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Electrical Engineering B.S.

Information and Policies

Introduction

The electrical engineering B.S. program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Students can pursue either of two concentrations, Electronics/Optics or Communications, Signals and Systems.

Academic Advising for the Program

The Baskin School of Engineering undergraduate advising office offers general advising for prospective and declared undergraduates majoring in School of Engineering programs. The office handles major declarations, transfer credits, course substitutions, articulations, and degree certifications.

Transfer students should also refer to the Transfer Information and Policy section.

Baskin Engineering Building, Room 225
advising@soe.ucsc.edu
(831) 459-5840

Getting Started in the Major

For the first two years, all electrical engineering students are expected to take a basic set of lower-division mathematics, physical science, and engineering courses. After the first two years, electrical engineering students focus on topics within the discipline and specialize in one of two options: electronics/optics, including digital and analog circuits and devices, VLSI design, optoelectronics, electromagnetics, power engineering, and biomedical device engineering; or communications, signals, systems, and control, including optical, wireless communication, signal and image processing, networks signal processing, instrumentation, and control.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives

  1. Fundamentals: Acquire instruction in the prerequisites for a career based on electrical engineering, including theory, design and the basic science upon which future technology will be based.

  2. Theory and practical knowledge: Learn the theory and practical knowledge in hardware and information oriented electrical engineering, including a variety of opportunities for specialized further study.

  3. Professional development: Learn the basis for a high-quality, professional approach to engineering, including skills in clear communication, teamwork, responsibility, high ethical standards, a desire for lifelong learning, and participation in the professional engineering community.

  4. Preparation for an engineering career: Develop both individual creative skills for personal achievement as well as interpersonal skills for a team project environment, including an ability to apply research to engineering and learn how knowledge is applied in an industry setting.

Student Outcomes

  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.

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

Admission to the electrical engineering major is selective. In order to be admitted into the electrical engineering major students must be listed as a proposed major within the School of Engineering, and complete all the foundation courses listed below with a GPA of 2.8 or better.

Please refer to the School of Engineering's "Proposed Major Retention" and its "Declaring a School of Engineering Major" sections in the catalog or the School of Engineering's information on declaring a major for more information.

Transfer students should also refer to the Transfer Information and Policy section.

Both of the following
MATH 19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 19BCalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

Plus one of the following courses
AM 10Mathematical Methods for Engineers I

5

MATH 21Linear Algebra

5

Plus one of the following courses
AM 20Mathematical Methods for Engineers II

5

MATH 24Ordinary Differential Equations

5

Plus all the following courses
PHYS 5AIntroduction to Physics I

5

PHYS 5LIntroduction to Physics I Laboratory

1

PHYS 5BIntroduction to Physics II

5

PHYS 5MIntroduction to Physics II Laboratory

1

PHYS 5CIntroduction to Physics III

5

PHYS 5NIntroduction to Physics Laboratory III

1

Additionally

Students must complete an "Introduction to Engineering" class, chosen from the following courses:

ECE 80TModern Electronic Technology and How It Works

5

CSE 80CStarting a New Technology Company

5

ECE 80T is recommended.

Appeal Process

Students who are informed that they are not eligible to declare may appeal this decision by submitting a letter to the undergraduate director within 15 days from the date the notification was mailed. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student, the college, and the Office of the Registrar of the decision.

If you have further questions concerning the appeal process, please contact the Undergraduate Advising Office at (831) 459-5840 or email advising@soe.ucsc.edu.

More information regarding the appeal process can be found on the BSOE Major Declaration Appeal Process page.

How to Declare a Major

Instructions for declaring a major in the Baskin School of Engineering are on the BSOE Undergraduate Affairs Declare your Major page.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

The following courses or their equivalents are required prior to transfer, by the end of spring term for students planning to enter in the fall.

First-year calculus

Both:

MATH 19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 19BCalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

Linear algebra

One of:

AM 10Mathematical Methods for Engineers I

5

MATH 21Linear Algebra

5

Differential equations

One of:

AM 20Mathematical Methods for Engineers II

5

MATH 24Ordinary Differential Equations

5

Calculus-based physics

A year of calculus-based physics courses accepted as equivalent to:

PHYS 5AIntroduction to Physics I

5

PHYS 5LIntroduction to Physics I Laboratory

1

PHYS 5BIntroduction to Physics II

5

PHYS 5MIntroduction to Physics II Laboratory

1

PHYS 5CIntroduction to Physics III

5

PHYS 5NIntroduction to Physics Laboratory III

1

Cumulative GPA

A minimum GPA of 2.8 must be obtained in the courses listed above. 

Additionally

In addition, the following courses are recommended prior to transfer to ensure timely graduation.  

CSE 12Computer Systems and Assembly Language

5

CSE 12LComputer Systems and Assembly Language Laboratory

2

MATH 23AVector Calculus

5

and one of the following courses:
CSE 13EEmbedded Systems and C Programming

7

PHYS 5DIntroduction to Physics IV

5

MATH 23BVector Calculus

5

General Education Options

Prospective students are encouraged to prioritize required and recommended major preparation prior to transfer, and may additionally complete courses that articulate to UC Santa Cruz general education requirements as time allows. 

