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The Graduate Program in Biomedical Communications at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas provides a multi-disciplinary approach to preparing students for success in today's demanding industry. Our faculty are innovative leaders in their disciplines. Students learn foundational skills related to the craft, then specialize in digital illustration, application development or animation.

Digital model created with Maya and ZBrush by Corbyn Beach, 2009, from an illustration by R.V. Krstic

   
 
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The Biomedical Communications Graduate Program one of only five programs that is recognized by the Association of Medical Illustrators and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.. The program is a two-year program that begins in May. The curriculum is designed to offer students an opportunity to develop special knowledge and skills in the application of communications arts and technology for education in the health sciences. Students interact and collaborate with members of the basic and clinical science departments of UT Southwestern Medical School, UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and UT Southwestern School of Health Professions.

In the two-year program, the study of human anatomy, cell biology, neurobiology and pathology is combined with intensive experience in anatomical, surgical, editorial and advertising illustration. Students are offered the opportunity to develop additional skills in computer graphics, graphic design, television production, exhibit design, 3D media production, instructional design, production of multimedia packages, animation and photography.

 
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  First Year (Summer Semester)
   
  BCO 5077-01/ Computer Uses for Health Professionals
  BCO 5241-01/ Illustration Techniques
  BCO 5601-01/ Human Anatomy
   
  First Year (Fall Semester)
   
  BCO 5340-01/ Anatomical Illustration
  BCO 5369-01/ Graphic Design and Production Techniques
  BCO 5178-01/ Medical Embryology
  BCO 5364-01/ Introduction to Pathology
  BCO 5371-01/ Writing for Biomedical Media
   
  First Year (Spring Semester)
   
  BCO 5344-01/ Biology of Cells and Tissues
  BCO 5367-01/ Computer Animation 1
  BCO 5342-01/ Introduction to Medical Illustration
  BCO 5260-01/ Medical Neuroscience
   
  Second Year (Summer Semester)
   
  BCO 5387-01/ Computer Animation 2
  BCO 5370-01/ Multimedia Production
  BCO 5095-01/ Biomedical Communications Internship
   
  Second Year (Fall Semester)
   
  BCO 5388-01/ Computer Animation 3
  BCO 5365-01/ Medical Surgical Illustration
  BCO 5098-01/ Thesis Research (1)
   
  Second Year (Spring Semester)
   
  BCO 5385-01/ Advanced Medical Surgical Illustration
  BCO 5256-01/ Business Practices in Visual Communications
  BCO 5098-01/ Thesis Research (2)
   
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BCO 5077-01/ Computer Uses for Health Professionals

A hands-on introduction to the uses of computer software as applied to biomedical communications in the health professions. Students study photomanipulation, illustration, and graphic and presentation software. A final project includes the use and integration of the software into a health-related formal presentation.

 
 

BCO 5241-01/ Illustration Techniques

This course is an introduction to techniques of the medical illustrator. Emphasis is on pencil sketching and pre-rendering.

 
 

BCO 5601-01/ Human Anatomy

This course offers a comprehensive study of the structure and function of human body systems and their mechanisms using lectures and cadaver dissection. Emphasis is placed on the major char- acteristics of each body system and its relation- ship to other systems. Lectures emphasize basic correlative clinical concepts.

 
  First Year (Fall Semester)  
 

BCO 5340-01/ Anatomical Illustration

Students create drawings from dissections of a cadaver. Various techniques, both traditional and contemporary, are covered.

 
 

BCO 5369-01/ Graphic Design and Production Techniques

This course introduces students to communication design theory, client management skills, art direction, constructive criticism, legibility standards, basic design principles and elements, design drawing (rough/layout/comprehensive), typographic design, specification/production methods, poster design, design of trademarks and logotype, printing methods and terminology, paper specifying, estimation of production costs, and production management.

 
 

BCO 5178-01/ Medical Embryology

The Medical Embryology course covers embryologic development from ovulation through birth and is organized by organ systems. Topics are integrated with Human Anatomy to facilitate understanding of anatomical relationships, selected birth defects, and anatomical variants.

 
 

BCO 5364-01/ Introduction to Pathology

Etiology, pathogenesis and pathophysiology of general disease processes and of specific diseases of organ systems, as well as the clinical consequences of disease are presented. Students acquire information from several sources, including a limited number of lectures, course syllabus, textbook readings, online materials, glass-slide laboratory sessions, and demonstrations of gross tissue specimens by pathology faculty.

