Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate Program


The Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate requirements provide a solid foundation in scientifically accurate drawing based on observation and fine art techniques in a variety of media. Those who achieve the highest level of accomplishment receive a Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration with Honors, an indication of superior work.

In the course of this Certificate program, students will:

  • Acquire skills in drawing and/or painting accurately and beautifully.
  • Develop techniques needed to re-create amazing detail, natural color, and convincing form.
  • Gain knowledge of basic morphological features of plants.
  • Learn the elements of successful composition for scientific illustration or for fine artwork.
  • Through electives, learn business skills for artists and the history of botanical art.
  • Develop a personal aesthetic and a strong artistic identity.
  • Enjoy access to the exceptional collection of botanical art in the Garden's LuEsther T. Mertz Library and the library of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Certificate students must complete 221 total course hours (167 required + 54 elective). Students are also required to submit a final project to the Program Coordinator. For more information on the final project requirements and guidelines, click here.

Required Courses

COURSE (in Recommended Order) CODE         HOURS
Botanical Drawing I: Methods and Materials
BIL 301   18
Botanical Drawing II: Developing Your Skills
BIL 302  P  18
The Basics of Visual Composition
BIL 421
Botanical Drawing III: Focus on Flowers
BIL 303 P 18
Plant Morphology for Botanical Artists
BIL 300 P
Botanical Watercolor I
BIL 331 P 24
Practical Aspects of Botanical Art
BIL 392 P 10
Plus one of the following:       
Internet Tools for Creatives, Part I: Social Media
BIL 394   5
Internet Tools for Creatives, Part II: Website
BIL 395   7
Pen and Ink
BIL 400 P 18
Colored Pencil
BIL 415 P 18
Elective Courses     54


Elective Courses

Students seeking a Certificate may focus their electives on watercolor, colored pencil, drawing—or they may choose a natural science concentration. Elective courses build on foundation skills and allow the student to tailor their direction of study.

Elective course offerings vary with every catalog season. Browse our Certificate Electives page to discover what's currently scheduled.


*Plus a final project that meets Certificate standards

P = Courses with a prerequisite before you can register

For classes with no current session available, please check back when we announce the next season of classes.