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College of Engineering and Computing

Advisement - FAQs

Curriculum Advisement

Do I have to be advised?

Yes, every student at UofSC has to be advised prior to registering for classes. Once you have been advised, your registration hold will be lifted and you will receive a time ticket from the registrar telling you when you can start registering for classes for the next semester. It is advisable to register as soon as your time ticket allows you to. 

What is block advisement?

Each fall and spring semester, after fall and spring break, respectively, BMEN is holding block advisement to help students decide which classes they should sign up for in the upcoming semester. You will receive an email asking you to attend block advisement at a certain day and time in the BME building at 1200 Catawba. Please try to make it to the block advisement session suggested for your year (junior or senior) as advisors will be best prepared for questions regarding your upcoming semester. If you truly are unable to attend your suggested session, you may choose one of the other advisement sessions offered. All faculty who advise will be present during block advisement and you will be placed with an advisor of your choice.  In addition to block advisement, each student in the Biomedical Engineering Program is assigned a personal advisor who you may contact at your convenience if you have advisement questions that go beyond issues discussed during block advisement. You can find out who your assigned advisor is at

What do I do if I can't get into a class because it is full?

If you can’t register for a BMEN class because it is full, please see Leslie Jenkins (Administrative Coordinator, Swearingen room 1B33) to get on a waiting list. If it is a class outside of BMEN, contact the department to ask if there is a waiting list. Check seat availability at key times, including just after grades are given and during add/drop. If you have not found a seat by the first day of class, attend the first class and speak to the instructor after class. If you can’t register for a BMEN class because it is full, please see Leslie Jenkins (Administrative Coordinator, Swearingen room 1B33) to get on a waiting list.

Which BMEN classes are offered only once a year?

With the exception of BMEN 211, which is offered both in spring and fall, all BMEN classes are only offered once a year, as placed in the curriculum (pdf). Offerings of BMEN electives vary. You may check Self Service Carolina or ask about BMEN electives offered in the upcoming semester during block advisement.

What courses require a 'C' or better to advance in the curriculum?

BIOL 101/L, BIOL 102, BIOL 302, BMEN 211, BMEN 212, BMEN 240, BMEN 263, BMEN 290, CHEM 111/L, CHEM 112, CHEM 333, CHEM 334, ENGL 101, MATH 141, MATH 142, MATH 241, MATH 242, PHYS 211/L

Where do I find a list of approved elective classes?

A list of all approved Technical, Engineering and Biomedical Engineering electives can be found in the advisement booklet (pdf).

How often can I repeat a class?

The College of Engineering and Computing allows a maximum of four repeated courses from the College. Regardless of other satisfactory work a course may not be taken a third time (i.e., you have two chances to pass a class). If you exceed four repeated courses or do not pass a course after two attempts, you must change major or transfer out of the college.

What is grade forgiveness?

If you received a “D+”, “D”, “F” or “WF” in one of your courses you may take up to two (2) courses for a second time for the purpose of grade forgiveness. Both the first and second grades for the same course shall appear on the UofSC permanent record, but only the second grade will be used in computing your cumulative GPA. An explanatory notice will appear on the record. Once grade forgiveness is applied to a repeated course, the action may not be revoked. Grade forgiveness can only be applied once per course for a maximum of two (2) courses. The forgiven and repeated class must both be taken at USC. Grade forgiveness does not affect the rule that each College course may only be taken twice.

When and how can I drop a course?

Last days for withdrawal without receiving the grade of “W” or “WF”, respectively can be found on the Office of the University Registrar calendar website. Courses from which you withdraw by the last day to change a  schedule or drop without a grade of “W” will not be recorded on your record. After that, during the first six (6) weeks of a semester, the grade “W” will be recorded on your transcript, but the semester hours will not enter into the computation of hours attempted, GPA or any other totals. If you drop a course or withdraw after the withdrawal period of a semester will normally receive a grade of “WF”. A “WF” is treated as an “F” in suspension conditions and in computing your GPA. Students who stop attending classes without officially withdrawing will have the grade of “F” recorded for that course. Exceptions to the assignment of a grade of “WF” are possible for verifiable, documented reasons. If you must either drop a course or withdraw from the University for medical reasons, or for another acceptable major cause after the penalty date (last day to receive a “W”), the grade “W” may still be assigned. An Extenuating Circumstances Form (AS-122A), available from the Office of Student Services must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and all instructors. Please note that extenuating circumstances are very unusual, must have completed documentation, and must be done before the last day of class. Poor academic performance and missing too many classes are not examples of extenuating circumstances.

