Jul 15, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Biomedical Engineering (PhD)

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The objective of the Doctor of Philosophy is to produce independent investigators who can make original scholarly contributions and apply advanced engineering concepts and techniques to the understanding and solution of biomedical problems. This program is intended to prepare the student for a career in academic research and teaching, or as an independent investigator in industrial or government laboratories.

The requirements listed are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements of the Graduate School.

This program is designed to be normally completed in four years of full-time work beyond the Bachelor of Science degree (including summers). The first two years are devoted primarily to formal course work and the last two to research. In view of the flexible program, each student is assigned an adviser who will guide him or her in the selection of courses. By the end of the third semester of graduate study the student must have completed the PhD screening examination. Subsequently, he or she is required to make a tentative major field selection (e.g., biomedical imaging, signal processing, neural engineering) and pass a qualifying examination. In accordance with the requirements of the Graduate School, at least 60 units of credit beyond the Bachelor of Science degree are required, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Students are required to take BME 533 , the graduate biomedical engineering seminar course, for three semesters during their studies.

Requirements for Admission

Bachelor of Science degree in engineering or a natural science, and satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations. Undergraduate work should include a basic course in biology, physics, organic chemistry, biochemistry, differential equations and digital computation. Students lacking any of these will be required to make up the deficiency during the first two years of graduate work.

Students who have completed all requirements for the Master of Science degree offered in this department may apply for admission to the PhD program. In this case, all courses taken in the MS program may be applied toward the requirements of the doctoral degree.

Screening Examination Process

By the end of the third semester of graduate study, all students must have completed the screening examination process to determine whether or not they will be allowed to continue in the Doctor of Philosophy program. Those who fail will be dropped from the program, although they may be permitted to complete the additional requirements necessary to obtain the Master of Science degree.

Qualifying Exam Committee

During the third semester, the student must make a tentative major field selection as described above and form a qualifying exam committee. The latter administers the qualifying examination.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination will normally be taken during the fourth semester of full-time academic study. The examination requires the preparation of a comprehensive written research proposal that presents a research question, critically reviews the pertinent literature and outlines the proposed experimental, analytical and computational procedures required to answer the question. The proposal must be defended in an oral examination.

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