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DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING (ECE)

Professor Jeff Jackson, Department Head
Office: 317 Houser Hall

Electrical engineering, the largest of the engineering fields, is the application of mathematics, sciences, and electrical and electronic technologies to the needs of society. This broad and diverse discipline touches almost every aspect of people’s lives and occupations, from communication systems such as cellular phones, radio, television, and the Internet to computer systems, including personal computers, and the hidden processors that control automobiles and household appliances.

Electrical and computer engineering at The University of Alabama offers programs in “traditional” electrical engineering and in computer engineering. Electrical engineering students get deeply involved with at least two of the following areas: communication systems, computers, control systems, electromagnetics, electronics and microelectronics, power systems, and signal processing. Students in the computer engineering option specialize in the software and hardware components of modern computing systems. The programs provide a sound foundation for entry into the engineering profession, and opportunities for graduates are extensive, often depending only on the interests of the individual. Graduates work in most industries, including the computer, telecommunications, power, aerospace, manufacturing, defense, and electronics industries. They design high-tech devices ranging from tiny microelectronic chips to powerful computers that utilize those chips to efficient telecommunication systems that interconnect those computers. They design and operate a wide array of complex technological systems, such as power generation and distribution systems and modern computer-controlled manufacturing plants. They are also involved in sales, marketing, testing, quality control, and research. With additional training, they may even contribute in other professions, including education, medicine, and law.

Program Objectives

The mission of the undergraduate electrical engineering and computer engineering programs is to provide high-quality and broad-based education in electrical engineering or computer engineering that emphasizes critical thinking and communication skills and prepares graduates for professional careers and a lifetime of learning. The faculty has adopted the educational objectives listed below for the electrical and computer engineering undergraduate programs. The department has included a process to provide continual improvement of the curricula. Students are expected to

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING CURRICULUM

The overall goal of the electrical engineering program is to prepare students for engineering careers within the discipline. The first year and a half of the electrical engineering curriculum includes basic courses in mathematics and physical science, broadening courses in humanities and social science, and foundation courses in engineering. The next three semesters provide the core education in electrical engineering, with courses in computers, electronics, circuits, systems, and electromagnetics. The last year of study includes technical electives to allow students to concentrate in selected areas of the discipline. For seniors, the department offers advanced courses in computers, communication, control, electromagnetics, microelectronics, materials, and power.

Students must select two electrical engineering electives with labs. The elective areas are computers, microelectronics, electromagnetics, power systems, communication systems, and control systems. Materials that describe each area are available in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering office.

FRESHMAN YEAR
 
First SemesterHours
CH 101 General Chemistry I (N) 4
GES 131 Foundations Engineering I2
EN 101 English Composition I (FC) 3
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA) 4
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective3
DR 100 Engineering Sketching1
___
17
 
Second Semester
ECE 125 Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC) 3
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA) 4
PH 105 General Physics with Calculus I (N)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective 3
___
16
SOPHOMORE YEAR
 
First Semester
CS 114 Introduction to Computer Programming3
CS 116 Introduction to Computer Programming Laboratory1
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA) 4
MATH 237 Applied Matrix Theory3
PH 106 General Physics with Calculus II (N)4
___
15
 
 
Second Semester
CS 124 Introduction to Computer Science (C)3
ECE 225 Electric Circuits3
ECE 380 Digital Logic4
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I3
PH 253 Introduction to Modern Physics3
___
16
 
JUNIOR YEAR
 
First Semester
ECE 332 Electronics I (W)4
ECE 370 Signals and Systems3
ECE 383 Microcomputers (C) 4
MATH 355 Theory of Probability3
PH 301 Mechanics3
___
17
 
Second Semester
ECE 326 Electric Networks3
ECE 333 Electronics II (W)4
ECE 340 Electromagnetics4
ECE 350 Electromechanics3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1 3
___
17
 
SENIOR YEAR
 
First Semester
IE 203 Engineering Economics3
Electrical engineering elective with laboratory2 4
Electrical engineering elective with laboratory2 4
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1 3
___
17
Second Semester
ECE 494 Capstone Design3
Electrical engineering elective2 3
Electrical engineering elective2 3
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective4 3
Professional elective3 3
___
15
 
Total: 130 hours

1Students must satisfy the College of Engineering in-depth requirement.
2Students must complete ECE elective courses in at least four of the following areas: communication, computers, control, electromagnetics, electronics, optics, and power.
3The professional elective must be chosen from the list of professional electives approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
4The College of Engineering core curriculum requires a minimum of 9 hours of HU, L, or FA courses and 9 hours of HI or SB courses.

COMPUTER ENGINEERING OPTION IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

The computer engineering option is offered within the electrical engineering department in order to give students a broad knowledge of the software and hardware components of modern computing systems, detailed computer-systems design, and the role of computer systems in various engineering disciplines. A primary goal of the program is to prepare the student for a computer-oriented engineering career with emphasis on computer applications within various subdisciplines of electrical engineering. The computer engineering option includes a broad spectrum of electrical engineering and computer science courses, as well as electives to allow the student to study a specific area in depth and to gain design experience. Areas of specialization may include computer architecture, digital and analog integrated circuit design, microprocessor-based systems, computer graphics, and applications-oriented study in other disciplines of electrical engineering.

FRESHMAN YEAR
 
First SemesterHours
CH 101 General Chemistry I (N) 4
DR 100 Technical Sketching for Engineers1
EN 101 English Composition I (FC) 3
GES 131 Foundations of Engineering I2
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective 3
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA)4
___
17
 
Second Semester
ECE 125 Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC) 3
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA)4
PH 105 General Physics with Calculus I (N)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective 3
___
16
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
 
First Semester
CS 114 Introduction to Computer Programming3
CS 116 Introduction to Computer Programming Laboratory1
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA)4
MATH 237 Applied Matrix Theory3
PH 106 General Physics with Calculus II (N)4
___
15
 
Second Semester
CS 124 Introduction to Computer Science (C)3
ECE 225 Electric Circuits3
ECE 380 Digital Logic4
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I3
MATH 355 Theory of Probability3
___
16
 
JUNIOR YEAR
 
First Semester
ECE 332 Electronics I (W)4
ECE 370 Signals and Systems3
ECE 383 Microcomputers (C) 4
MATH 301 Discrete Mathematics3
Professional elective23
___
17
 
Second Semester
CS 325 Software Development and Systems3
CS 357 Data Structures3
ECE 326 Electric Networks3
ECE 333 Electronics II (W)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1 3
___
16
SENIOR YEAR
 
First Semester
ECE electives3 9
ECE 480 Digital Systems Design3
ECE 481 Digital Systems Design Laboratory1
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective13
___
16
Second Semester
ECE 484 Computer Architecture3
ECE 486 Embedded Systems3
ECE 487 Embedded Systems Laboratory1
ECE 494 Capstone Design3
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) electives4 6
___
16
 
Total: 129 hours

1Students must help satisfy the College of Engineering in-depth requirement.
2The professional elective must be chosen from the list of professional electives approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
3The restricted-area elective must be selected from a list approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
4The College of Engineering core curriculum requires a minimum of 9 hours of HU, L, or FA courses and 9 hours of HI or SB courses.

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