Electrical and Computer Engineering
The electrical and computer engineering (ECE) curriculum at the University of Rochester encourages students to pursue individual interests and goals with respect to both general educational and professional training. The curriculum emphasizes fundamentals that prepare students for lifelong learning to meet the career challenges presented by rapidly changing technologies. The electrical and computer engineering department’s nationally recognized faculty and laboratories, combined with an outstanding faculty-to-student ratio, create the ideal environment for training the twenty-first-century engineer.
Curricular flexibility in the third and fourth years permits specialization in signals and communications, solid state devices and microelectronics, computer engineering, and electromagnetic fields, waves, and devices. A premedical program is available for students interested in the combination of engineering and medicine. In addition, students interested in law or management may take preparatory courses in these subjects as electives.
The curriculum is based on a set of lower- and upper-division core courses required of all students and emphasizes the application of mathematical, computer, and physical concepts to the solution of engineering problems. Nearly all undergraduate ECE courses include laboratory work intended to provide students with extensive design experience.
By the senior year all students select an area of concentration, which specifies upper-division courses and a senior design project. The senior design project is carried out under the supervision of an electrical and computer engineering faculty member. Undergraduate students are also encouraged to participate in active research programs under the direction of University faculty by enrolling in special project courses (ECE 396).
A distinctive feature of the curriculum is the removal of artificial boundaries between undergraduate and graduate courses. Undergraduates may take basic graduate courses in addition to advanced undergraduate electives. This feature facilitates preparation for graduate study in electrical and computer engineering in related areas such as computer science.
Our objectives are to
- develop within graduates a basic foundation of knowledge in six fundamental areas of electrical and computer engineering (circuits and systems, electromagnetics, microelectronics, digital systems, computer architecture, signals and communications) with additional depth and design experience in at least one area.
- develop in students the proficiency in engineering analysis and synthesis needed for the professional practice of electrical and computer engineering.
- help students to develop the skills necessary to function effectively on an engineering team.
- develop within graduates the ability to communicate effectively with the technical community and the general public.
- instill in graduates an appreciation of and enthusiasm for research, creativity, and lifelong inquiry.
- foster within our graduates an appreciation for the need to maintain the highest ethical standards in their professional lives.
- provide students with the breadth to pursue opportunities in nontraditional fields within or outside electrical and computer engineering.
Below is the standard four-year, 128-credit-hour electrical and computer engineering curriculum, showing the University requirements, electrical and computer engineering core courses, and other departmental requirements. The order of completion of upper-division requirements is primarily the decision of the students and their advisor, although attention must be given early in the program planning process to prerequisites.
The ECE program meets the professional accreditation requirements established by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Upon completion of the BS ECE program, graduates are eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination, which is the first step in earning professional registration.
To be considered for admission to the major in electrical and computer engineering, students complete the following: the required first- and second-year courses (ECE 111, 112, 113, and CSC 160) or equivalent, with a minimum grade point average of 2.3; complete MTH 161, 162, 165, 164, or equivalent mathematics sequence; and PHY 121, 122, 123 (or other natural science course in place of PHY 123). Students must also have completed the University primary writing requirement (WRT 105). In addition, a minimum grade point average of 2.0 must be achieved overall. The four required ECE courses, ECE 111, 112, 113, and CSC 160, must be taken at the University of Rochester. An exception is made for students who have been admitted directly into the program via the transfer admission process. Only courses taken at Rochester are used in calculating the grade point average.
Students who wishes to major in electrical and computer engineering are required to file a Major Approval Form approved by their faculty advisor, usually during the fourth semester of study. For graduation, electrical and computer engineering majors are required to achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in the 12 courses constituting the ECE undergraduate core.
Students who desire a more flexible program and who elect to forego an ABET-accredited degree may plan a degree program leading to a BA in engineering science or plan a degree program under the Interdepartmental Programs.
BS-MS Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electrical and computer engineering juniors are encouraged to consider the special five-year program outlined below. Students are accepted into this program in the spring of their junior year and can begin graduate-level independent work in their senior year. At the end of the five-year program, both a BS and an MS in electrical and computer engineering are awarded. Students may pursue either a Plan A (with thesis) or a Plan B (with a comprehensive examination) MS degree program.
To be accepted, students must have a good academic record and must have completed the lower-division core courses and at least two of the upper-division cores courses by the end of their junior year. Students admitted to the program may also be considered for financial aid in the fifth year.
EAS 1XX or ECE 140|
WRT 105 (Primary Writing)
Elective (hum. or social science)/natural science
Elective (hum. or social science)/natural science
Elective (hum. or social science)
PHY 123 or natural science/Elective (hum. or social science)
|Third and Fourth Years|
ECE 222, 216|
Plus the following:|
1 ECE advanced elective course
1 ECE capstone design course
ECE 398 (2 credits), Engineering Design Seminar
Free electives to complete the balance of 128 credit hours
- Acceptable alternative mathematics sequences: honors math sequence MTH 171, 172, 173, 174 is perfectly appropriate for those with adequate mathematics background. The sequence MTH 141, 142, 143, 165, 164 is acceptable, HOWEVER, it is best to take MTH 143 or an equivalent in the SUMMER between the first and second years, in order to get back in sequence. Consult with faculty and administrator to arrange best sequence.
- Two physics courses, PHY 121 and PHY 122, are required of all ECE majors. In addition, it is strongly recommended that ECE students also complete PHY 123. However selected other courses in natural science from among AST, BCS, BIO, CHM, EES, and PHY may also satisfy the ECE program's natural science requirement. Students must check with the ECE department undergraduate coordinator prior to taking any such course to confirm that the course satisfies the ECE natural science requirement.
- In the ECE program, a total of five courses in the humanities and social sciences is required. Three of these courses must constitute an approved cluster in humanities or social sciences and must be passed with a 2.0 average or better. See the Cluster Search Engine (www.rochester.edu/College/CCAS/clusters) and descriptions of clusters in the undergraduate bulletin.
- ECE 270 OR MTH 201, Introduction to Probability, is required for all ECE majors. Students should normally take MTH 201 concurrently with ECE 241, but in any case MTH 201 must be taken prior to taking ECE 242.
For graduation, electrical and computer engineering majors must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in the 12 required ECE core courses: specifically ECE 111, 112, 113, 200, 216, 221, 222, 230, 241, 242, CSC 160 and 349. In addition, 128 total credits are required for graduation with an overall cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
A total of 12 ECE courses, as well as an ECE capstone design course plus the two seminar courses, ECE 398 and 399, are required for graduation. ECE 399 should be taken in the junior year and ECE 398 must be satisfactorily completed, usually in the fall term of the senior year, prior to undertaking the capstone design course.
The faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recognize achievement among ECE graduates by noting those who graduate with distinction based upon their average grades in their core ECE courses. In particular, students who have a GPA of 3.90 or higher in the core ECE courses receive their degrees with Highest Distinction; those with GPAs between 3.70 and 3.89 are noted to have achieved High Distinction; and those who have GPAs between 3.40 and 3.69 receive Distinction.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Minor
The formal requirements for the minor in electrical and computer engineering are five ECE courses. There are no specific course requirements, although a focused program of study should be planned with an advisor in the electrical and computer engineering department. Students should contact the ECE department office to arrange to meet with an advisor.
Upper-Level Writing Requirement
ECE 111, 112, 113, and 399 fulfill the College upper-level writing requirements.