College of Science

Department of Science Illustration

About the Science Illustration Program

The post-baccalaureate Science Illustration Certificate Program at California State University, Monterey Bay prepares students for a broad spectrum of successful freelance careers and staff positions. This Certificate Program can be completed within 12-15 months: Students attend 9 months of in person classes in our classroom and then pursue a professional internship.

There is no online version of the program available, but we offer several 2-week summer classes each year as part of our Summer of Science Illustration programming and online classes are often available.

Illustration of cranial kinesis in sling-jaw wrasse

Illustration by Reyn Ojiri


Our Certificate Program graduates have found jobs in a wide range of organizations, research institutions, museums, aquaria, and botanical gardens, including:

  • Scientific American magazine
  • National Geographic magazine
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Scripps Institute of Oceanography
  • Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Illustrating Nature

Illustrating Nature Flyer




Opening Reception

  • Friday May 19th, 6 - 8pm


  • May 19 - June 18th
    Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Nicole Kit's Golden-spotted Tiger Beetle Illustration

Learn more about our program

Sign up with our interest form to receive information about the Science Illustration program.

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I’m actually still amazed by how much I learned over the span of ~10 months, and that I was able to become proficient enough to progress quickly from a student to freelancing professionally. This program opened doors for me in all sorts of unexpected places and embracing science illustration was one of the best choices I have ever made.

-Sarah Chen, Class of 2011

Illustration of a swallowtail butterfly.

Illustration by Jillian Walters