Go to USC home page USC Logo College of Engineering and Information Technology
undergraduate bulletin index

updated 8/15/2007

Michael D. Amiridis, Dean
Michael Perkins, Assistant Dean


The College of Engineering and Computing offers a broad range of opportunities for ambitious men and women who seek a challenging technical career in engineering or computer science. Due to the increasing influence of technology on our society, there is a growing need for graduates who have not only high technical competence but also an increased understanding of, and responsibility for, the impact that their work will have on our society.
The curriculum has been developed to provide students with the opportunities to develop problem-solving strategies. Students learn to apply science, mathematics, and creativity to solve problems. Increasingly, engineers and computer scientists must develop the interpersonal skills to work effectively in dealing with modern enterprises. They must also understand the economic, environmental, and ethical implications of their work.

Programs of Study

The college is composed of five departments: chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. In addition, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering collaborate to offer the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Within the departments there is flexibility that allows students the opportunity to pursue specializations within these basic programs.

Entrance Requirements

Any freshman applicant who is admitted to the baccalaureate degree program of the University of South Carolina is eligible to be admitted to any of the degree programs of the college. Transfer students with above-average records at other accredited colleges may apply for admission to the College of Engineering and Computing. Transfer students must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours, including at least half of the hours of work in the major, in residence.

Qualified students outside of engineering may enroll in engineering courses through the Student Services Office on a space-available basis.

Cooperative Education

The Cooperative Education Program in the college is an optional program designed to provide career-related work experiences alternating with academic semesters. The purpose of the co-op experience is to give direction and enrichment to the student's education, to help the student in career decision making, to improve after-graduation job prospects, and to enable students to pay for a significant portion of their college expenses.

To qualify for the co-op program, students must have completed 30 semester hours, maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average, and participate in at least two work experiences, each equal to one academic semester. Students are encouraged to enroll with the Engineering and Information Technology Career Services Office during their freshman year.

Grade Point Average

In addition to the general University requirements for a bachelor's degree, engineering students must have a GPA on all engineering courses attempted of at least 2.00, including repeated grades, and a GPA of 2.00 on all major courses, including repeated grades.

Students with a grade point average of less than 2.00 are considered to be on probation. Suspension from the University is described in the "Academic Regulations" section of this bulletin.

Repetition of Course Work

A student can repeat no more than five courses from the college in order to satisy the requirements for a degree from the College of Engineering and Computing. Regardless of other satisfactory work, a student may not repeat a course a third time. For this purpose, withdrawal from a course with a grade of W is not regarded as enrollment in that course.

Progression Requirements

Sophomore Year. A student must earn an overall GPA of at least 2.20 on the first 30 semester hours of course work to continue in the College of Engineering and Computing.

Upper Division. To be admitted to the upper division and to be eligible to enroll in upper-division classes, a student must have at least a 2.00 GPA on all lower-division courses required in the degree program. A listing of lower- and upper-division courses for all degree programs is maintained in the Student Services Office. The GPA computation will include repeated grades. (See "Repetition of Course Work," above.) A student not meeting these requirements must transfer out of the College of Engineering and Computing.

At the time of admission to the upper division, those engineering students with a GPA of at least 3.40 on the lower-division courses attempted may select the special Plan "M." Selection of Plan "M" declares the student's objective is a master's degree and allows a sequencing of courses to meet that goal in an optimal time period. The student may plan a schedule, time of graduation, and finances accordingly. Students in Plan "M" would earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree and would be eligible for graduate assistantships upon admission to The Graduate School. Students in Plan "M" must maintain a GPA of 3.40.

Students not in Plan "M" may, of course, apply to graduate school in the customary fashion, and those in Plan "M" may opt out and become candidates for the bachelor's degree only. Those not eligible (or who do not apply) for Plan "M" at the time of upper-division admission may do so later, if eligible.

The College of Engineering and Computing and the Moore School of Busiess support the B.S./I.M.B.A. program for undergraduate students in the College of Engineering and Computing. Under this program, undergraduate students with appropriate co-op or work experience and a GPA of 3.40, both overall and in their major field of study, may first submit an application to The Graduate School for acceptance to the accelerated program during the semester in which they will have 90 undergraduate credit hours. Generally the equivalent of at least one year of full-time professional experience is required for acceptance to the accelerated B.S./I.M.B.A. program.

