Biomedical Engineering

Help Others Live Better

Learn more about how you can specialize your degree program with different emphases
Check out the research our faculty and students are doing on and off campus
Hear how you can apply your degree in industry through internships, co-ops, and more
Find out what our current students are up to in clubs and student organizations

Biomedical Engineering (BME)

The interdisciplinary field of biomedical engineering (BME) combines elements of engineering (electronics, systems analysis, mechanics) with the life sciences (biology, physiology, biochemistry) to define and solve problems in biology and medicine.

Students choose this branch of engineering for the excitement of working with people and living systems, and for the opportunity to apply advanced technology to the complex problems of medical care.

Listen while you scroll!

BME Podcast Playlist

Check out all of our podcast episodes related to Biomedical Engineering. Whether it’s Dr. Stacey Finley discussing BME as a pre-med track for med school or the members of Associate Students of Biomedical Engineering talking about the ASBME Make-A-Thon, this playlist was made for you.

Viterbi Voices: The Podcast is your chance to hear stories about research, classes, student life, and more directly from our faculty, students, and other members of our engineering community. Click the link below to see the rest of our episodes!

Curriculum and Emphases

The BME programs are easily adapted to include the prerequisites for most medical schools, while also providing applied technical training beyond the basic life sciences.  USC Pre-Med students are supported throughout the medical school application process by the Pre-Health Advisement office.  Many graduates go on to attend top medical, dental, and pharmacy schools around the country, including the USC Keck School of Medicine.

Biomedical Engineering

Students who choose a primary degree in biomedical engineering get to take a little bit of everything over their four years. They get a foundation in biomedical engineering principles to pursue many careers related to the field.

Course Plan

Biomedical Engineering (Biochemical)

This emphasis combines bomedical engineering with chemistry.  You will take classes in areas like Separation Processes (design, operation and optimization for processes like distillation and absorption), Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, and Biomaterials.

Course Plan

Biomedical Engineering (Electrical)

The electrical emphasis in biomedical engineering is for students who are interested in the building of electronic biomedical devices and the effects of electrical stimulation.  You’ll take courses in areas like Linear Circuits, Digital Logic, Electromagnetics and Digital Electronic Circuit Design.

Course Plan

Biomedical Engineering (Mechanical)

The biomedical (mechanical) option is for students who are interested in the mechanics and dynamics of medical devices and biological systems.  Your coursework will include areas like Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Biomechanics, Materials Behavior and Processing, and Fluid Mechanics.

Course Plan

Medical School Preparation

The BME programs are easily adapted to include the prerequisites for most medical schools, while also providing applied technical training beyond the basic life sciences.  USC Pre-Med students are supported throughout the medical school application process by the Pre-Health Advisement office.  Many graduates go on to attend top medical, dental, and pharmacy schools around the country, including the USC Keck School of Medicine.

Research

Students can participate in a variety of directed study courses or classroom projects at facilities such as the County-USC Medical Center, the Biomedical Simulations Resource Center, the Medical Ultrasonic Transducer Resource Center, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, and Children’s Hospital-Los Angeles (CHLA).

The Biomedical Engineering department features stellar researchers and faculty with high quality facilities. A few research areas within the department include retinal prostheses, medical imaging, neural prostheses, biomedical photonics, cortical prostheses, sensory neurophsiology, ultrasonic imaging and much more! Students have the opportunity to be involved in research as early as freshman year.

We have a balance of programs - theoretical, computational, and experimental – which exemplify the Viterbi School’s approach to intensive and collaborative research.

Faculty

Biomedical Engineering faculty are doing cutting-edge research at Viterbi, and students can start doing research as quickly as their first year! Check out some of the professors you could be working with:

Dr. Stacey Finley

Computational Systems Biology Laboratory

Dr. Finley's research group constructs detailed molecular-level mathematical models of biological systems that are related to human diseases, focusing on cancer. She also directs the Computational Systems Biology Laboratory.

Dr. K. Kirk Shung

Medical Ultrasonic Transducer Technology

Professor Shung currently conducts research primarily focusing on developing high frequency ultrasonic transducers and arrays which are used for dermatological, ophthalmological and intravascular imaging and small animal imaging.

Dr. Megan L. McCain

Laboratory for Living Systems Engineering

Her research group develops 'Organ on Chips,' which are micro-scale, engineered mimics of human tissues that have applications in drug screening and personalized medicine. She was recently named one of MIT Technology Review's Top Innovators Under 35.

Dr. Brent Liu

Biomedical Imaging Informatics

He has expanded his research in designing a methodology for developing imaging-based electronic patient records (ePR) with built-in decision support in specific clinical applications to form a powerful and robust tool for longitudinal clinical research in specific disease types.

Don't stop here.

Learn more about the cool faculty and amazing research being done at the Biomedical Engineering Department at their website:

BME Department WebsiteBME Department Website

Careers

Your engineering undergraduate degree will prepare you for many career and academic opportunities. Whether you have always known “what you want to do when you grow up” or are hoping to find out, we are here to help you plan for your future beyond USC. We provide dedicated career services starting in your first year to help you find internships, co-ops, and full-time positions post graduation.

When you graduate with a degree in Biomedical Engineering, here are just a few of the future career paths that might lay before you.
  • Build Advanced therapeutic and surgical devices
  • Create safe implantable artificial materials
  • Become physicians or pharmacists
  • Conduct biomedical research
  • Develop artificial organs
  • Design prosthetics
  • Improve medical imaging devices

Don't take our word for it. Ask some Viterbi alumni:

Student Life

We want students who like to work hard – both in and out of the classroom. Our students know that going to college is more than attending class and completing assignments. College is about making connections and joining a community of dedicated students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students want to work and play with people as interesting as they are, and we have a number of ways for you to do the same.

Your life can be designed how you like it. Get your hands dirty with 3D4E. Continue your passion for volunteering with Engineers Without Borders. Keep making art with Corpus Callosum. On this page, we have a few student organizations we think you might be interested in, but there are so many more you can get involved in!

Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering

Professional Organization

Through academic, social, and corporate events, students gain clarity of their chosen field of study and the opportunities that being a BME major brings. Students are also able to get a foot in the corporate door at the annual ASBME corporate dinner, attended by USC alumni as well as other corporate representatives.

Engineers Without Borders

Service Organization

Students and professional mentors work together to deliver critical infrastructure projects to rural communities in developing countries. For each project, EWB collaborates with the local community members to design and implement sustainable engineering projects. They go as close as San Diego and as far as Guatemala!

3D4E

3D Printing Club

Students design, 3D print, and assemble products like a 3D printed USC campus map, Settlers of Catan board, hydroponics system, and drones. They're most commonly known for Project Freehand, where they 3D print customizable 3D- printed prosthetic hands free of charge for children in need in the LA area.

Imagine yourself on campus.

Learn more about life at USC as an engineering student at Viterbi Voices:

Viterbi VoicesViterbi Voices

More Engineering Disciplines

You just learned so much about Biomedical Engineering, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond this department, Viterbi has ten academic disciplines spread across eight departments to make up more than thirty major combinations. Take some time to explore all of your interests.

Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Design for Movement.

Astronautical Engineering

Build for Beyond.

Chemical Engineering

Make the Stuff of Tomorrow.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Design. Build. Improve.

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

It’s Way More Than Coding.

Electrical Engineering

Power Up.

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Engineer Better Businesses.

Undeclared Engineering

It’s Okay If You’re Not Sure.

Got Questions?

Send ’em over, and we will get right back to you.

Ask a Viterbi Admission staff member!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.