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Life Sciences Illustration

CIA's Life Sciences Illustration program merges science and art to create visual solutions for research and educational organizations.

Work on topics in biological, zoological, botanical, and health sciences while becoming proficient in illustration, animation, and information design. You'll learn how to blend your artistic talent with a researcher's intellect, displaying strong visual communication skills.

Our graduates work in museums and natural history institutions, publishing houses, science and research institutions, imaging companies and animation studios. They're helping to share the secrets of the natural world. They're creating animations about how our bodies work, and designing museum installations about the cosmos.

Our dedicated, highly-trained faculty is one of our greatest assets. Each instructor in the Life Sciences Illustration major at is accredited as a Board Certified Medical Illustrator in addition to being a practicing medical illustrator. Besides their expertise, our faculty have established great relationships with the region’s extraordinary medical, scientific, and cultural communities. Our professional partnerships with Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, as well as the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Botanical Garden, will provide you with amazing exhibition opportunities and medical illustration projects.

Real-world experience for real-world careers
What may best set CIA apart from other colleges of art and design is our commitment to preparing students for a career path through real-world experiences. You'll learn by working on real-world projects with external partners or clients, or in the public sphere—all before graduation.

These opportunities allow you to put your classroom and studio knowledge to work in a professional setting while still being guided by faculty. You’ll learn what it takes to meet clients’ expectations, and you will emerge with confidence that will serve you as you launch your career.

What can I do with a degree in Life Sciences Illustration?

  • 3D Animation Artist / Designer
  • Art Director
  • Biomedical Illustrator


As a Life Sciences Illustration student at the Cleveland Institute of Art, you will have an individual studio space in addition to cutting-edge digital technologies and high-end computer resources. You also will have access to motion capture technology, 3D modeling tools, a medical sculpture laboratory, and a suite of other laboratories with the latest software and tools for medical illustration.

CIA also houses the fabrication studios, a shared space, staffed and supervised by highly qualified technical specialists. Students from all courses of study are encouraged to use this space and do hands-on material research. This communal environment gives students optimal means of making for their individual exploration and group projects.