How do I know what classes count for the Carolina Core requirement?

Please have a look at the Carolina Core website for a complete list of all courses which fulfill each area of learning in the Carolina Core curriculum.

What is BMEN 499 and how do I enroll?

BMEN 499 is an excellent way to get some research experience and course credit at the same time. It is important that you first identify a research advisor and project.  This project may be in conjunction with any faculty member on campus, to not just BME faculty, as long as the project is relevant to Biomedical Engineering. Then, complete the BMEN 499 form and submit to CEC Student Services, who will create a section of the course for you to enroll, taught by your research advisor. 

How and when do I do a senior check?

A senior check is a final review to ensure you have met requirement for your major. It is typically done in your junior year and before registering for senior year classes. Senior check requests can be made in the Office of Student Services or on the Student Services Policies and Forms webpage.

How and when do I apply for graduation?

You should apply for graduation during the spring semester of your senior year. Just visit CEC Student Services (Swearingen, 1A100) to fill out the paperwork.


General Advisement

Where can I find tutoring help?

Tutoring is available from several sources on campus. For basic science and math courses, supplementary instruction can be sought through he Student Success Center. For engineering courses, both Tau Beta Pi and BMES ( offer tutoring.  

What if I experience an extended illness?

If you must either drop a course or withdraw from the University for medical reasons, or for another acceptable major cause after the penalty date (last day to receive a “W”), the grade “W” may still be assigned. An Extenuating circumstances Form (AS-122A), available from the Office of Student Services must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and all instructors.

What is the Office of Pre-Professional Advising?

The Office of Pre-Professional Advising is offering career services to pre-med, pre-health, and pre-law students. It is located in the Sumwalt College, room 208, 1212 Greene St.

Who should I talk to if I am interested in studying abroad?

Please contact the Study Abroad Office at (803) 777-7557, or stop by the office located in Legare College, Suite 321 to get started.

How do I seek out a research position?

First, do some homework and identify faculty who you would have an interest in working with.  Every faculty member has a website with a brief description of their research. Try checking out the following: 

Biomedical Engineering
School of Medicine, Cell Biology and Anatomy
School of Medicine, Neuroscience
Biological Sciences
Chemistry and BiochemistryThe USC Research Database

Once you have identified which labs are of interest to you, then you will need to contact that faculty member to inquire about openings.  It is better to do this in person, as it is much easier to delete an email than to ignore someone in your doorway.  Do your homework; it helps to be familiar with the lab's research e.g., read some papers the faculty member has published. You should also take with you something showing your qualifications (a printed-out resume) and be prepared to explain you motivation for doing research.  Also, if you are willing to research on a volunteer basis (as opposed to hourly pay), you should make that clear.  Many labs ask students to begin as volunteers and then once they begin to make significant contributions, they may be offered hourly pay.

Who can help me with preparing applications and/or my resume?

The College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) has the great advantage of a Career Center located within the College (SWGN, Suite 1A01). The CEC Career Center offers help with resume building, holds mock interviews, and provides many other discipline-oriented career development opportunities.

What should I do to increase my changes of getting into graduate school?

If you are considering graduate school, it will be important to engage in undergraduate research. Identifying a research mentor on campus to participate in a research experience or complete BMEN 499 is an excellent start.  In addition, consider applying for a Magellan Scholarship, presenting your research at Discovery Day, or applying for a Magellan Voyager award to present your research at a national venue.  In particular, this last option is a great place to meet prospective graduate schools.  Finally, consider participating in a summer research experience at another university.  NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs are a great way to learn more about a school where you might want to study as a graduate student.

Who can I ask if I have a question about my current scholarship?