This is the first version of the 2022-23 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

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 that include electrical power generation and distribution, medical image processing, computer systems, or design of micro- and nano-scale optical and electronic devices.

The major 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 focus areas according to the type of job or research they plan to pursue. More than 20 focus areas are available; see Focus Areas on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website. Students also have the opportunity to work with their academic advisor to build a focus area plan that adheres to their goals and objectives. Focus areas allow students to personalize their curriculum and to prepare them for the jobs or research they intend to pursue.

In their senior year, students complete a two-semester capstone design sequence culminating in a significant, original project.

Educational Objectives

Graduates of the electrical engineering 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
  • understand the importance of participating 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. of credit. Students must have a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 on all college work used to satisfy degree requirements as well as on all coursework attempted at the University of Iowa.

The curriculum is built on a common core of electrical and computer engineering courses taken by all students. Beginning in their sophomore year, students select either the electrical or computer curricular track and begin taking more specialized courses. The electrical track is intended to provide a broad background in electrical engineering concepts and practice that prepares students for graduate study or electrical engineering careers in a wide range of industries and organizations. The computer track provides focus and depth for students preparing for graduate study, or a career in computer hardware or software engineering. Students begin taking track and focus area elective courses in their third year.

All B.S.E. students are required to take the same collegiate curriculum. For information about these collegiate requirements, see the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, B.S.E. in the Catalog. Students completing the major in electrical engineering fulfill the collegiate statistics requirement by completing STAT:2020 Probability and Statistics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences.

The major in electrical engineering requires the following coursework. Students pursuing the computer track complete 52 s.h. in major requirements and 26-27 s.h. in a focus area. Students pursuing the electrical track complete 55 s.h. in major requirements and 23-24 s.h. in a focus area.

Collegiate Curriculum50
Major Requirements, including chosen track52-55
Focus Area23-27
Total Hours128-29

Major Requirements

Major requirements include a set of common courses (29 s.h.), required courses within one of two tracks (16 s.h. in the computer track, 19 s.h. in the electrical track), one departmental seminar (1 s.h.), and two capstone design courses (6 s.h.).

All of these:
ECE:2400Linear Systems I3
ECE:2410Principles of Electronic Instrumentation4
ECE:3320Introduction to Digital Design3
ECE:3360Embedded Systems3
ECE:3700Electromagnetic Theory3
ENGR:2120Electrical Circuits3
ENGR:2730Computers in Engineering3
MATH:3550Engineering Mathematics V: Vector Calculus3
PHYS:1612Introductory Physics II (with lab)4

Tracks

Beginning in their sophomore year, students select either the electrical or computer curricular track and begin taking more specialized courses. The options for breadth and depth courses in the focus area are in part informed by the track a student is completing; see "Focus Area" below.

Computer

All of these:
ECE:3330Introduction to Software Design3
ECE:3350Computer Architecture and Organization3
CS:2210Discrete Structures3
CS:2230Computer Science II: Data Structures4
CS:3330Algorithms3

Electrical

All of these:
ECE:3400Linear Systems II3
ECE:3410Electronic Circuits4
ECE:3500Communication Systems3
ECE:3600Control Systems3
ECE:3720Semiconductor Devices3
PHYS:2704Physics IV3

Departmental Seminar

This course:
ECE:3000Electrical and Computer Engineering Professional Seminar1

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 teamwork, professionalism, open-ended problem solving, and the ability to work within real-world constraints and engineering standards.

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

Focus Area

Students must select focus area courses according to guidelines established by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. A number of established focus areas are available, and students also may work with their academic advisor to create a customized plan tailored to their goals and objectives. Focus areas allow students to personalize their curriculum and to prepare them for the jobs or research they intend to pursue.

Focus areas in the electrical engineering major consist of one breadth elective (3-4 s.h.), one depth elective (3 s.h.), two Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering courses (prefix ECE) numbered above 5000 (6 s.h.), two technical electives that align with the focus area (6-7 s.h.), and additional elective courses (5 s.h.). Students completing the computer track take an additional elective course (3-4 s.h.) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (prefix ECE); see "Additional Electives" below.

