HSU is offering two new, unique degrees for students
with both an artistic and an analytical side. The B. A. in Medical Illustration
and the B.A. in Organismal Illustration combine courses from art, math, and
science to create interdisciplinary degrees.
“We’re looking for ways to expand our offerings in
the art department, and there’s interest in this program” said Michael Jones,
head of the HSU Art Department. “We think that there will be a good response to
these new degrees.”
Hardin-Simmons will be one of the only schools in
Texas to offer undergraduate degrees in Medical Illustration and Organismal
“We have a huge medical facility in Abilene and a lot
of our students are pursuing degrees in the field of medicine,” said Jones. “It’s
a natural progression for us in this town to develop this degree, and it sets
us apart from other schools who don’t offer it.”
The Art and Biology curriculum is designed to give
students training in advanced perceptual skills, technical studio skills
(traditional and digital media), visualization of biological information, and
working knowledge of biological processes.
Students who complete either degree will be prepared
to enter the field medical or organismal illustration or apply to masters
programs in medical illustration.
“Our goal is to prepare student to find entry-level
jobs right out of school or build a strong portfolio to help them get into grad
schools,” said Linda Fawcett, professor of art and program administrator.
Career opportunities in medical and organismal
illustration are diverse, including jobs in the areas of education, medical and
life science research, patient care, patient education, and public
relations/marketing. Students can find jobs at medical schools, hospitals and
clinics, research institutions, medical publishers, law firms, advertising
agencies, web/animation firms, and other creative service businesses.
“I think that this field is definitely going to
grow,” said Jones. “Illustrations are moving to online animation and 3-D
modeling. We believe that technologically, we’ll be keeping up with the
Beyond General Biology and Chemistry, the Medical
Illustration track teaches courses in cellular and molecular biology and
advanced human physiology and anatomy. The Organismal Illustration track will
also include advanced human physiology and anatomy, but will add courses in
vertebrate biology, botany and entomology.
The art courses will help students demonstrate
working knowledge of instructional design and color theory and develop skill in
drawn, painted and sculpted rendering from life, photograph, human dissection
and microscope. Students will also develop digital skills in photo-rendering
and 3D modeling. Through guided art electives they can also further develop skills
in interactive media, animation and web design.
The biology classes will teach students to recognize
core biological principles, identify the steps of a given biological process,
analyze data, identify key results, and visually explain such information in a
variety of printed and digital platforms. Students will also apply ethics to
the daily practice of medical and organismal research and illustration.
For more information on the Medical Illustration and
Organismal Illustration degrees, visit the academic program web page.