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer students should declare their major in their first quarter at UCSC. Instructions for declaring a major in the Baskin School of Engineering are on the Declare Your Major page.

Letter Grade Policy

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department requires letter grading for all courses applied toward the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree.

Course Substitution Policy

Please refer to the School of Engineering section of the catalog for the policy regarding course substitution.

Honors

Electrical engineering majors are considered for “Honors in the Major” and “Highest Honors in the Major” based on the GPA and on results of undergraduate research and other significant contributions to the School of Engineering. Students with a GPA of 3.7 or higher receive highest honors. Students with a GPA of 3.3 or higher but less than 3.7, receive honors. A student meeting the GPA requirement for highest honors or honors may not receive honors if a student has been found guilty of academic misconduct. Students with particularly significant accomplishments in undergraduate research or contributions to the School of Engineering may be considered with a lower GPA. Electrical engineering juniors and seniors may also be eligible for election to the UCSC chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society founded in 1885.

Materials Fee and Miscellaneous Fees

Please see the section on fees under the School of Engineering.

Requirements and Planners

Course Requirements (all concentrations)

Lower-Division Courses

Students gain a solid foundation in calculus, engineering mathematics, physics, computer science, and computer engineering during their first two years. Majors must complete the following 13 lower-division courses (including corresponding laboratories). These courses form part of the prerequisite sequence and should be completed during the first two years at UC Santa Cruz. The requirements are rigorous; students must be prepared to begin these courses early in their studies.

Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 80TModern Electronic Technology and How It Works

5

This course is waived for transfer students.

Computer Science and Engineering

All of the following courses:

CSE 12Computer Systems and Assembly Language

5

CSE 12LComputer Systems and Assembly Language Laboratory

2

CSE 13EEmbedded Systems and C Programming

7

Mathematics

All of the following:

MATH 19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 19BCalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 23AVector Calculus

5

MATH 23BVector Calculus

5

Applied Mathematics
One of the following
AM 10Mathematical Methods for Engineers I

5

MATH 21Linear Algebra

5

Plus one of the following
AM 20Mathematical Methods for Engineers II

5

MATH 24Ordinary Differential Equations

5

Physics

All of the following:

PHYS 5AIntroduction to Physics I

5

PHYS 5LIntroduction to Physics I Laboratory

1

PHYS 5BIntroduction to Physics II

5

PHYS 5MIntroduction to Physics II Laboratory

1

PHYS 5CIntroduction to Physics III

5

PHYS 5NIntroduction to Physics Laboratory III

1

PHYS 5DIntroduction to Physics IV

5

Upper-Division Courses

Fifteen upper-division courses along with associated 1- or 2-credit laboratories are required for the major. The course requirements include both depth and breadth, technical writing, and a comprehensive capstone design project.

All students are required to take the following eight upper-division courses, with associated laboratories.

Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 101Introduction to Electronic Circuits

5

ECE 101LIntroduction to Electronic Circuits Laboratory

2

ECE 102Properties of Materials

5

ECE 102LProperties of Materials Laboratory

2

ECE 103Signals and Systems

5

ECE 103LSignals and Systems Laboratory

2

ECE 135Electromagnetic Fields and Waves

5

ECE 135LElectromagnetic Fields and Waves Laboratory

2

ECE 151Communications Systems

5

ECE 171Analog Electronics

5

ECE 171LAnalog Electronics Laboratory

2

Computer Science and Engineering
CSE 100Logic Design

5

CSE 100LLogic Design Laboratory

2

Statistics
STAT 131Introduction to Probability Theory

5

Lecture/lab combinations count as one course.

Electives

In addition to completing the courses required for both concentrations, electrical engineering majors must complete four elective courses chosen from the lists below. Students pursuing the Electronics/Optics concentration must choose at least three courses from the Electronics/Optics courses listed below. Students pursuing the Communications,  Signals and Systems concentration must choose at least three courses from the Communication and Signals courses listed below. 

Certain graduate-level courses as well as those courses taught in conjunction with graduate courses may also be used to fulfill an elective requirement as listed below. No course may be counted twice. See the electrical engineering website for course descriptions.

Design Elective: One of the four concentration courses chosen must include at least one of the following design electives ECE 118 & ECE 118L, ECE 157 & ECE 157L, ECE 121, and ECE 173 & ECE 173L . This course must be taken before the first capstone course ECE 129A.

