That’s great! I’ve always been drawn to the realistic arts and sciences, and I found out about it at the end of my junior year of high school. It just made sense to me to pursue this field of study since I was passionate about both subjects.
There was a Science Illustration major in my undergrad at UGA. It was a fairly new established program (the years before it was a “create a course” type thing that required a lot of essays and paper work), so all I ended up having to do was email the professor and say I was interested. And that’s how I ended up in that program. SO I’d say it was really easy to get into that program. I know the other students in my BVIS department were science majors with some art background, a few art majors with a lot of science credits, and a few who came from a science illustration/pre-medical illustration program.
The program I’m in at The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of three in the U.S. (the other accredited program is in Toronto, Canada), so I’d say it’s pretty competitive. I know a few people from undergrad who had to apply a couple times before being accepted. I was lucky enough to make the cut the first time around.
And as for the Chicago program, there are a lot of changes being made to the curriculum for the upcoming 2015 class, and they are going to make this program SO COOL and will be better organized in helping you find the area that best suits your tastes. I’m kind of jealous, really. However, I chose the program because it was more centered in the animation and technology side of the Medical Illustration field.
Here are some links for admission criteria, prerequisites, and the application requirements (and also our facebook page):
I don’t know enough about the other programs to give you a synopsis on those, but here are a few links to the other school websites if you want some more info on those programs:
and our professional association too:
and here is a tumblr link to my friend who attends the Georgia program. She can give you insight into their program:
Thanks for the ask and I hope that helped! Happy Holidays!
I’ve never really considered what made me stand out above others who applied in the same time as I did. So I guess for one, make sure you have a really strong portfolio. Be able to talk about why you think each piece works well, it’s strengths and weaknesses, and how you would like to improve upon it. And if you have the time, it also can’t hurt to load up on more sciences and programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, After Effects, and 3D programs (we mainly use 3D Studio Max).
Too, just be yourself, of course they are looking at your skills, but they are also getting a feeling of your personality and how it will fit with the program.
I don’t recall my application much, but if you make it to interviews, again, be yourself, be calm, don’t be afraid to open up a bit. I ended up bringing my sketchbook along too, and my interviewers seemed to enjoy that. It shows your creative process.
Hope this is helpful, and feel free to ask more questions if needed :) Good luck!