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Electrical Engineering Curriculum

Electrical Engineering Curriculum

Last Updated: 08/05/2014


A list of the twenty greatest engineering achievements of the twentieth century compiled by the National Academy of Engineering includes ten achievements primarily related to the field of electrical engineering: electrification, electronics, radio and television, computers, telephone, internet, imaging, household appliances, health technologies, and laser and fiber optics. The remaining achievements in the list - automobile, airplane, water supply and distribution, agricultural mechanization, air conditioning and refrigeration, highways, spacecraft, petroleum/petrochemical technologies, nuclear technologies, and high-performance materials - also require knowledge of electrical engineering to differing degrees. In the twenty-first century the discipline of electrical engineering continues to be one of the primary drivers of change and progress in technology and standards of living around the globe.

Program Educational Objectives and Outcomes

The Importance of the First Year ECE Experience

First-year students take Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE 110), a three-credit-hour class combining theory, laboratory measurement, and design. Not only do beginning students get a substantive course in their major, they also gain a better appreciation for the basic science and mathematics courses that are taken during the first two years of study. Students gain first-hand experience in the activities of a professional electrical/computer engineer and are better able to make the important decision as to whether they have chosen the major best suited to them.

Intellectual Content of the EE Curriculum

Student involvement in the EE discipline increases during each year of the program. Most of the core electrical engineering courses are taken in the fourth and fifth semesters. During the last three semesters, the student chooses electives to define a curriculum to meet specific educational and career needs.

The electrical engineering core curriculum focuses on fundamental electrical engineering knowledge: circuits (ECE 110), systems (ECE 210), electromagnetics (ECE 329), semiconductor devices (ECE 340), computer engineering (ECE 120, ECE 220, ECE 385 after Fall 2014), and design (ECE 445). The rich set of ECE elective courses permits students to select from collections of courses in the seven areas of electrical and computer engineering: bioengineering, acoustics, and magnetic resonance engineering; circuits and signal processing; communication and control; computer engineering; electromagnetics, optics, and remote sensing; microelectronics and quantum electronics; power and energy systems.

Methods of Instruction and Design Experience

Instruction is given using a combination of lecture, discussion, laboratory, and project methodologies of the highest quality. The large number of laboratory courses and superb access to advanced computer facilities provide excellent practical experience in the field. Laboratory and design work are emphasized throughout the curriculum beginning with Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE 110). The sophomore year includes design experience in Computer Engineering (ECE 120 and ECE 220) and the Digital Systems Laboratory (ECE 385). During the junior and senior years, students gain further design experience in elective courses, including at least two laboratory courses, in their chosen sub-discipline. In the Senior Design Laboratory (ECE 445), students learn to combine all phases of an engineering project including design, analysis, construction, teamwork, and reporting.

Honors Activity

Students wishing to do honors work are encouraged to apply to the James Scholar Program administered jointly by the College of Engineering and the ECE Department. In consultation with departmental honors advisers, students create and carry out honors activity contracts. They must also participate in the ECE Honors Seminar and are encouraged to participate in the yearly Undergraduate Honors Symposium. The department offers thesis courses and project opportunities for students wishing to graduate with Highest Honors.

Grade Point Average Requirements

A student must have a grade-point average of at least 2.0 (A=4.0) in ECE courses in order to remain in good standing and to graduate.

Junior Eligibility Rule (2.25 Rule)

To qualify for registration for the ECE courses shown in the third year of the curriculum, a student must have completed, with a combined 2.25 grade point average, the mathematics, physics, computer science, and electrical and computer engineering courses shown in the first two years.

Overview of Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum requires 128 hours for graduation and is organized as follows:

Required Courses

Required courses total 66 hours.

Basic Sciences and Mathematics

These courses stress the scientific principles upon which the engineering discipline is based.

Hours Course Number & Name
4 MATH 221 - Calculus I
3 MATH 231 - Calculus II
4 MATH 241 - Calculus III
4 MATH 286 - Introduction to Differential Equations Plus
4 PHYS 211 - Univ Physics, Mechanics
4 PHYS 212 - Univ Physics, Electromagtism & Magnetism
2 PHYS 213 - Univ Physics, Thermal Physics
2 PHYS 214 - Univ Physics, Quantum Physics
3 CHEM 102 - General Chemistry I
1 CHEM 103 - General Chemistry Lab I
31 Total

Electrical Engineering Core

These courses stress fundamental electrical engineering concepts and basic laboratory techniques that encompass the common intellectual understanding of all electrical engineering.

Hours Course Number & Name
3 ECE 110 - Introduction to Electrical & Computer Engineering
4 ECE 198JL (ECE 120 after Fall 2014)- Intro to Computer Engineering I
4 ECE 198KL (ECE 220 after Fall 2014)- Intro to Computer Engineering II
4 ECE 210 - Analog Signal Processing
3 ECE 329 - Fields and Waves I
3 ECE 340 - Semiconductor Devices
3 ECE 385 - Digital System Design Lab
4 ECE 445 - Senior Design Project Lab (or alternatives)
28 Total

Other Mathematics

This course lays the ground work for understanding problems ranging from communications engineering to data analysis in diverse areas such as medicine and manufacturing.

Hours Course Number & Name
3 ECE 313 - Probability with Engineering Applications
or STAT 410 - Statistics and Probability II

Composition I

This course teaches fundamentals of expository writing.

