BME: BS in Biomedical Engineering

All BME degrees combine high-level coursework from mathematics, the sciences, engineering, and USC's general education program. The B.S. in Biomedical Engineering requires three to four technical elective courses which students fulfill by completing courses in a selected area of specialization.

The sample 4-year schedules show one recommended sequence of courses for the BS BME degree. The sequences listed ensure that all prerequisite and co requisite requirements are met and take into consideration the many courses which are only offered once a year, during either the spring or fall semester.

In many cases, it is not possible for students to follow the recommended schedule exactly. Factors such as an academic minor, AP or transfer credits, participation in sports, or the need for preparatory courses may necessitate taking courses in a different order. When a student deviates from the recommended course schedule, he/she should make an alternative four-year plan along with their academic advisor to ensure a timely graduation. It is important in the planning of an alternative schedule to consider the following:

  1. Prerequisites and co requisites
    Many courses in the BME curriculum involve prerequisite and co requisite courses.
  2. Class Scheduling
    Not all classes are offered every semester. The catalog provides information in the course description about what term classes are being offered, but please refer to the Schedule of Classes issued during the pre-registration period.

Below you can find a sample four-year schedule for the BS BME degree, and a list of technical elective categories and courses.

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.


BME Program Course Plan

This course plan is for students who are following the program requirements established Fall 2020 or later. If you are following an earlier set of course requirements, please check with your advisor or the appropriate year's USC catalogue.

A print-friendly version of this flowchart may be found in the Viterbi Undergraduate Handbook.

BS BME: First Year: Fall

BME 101 or GE: Intro to Biomedical Engineering or GE Category B - 4 units

CHEM 105aL: General Chemistry - 4 units

MATH 125: Calculus I - 4 units

WRIT 150: Writing and Critical Reasoning - 4 units

ENGR 102: Engineering Freshman Academy (Elective) - 2 units

Total Units - 18

BS BME: First Year: Spring

CHEM 105bL: General Chemistry - 4 units

MATH 126: Calculus II - 4 units

GE: GE Category A - 4 units

BME 101 or GE: Intro to Biomedical Engineering or GE Category B - 4 units

Total Units - 16

BS BME: Second Year: Fall

BME 202: Control & Communication in the Nervous System - 4 units

GE: GE Category C - 4 units

MATH 226: Calculus III - 4 units

PHYS 151L: Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics & Thermodynamics - 4 units

Total Units - 16

BS BME: Second Year: Spring

BISC 220L: General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology - 4 units

BME 210: Biomedical Computer Simulation Methods - 4 units

MATH 245: Mathematics of Physics & Engineering I - 4 units

PHYS 152L: Electricity and Magnetism - 4 units

Total Units - 16

BS BME: Third Year: Fall

CHEM 322aL: Organic Chemistry - 4 units

EE 202L: Linear Circuits - 4 units

BME 423: Statistical Methods in Biomedical Engineering - 4 units

BME Anchor course: BME 404 or BME 430 or BME 451L - 4 units

Total Units - 16

BS BME: Third Year: Spring

CHEM 322bL: Organic Chemistry option - 4 units
CHEM 322b may be replaced by an additional four units of 400-level BME courses

GE: GE Category C - 4 units

BME 302L: Medical Electronics - 4 units

Technical Elective: Choose from Approved List - 4 units

Total Units - 16

BS BME: Fourth Year: Fall

BISC 320L: Molecular Biology - 4 units

BME 403L: Physiological Systems or BME 405L: Senior Projects: Measurement & Instrumentation - 4 units

BME 413 Bioengineering Signals & Systems - 4 units

WRIT 340: Advanced Writing - 4 units

Technical Elective: Choose from Approved List - 2 units

Total Units - 18

BS BME: Fourth Year: Spring

GE: GE Category B - 4 units

BME 410L: Introduction to Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering - 4 units

BME 403L: Physiological Systems or BME 405L: Senior Projects: Measurement & Instrumentation - 4 units

BME 415: Regulation of Medical Products or BME 416L Development and Regulation of Medical Products - 2 units or 4 units

Technical Elective (if needed): Choose from Approved List - 2 units

Total Units - 16-18 units

BME Anchor Course

BS BME students select one Anchor course from the following three choices:

BME 404 - Orthopaedic Biomechanics
BME 430 - Principles & Applications of Systems Biology
BME 451L - Fundamentals of Biomedical Microdevices

BME Organic Chemistry Option

BS BME students may choose to take either CHEM 322bL or an additional four-unit 400-level BME course.

BME 415 or BME 416L Option

BS BME students must take either BME 415 (2 units) or BME 416L (4 units). Students who take BME 405L in the fall will be expected to take BME 416L in the spring to have a full-year design experience.

Students who choose to take BME 415 will need to take two additional units of Technical Elective coursework.

BME Technical Electives

Technical elective units required

Select five to seven units of technical elective coursework from one of the following three specializations:


Bioelectronic/bioelectrical engineers apply the principles of circuit analysis, circuit design and information/signal processing to biological systems and/or clinical medicine. This specialization also provides the training and background for careers that revolve around physiological signal processing or biomedical imaging. Biomedical engineers who have this specialization would be well-suited for careers in industries that produce medical devices, hospital instrumentation and biomedical imaging equipment.

BME 201
BME 204
BME 426
BME 427
BME 430
BME 451
BME 452

BME 453
CSCI 455x
EE 109L
EE 155L
EE 209L

EE 338
EE 348L
EE 352L
EE 354L
EE 454L
ENGR 345
ITP 308

Biochemical, Molecular, and Cellular Enginering

This area of specialization provides the BME student with the background and training important for careers in biotechnology, biomaterials and the pharmaceutical industry. Engineers in these industries develop and test new drug therapies, new materials that can be used for implants, and processes related to genomics and proteomics.

BME 201
BME 204
BME 406
BME 412
BME 430

BME 453
BME 459L
CHE 330
CHE 350
CHE 460L

CHE 489
ENGR 305
ITP 308
MASC 310


Biomechanics involves the application of engineering mechanics to biology and clinical medicine. Biomechanical engineers are involved in the design and development of medical implants and devices, as well as improving diagnostic and therapeutic methods in orthopedic, rehabilitation and sports medicine. Examples of products of biomechanical engineering design include prosthetic limbs, hip implants, and more recently, biomedical microelectromechanical systems (bio-MEMS).

AME 201
AME 204
AME 301
AME 302
AME 308/
ITP 308

AME 309
BME 201
BME 204
BME 408
BME 412

BME 426
BME 427
BME 453
MASC 310