Electrical and Computer Engineering
The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is highly recognized throughout the nation for its student-centered, laboratory intensive curriculum. It is a partner of choice for employers seeking well-educated, highly-motivated and uniquely creative college graduates dedicated to life-long learning. The School has devoted professors who serve, instruct and mentor undergraduate and graduate students pursuing Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Engineering (MEng), Master of Science (MS), or Doctorate (PhD) degrees in electrical engineering (EE) or a BS degree in computer engineering (CpE). The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree program (BSEE) and the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree program (BSCpE) are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org/.
Electrical engineers and computer engineers have been at the center of the technological revolution that has occurred over the past 100 years. Marvels such as the transistor, radio, telephone, television, internet, microprocessor, computer, tablet, radar system, motor, wind generator, GPS, smart phone, laser, microwave oven, electric car, pacemaker, antenna, and the flat panel display, to name only a handful, have resulted from the hard work and creative talents of electrical engineers and computer engineers. And since electricity and computers are essential in a modern society, the electrical engineer and the computer engineer will always be in high demand.
Electrical engineering encompasses many exciting subdisciplines including energy systems, machines, power electronics, analog electronics, digital electronics, mixed-signal electronics, VLSI chips, instrumentation, sensors, signal processing, machine vision, artificial intelligence, communications, control systems, robotics, wireless devices, electromagnetic fields, photonics, embedded controllers, networking, software development, biomedical devices and computer architecture. The School encompasses all of these subdisciplines in its curriculum or research activities.
Computer Engineering is a relatively young engineering discipline that combines a strong foundation of electrical engineering with elements of computer science, including hardware and software integration, and design. Computer engineering includes digital logic design, computer architecture, digital data communications, computer and sensor interfacing, microprocessors, digital control, VLSI circuits and systems, operating and software systems, and computer arithmetic.
Beyond creating technology, electrical engineers and computer engineers of tomorrow must be aware of the social, economic, ethical and environmental impact of their respective technologies. They must also communicate effectively, possess excellent teamwork skills, and understand, perform and complete the process of engineering design. The undergraduate programs in electrical engineering and computer engineering at Oklahoma State University equip graduates with these critical skills.
Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives
The BSEE and BSCpE Educational Objectives reflect the aspirational expectations for our electrical engineering and computer engineering graduates after they enter their professional careers. Specifically:
- Our Graduates will be widely employed across the range of subdisciplines within electrical engineering and computer engineering, and will be highly sought after by industrial, academic, non-profit and governmental organizations.
- Our Graduates will compete in a technologically changing world, collaborate in a diverse workforce, and communicate effectively their knowledge and ideas to colleagues, employers, customers and stakeholders.
- Our Graduates will be recognized leaders, team players, problem solvers, innovators and entrepreneurs in their profession.
- Our Graduates will identify and contribute to solving grand-challenge problems that improve the lives of people in Oklahoma, the United States, and around the world, serving their communities and their profession to produce a lasting, significant and positive impact.
- Our Graduates will abide by the highest ethical standards of professional practice in a technologically changing, professional environment.
- Our Graduates will continue to develop professionally throughout their lives by being adaptive learners with a never ending desire to assimilate new knowledge and embrace new technologies.
- Our Graduates will have the knowledge to earn professional registration or certification in their field or earn an advanced post-graduate or professional degree should they choose.
- Our Graduates will make a positive difference in the world.
Undergraduate Program and Student Learning Outcomes
To support the aforementioned Program Educational Objectives, the School has established Student Learning Outcomes that are regularly assessed and expected of all students upon completion of their chosen program in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering. Attainment of the following outcomes prepares graduates to enter the professional practice of engineering:
1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics;
2. 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. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
4. 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. 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. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions;
7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
The undergraduate electrical engineering and computer engineering programs at Oklahoma State University prepare each graduate for a life-long professional career. During the first two years of study, students complete a carefully designed set of lower-division courses in the areas of electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, humanities, and social sciences. After successfully completing these courses, students enroll in both required and elective upper-division courses in electrical engineering and computer engineering.
Electrical engineering and computer engineering students obtain fundamental knowledge and technical skills needed by tomorrow’s professionals. Students pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering are required prior to graduation to have taken a set of area courses in a single area in ECEN. These areas include a) control systems, digital signal processing, and communication systems, b) energy and power, c) computer systems and digital electronics, d) analog electronics, and e) microwaves and photonics. Students pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering are required to take specialized computer engineering courses dealing with microcontrollers, embedded controllers, robotics, computer architecture, discrete mathematics, digital logic design, networking, programming, coding, computing and digital electronics.
Instructional laboratories are a central part of the undergraduate curriculum to provide opportunities for hands-on experience in areas such as microcomputers, digital logic design, electronics, networks, instrumentation, optics, real-time digital signal processing, communications and electromagnetics. These laboratories are located in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology’s new 70,000 ft2 teaching facility, Endeavor, and are equipped with state-of-the-art, industrial-grade equipment.
Engineering design laboratories require students to solve open-ended, practical problems in a manner that demonstrate the students’ ability to apply fundamental concepts, creativity and imagination. These problems have several possible outcomes; students must choose an acceptable approach and demonstrate that the optimal outcome has been met.
