The undergraduate program of study is designed with sufficient breadth and depth to enable our graduates to work successfully in industry or government, or to continue studies in graduate school.
The electrical engineering curriculum provides a firm foundation in fundamentals, while also giving students exposure to current technologies for design and implementation. It strives for a balance between theory, laboratory and design experience. In the first two years of study, students are given a broad foundation in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer programming, applied mechanics, communication skills and humanities. Introductory courses in computer science and electric circuit analysis are also taken in the sophomore year. In the final two years, students build upon their earlier course work, taking a set of required EE courses intended to provide the core knowledge expected of every electrical engineer.
A student in consultation with his or her advisor chooses a number of electrical engineering professional elective courses, and various elective courses in the humanities and social sciences. The professional elective courses taken give the student expertise in an area of specialization in electrical engineering, or allow him or her to explore topics of individual interest. Areas of specialization in electrical engineering include: biomedical engineering, electronic circuits and instrumentation, microelectronics, systems, and telecommunications. Suggestions on the choice of professional electives appropriate for each area of specialization are found in the Electrical & Systems Engineering Department Guide to Course Selection.
As students progress through the electrical engineering curriculum, they experience the challenge of design integrated into electrical engineering courses and laboratories. Many electrical engineering courses stress design in their specific areas through semester design projects and homework problems calling for design decisions. In general, students are exposed to system-wide analysis, critique, and evaluation in an iterative fashion, while applying previously-learned material to meet the design objectives. Wherever appropriate, students are also introduced to the important role of relevant safety, economic, and environmental factors in the decision making processes in all design related courses.
Laboratory work in electrical engineering is a significant curriculum component that provides hands-on experience with the design of hardware and software in a variety of areas. Laboratory experience for electrical engineers begins in the sophomore year and continues through the senior year, culminating in the senior electrical engineering (capstone) design project. The senior capstone design project follows a design principles seminar in which the essential elements of design are reinforced, and the capstone project is selected and planned for. A wide spectrum of senior design project topics is available, including problems presented by current industrial sponsors of the electrical engineering design laboratory.
A University rule provides that no course prerequisite to a second course in the same department shall be open for credit to a student after he or she has passed the second course unless exception is made by the department. Concurrent prerequisites to electrical engineering courses offered by the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department are excepted from this rule so that a student who fails a concurrently prerequisite course may repeat it for credit.