Program Specific Requirements
  • Pre-requisite course work:
    • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy or Vertebrate morphology with a “C” or better grade, with student dissection of a large mammal (for example a cat or piglet)
    • Human Physiology
    • Life Drawing from a nude model, including advanced-level courses
    • Advanced courses in realistic drawing or painting from observation
    • Computer graphics, including Photoshop and Illustrator or equivalent are required. Additional digital media courses are strongly recommended.
    • Any of the following are recommended:
      • Science: Histology, Embryology, Invertebrate Anatomy, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Basic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry.
      • Art: Animation, Architectural Drawing, Cinematography, Color Theory, Drafting, Design (Graphic, Interface, Media, Set/Stage, 2D, 3D, Type, Web, etc.), Media Arts, Sculpture, Photography, Perspective, Print Making (Engraving, Intaglio, Lithography, Serigraphy, etc.), Technical Drawing, Time Arts, Typography, Videography.
  • Preliminary Application and Preliminary Portfolio of Original Artwork: Specific information regarding the preliminary and formal portfolios can be found at www.gru.edu/medart/MI-Portfolio.html. Samples of artwork from the portfolios of successful applicants can be seen at http://www.gru.edu/medart/MI-Portfolio.html.
  • Personal Interview and Formal Portfolio Review with the Program Faculty: Preliminary application materials are reviewed by the department Admissions Committee. If the evaluation is satisfactory, you must then complete the Online Application for Graduate Programs and submit all required application materials and official documents to GRU’s Office of Academic Admissions. In addition, if the preliminary evaluation is satisfactory, you will be invited to Augusta for a personal interview with the Medical Illustration Admissions Committee. Interviews are by invitation only, and are scheduled in February and March. Successful completion of a personal interview is required for admission. Travel to and from Augusta and hotel arrangements for the interview are the responsibility of the applicant. The applicant must bring a formal portfolio of work for the interview.
Admission Recommendations

GPA: Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher for all college-level classes and a cumulative GPA in biology courses of 3.25 or higher.

GRE: Prefer a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 1000 or higher on the old scoring scale or 300 or higher on the new scoring scale.

*Substitutions and/or waivers of minimum requirements must first be supported and approved at the program level and then formally approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

*While every effort is made to maintain this information as current, it may be subject to change. Please check with GRU’s Office of Academic Admissions for recent updates.

*Applications deferred to another semester are subject to all admission requirements and program requirements in effect for the semester to which they are deferred.

Academic Common Market

The GRU Department of Medical Illustration participates in the Academic Common Market. Students from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia may petition their home state to learn whether they qualify for in-state tuition at GRU.

Estimated Tuition and Fees

For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Financial Information   section of this catalog.

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