Students must also apply to the Moore School of Business for acceptance to the I.M.B.A. program. Satisfactory scores on the GMAT are required. Students will generally officially start taking I.M.B.A. core courses during the summer after they are within 30 hours of completing the undergraduate degree. The following year will be spent taking elective courses in the I.M.B.A. program. The first year of the I.M.B.A. program is tightly structured and provides little flexibility in scheduling, including the required internship. Courses remaining to complete the requirements for both programs will be taken during the second year of the I.M.B.A. program. Up to 9 hours of graduate courses may be used for dual credit in both programs. The specific courses must be approved by both programs for dual credit.

Certain majors within the college offer accelerated degree programs in accordance with the procedures given under the "Academic Regulations" section of this bulletin.


The College of Engineering and Computing offers programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and Bachelor of Science with a major in computer information systems. Majors for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering are chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary degree offered jointly by mechanical and chemical engineering. For biomedical engineering course information, please see the section below.

The curricula for all baccalaureate programs include a set of courses that fulfill the general education requirements of the University and a set of courses that are specific to the major. Elective courses within the major will permit further specialization.

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

(130 hours)

Degree requirements

General Education (18 hours)

ENGL 101 (3 hours)
ENGL 102 (3 hours)
History elective (3 hours)

Fine Arts elective (3 hours)
Liberal Arts electives (6 hours)

Science Education (58 hours)

20 credit hours of college biology: BIOL 101/101L (4 hours), BIOL 102/102L (4 hours), BIOL 302/302L (4 hours), BIOL 243 or EXSC 223, BIOL 244 or EXSC 224
13 credit hours of college chemistry: CHEM 111/111L (4 hours), CHEM 112/112L (4 hours), CHEM 333/333L (5 hours)
14 credit hours of college mathematics: MATH 141 (4 hours), MATH 142 (4 hours), MATH 241 or MATH 250 (3 hours), MATH 242 (3 hours)
3 credit hours of statistics: STAT 509 (3 hours)

8 credit hours of college physics: PHYS 211/211L (4 hours), PHYS 212/212L (4 hours)

Biomedical Engineering Education (33 hours)

ECHE 320
BMEN 101

BMEN 201
BMEN 211
BMEN 260
BMEN 271
BMEN 301
BMEN 321
BMEN 354
BMEN 361
BMEN 390
BMEN 427
BMEN 428

Technical and Biomedical Electives (21 hours)

In addition to the required basic science and biomedical engineering courses listed above, students are also required to take 21 credit hours of science and engineering electives, at least 9 of which must be biomedical engineering electives. Of these 9 hours in biomedical engineering electives, at least 3 credits must come from BMEN 499 Independent Research. A listing of acceptable elective courses will be maintained in the department offices. The technical electives listing may include but is not limited to the following:

BIOL 530 Histology
BIOL 541 or CHEM 550 Principles of Biochemistry
CHEM 321 Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 332L Essentials of Organic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 541 or 542 Physical Chemistry
ECHE 321 Heat Flow Analysis
ECHE 322 Mass Transfer
ECHE 430 Chemical Engineering Kinetics and Reactor Design
ECHE 440 Separations
ECHE 550 Chemical Process Dynamics and Control
ECHE 572 Polymer Processing
EMCH 516 Control Theory in Mechanical Engineering
EMCH 532 Intermediate Dynamics
EMCH 554 Intermediate Heat Transfer
EMCH 560 Intermediate Flid Mechanics
MATH 544 Linear Algebra

The biomedical engineering electives listing may include but is not limited to the following courses (courses in bold are to be developed):

BMSC 740 Biological Microscopic Imaging
ECHE 389 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
EMCH 580 Mechanics of Solid Biomaterials
EMCH 792 Cell Mechanics
EXSC 535 Biomechanics of Human Movement
PSYC 507 Cognitive Neuroscience
Bioreactor Design and Cell Culture Technologies
Current Perspectives in Biomedical Industry
Design for Biomedical Applications
Hydrogels and Their Applications in Biomedical Engineering
Immunology for Biomedical Engineers
BMEN 499 Independent Research in Biomedical Engineering
Introduction to Drug Delivery
Materials Characterization Techniques in Biomedical Engineering
Mechanics of the Cardiovascular System
Neurodegenerative DisordersmNeuroscience
Principles of Controlled Release Systems for Bioactive Agents
Principles of Pathology
Tissue Engineering

Second Baccalaureate Degree

At times the University confers a second baccalaureate degree upon candidates who have completed all requirements for the second degree, provided that the additional requirements for the second degree include a minimum of 32 semester hours beyond those required for the first degree and a minimum of 144 semester hours total. The College of Engineering and Computing cooperates with other colleges in this option.


