Student Life

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Student Life

Click on the links below to see courses, opportunities, events, and Masters Research Project (MRP) milestones throughout the student experience.

Year 1 Year 2

Preparing for BMC

If you’re thinking about applying to the Biomedical Communications Graduate program, you may want to consider applying in advance for OGS or other funding (link to funding page of website). If you’ve already been accepted, Congratulations! There are a few things you can do to prepare for the years ahead.

If you receive a conditional offer of admission, you must submit official transcripts after your degree has been conferred to the IMS Admissions Officer (

The program starts in late August. Please refer to Important Dates.

Actions, Opportunities, Events

MRP Checklist

All students in the Biomedical Communications program complete a Masters Research Project, or MRP. The MRP is a platform for research into the visual communication of science and/or medicine. Students begin work on their Masters Research project in the winter semester of their first year of study.

Year 1: Fall

Welcome to BMC!

For the next semester you will be immersed in anatomy and embryology as you attend classes with the University of Toronto medical students. You will conduct full cadaveric dissection, while learning about traditional methods in medical illustration. You will also be introduced to BMC technologies and special topics in Immunology.

UTMUTM Campus St. GeorgeSt. George Campus BothBoth Campuses
MSC1001Y Human Anatomy and Embryology Both Campuses
MSC2001H Visual Representation of Medical Knowledge UTM Campus
MSC2005H The Evolution of Medical Illustration Both Campuses

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Attend BMC orientation (mandatory)
  • Anatomy Orientation Day – Late August
  • Elect a class student representative
  • Apply to the BMC work-study program
  • Volunteer with the BMCAA
  • BMCAA UnCon (November)
  • Attend Graduate Presentations
  • Winter Critique and Awards (mandatory)
  • IMS Christmas party (December)

MRP Checklist

Masters Research Projects typically get started in the winter semester of this year, however now is a good time to think about topics that peak your research interests. Discuss ideas with the BMC faculty. Early next semester you will be choosing your committee, topic, and BMC field.

Year 1: Winter

In this semester students are deeply immersed in BMC technologies. UofT’s affiliated teaching hospitals open their OR doors and allow BMC students to observe surgeries for the surgical illustration component of the program. A special seminar course in Neuroanatomy is held specially for BMC students. In addition, a course exploring the rich history of medical illustation from the renaissance to present day will round out the semester.

UTMUTM Campus St. GeorgeSt. George Campus BothBoth Campuses
MSC2003Y Biomedical Communications Technology UTM Campus
MSC2012Y Neuroanatomy for Visual Communication Both Campuses

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Apply for CIHR funding
  • Register as an AMI Student Member (Association of Medical Illustrators)
  • Register for the annual AMI Conference
  • Spring Critique (mandatory)
  • Volunteer at FITC (April)
  • Tri-Campus Exchange with Johns Hopkins and the Georgia Health Sciences University (April)

MRP Checklist

  • Choose your topic
  • Choose your BMC field (Media Design or Visualization Design)
  • Select your committee
  • Hold your first committee meeting
  • Submit your meeting notes

Year 1: Summer

In this semester you will develop your research proposal, and if you plan on conducting human subject research you will prepare an ethics protocol. You will also be introduced to common practice in the BMC industry during a specially designed seminar series. Guest speakers from the Biomedical Communications industry in the GTA share their insights and experiences.

UTMUTM Campus St. GeorgeSt. George Campus BothBoth Campuses
MSC2004H Research Methods UTM Campus
MSC2009H Ethics and Professionalism in BMC UTM Campus
MSC2020H Visual Representation of Biomolecular Structure and Function UTM Campus

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Volunteer with Toronto Notes
  • Annual AMI (Association of Medical Illustrators) Meeting
  • IMS Scientific Day
  • Choose your BMC Field of Study and Register for fall electives specific to your field
  • Register for Fall Semester courses (ROSI)

MRP Checklist

  • Prepare your research proposal
  • Send your proposal to your Committee Members for review
  • Prepare an Ethics Protocol if you are planning on conducting human subject research

Year 2: Fall

In this semester, your coursework will contribute to the progress of your MRP. Depending on your field of study, you will learn advanced technologies in new media or 3D applications. In the Sequential Medical Communications course, you will also have the opportunity to explore working in groups while creating demonstrative evidence for the Canadian courtroom and learning about the field of Medical Legal Visualization.

