Electrical engineers develop technologies and systems for a wide variety of applications ranging from telecommunications to medical imaging. They play a central role in the design and implementation of any technology that is powered by electricity as well as the generation and distribution of electric power. Topics covered in the electrical engineering curriculum include: design of electronic circuits, communication systems, control systems, and semiconductor devices. Students may opt to specialize in any of these areas as well as others including: electrical power generation and distribution, medical image processing, computer systems, or design of micro- and nano-scale optical and electronic devices.

Electrical engineers work in research, design, development, manufacturing, sales, market analysis, consulting, field service, and management. They are employed in computer, semiconductor, software, aerospace, telecommunication, medical, radio, television, and power industries.

Graduates of the program will:

  • exhibit leadership and vision in contributing to the technical and policy decisions of industry, government, and research enterprises;
  • demonstrate problem-solving abilities that permit them to contribute in a variety of technical, business, and academic careers;
  • thrive in diverse, global, and multidisciplinary environments;
  • possess the ability to communicate effectively and participate collaboratively in interactions with engineers and other professionals; and
  • participate in lifelong learning activities that enhance their professional and personal development.

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in electrical engineering requires a minimum of 128 s.h. The major in electrical engineering provides technical depth and breadth as well as flexibility and the opportunity for students to customize their programs according to their own goals. Students choose one of several elective focus areas according to the type of job or research they plan to pursue. They also choose one of two tracks to support their elective focus area.

Students complete the B.S.E. core requirements, which include RHET:1030 Rhetoric; ENGR:1100 Engineering Problem Solving I and ENGR:1300 Engineering Problem Solving II; and courses in chemistry, engineering mathematics and fundamentals, and physics. They must earn a grade of C-minus or higher in the core requirements MATH:1550 Engineering Mathematics I: Single Variable Calculus and MATH:1560 Engineering Mathematics II: Multivariable Calculus.

They also complete the curriculum designed for their major program, which covers four major stems: mathematics and basic sciences, engineering topics, an elective focus area, and the general education component. For information about the curriculum stems, see Bachelor of Science in Engineering in the Catalog.

Electrical engineering students complete the curriculum listed under Academic Plans. During their second year, they select an elective focus area (EFA) and choose a track that corresponds with it: the computer track or the electrical track. They begin taking track and EFA courses in their third year.

Elective Focus Area and Track

Students select an elective focus area to personalize their curriculum and to help them prepare for the type of job or research they plan to pursue. More than 20 EFAs are available, such as bioinformatics, business, communication systems, medical imaging, nanotechnology, power systems, and software; for a complete list, see ECE Elective Focus Areas on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website. Students also may work with their academic advisor to create a customized EFA plan tailored to their goals and objectives. In addition, they select one of two curricular tracks—computer or electrical—to support their EFA. Students also complete five required courses in their track, two electrical engineering program courses common to both tracks, and seven EFA courses.

Students who choose their track and EFA courses carefully may be able to earn the Certificate in Sustainability, the Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship, or one of several undergraduate minors offered by the University without taking courses beyond those required for the electrical engineering major. Students in the computer track automatically meet the requirements for a minor in computer science.

The electrical engineering major requires the following track and elective focus area courses. 

Required Computer Track Courses

Students in the computer track complete these five track courses:

ECE:3330Introduction to Software Design3
ECE:3350Computer Architecture and Organization3
ECE:3360Embedded Systems and Systems Software3
CS:2210Discrete Structures3
CS:3330Algorithms3

Required Electrical Track Courses

Students in the electrical track complete these track courses:

ECE:3400Linear Systems II3
ECE:3410Electronic Circuits4
ECE:3500Communication Systems3
ECE:3600Control Systems3
ECE:3720Electrical Engineering Materials and Devices3

Track Breadth and Depth Electives

Students complete one track breadth elective and one track depth elective.

Students in the computer track must choose their track breadth elective from the list of required electrical track courses above. Students in the electrical track must choose their track breadth elective from the list of required computer track courses. Students in either track may instead use ECE:3540 Communication Networks as their track breadth elective.

