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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department Overview

AE100R Paul Allen Center

Electrical engineering is concerned with the understanding and utilization of electricity and with providing society useful, efficient, and economic products and services. It encompasses everything from batteries and power supplies to crystal fabrication, autonomous robots, and devices that can recognize human speech. Electrical engineers design, produce, study, and operate all manner of devices and systems that use electric and electromagnetic energy. They also work on systems at the macro scale of electric power grids and at the micro scale of nanotechnology.

Contemporary society is in the midst of an information revolution, created in large part from the fruits of electrical engineering. Rapid improvements in communication technologies, computer visualization, and information access continue to have a significant impact on manufacturing, medicine, transportation, and environmental monitoring. Dramatic advances in personal communication services, digital imaging, and network hardware and software are changing the texture of everyday life for an increasing portion of the world's population.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
AE 100R Paul Allen Center
(206) 221-5270
undergrad@ece.uw.edu

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers the following programs of study:

  • The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree
  • The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree with an option in nanoscience and molecular engineering

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Department Admission Requirements

Engineering Undeclared Students

See section on College of Engineering Admission for additional details on Direct-to-College admission and placement process for Engineering Undeclared students. The deadline to submit a request for placement in an engineering major occurs annually on July 1.

If the number of Engineering Undeclared students requesting the major exceeds the department capacity for such students, a matching process is implemented. Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Engineering Undeclared students in good standing with respect to the continuation criteria described below may request placement into an engineering major after completion of minimum requirements as specified below:

  1. ENGR 101 (1)
  2. English composition
  3. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136)
  4. CHEM 142 (or CHEM 143 or CHEM 145)
  5. PHYS 121
  6. One course from the list on this website. Students are encouraged to choose a course required for graduation in the majors they are considering.
  7. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses used to satisfy placement requirements
  8. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses used to satisfy placement requirements
  9. Minimum 12 credits as a matriculated UW student. Some departments require more credits. See department websites for details.

Students in good standing who do not meet the placement requirements by July 1 will be placed into a major on a conditional basis pending the completion of all placement requirements. Additional advising resources will be available to these students. See section on College of Engineering Continuation Policy for Engineering Undeclared Students for additional details.

Other Current UW Students and Transfer Students

Current UW students without Engineering Undeclared status and transfer students may apply. Admission is competitive.

  1. Admission is for autumn quarter only. Application deadline: April 5
  2. Minimum course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; CHEM 142; PHYS 121, PHYS 122; 5 credits English composition. All courses completed prior to application deadline. In addition, MATH 307 and PHYS 123 completed with minimum grades of 2.0 prior to autumn quarter
  3. Minimum 60 credits completed by application deadline
  4. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade for each course required for application; minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for application

Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, demonstrated ability to take at least 12 credits per quarter, record of honors, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option (NME): Admission is by self-selection and normally occurs in winter quarter of the junior year, upon completion of all electrical engineering prerequisites and formal admission to the BS electrical engineering major. Students who complete NME 220 with a minimum 2.0 grade are eligible. Such students indicate an interest in the NME option on their electrical engineering major application and discuss their interests/background in the application personal statement. To declare, they see an EE undergraduate adviser.

Graduation Requirements

General Education Requirements (81 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communication: 12 credits, to include one 5-credit English composition course from the University list; ENGR 231; E E 393 (or department-approved alternative)
  2. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals & Societies (I&S), and Diversity (DIV) (25 credits): Minimum 10 credits in VLPA, minimum 10 credits in I&S, minimum 3 credits in DIV (can overlap with VLPA and I&S courses), plus additional credits in either VLPA or I&S to bring total to 25 credits
  3. Natural World (44 credits):
    1. Mathematics (24 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307 (or AMATH 351), MATH 308 (or AMATH 352), and MATH 324.
    2. Science (20 credits): CHEM 142; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123

Major Requirements (80-81 credits)

