Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering

The Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering is designed to be completed in four to five years, including summers, of full-time study beyond the Bachelor of Science degree. Sixty units of credit beyond the B.S.,with a minimum grade point average of 3.0, is required for the Ph.D. degree. Ph.D. candidates must pass a screening exam at the end of their first year, a qualifying exam when they begin their dissertation research, and an oral defense of their dissertation at the end of the program. There are three areas of specialty in the program: Bio-systems and Signals, Device and Diagnostic Technologies, and Neuroengineering.

YEAR ONE (BME CORE)

The first year of graduate study is designed to arm you with the fundamental principles necessary to biomedical engineering. The courses are designed to be taken in a set sequence for optimal learning.  During the course of your first year, you will be required to complete the screening exam for each course listed (minus BME 533) at the end of each semester.  Additionally, you will have to give an oral presentation at the end of of your first year.  Please see the Screening Exam page for more information.
Fall Semester
Required Courses
  • BME 502 Advanced Studies of the Nervous System (4 units)
  • BME 505aL Laboratory Projects in Biomedical Engineering (4 units)
  • BME 511 Physiological Control Systems (3 units)
  • BME 533 Seminar in Bioengineering (1 unit)

Total Units: 12

 Spring Semester
Required Courses
  • BME 501 Advanced Topics in Biomedical Systems (4 units)
  • BME 505bL Laboratory Projects in Biomedical Engineering (4 units)
  • BME 513 Signal & Systems Analysis (3 units)
  • BME 533 Seminar in Bioengineering (1 unit)
Total Units: 12

YEAR TWO (TRACKS)

The second year of graduate study allows you to focus on a specific area or study in biomedical engineering. At the University of Southern California, we offer three pre-set tracks (Neuroengineering; Bio-systems and Signals; and Device and Diagnostic Technologies). These tracks are based on the strengths of our faculty and goals of our program. You are not required to complete a track. However, any class that you take in the program must be approved by your faculty advisor.

Neuroengineering Track

  • BME 533 Seminar in Bioengineering (1 unit)
  • BME 575L Computational Neuroengineering (3 units)
  • BME 552 Neural Implant Engineering (3 units)
  • BME 620L Applied Electrophysiology (4 units)
  • BME 675 Computational Vision (3 units)
  • Elective(s) Consult Graduate Advisor (9-12 units)

Bio-systems and Signals Track

  • BME 533 Seminar in Bioengineering (1 unit)
  • BME 523 Measurement and Processing of Biological Signals (3 units)
  • BME 650 Biomedical Measurement and Instrumentation (3 units)
  • BME 680 Modeling and Simulation of Physiological Systems (3 units)

Device and Diagnostic Technologies Track

  • BME 533 Seminar in Bioengineering (1 unit)
  • BME 551 Introduction to Bio-MEMS and Nanotechnology (3 units)
  • BME 620L Applied Electrophysiology (4 units)
  • BME 650 Biomedical Measurement and Instrumentation (3 units)
  • Elective: Consult Graduate Advisor (3-4 units)

 YEARS THREE AND FOUR (RESEARCH AND DISSERTATION)

The third and fourth year of graduate study allows you to focus on a research area/topic to explore and develop for your dissertation. By the end of your third year, you should be able to take the Qualifying Exam. After passing the Qualifying Exam, you are eligible to take coursework for your dissertation. You must take at least BME 794ab for a total of 4 units.
Research
  • BME 790 Directed Research (1-12 units)
Dissertation
  • BME 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0 units)

 YEARS FIVE AND BEYOND

If you have not completed your research and dissertation by the end of the fourth year, please communicate with the Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator for more information.

All information contained here is summarized from the USC Catalogue and is considered non-official. For all rules, regulations, procedures, and outlines, please see the current academic year USC catalogue.

Research Opportunities

Please check out our Research page for our faculty laboratory websites.