The field of computer engineering can be described as a blend of electrical engineering and computer science. It is an amalgam of the computer hardware orientation of an electrical engineering program and the operating systems and languages of a computer science program. Computer engineers are involved in research, development, design, production, and operation of a wide variety of digital systems, from integrated circuits to computer systems and large-scale computer networks.
Computer Engineering, BS
Please see the University Catalog for complete program requirements and policies, and discuss all program plans with an academic advisor. Certain courses may fulfill multiple requirements across the Mason Core general education program, the college or school, and/or the specific program.
Degree Requirements (126 credits total)
Mason Core General education program required for all undergraduate students.
College Requirement(s) n/a
Major Requirements (102 credits)
Electrical and Computer Engineering (50 credits)
- ECE 101 - Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering (3 credits)
- ECE 201 - Introduction to Signal Analysis (3 credits)
- ECE 220 - Signals and Systems I (3 credits)
- ECE 285 - Electric Circuit Analysis I (3 credits)*
- ECE 286 - Electric Circuit Analysis II (3 credits)
- ECE 331 - Digital System Design (3 credits)
- ECE 332 - Digital Electronics and Logic Design Lab (1 Credit)
- ECE 333 - Linear Electronics I (3 credits)
- ECE 334 - Linear Electronics Lab I (1 Credit)
- ECE 445 - Computer Organization (3 credits)
- ECE 447 - Single-Chip Microcomputers (4 credits)
- ECE 448 - FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL (4 credits)
- ECE 465 - Computer Networking Protocols (3 credits)
- ECE 491 - Engineering Seminar (1 Credit)
- ECE 492 - Senior Advanced Design Project I (1 Credit)**
- ECE 493 - RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (2 credits)
- Technical Electives (9 credits) (To be selected from the department's list of pre-approved technical elective specializations. Students are also encouraged to propose additional technical elective specializations to the ECE Department for approval.)
*Note that ECE 285/ECE 286 courses taken at Mason prior to fall 2013 or transferred to Mason prior to fall 2014 do NOT meet the circuits analysis requirement. Students who fit in either category need to contact the department as soon as possible to discuss their options.
**Students who would like to complete a more challenging senior design project have the option of enrolling in ECE 392 to gain a semester head start in the design process.
Computer Science (16 credits)
- CS 112 - Introduction to Computer Programming (4 credits)
- CS 211 - Object-Oriented Programming (3 credits)
- CS 222 - Computer Programming for Engineers (3 credits)
- CS 310 - Data Structures (3 credits)
- CS 471 - Operating Systems (3 credits)
Mathematics and Statistics (23 credits)
- MATH 113 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (4 credits)
- MATH 114 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (4 credits)
- MATH 125 - Discrete Mathematics I (3 credits)
- MATH 203 - Linear Algebra (3 credits)
- MATH 213 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus III (3 credits)
- MATH 214 - Elementary Differential Equations (3 credits)
- STAT 346 - Probability for Engineers (3 credits)
Physics (11 credits)
- PHYS 160 - University Physics I (3 credits)
- PHYS 161 - University Physics I Laboratory (1 Credit)
- PHYS 260 - University Physics II (3 credits)
- PHYS 261 - University Physics II Laboratory (1 Credit)
- PHYS 262 - University Physics III (3 credits)
Engineering (2 credits)
English, Communication, and Economics (9 credits)
- ENGH 302 - Advanced Composition (3 credits) (Natural Sciences and Technology section)
- COMM 100 - Public Speaking (3 credits)
- ECON 103 - Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (3 credits)
Additional Mason Core (15 credits)
Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements. Mason Core courses should be selected from the department's list of approved courses. The Synthesis Mason Core requirement is satisfied by ECE 492 plus ECE 493.
- Written Communication (lower) (3 credits)
- Literature: (3 credits)
- Arts: (3 credits)
- Western Civilization/World History: (3 credits)
- Global Understanding: (3 credits)
All students must submit at least 24 credits of social science and humanities course work, which is normally satisfied by the 24 credits of Mason Core social science and humanities courses listed above.
Total: 126 credits
Students who earn a degree in computer engineering may work in software, hardware or in fields that are based on a combination of the two areas. Computer engineers find employment in a number of diverse fields including computer manufacturing, consumer electronics, telecommunications and networking, computer forensics, research and development, robotics and software engineering, among many others. Some may choose to pursue patent law and become patent attorneys/agents or become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. The proximity of the department to the USPTO and to local venture capital firms opens up a rich range of alternative prospects to students. The department has strong ties to local businesses and representatives from companies are regularly invited to the department as guest speakers. An active industrial advisory board provides input in setting future directions for the department. Whatever field they choose, employment prospects for graduates of the computer engineering program are excellent.
Classes in the department are taught by experienced faculty who have been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for their research and teaching excellence. They have been awarded more than 35 patents and have $7M in active research grants. Many of them have also won prestigious research and teaching awards and a number of them are elected as fellows of professional organizations such as the IEEE.
Students gain hands on experience in the virtual and physical space in the numerous laboratories in the school’s building. The dual semester long senior design project effort is one of the highlights of the computer engineering program. Some recent projects included a fire extinguisher that uses sound to put out fires, a remote controlled robot that is small and agile enough to go places too small or dangerous for humans, and an unmanned aerial system that can perform search and rescue operations.
A senior design lab is available for students to design and build a working prototype of an electronic device or system. Some equipment found in that lab includes machines used for PCB prototyping, 3-D printing and laser based cutting tools.