Hi Margaret,

I'm a recent graduate of the UW certificate, so I can speak to that program
specifically. For me, this program was ideal in terms of logistics - I'm a
scientist at UW, and could continue working full-time while focusing on
classes and projects in the evenings and weekends. It was a challenging and
demanding workload, but with lots of support from the instructors and the
cohort. I thought there was a good balance between learning new techniques
and scientific content, producing a variety of illustrations, and the
business side of things. As others have pointed out, there is a good
community of GNSI-affiliated illustrators in Seattle and it's been great to
connect with other alumni. Feel free to reach out - I'm happy to answer any
specific questions you have.


Dina V. Popovkina, Ph.D. 

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 06:56 Margaret Oliver <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Good morning everyone,
> I've been wanting to attend a certificate program for natural science
> illustration for a long time and finally feel in a position to start going
> forward with it (very exciting). I'm hoping to hear people's thoughts on
> these three programs in particular:
> CSU Monterey Bay, UW, and RISD.
> Although I have a couple science degrees I've had a decent amount of
> formal art training over the years and I feel like Monterey Bay and UW are
> both more geared towards people who already have most of the necessary art
> skills, since they require portfolios), whereas RISD is open enrollment and
> requires some core coursework to start off (not necessarily a bad idea to
> get some refreshers while also learning new skills and techniques). RISD's
> program is also by far the longest at ~3 years (CSU is ~10 months +
> internship, UW is 8 months) but interested students can get started
> whenever they want to (a major plus in my book). Unfortunately, UW is on
> hiatus until October 2021 for restructuring and since I know Monterey Bay
> is pretty competitive  I would plan on spending the next year preparing my
> portfolio and getting the required letters of recommendation.
> I know I've seen a few things in GNSI's journal over the years on Monterey
> Bay's program and I get the sense that it and UW might both prepare their
> students for entering the field a little better. But RISD has such a good
> reputation as a whole!
> Does anyone have strong opinions or thoughts about any of these programs?
> Thanks very much for any advice you're willing to offer!
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