UTMUTM Campus St. GeorgeSt. George Campus BothBoth Campuses
MSC2002H Sequential Medical Communication: Demonstrative Evidence for the Courtroom Both Campuses
MSC2008H Community-Centred Design Research UTM Campus
MSC2013Y Master's Research Project and Paper UTM Campus
MSC2015H Interpretive Visualization: Cinematic Design and Preproduction St. George Campus
MSC2016H Visualization Methods UTM Campus
MSC2017H Visualization Technology UTM Campus
MSC2018H Visual Representation of Processes in Pathology Both Campuses

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Elect a second-year class student representative
  • Apply to the BMC work-study program
  • Volunteer with the BMCAA
  • BMCAA UnCon (November)
  • Attend Graduate Presentations
  • Apply for Vesalius Trust Scholarships (early November)
  • Winter Critique and Awards (mandatory)
  • IMS Christmas party (December)
  • If you have not registered for your second term electives, be sure to do so

MRP Checklist

The coursework will support the progress of your MRP during this semester. You should be developing the framework for your project during this time.

  • Hold your second committee meeting before the christmas break
  • Submit your MRP meeting notes
  • Use feedback from your committee to improve your research design moving into the next semester

Year 2: Winter

Students have the opportunity to take advantage of faculty availability and BMC facilities to make as much headway on their MRP’s as possible. In the Visual Representation of Processes in Pathology course guest lecturers from the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology , topics include overviews on cell adaptation and injury, inflammation, immunology, cell repair, and neoplasia, and the histology and pathobiology of specific regions and organ systems.  In the illustration component of this course students produce an original, conceptual medical illustration demonstrating pathological change in a tissue over time. At the same time, students prepare for Industry Day – an opportunity to present their achievements from the past two years, and network with professionals in biomedical communications.

UTMUTM Campus St. GeorgeSt. George Campus BothBoth Campuses
MSC2006H Advanced Media Design Technologies UTM Campus
MSC2007H Visual Synthesis of a Medical/Scientific Processes UTM Campus
MSC2011H Special Topics in Biomedical Communications UTM Campus
MSC2019H Data and Information Visualization UTM Campus

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Apply for the Inez Demonet Scholarship (early February)
  • Renew your student membership to the AMI
  • Travel to the Tri-Campus Exchange
  • Spring Critique (mandatory)

MRP Checklist

  • Hold your second committee meeting in early January if you have not already had it.
  • Use the feedback from your committee meeting to improve your research design and push forward with production

Year 2: Summer

Students fine-tune their MRPs and put on the finishing touches. Meanwhile, they have an opportunity to showcase their work during Industry Day – professionals in the Biomedical Communications industry are invited to meet students and see what they’ve accomplished in the program.

UTMUTM Campus St. GeorgeSt. George Campus BothBoth Campuses
RST9999Y Masters Research Project UTM Campus

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Return your BMC keys (these should be included in your MRP package)
  • Attend IMS Scientific Day
  • Annual AMI Meeting
  • Industry Day
  • Submit your research to be displayed at the AMI in the Vesalius Trust Poster display

MRP Checklist

  • Hold your final committee meeting before July 15th
  • MRP is due July 15th
  • Submit your final package including all required materials (MRP requirements page)


As a graduate of the Biomedical Communications program you become a part of a close-knit community of biomedical communicators working throughout North America and the world. You will find many resources available to you through the BMCAA Job Opp list, BMCAA Linked In group, and AMI list serv. This is a great time to get involved with your BMC Alumni Association.

Actions, Opportunities, Events

  • Declare your Intent to Graduate on ROSI
  • Register for your Convocation Tickets (Register for the maximum number allowed. Even if you don’t require all of the tickets one of your fellow classmates is likely to require an extra for one of their family members.)
  • Prepare your final presentation – Include the final version of your MRP, a summary of the development process, visualization challenges, and solutions.
  • Present your MRP to family and friends during the Final Presentations (the day before Convocation) – light refreshments are served.
  • The Wendy M. Kates Award and Artery Studios Award are given out
  • Join the BMCAA
  • Attend the BMCAA UnCon
  • Join the BMC LinkedIn Group
  • Consider studying and applying for professional designation as a Certified Medical Illustrator (CMI).

MRP Checklist

  • Prepare your final MRP presentation.

Family and friends are invited to attend final presentations at the Biomedical Communications department at UTM taking place the night before convocation day. Refreshments and food are provided.

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