A student in the College of Engineering and Computing may choose a minor from a field consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The minor is intended to develop a coherent program in a second area of study. Descriptions of specific minor programs are available in the Student Services Office.

General Education Requirements

ENGL 101, 102 (6 hours)
Liberal Arts (12 hours)
MATH 141, 142 (8 hours)

A grade of C or better is required in ENGL 101 and 102 and MATH 141 and 142.

The liberal arts courses must, at a minimum, include one 3-hour course in history and one 3-hour course in the fine arts. Students should select liberal arts courses to complement the technical content of their curricula.

The natural science requirement of the University's general education requirements is met by the science requirements of each degree program.

Foreign Languages: students shall demonstrate in one foreign language the ability to comprehend the topic and main ideas in written and, with the exception of Latin and Ancient Greek, spoken texts on familiar subjects. This ability can be demonstrated by achieving a score of two or better on a USC foreign language test. Those failing to do so must satisfactorily complete equivalent study of foreign language at USC.

Individual programs may have additional requirements that could be considered as contributing to the general education requirements.

Course Descriptions


  • 101 -- Introduction to Engineering I. (3) Engineering problem solving using computers and other engineering tools.
  • 102 -- Introduction to Engineering II. (3) Principles and practice of visualization and graphical representation using modern computer-aided design tools.
  • 105 -- Professional Development and Ethics in Engineering and Computing. (1) Introduction to the field of engineering and computing in a seminar format. Open to first-year students only.
  • 200 -- Statics. (3) (Prereq: MATH 141) Introduction to the principles of mechanics. Equilibrium of particles and rigid bodies. Distributed forces, centroids, and centers of gravity. Moments of inertia of areas. Analysis of simple structures and machines. A study of various types of friction.
  • 210 -- Dynamics. (3) (Prereq: ENGR 200) Kinematics of particles and rigid bodies. Kinetics of particles with emphasis on Newton's second law; energy and momentum methods for the solution of problems. Applications of plane motion of rigid bodies.
  • 260 -- Introduction to the Mechanics of Solids. (3) (Prereq: ENGR 200, MATH 241) Concepts of stress and strain; stress analysis of basic structural members; consideration of combined stress, including Mohr's circle; introductory analysis of deflection; buckling of columns.
  • 290 -- Thermodynamic Fundamentals. (3) (Prereq: MATH 241) Definitions, work, heat, and energy. First law analyses of systems and control volumes. Second law analysis.
  • 330 -- Introduction to Vibrations. (3) (Prereq: ENGR 210, MATH 242) Theoretical and experimental analysis of systems involving one degree of freedom, including measurement methods. Introduction to free vibrations in systems with two degrees of freedom.
  • 360 -- Fluid Mechanics. (3) (Prereq: ENGR 200, PHYS 211) Basic principles of fluid statics and dynamics; conservation laws of mass, momentum, and energy developed in the context of the control volume formulation; application of dimensional analysis, dynamic similitude, steady-state laminar viscous flow, and turbulent flow.
  • 540 -- Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing. (3) (Prereq: graduate student standing or consent of instructor) Design for the environment; life cycle analysis; environmental economics and global competitiveness; legal and regulatory affairs; and management of technological change. Interdisciplinary collaboration of engineering, science, math, and business majors.

