top of page

Certificate Program > Requirements

Certificate Program Requirements

Students may announce their intention of pursuing a Yale Peabody Museum Certificate in Natural Science Illustration at any time during their tenure in the program.  To earn the certificate, students must satisfactorily complete the program’s required core courses and the current requisite number of elective course credit hours. Following the completion of the course work, students will, under the guidance of a student-chosen NSIP instructor, produce a portfolio of six new works in a medium and theme that represents their strongest skills. An artist’s statement will accompany the final portfolio.

A total of 336 hours of courses are required to complete a Certificate in Natural Science Illustration. Ten core courses (240 hours) and a selection of 93  hours of elective courses are required for the certificate. Three additional hours are required for final portfolio development.  Successful completion of courses taken for credit for certification will be based on in-class exercises, critiques, and final project evaluations. To qualify for the certificate, students must complete a final project demonstrating proficiency for each course taken. 

Required Courses:

  •  Drawing I

  •  Drawing II

  • Pen and Ink I

  • Composition and Design

  • Colored Pencil I

  • Watercolor I

  • Vertebrate Anatomy

  • Plant Morphology

  • Marketing for Illustrators

  • Digital Techniques for the Artist

Elective Courses

Elective courses are offered to broaden a student's artistic skills in observation and rendering the natural world beyond the eleven required courses.  For the certificate program students must complete 93 hours of elective courses and /or workshops.     See examples of  electives.

Portfolio Development

Students, having fulfilled the certificate requirements, will consult privately with an NSIP instructor of their choice specializing in their field of interest, to meet and discuss their final portfolio goals. These consultations will be conducted online and will consist of three one-hour sessions focusing on concept development and interim progress. Students will be required to complete 6 matted pieces in a specific medium and theme that represent their strongest skills.

Portfolio Review

The completed portfolio work will be reviewed by members of the NSIP faculty and, if desired, outside professionals in an allied scientific or artistic field.  Assessment will be based on the student’s artistic skills and knowledge of the subject(s) as expressed in the accompanying artist statement.  Students will receive their official certificate of completion following the formal written approval of the submitted portfolio

The Final Portfolio Review consists of 6 completed works in the student’s medium of choice and subject of choice (e.g., insects in graphite). 


At current pricing level,  students can expect to pay approximately $7,000 for tuition. Art supplies and incidentals are additional.




bottom of page