The Science Illustration Certificate Program is offered through the Extended Education at California State University, Monterey Bay. Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2019. The application deadline is February 15, 2019 and the review process begins February 19th. Admission to the program is limited to 15 students and is by application only.

Swallowtail Butterfly by Lindsey Kernodle

Swallowtail Butterfly by Lindsey Kernodle (2016)

Admission requirements

  • Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in a science.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a strong background in representational drawing, as well as a developed sense of aesthetics.
  • Other degrees are eligible if the portfolio exhibits keen observational skills and if the applicant can demonstrate a strong interest in and understanding of science.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to include digital illustrations in their portfolio. If an applicant meets all other requirements but lacks basic experience with Adobe Creative Suite or a similar digital illustration program, they will be required to enroll in the summer Digital Science Illustration course before being officially accepted into the graduate program.

Parts of the application

  1. Application Form
  2. $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  3. Transcripts
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Statement of purpose
  6. Portfolio
  7. International Students only: Affidavit of Financial Support

Electronic files

Application Form

Recommendation Waiver Form

International Students Only: Affidavit of Financial Support

Application fee

Your application must be accompanied by a non-refundable $55 application fee. Complete the Payment Intake Form (included in the application form).

Official transcripts

Please list every college attended on your application form. Include one official transcript from the Registrar of each institution attended (including University correspondence or extension divisions). If your course work is still in-progress, submit an in-progress transcript with your application package. A second official transcript, after all course work has been completed will be required if you are accepted into the program. Transcripts may be sent directly to the program office or directly to you if the institution allows. Each transcript should be submitted in an envelope sealed and signed by the Registrar. If the transcript is received and the envelope is open or it is taken out of the envelope, you will need to submit a new, official transcript.

Letters of recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation. Please provide each reference with a copy of the Recommendation Waiver Form (see electronic PDF files or request a hard copy by emailing Professors or others who are in a position to analyze your abilities and academic promise in your chosen field of study should prepare letters of recommendation. Letters can be mailed directly to the program office or to you in a sealed and signed envelope, which you will forward to us along with your application package.

Statement of purpose

This should be a concise, well-written essay about your background and your reasons for pursuing graduate study in science illustration. Selection committees place particular importance on the statement of purpose.


A portfolio submission is required and should consist of high quality prints, color photocopies, or photographs of ten to twenty representational pieces of your artwork. Traditional black-and-white or color media, digital illustration and three-dimensional work will all be considered. Each example should be labeled with a title, medium used, and date of completion. The collection should be bound in a folder or light binder no larger than 9" x 12" clearly labeled with the applicant’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

Do not submit loose portfolio pages.

If you wish to submit electronic pieces, please include a hard copy print in the portfolio as well.

Please do not send original artwork. We will not return portfolios unless specifically requested and unless a postage paid return envelope is provided. If you are selected, your portfolio will not be mailed back to you, it will be reviewed and returned to you in person at the beginning of your first term.

When reviewing the portfolio portion of the application, the selection committee looks for attention to detail, accuracy, and aesthetics, as well as presentation of materials.

International students

In addition to the application, international students should also submit:

A copy of the identification page of passport

A confidential Affidavit of Financial Support must be completed and submitted as part of the Application for Admission to California State University, Monterey Bay, if the applicant is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America or does not have immigrant status at the time of submission of the application for admission. You may request a hard copy by E-mailing

All official academic records must be issued in the original language and accompanied by English translations prepared by the issuing institution. If translations are not available from the institution itself, translations may be prepared by government or official translators. International students are encouraged to review the additional guidelines and visa requirements provided by the CSUMB International Programs Office.

Email address

Be sure to provide an e-mail address on page one of your application for an active account that you plan to check regularly. This e-mail address will be used to advise you of the status of your application. Do not provide a temporary e-mail address (University email address, etc).

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) & Millers Analogy Test (MAT)

These tests are not required, but if you wish to provide scores and/or official reports we welcome them.

If you are re-applying

Submit a new Application Form, payment intake form (included in application), and non-refundable application fee of $55.

We recommend you send an updated portfolio.

If your application was submitted 2 years ago or less you can reactivate the previous letters of recommendation and submitted transcripts. If your previous application was submitted more than two years ago, please submit new letters of recommendation.

If your academic record has changed, submit updated official transcripts.

Where to send applications

EE Credit Programs - SICP

California State University Monterey Bay

100 Campus Center

Gavilan Hall, Building 201, Suite 209

Seaside, CA 93955-8001

(831) 582-5159