My response to the common “What’s your major?” is often followed by either nods of approval, curious eyes, or confused looks and “that sounds crazy– what exactly do you do with that?” When picking my major, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew I really liked biology, medicine, physics, math engineering, and hands-on projects. Thus I declared my biomedical-mechanical engineering before even coming to USC, and I have never looked back.
Studying Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering means that I get to study a vast array of courses and classes from multiple departments. As a BME student you can actually choose to follow any one of four emphases: regular, mechanical, chemical and electrical. I have friends in all four so there really is a diverse range and good fit for what you like! Also there are a bunch of pre-med BMEs which creates an interesting dynamic within my major. While there is a fundamental core set of BME classes, each emphasis has slight variations in the required coursework.
Like last semester, I’m currently taking five courses towards my major (no GEs) and the five have all been from different departments. The awesome part is I get to study all kinds of material from my Science-lab based classes, to research driven courses, to Solidworks 3D computer modeling. From these classes I’ve learned a lot, an furthermore, I’ve learned a lot about what topics in my major I am really interested in, and which ones don’t have that same spark to me.
But I honestly like it this way, because while at first it can feel like the classes are separate entities, it keeps my schedule fresh and its great to discover how all these topics really do crossover with one another. From neural processing to biomechanics, and electrical signals BME really does transcend the boundaries of medicine, mechanics, and electrical systems. All that really matters is that it’s the greatest major because its medicine, engineering, and mechanics combined!