Hours Course Number & Name
4 RHET 105 - Principles of Composition

Technical Electives

These courses are chosen from the Departmentally Approved List of Technical Electives that includes courses in ECE, other engineering departments, and the basic sciences and mathematics departments. The elective requirement gives each student freedom to define a technical course of study in electrical engineering of considerable breadth and focus. The Advanced Core ECE Electives are introductory to major specialty areas of electrical engineering. Choices should be made with care, planning, and consultation with an adviser. Consult also the advising materials for all the sub-disciplines of electrical engineering.

Hours Course Number & Name
33 hours Selected from the Departmentally Approved List of Technical Electives
(i) 6 hours Non-ECE courses
(ii) 3 courses Selected from the following list of Advanced Core ECE electives:
4 hours ECE 391 - Computer Systems Engineering
or CS 225 - Data Structure & Softw Prin
3 hours ECE 310 - Digital Signal Processing
3 hours ECE 330 - Power Circuits & Electromechanics
3 hours ECE 342 - Electronic Circuits
3 hours ECE 350 - Fields and Waves II
(iii) 2 courses ECE Labs - identified in the Departmentally Approved List of Technical Electives
(iv) 20 hours ECE Courses

Notes: 1) The new Comp E sequence: ECE 198 JL, KL and 298 or ECE 120, 220 and 385 after Fall 2014 takes 2 more hours than the old sequence, ECE 190, 290, 385. 2) Courses that are "same as" ECE courses are counted as ECE courses. GE 421 Intro to Robotics is “same as” ECE 470, so it counts as an ECE tech elective. In CS 241 it says “Credit is not given for both CS 241 and ECE 391.” They are not the same course; you won’t get any credit for CS 241.


  1. ECE/PHIL 316, Engineering Ethics, is a Campus Humanities course which meets the Comp II requirement. It does not count as an ECE Elective.
  2. Some sections of ECE 198, 199, 298, 398, and 498 may not have technical content (e.g., Professionalism and Ethics in Engineering). These sections will not count as ECE electives.
  3. Specifically required ECE courses (e.g., ECE 329) do not count as electives.
  4. Courses for non-majors (e.g., ECE 205) do not count except by permission.
  5. Independent study courses = ECE elective hours: ECE 397 (Electrical and Computer Engineering Problems), ECE 396 (Honors Project), ECE 496+499 (Senior Thesis). If in a different department, CS, PHYS, etc. they can be approved for non-ECE tech elective hours.
  6. Non-ECE tech elective hours: ENG 491, Interdisciplinary Design Projects, approved sections. For ECE credit, or senior design credit go to 2090 ECE Building. However, no student may take more than 4 hours special problems with the same instructor, nor count more than a total of 6 hours towards graduation as a technical elective or a required advanced ECE course or lab.

  7. ECE 297 may be repeated once for a total of 2 hours of ECE tech electives, but does not count as part of the 6 hours of independent study allowed for tech electives.

ECE Elective Laboratories

EEs must stake at least 2 laboratories besides the required laboratories, more are allowed.

Hours ECE Title
1 343 Electronic Circuits Lab
4 391 Computer Systems Engineering
2 395 Advanced Digital Project Lab
3 402 Electonic Music Synthesis
4 411 Computer Organization & Design
3 412 Microcomputer Lab
2 415 Biomedical Instrumentation Lab
2 420 Embedded DSP Lab
4 431 Electric Machinery
3 435 Computer Networking Lab
3 437 Sensors and Instrumentation
3 438 Communication Networks
3 439 Wireless Networks
4 444 IC Device Theory & Fabrication
3 447 Active Microwave Circuit Design
3 451 Adv Microwave Measurements
4 453 Wireless Communication Systems
4 456 Global Nav Satellite Systems
3 460 Optical Imaging
2 463 Digital Communications Lab
1 466 Digital Communications Lab
3 468 Optical Remote Sensing
2 469 Power Electronics Lab
4 470 Introduction to Robotics
4 486 Control Systems
3 495 Photonic Device Lab

Social Sciences and Humanities

The social science, humanities and liberal education courses, as approved by the College of Engineering, ensure that students have exposure in breadth and depth to areas of intellectual activity that are essential to the general education of any college graduate. Humanities, Social Sciences, and General Education Requirements.

Hours Requirements
18 Social science, humanities and liberal education courses approved by the College of Engineering and satisfying the Campus General Education requirements for social sciences and humanities.

Campus General Education Requirements

Students must select courses that satisfy both the college social sciences and humanities requirement and the campus requirements in social and behavioral sciences and in humanities and the arts. Careful choices will assure that these courses also satisfy the campus requirements in the areas of Western and non-Western cultures. Many of these courses satisfy the campus General Education Advanced Composition requirement, which assures that the student has the advanced writing skills expected of all college graduates. The campus requirements in Composition I, natural sciences and technology, and quantitative reasoning are met by required courses. Students must complete a third-level college language course. Most students satisfy this requirement by completing three years of high school instruction in a single language. Courses taken to satisfy campus requirements must be taken for a grade. Humanities, Social Sciences, and General Education Requirements.

Free Electives

(12 hours) These electives give the student the opportunity to explore any intellectual area. This freedom plays a critical role in helping students to define minor concentrations in areas such as bioengineering, technology and management, languages, or research specialties. At least six hours must be taken for a letter grade.  Check the College of Engineering Advising Web page for restrictions. Review the EE Curriculum map for details.

Hours Requirements
12 Free electives


Suggested Course Sequence

Please review the Programs of Study page for course suggestions.