  1. Computer Programming (9 credits): CSE 142, CSE 143
  2. Electrical Engineering Core (14 credits): E E 215, E E 233, E E 235
  3. Electrical Engineering Major Concentration Area (24 credits minimum)
  4. Electrical Engineering Electives (up to 20 credits): See adviser for list of acceptable courses. Number of credits of the major concentration and electives should total 44.
  5. Professional Issues: One course. See adviser for list of acceptable courses. Course may also be counted toward Electrical Engineering Core, Electrical Engineering Major Concentration Area, or Electrical Engineering Electives requirement.
  6. Engineering Electives (10 credits): See adviser for list of acceptable courses.
  7. Statistics (3-4 credits): Either STAT 390/MATH 390, STAT 391, MATH 394/STAT 394, or IND E 315
  8. Grade Requirements: Minimum 2.00 GPA in all E E courses with no grade below 2.0 in any of these courses.

Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option Requirements (80-81 credits)

  1. Computer Programming (9 credits): CSE 142, CSE 143
  2. Electrical Engineering Core (14 credits): E E 215, E E 233, E E 235
  3. Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Courses (6 credits): NME 220, NME 221, NME 421
  4. Electrical Engineering Major Concentration Area (24 credits minimum) See adviser for list of acceptable courses.
  5. Electrical Engineering Electives (up to 20 credits): See adviser for list of acceptable courses. Number of credits of the major concentration and electives should total 44.
  6. Professional Issues: One course. See adviser for list of acceptable courses. Course may also be counted toward Electrical Engineering Core, Electrical Engineering Major Concentration Area, or Electrical Engineering Electives requirement.
  7. Engineering Electives (10 credits): See adviser for list of acceptable courses.
  8. Statistics (3-4 credits): Either STAT 390/MATH 390, STAT 391, MATH 394/STAT 394, or IND E 315
  9. Grade Requirements: Minimum 2.00 GPA in all E E courses with no grade below 2.0 in any of these courses.

Electives (18-19 credits)

  1. Approved Non-Electrical Engineering Electives (10 credits): Selected from courses listed in the departmental handbook.
  2. Free Electives (8-9 credits)

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes
    • Professional Opportunities: Graduates with a degree in electrical engineering find employment in industries such as aerospace, communications, computer manufacturing, power distribution, consumer electronics, and biomedical engineering. Positions can be found focusing on the research, design, and testing of new products; technical sales and marketing; business consulting; and even growing areas such as intellectual property.

      The BSEE program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

    • Program Educational Objectives:The program educational objectives (PEOs) of the BSEE degree program are to serve the needs of our students, faculty, and regional industry by producing graduates who have acquired foundational knowledge and skills through a comprehensive curriculum and immersive educational and developmental experience. After a few years following graduation, we expect our graduates to:
      1. Contribute: To have successfully and smoothly transitioned into a contributing member of the professional workforce
      2. Master: To have developed the skills, habits, and professional expertise which will carry them through their life and career
      3. Evolve: To rapidly grow and adapt to their fast changing world
      4. Innovate: To embrace change, challenge, growth, inquiry, creativity, and diversity
      5. Lead: To rise to levels of leadership and impact in their chosen specialties
      6. Steward: To responsibly apply their problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and management skills to the benefit of themselves, their communities, their region, and the world at large
    • Student Outcomes: By graduation, we expect our graduates to have demonstrated abilities in:
      1. Problems: An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
      2. Design: An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
      3. Communication: An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
      4. Responsibility: An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
      5. Teams: An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
      6. Experiment: An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
      7. Learning: An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The department maintains a number of instructional and research laboratories to support courses and independent study activities. There are three general-purpose computing laboratories. Instructional laboratories include a large instrumentation laboratory supporting numerous electronics courses; individual laboratories for digital design courses; a power laboratory to support the power/energy systems classes; an RF laboratory to support electromagnetics and communication systems; and laboratories that support capstone design classes. Students participating in undergraduate research and independent study generally have access to the research laboratories of their supervising faculty member.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Many electrical engineering students participate every year in internship and co-op (cooperative education) programs. The Engineering Career Center is one source for companies recruiting for internship and co-op students. The UW Career & Internship Centers also lists a variety of internship opportunities.
  • Department Scholarships: Many scholarships specifically for electrical engineering majors and based on merit and financial need are awarded each year. Students interested in applying for these and other College of Engineering scholarships may obtain information from the Department of Electrical Engineering Scholarship Award Committee Chair.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), UW student chapter organizes social activities, workshops, field trips and other professional development opportunities. Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) is an invitation-only honor society for electrical engineering students. HKN organizes tutoring services, tutorial workshops, social activities, and community services projects.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
AE100R Paul Allen Center, Box 352500
(206) 543-2142
grad@ee.washington.edu

