To be eligible for the diploma program, a student must have completed the Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from Denver Botanic Gardens. Students are also eligible if they have completed a certificate in botanical art and illustration, scientific illustration, nature illustration or equivalent from another institution.


Requirements for Diploma in Botanical Illustration:


First Requirement

One hundred (100) elective classroom hours, including a minimum of three courses (15-18 hours each) from advanced, upper-level offerings.


Second Requirement

Portfolio containing four (4) finished scientific botanical plates selected from any of the following media (plate size 11” x 14”). Portfolio must include at least two different media:

  • Graphite
  • Carbon dust
  • Polycarbonate pencil
  • Ink (technical pen, quill, brush, scratchboard)
  • Colored pencil (oil and or wax based)
  • Watercolor
  • Gouache
  • Watercolor pencil
  • Transparent acrylics
  • Egg tempera
  • Silverpoint
  • A mixture of the above

Oils, pastels or digital media are not accepted as part of the portfolio.


Third Requirement

Completion of a supervised independent study (a minimum of six weeks or 240 hours). Previous independent explorations have included:

  • Research on a rare species, an invasive species, noxious weed, fossil, pollination biology or other that included an essay and a minimum of four illustrations (containing dissections).
  • Draft children's book, complete with educational text and original illustrations.
  • An internship as an illustrator at a museum, botanic garden, science center or other relevant institution that provides on-the-job experience as a scientific/botanical illustrator.
  • Collections research with accompanying original illustrations.

Diploma Self-Tracking Form


Application to Graduate

Applications to graduate are accepted up to Oct. 30 each year.

Sign up for our e-newsletters!