 
 

BCO 5371-01/ Writing for Biomedical Media

This course focuses on developing effective technical writing skills and instructional design. Students are offered opportunities to learn and apply structured writing techniques. In addition, students have the opportunity to learn how to write job aids, scripts for mediated instruction and technical reports.

 
  First Year (Spring Semester)  
 

BCO 5344-01/ Biology of Cells and Tissues

The Biology of Cells and Tissues course consists of lectures and coordinated laboratory sessions that introduce the fine structure and function of cells, tissues, and organ systems of the human body, primarily as observed at the resolution of light and electron microscopy. Emphasis is placed on structure-function relationships between different cell types in human tissues and organ systems, as well as on how alterations in cell architecture and cell behaviors lead to disease.

 
 

BCO 5367-01/ Computer Animation 1

This course introduces fundamental concepts, workflow and pipeline production of computer animation. Maya's user interface is thoroughly explored. This course, which focuses on polygonal geometry, includes an introduction to texturing, lighting, rendering and exporting images for compositing. Students develop several models that are used to create static 2D images as well as turntable animations.

 
 

BCO 5342-01/ Introduction to Medical Illustration

Students are introduced to the application of basic illustration techniques in solving specific scientific and medical illustration problems. Traditional and digital production techniques are stressed. Basic principles of surgery are introduced.

 
 

BCO 5260-01/ Medical Neuroscience

Medical Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary course that is organized jointly by Neurology and Neuropathology, with assistance from the departments and/or divisions of Cell Biology, Physiology, Psychiatry, Neuroradiology, Internal Medicine, and Neuroscience. Emphasis is placed on applying basic anatomical and physiological principles to problems in neuropathology and clinical neurology.

 
  Second Year (Summer Semester)  
 

BCO 5387-01/ Computer Animation 2

This course covers concepts of animation with a focus on rigging models for animation and linear animation while expanding upon concepts from Computer Animation 1. Compositing and additional post-production techniques are explored. Students create several short animations and complete one personal project.

 
 

BCO 5370-01/ Multimedia Production

This course offers instruction in multimedia and Web-based production as it applies to biomedical communications (i.e., patient education, surgeon education, student education, etc.). In addition to a basic overview of concepts, students may develop skills in multimedia and Web-based pre-production: project planning, scripting, instructional design, storyboarding; multimedia production: production of components in the multiple mediums used in a multimedia or Web-based project (photographs, graphics, animation, sound, video, etc.); multimedia program production: concepts and techniques for programming and producing a final multimedia or Web-based application; and multimedia production management: project management, communication with a medically related client, and program implementation.

 
 

BCO 5095-01/ Biomedical Communications Internship *

The Internship in Biomedical Communications is designed to offer a pre-employment work opportunity that allows students to gain experience in a life-science setting. Students work under supervision and receive feedback on their performance.

 
  Second Year (Fall Semester)  
 

BCO 5388-01/ Computer Animation 3

This course covers advanced topics of 3D and introduces particle systems and dynamic, soft and rigid bodies. Students create several educational or instructional animations as well as one personal project.

 
 

BCO 5365-01/ Medical Surgical Illustration

Illustrations from various subspecialties of surgery are the focus of this course, with an emphasis on accuracy and content. Students observe operating-room procedures and surgical techniques.

 
 

BCO 5098-01/ Thesis Research (1)

Students enroll in this course while conducting thesis research leading to a master's degree.

 
  Second Year (Spring Semester)  
 

BCO 5385-01/ Advanced Medical Surgical Illustration

Students sketch surgical procedures in the operating rooms and clinics. After in-depth research and consultation with surgeons, students prepare publication-ready artwork of various surgical sub-specialties in a variety of media, both traditional and digital.

 
 

BCO 5256-01/ Business Practices in Visual Communications

Course content covers professional business practices, including self-promotion and marketing, project and time management, intellectual property, copyright and tax law, contracts and negotiation, and business structure and management for different business entities (i.e., freelance, small business, academic).

 
 

BCO 5098-01/ Thesis Research (2)

Students enroll in this course while conducting thesis research leading to a master's degree.

 
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All courses are required unless otherwise indicated ( "*" indicates an elective course ).

Internships are offered during the second summer semester. Students may participate with various practicing Medical Illustrators in the Dallas area.

Courses are offered on a sequential basis only and each semester requires a concentrated effort.

Therefore, part-time employment is discouraged in the first year. Students are encouraged to complete all thesis requirements in the spring semester of their second year.

 
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  To download the Biomedical Communications Catalog *click here
  For any additional questions, please *contact us
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