All electrical engineering and computer engineering students receive multiple engineering design experiences. The capstone design experience is a two-course sequence typically taken during the students’ last two semesters of the BS program. The capstone experience gives students an opportunity to apply and demonstrate the skills that they have developed throughout the program. These design courses integrate theory, analysis, simulation, design and experimental skills to achieve a specific design outcome. Teamwork, communication skills, and the complete engineering design process—from problem definition to prototype that includes both presentation and documentation—are emphasized.
Student design teams receive individual project mentoring from an appropriate faculty member who provides project management advice and supervision. The capstone experience concludes with a formal public design demonstration, oral presentation and written report.
Degree Programs and Options
The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECEN) offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate program choices that allow students to excel in their careers. Specifically, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers five degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE)
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCpE)
- Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering (MEngEE, non-thesis)
- Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE, thesis)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhDEE)
Bachelor of Science:
- This degree program is designed to provide fundamental scientific and mathematical knowledge needed for an engineering education and an entry-level engineering career.
- Broad-based and in-depth technical courses are provided to teach the fundamentals of the electrical engineering and computer engineering professions.
- The degree focuses on analysis and design methods, laboratory and simulation experiences, and theoretical and practical problems.
- Requirements: 124 credits hours (BSEE) and 125 credit hours (BSCpE).
Master of Engineering:
- This degree program is tailored to students who wish to gain advanced knowledge and expertise in subject areas associated with their professional pursuits.
- This non-research, non-thesis instructional program is ideal for Distance Education students or for baccalaureate graduates interested in professional development.
- This program is available online.
- Requirements: 33 credit hours of coursework. Specific requirements for the MEngEE program are available on the web in the document entitled “Memorandum to Graduate Students”; see https://ece.okstate.edu/.
Master of Science:
- This degree program is tailored to students who wish to gain advanced knowledge in subject areas associated with their professional pursuits.
- The program emphasizes research as part of the learning experience and culminates with the defense of a thesis.
- This program is ideal for students who wish to pursue a PhD.
- This program is available online.
- Requirements: 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of thesis research. Specific requirements for the MSEE program are available on the web in the document entitled “Memorandum to Graduate Students;” see https://ece.okstate.edu/.
Doctor of Philosophy:
- This degree program is tailored to students who desire to have a teaching and research career in academia or a research career in industry or government laboratories.
- This program is ideal for those students who have a passion to acquire in-depth knowledge.
- The program emphasizes the creation of new knowledge during the research process, the publication of that knowledge, and the defense of a dissertation.
- Requirements: 73 total credit hours beyond the BSEE/BSCpE degree. Specific requirements for the PhD program are available on the web in the document entitled “Memorandum to Graduate Students;” see https://ece.okstate.edu/.
Options: Students are also given the option to combine degrees to take advantage of common courses between various degrees, thereby reducing the total number of credit hours relative to non-combining options. These combining options are highly attractive from a financial and career point of view. That is, these options are less expensive and take less time. Knowledge gained in these degree programs adds value to what the student can do once or while employed. The current combining options are:
- Dual BSEE and BSCpE degrees (137 credit hours)
- Joint “4+1” BSEE/BSCpE plus MEngEE degrees (148/149 credit hours)
With effective planning, the dual BSEE and BSCpE program can be completed in four years by taking approximately 17 credit hours of courses each semester. It may take less time if students have Advanced Placement credit hours. This dual degree program allows a student to have a true comprehensive education across the electrical and computer engineering spectrum, thus preparing the student for just about any entry-level career in electrical engineering or computer engineering. The program effectively requires the completion of the BSCpE degree plus 12 additional credit hours in non-computer, electrical engineering courses. An advising sheet for the dual program is posted on the School’s web page; https://ece.okstate.edu/. This sheet has been devised to assure that the degree requirements for both the BSCpE and BSEE degrees are satisfied in the most expeditious manner.
The “4+1” program—available only to OSU baccalaureate students—is a five-year accelerated program that combines the BSEE or BSCpE degree with the M.Eng.EE degree. It is designed to give students a broad-based undergraduate education in electrical engineering or computer engineering along with a highly in-depth graduate education in a few key areas. This program is ideal for those students who want advanced knowledge to enhance their competitiveness in the work force and to satisfy their longing for in-depth knowledge that cannot be obtained in the baccalaureate degrees. Specific requirements for the “4+1” program are available on the web in the document entitled “Memorandum to Graduate Students;” see https://ece.okstate.edu/.
ECEN has submitted a new Option in Software Engineering as part of the Computer Engineering degree for approval in fall 2021. As the title suggests the option emphasizes software solutions in the context of computer engineering applications with a focus on the software-hardware interface. A total of 128 credit hours (i.e., 3 credit hours beyond the CpE degree) is required to complete this option. Of those 128 credit hours, 12 credit hours of software specific courses, as approved and listed by the School, must be completed.
A degree in electrical engineering or computer engineering is an excellent foundation for other professional fields such as medicine and law. Many graduates also pursue advanced programs in business and management after earning a degree in engineering.