Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2013 - 2014

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Brent Nelson, Chair
459 CB, (801) 422-4012

Janalyn Mergist, Undergraduate Major Advisor
459 CB (801) 422-4012

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology Advisement Center
242 CB, (801) 422-4325

Admission to Degree Program

The degree programs in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are open enrollment.

The Discipline

Electrical and computer engineers study phenomena, devices, and systems for information processing, communication, and systems control. These studies, grounded primarily in physics and mathematics, have enabled engineers to develop the innovative new technologies for information acquisition, processing, storage, and communication that have made possible our contemporary Age of Information.

Examples of systems developed by electrical and computer engineers include radio, television, radar, satellite communication systems, cellular telephones, laptop computers, fiber-optic communications devices, global and local computer networks, robotic systems, control systems, fax machines, medical image processing, computer modems, lasers, pagers, computer vision, programmable calculators, VLSI chips, computer-aided design tools, and medical instruments.

Although it is the goal of engineering to produce useful objects, electrical and computer engineers typically play a limited role in construction, assembly, or mass production. Instead, they focus on design, analysis, and the development of the underlying theory and knowledge applied in the design process.

Many engineers are involved in designing and developing products, but other electrical and computer engineers may choose to work in product marketing, project management, system calibration and maintenance, product testing, or other areas related to electronic systems.

Computer programming skills and the ability to use advanced design and simulation software packages are vital in electrical as well as computer engineering. As part of their training, electrical engineers become familiar with a variety of programming languages and software environments. This experience is closely coupled to real-world applications.

Career Opportunities

Electrical and computer engineers are among the most actively recruited students graduating from a four-year program. Baccalaureate engineers typically start their careers as members of project teams with one or more of the following responsibilities: designing digital, analog, or opto-electronic circuits; creating or testing application-specific software; testing components or systems; or providing technical support for sales. Later on, many engineers find themselves pursuing managerial careers, starting their own companies, or even managing entrepreneurial funds. Top graduates are also well received by medical schools, law schools, and professional and management programs.

The BS curriculum for both the electrical engineering and computer engineering degrees is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs and Degrees

    MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

General Information

Students are strongly encouraged to seek advisement early in their studies to ensure effective course scheduling. Contact the college advisement center (264 CB) or the department (459 CB). Students should enroll in EC En 191 in their first year of study at BYU.

In both undergraduate degree programs offered in the department, students are required to pass prerequisite courses in the major with a grade of C– or better before taking follow-on courses.

Professional Registration. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department provides the option for graduates to become registered professional engineers. General qualifications for becoming registered are explained in the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology section of this catalog. This status is vital to engineering practice in the public sector and to much consulting work. The basic electrical and computer engineering program outlined in this department prepares graduates to successfully complete the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination. Students who wish to become registered as professional engineers are advised to discuss this matter with an advisor from the department soon after admission to the professional program.