The department offers Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Graduate courses and research programs are offered in biosystems, circuits and network theory, computational intelligence, computer networks and distributed systems, computer architecture, digital systems, software engineering, operating systems, microprocessors, VLSI design, control systems, electromagnetics (including optics and radio science), electronic materials (including devices and micro-electronics), energy systems (including power electronics and electric drives), signal and image processing, telecommunications, and virtual reality. Numerous interdisciplinary research opportunities exist, including projects relating to bioengineering, computer engineering, and marine acoustics. The department does extensive research in coordination with the UW's Applied Physics laboratoryoratory and Washington Technology Center.

The MSEE degree may be earned in three ways, each requiring 45 credits. (1) perform research and write a thesis; (2) pursue a one-quarter project as part of the program; (3) accumulate a suitable distribution of 45 credits of coursework.

For the PhD degree, students pass the departmental qualifying examination, pass an advanced general examination, pursue an original research problem, and report the results of that research in a dissertation that must be a contribution to knowledge. At least one year of coursework beyond the MSEE degree is usually desirable.

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Admission Requirements

  1. GRE
  2. Formal application, statement of purpose, and minimum two reference letters.

Although most applicants have baccalaureate degrees in electrical engineering, applicants with degrees in other branches of engineering, the physical sciences, computer science, or mathematics often pursue graduate study in electrical engineering following some additional preparation.

For more information, visit the department's website at www.ee.washington.edu/admissions/graduate/index.html.

Degree Requirements

Two pathways

  1. Thesis option: Best for students who wish to pursue an in-depth research experience with intended preparation for pursuing a PhD
  2. Coursework option: For students whose main goal is to work in industry immediately upon graduation.

Requirements for both options

  1. Plan of study by completed second quarter of study
  2. Minimum 45 credits
  3. Full time registration (10 credits) each quarter(less in summer)
  4. Maximum 3 credits E E 500. (1 credit required)
  5. Maximum 5 credits E E 599
  6. 1 credit of E E 592 (offered autumn quarter)
Thesis Option
  1. E E 700 (9-12 credits)
  2. E E courses numbered 500 and above (minimum 20 credits)
  3. E E 400-level courses (maximum 12 credits)
  4. Non E E courses (maximum 9 credits)

Students pursue an individual problem in depth. Typical problems involve basic research or application of classroom principles to a professional problem beyond the routine practice of electrical engineering.

Coursework Option
  1. E E courses numbered 500 and above (minimum 25 credits)
  2. E E 400-level courses (maximum 12 credits)
  3. Non E E courses (maximum 9 credits)

Students take a prearranged course load specific to each of the seven curriculum areas. A generic coursework option is also available.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

  1. GRE
  2. Formal application, statement of purpose, and minimum two reference letters.

Most applicants have baccalaureate degrees in electrical engineering, although applicants with degrees in other branches of engineering, the physical sciences, computer science, or mathematics may often pursue graduate study in electrical engineering following additional preparation.

For more information, visit the department's Website at www.ee.washington.edu/admissions/graduate/index.html.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 90 credits

  1. Department qualifying examination
  2. Individualized course of study approved by the student's PhD Supervisory Committee
  3. General examination
  4. Dissertation based on original research. EE 800 (30 credits)
  5. Minimum 90 credits of coursework, independent study, and dissertation (60 of which must be completed through the UW), 18 of which must be graded credits
  6. Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA

Research Groups

Facilities include research laboratories for advanced digital systems, advanced power technology, applied electromagnetics, optics, remote sensing, applied signal and image processing, mechatronics and intelligent control, modern sensors, and semiconductor technology

Financial Aid

Research assistantships, teaching assistantships, scholarships, and graduate fellowships are availablele to qualified graduate students in all areas of electrical engineering. Most awards include a monthly stipend plus payment of tuition and fees.