The options for breadth and depth courses in the focus area are in part informed by the track a student is completing—computer or electrical. Carefully selected elective and general education courses may contribute to earning a minor and/or certificate, including the Certificate in Sustainability (University College) or the Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship (College of Engineering). Students selecting the computer track satisfy the requirements for a minor in computer science (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) without having to take additional courses. Students who take an additional advanced math course meet the requirements for a minor in mathematics (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences).

For a complete list of focus areas and course selection guidelines, see Focus Areas on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website. Although general guidelines and requirements for elective courses are listed below, course recommendations for specific focus areas differ. While some courses may apply to more than one focus area requirement, a single course may only count once towards completing a focus area.

Breadth Elective

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

Depth Elective

The depth elective must be an advanced course, normally numbered 4000 or above, in a subject area within a student's track.

Computer

Options for the computer track include the following.

One of these:
ECE:5300Switching Theory3
ECE:5320/CS:5610High Performance Computer Architecture3
ECE:5380Testing Digital Logic Circuits3
ECE:5450/IGPI:5450Machine Learning3
ECE:5460/IGPI:5460Digital Signal Processing3
ECE:5480/IGPI:5480Digital Image Processing3
ECE:5530Wireless Sensor Networks3
ECE:5550Internet of Things3
ECE:5820/CS:5820Software Engineering Languages and Tools3

Electrical

Options for the electrical track include the following.

One of these:
ECE:5300Switching Theory3
ECE:5320/CS:5610High Performance Computer Architecture3
ECE:5410Advanced Circuit Techniques3
ECE:5480/IGPI:5480Digital Image Processing3
ECE:5500Digital Communications3
ECE:5600Control Theory3
ECE:5640/IGPI:5641Computer-Based Control Systems3
ECE:5700Advanced Electromagnetic Theory3

Advanced Electrical and Computer Engineering Electives

Students complete at least two Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering courses (prefix ECE) numbered above 5000. Specific recommendations vary based on focus area.

Additional Electives

Students select additional courses from the focus area categories above or from a list of suggested electives for their specific focus area. Additional electives for students pursuing the computer track total at least 14 s.h. (typically five courses) while electrical track electives total at least 11 s.h. (typically four courses).

Students may select courses in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (prefix ECE) not already taken for the major. Courses not listed here may be able to count toward the focus area requirements; students should consult an academic advisor.

While course recommendations for specific focus areas differ, the following is a list of potential elective courses for either track.

ACCT:2100Introduction to Financial Accounting3
ACCT:2200Managerial Accounting3
BUS:2013/GEOG:2013/SUST:2013/URP:2013Introduction to Sustainability3
CEE:4107/CBE:4410Sustainable Systems3
CHEM:1120Principles of Chemistry II4
CHEM:2220Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM:2410Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
ENGR:2130Thermodynamics3
ENTR:2000Entrepreneurship and Innovation3
ENTR:3100Entrepreneurial Finance3
ISE:2500Engineering Economy3
ISE:4172Big Data Analytics3
MATH:3800Introduction to Numerical Methods3
MATH:4040Matrix Theory3
MATH:4200Complex Variables3
STAT:4143/PSQF:4143Introduction to Statistical Methods3
STAT:4520/IGPI:4522/PSQF:4520Bayesian Statistics3
STAT:4580/IGPI:4580Data Visualization and Data Technologies3

Double Major in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Engineering

Students may earn a double major in electrical engineering (EE) and computer science and engineering (CSE). They must satisfy all requirements of the electrical track of the EE major and all requirements of the CSE major.

B.S.E./M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The College of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering/Master of Science for electrical engineering undergraduate students who intend to earn a M.S. in electrical and computer engineering. B.S.E./M.S. students may take up to 12 s.h. of graduate-level coursework and do thesis-level research while they are still undergraduates. They may count 9 s.h. of graduate coursework 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 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 Undergraduate to Graduate (U2G) on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website.

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.

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.

Engineering Career Services 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.

Engineering Career Services also offers individual advising and class presentations on résumé and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.

Sample Plans of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Electrical Engineering, B.S.E.

Electrical Track

This sample plan is being reviewed and will be updated at a later date.

Computer Track

This sample plan is being reviewed and will be updated at a later date.