Biomedical Engineering

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.

Curriculum and Emphases

While many students choose a primary degree in Biomedical Engineering with no added specialization, we do offer the opportunity to deepen to your education in three separate emphasis programs: Biochemical (BMEC), Electrical (BMEN), and Mechanical (BMEL).

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 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

The Associated Students of Biomedical Engineers host their own Corporate Dinner every year.

ASBME is a club on campus to bring social, professional, and educational opportunities to studens pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering.  Ever year, they host their own corporate dinner where they bring in representatives from a variety of biomedical companies to discuss job opportunities and network!

Research Highlights

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.

Companies Hiring Biomedical Engineers

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Advanced Bionics
  • Alfred E. Mann Institute
  • Amgen
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • House Ear Institute
  • Lifescan
  • Medtronic
  • Neutrogena
  • Nike
  • And Many More!

Career Options

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

Preparation for Medical School

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 he Pre-Health Advisement office.  Man graduates go on to attend top medical, dental, and pharmacy schools around the country, including the USC Keck School of Medicine

 Featured Podcast Episodes

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.  Below are featured episodes highlighting Biomedical Engineering as a discipline.

Don’t just take our word for it

Find out what current students and faculty have to say

#ViterbiClass: Biomedical Engineering

Meet a few current Biomedical Engineering (BME) students and faculty, learn about what Biomedical Engineers study, hear why students choose to study Biomedical Engineering, and see the research and career opportunities available here at Viterbi!

Meet the Faculty

Meet Dr. David D’Argenio. He is a professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department. He is a specialist in computational technologies to diagnose and treat human diseases.


Daniel Donchev

Biomedical Engineering, '19

He is a senior studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Programming. Last summer he studied abroad in Rome, Italy through the Viterbi Overseas Program and this summer Daniel will be interning at Abott Laboratories.

Rhea Choudhury

Biomedical Engineering, '19

She's an undergraduate research assistant at the USC Biomechanics Lab and volunteers at LA County Hospital. She has also participated in the Tsinghua Research Exchange Program in Beijing, China.

Have questions? Ask a Viterbi Admission staff member!