Curricula over the Years
The curriculum in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has changed over the years. The major area of transition concerns the move from an orientation toward electric power to postwar needs in communications and electronics. The changes at UIUC are representative of changes occurring at engineering schools across the nation. Most changes have been small and evolutionary; a few have been larger.

The curriculum in electrical engineering at the university did not change very much in the first 50 years. Appendix 3 lists the curricula in the years 1910, 1940, 1961, 1973, and 1989. There is little difference between the 1910 and 1940 curricula. Both required approximately 142 hours for the BS degree. The 1910 curriculum, however, was rigid; in 1940, a few options were available to the students. Wiring and Illumination was one option in the second year. In the second semester of the fourth year, students could elect to subsitute courses in Telephone Transmission, Radio Communication, or Electron Tubes for E.E. 36 -- A.C. Apparatus and E.E. 86 -- Electrical Engineering Lab.

The era after World War II was one of rapid change in electrical engineering. The 1950 curriculum offered three options: power, illumination, and communication engineering. Differential Equations and Electronics were required courses in all three options. Field and Waves, Electron Tube Circuits, and Radio Circuits were required courses in the communication engineering option. In the nontechnical area, courses were required in Rhetoric and Composition, Effective Speaking, Economics, Hygiene, Personnel Adminstration, Psycholofy, Architecture and Civilization, and Physiology. The illumination option required courses in industrial Selling and Sales Management. The 1950 curriculum contained 144 hours. The options format disappeared in 1958.

By 1961, the curriculum clearly illustrated the impact of William L. Everitt, John Bardeen, and their protégés. Requirements included three electromagnetics courses, a fourth physics course entitled Atomic Physics and Quantum Theory, and a materials course entitled Properties of Solids. This was a modern curriculum in 1961 that reflected the rapid advances taking place in communications, solid-state devices, and nuclear energy. The curriculum required 145 hours and contained 31 technical and nontechnical elective hours.

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Centennial History of the Department of ECE
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