The track depth elective must be an advanced course in a subject area within a student's track—normally numbered 4000 or above. For a complete list of depth electives for each track, consult the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Elective Focus Area Courses

Students complete seven elective focus area courses, which they choose according to guidelines established by the department. For a list of EFAs and course selection guidelines, see ECE Elective Focus Areas on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website.

Capstone Design Courses

In their senior year, students complete a two-semester capstone design sequence culminating in the development and implementation of a significant, original project. The capstone design experience emphasizes team work, professionalism, open-ended problem solving, and the ability to work within real-world constraints and engineering standards.

ECE:4880Principles of Electrical and Computer Engineering Design3
ECE:4890Senior Electrical and Computer Engineering Design3

Joint B.S.E./M.S.

The College of Engineering offers a joint (fast-track) Bachelor of Science in Engineering/Master of Science for electrical engineering undergraduate students who intend to earn an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering. B.S.E./M.S. students may take up to 12 s.h. of graduate-level course work and do thesis-level research while they are still undergraduates. They may count 9 s.h. of graduate course work toward both degrees. Once students complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree, they are granted the B.S.E., and they normally complete the M.S. one year later.

To be admitted to the joint degree program, students must have completed at least 80 s.h., must have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25, and must submit a letter of application to the chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. For more information, see Joint B.S./M.S. Degree on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website.

The following study plan includes the B.S.E. core requirements and the curriculum for the electrical engineering major. Some courses in the curriculum are prerequisites for others. Students who take courses in the order below satisfy the prerequisite requirements automatically. Students who do not follow this sequence still must satisfy all course prerequisites.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallHours
ENGR:1000 Engineering Success for First-Year Students (credit does not count toward B.S.E. degree) 1
ENGR:1100 Engineering Problem Solving I 3
CHEM:1110 Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH:1550 Engineering Mathematics I: Single Variable Calculus 4
RHET:1030 Rhetoric 4
 Hours16
Spring
ENGR:1300 Engineering Problem Solving II 3
MATH:1560 Engineering Mathematics II: Multivariable Calculus 4
MATH:2550 Engineering Mathematics III: Matrix Algebra 2
PHYS:1611 Introductory Physics I 4
General education component course 3
 Hours16
Second Year
Fall
ENGR:2110 Engineering Fundamentals I: Statics 2
ENGR:2120 Engineering Fundamentals II: Electrical Circuits 3
ENGR:2130 Engineering Fundamentals III: Thermodynamics 3
MATH:2560 Engineering Mathematics IV: Differential Equations 3
PHYS:1612 Introductory Physics II 3-4
 Hours14-15
Spring
ECE:2400 Linear Systems I 3
ECE:2410 Principles of Electronic Instrumentation 4
ENGR:2730 Computers in Engineering 3
MATH:3550 Engineering Mathematics V: Vector Calculus 3
General education component course 3
 Hours16
Third Year
Fall
ECE:3000 Professional Seminar: Electrical Engineering 1
ECE:3320 Introduction to Digital Design 3
ECE:3700 Electromagnetic Theory 3
STAT:2020 Probability and Statistics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences 3
Two required track courses 6
 Hours16
Spring
General education component course 3
Three required track courses 9
Two elective focus area courses 6
 Hours18
Fourth Year
Fall
ECE:4880 Principles of Electrical and Computer Engineering Design 3
General education component course 3
Track breadth elective 3
Three elective focus area courses 9
 Hours18
Spring
ECE:4890 Senior Electrical and Computer Engineering Design 3
General education component course 3
Track depth elective 3
Two elective focus area courses 6
 Hours15
 Total Hours129-130

The engineering profession is a foundation for a variety of careers in industry, medicine, law, government, and consulting. Engineering majors hold eight of the top ten spots on the list of top-paid majors for bachelor's degree graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Electrical engineers find employment everywhere smart technology is employed. They consistently rank among the most sought after and highest-paid technology professionals. On average, 93-98 percent of graduates are employed in their field of study or pursuing advanced education within seven months of graduation.

Engineering Professional Development (EPD) develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including an engineering career fair and other career-development programming each semester. EPD also offers individual advising and class presentations on résumé and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.