Biomedical Engineering (BMEN)

  • 101 -- Professional Development and Ethics in Biomedical Engineering I. (1) (Prereq: Admission to the BS program in Biomedical Engineering) Introduction to the field of Biomedical Engineering in a seminar format. Analyzing and discussing current issues, with emphasis on ethical issues, in biomedical engineering. Information access, library, and literature searching skills. Presentations by guest lecturers.
  • 201 -- Professional Development and Ethics in Biomedical Engineering II. (1) (Prereq: BMEN 101) Industrial, research, and government careers in the field of Biomedical Engineering. Analyzing and discussing industries, products, patents, industrial inventiveness, and biomedical research. Current employment opportunities. Recruiting and interviewing process. Ethical issues associated with research, introduction of new products, human subjects, and animal subjects. Presentation by guest lecturers.
  • 211 -- Mathematical Modeling in Biomedical Engineering I. (3) (Prereq: MATH 141) Introduction to modern computational modeling tools used in biomedical engineering. Programming, analysis, visualization, and image processing using engineering software, as applied to problems of interest in biomedical engineering.
  • 260 -- Introduction to Biomechanics. (3) (Prereq: BMEN 211; coreq: MATH 241 or 250) Introduction to continuum mechanics including statics, dynamics, and deformable bodies using integrated laboratory experiences on biological materials. Laws of motion. Free body diagrams. Stress and strain. Constitutive equations, focusing on models relevant to biomaterials. Mechanical properties of biological materials. Basic modes of deformation including bending and inflation. Injury. Numerical solutions.
  • 271 -- Introduction to Biomaterials. (3) (Prereq: MATH 142, BIOL 102, CHEM 333) Synthesis and characterization of polymers, ceramics, gels, hydrogels, rubbers, metals, and peptides; fabrication of implants with biomaterials; methods of surface treatment; immobilization of biomolecules; fabrication of scaffolds for cell seeding; tissues, extracellular matrix, cell-biomaterial interactions; biological testing of biomaterials; blood-biomaterials interactions; degradation of materials in biological environment.
  • 301 -- Professional Development and Ethics in Biomedical Engineering III. (1) (Prereq: BMEN 201) Professional communications in the field of biomedical engineering, with emphasis on student's independent research or work experiences. Writing of technical papers and proposals, including graphical communications, on projects. Planning and managing individual and group projects. Principles of interdisciplinary teams. Cognitive development and distributed cognition. Ethical issues associated with biomedical engineering. Presentations by guest lecturers.
  • 321 -- Biomedical Circuits and Systems. (3) (Prereq: MATH 242, BMEN 211, PHYS 212, BIOL 302) Electrical circuit and linear systems concepts necessary for both analysis and design of bioelectrical monitoring instrumentation and for understanding electrophysiology. Electrical circuit fundamentals; electrochemistry including Nernst and Goldman equations; cellular ion transport; electrical biophysics and electrophysiology (Hodgkin Huxley equations); sensory perception; and bioelectrochemical measurements.
  • 354 -- Transport in Biological Systems. (3) (Prereq: MATH 242, BMEN 211, ECHE 320) Basics of convective and diffusive transport applied to biological systems. Fluid mechanics, mass transport, and the effect of transport processes upon biochemical interactions. Interrelationships among biological, chemical, and physical processes at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and organism level.
  • 361 -- Biomedical Measurement and Instrumentation. (3) (Prereq: BMEN 260, BMEN 321) Laboratory experiments involving living systems. Data acquisition and processing. Microcontrollers. Circuit design with an emphasis on design criteria appropriate for biomedical instrumentation. Introduction to statistical analysis.
  • 390 -- Thermodynamics and Kinetics in Biomolecular Systems. (3) (Prereq: MATH 242, BMEN 211, BIOL 244 or EXSC 224, CHEM 333) First, second, and third law of thermodynamics; free energy and chemical equilibrium in biological processes; chemical kinetics and rate of complex reactions; phase equilibrium for biomolecular and ionic solutions; ATP and metabolism; electrochemical reactions and work of muscles; membrane potentials and depolarization; enzymatic reactions; kinetics and equilibrium models of biomolecular interactions.
  • 427 -- Senior Biomedical Engineering Design I. (3) (Prereq: BMEN 361, BMEN 354, STAT 509) Integrated team work/project management, "voice of the patient," design specifications, design functions, design concepts, economic factors, concept selection and product architecture. The initial feasibility study, selection of the final design approach, and preliminary specifications are required by the end of the semester.
  • 428 -- Senior Biomedical Engineering Design II. (3) (Prereq: BMEN 427) Design for manufacturability, ergonomic and aesthetic considerations, prototype construction and testing, fabrication and biological testing of tissue engineered constructs, statistical methods/design of experiments, ethics/product liability and social/environmental impact. The final engineering design (specifications, drawings, bill of materials, including assessment of economics) will be completed by the end of the semester. Both written and oral reports are to be provided.