Electronics/Optics Concentration Courses
Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 104Bioelectronics

5

ECE 115Introduction to Solid Mechanics

5

ECE 118Introduction to Mechatronics

10

ECE 118LIntroduction to Mechatronics Laboratory

2

ECE 121Microcontroller System Design

7

ECE 130Introduction to Optoelectronics and Photonics

5

ECE 130LIntroduction to Optoelectronics Laboratory

1

ECE 230Optical Fiber Communication

5

ECE 136Engineering Electromagnetics

5

ECE 141Feedback Control Systems

5

ECE 241Introduction to Feedback Control Systems

5

ECE 157RF Hardware Design

5

ECE 157LRF Hardware Design Laboratory

2

ECE 167Sensing and Sensor Technologies

7

ECE 167LSensing and Sensor Technologies Lab

2

ECE 172Advanced Analog Circuits

5

ECE 221Advanced Analog Integrated Circuits

5

ECE 173High-Speed Digital Design

5

ECE 173LHigh-Speed Digital Design Laboratory

2

ECE 175Energy Generation and Control

5

ECE 175LEnergy Generation and Control Laboratory

2

ECE 176Energy Conservation and Control

5

ECE 176LEnergy Conversion and Control Laboratory

2

ECE 177Power Electronics

5

ECE 177LPower Electronics Laboratory

2

ECE 178Device Electronics

5

ECE 180JAdvanced Renewable Energy Sources, Storage, and Smart Grids

5

ECE 201Introduction to Nanotechnology

5

ECE 203Nanocharacterization of Materials

5

ECE 231Optical Electronics

5

Lecture/lab combinations count as one course.

(ECE 130 and ECE 230, ECE 141 and ECE 241, and ECE 172 and ECE 221 are undergraduate and graduate courses taught in conjunction, and only one can be taken for this program.)

Communications, Signals, Systems Concentration Courses
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Lecture/lab combination count as one course.

ECE 118Introduction to Mechatronics

10

ECE 118LIntroduction to Mechatronics Laboratory

2

ECE 130Introduction to Optoelectronics and Photonics

5

ECE 130LIntroduction to Optoelectronics Laboratory

1

ECE 230Optical Fiber Communication

5

ECE 136Engineering Electromagnetics

5

ECE 141Feedback Control Systems

5

ECE 241Introduction to Feedback Control Systems

5

ECE 152Introduction to Wireless Communications

5

ECE 252Wireless Communications

5

ECE 153Digital Signal Processing

5

ECE 250Digital Signal Processing

5

ECE 237Image Processing and Reconstruction

5

ECE 251Principles of Digital Communications

5

ECE 253
/CSE 208
Introduction to Information Theory

5

ECE 255Error Control Coding

5

ECE 256Statistical Signal Processing

5

Computer Science and Engineering
CSE 150Introduction to Computer Networks

5

CSE 150LIntroduction to Computer Networks Laboratory

2

Lecture lab combinations count as one course.

(ECE 130 and ECE 230, ECE 152 and ECE 252, ECE 141 and ECE 241, and ECE 153 and ECE 250 are undergraduate and graduate courses taught in conjunction, and only one can be taken for this program.)

The senior-year curriculum enables students to pursue independent study with a faculty member. Electrical engineering students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to work within a faculty member’s research group as part of their educational experience. Internship programs with local industry are also available.

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students in all majors must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement is satisfied by completing the senior capstone course sequence:

Either these three courses:
ECE 129ACapstone Project I

5

ECE 129BCapstone Project II

5

ECE 129CCapstone Project III

5

Or these two courses:
ECE 129ACapstone Project I

5

ECE 195Senior Thesis Research

5

10 credits for the senior thesis course, ECE 195, must be completed for this option.

Comprehensive Requirement

The senior comprehensive requirement for electrical engineering majors is in two parts: a project course and assessment options.

Project Course

These senior-level courses encompass an in-depth project, including analysis, design, testing, and documentation, requiring students to call upon knowledge acquired throughout their undergraduate studies. Students must complete one capstone design course that spans three quarters. Current course choices include the following:

ECE 129ACapstone Project I

5

ECE 129BCapstone Project II

5

Or complete the following courses:
ECE 129ACapstone Project I

5

ECE 195Senior Thesis Research

5

10 credits for the senior thesis course, ECE 195, must be completed for this option.

Outcomes Assessment Options

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department requires an outcomes assessment. All students are required to complete an exit survey and meet with a faculty member for an exit interview. The specifics of the outcomes assessment may change from year to year; for this catalog year, students must also complete one of the following options:

  1. maintenance of a 2.5 grade point average in all required and elective courses for the major; or
  2. senior thesis submission; or
  3. portfolio review.

Portfolios must include the following:

  • project report(s)
  • a one- or two-page overview of the student’s contribution to the project(s);
  • a two-page essay concerning the relationship of engineering to society (specific topics will be provided by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department).

The portfolios must be submitted electronically at least seven days before the end of the instruction in the quarter of graduation. Portfolios will not be returned.

Planners

The following is a sample academic plan for incoming first-year students. Students who are unable to follow this planner should consult with ECE advisors for alternatives. Transfer students should seek advisement as their plans will vary depending on their lower-division courses.

Plan for Entering Frosh

  Fall  Winter  Spring 
 1st (frosh)  MATH 19A  MATH 19B  AM 10
  CSE 12 & CSE 12L PHYS 5A & PHYS 5L  PHYS 5B & PHYS 5M
    ECE 80T  CSE 13E
 2nd (soph)  MATH 23A ECE 101 & ECE 101L  MATH 23B
  CSE 100 & CSE 100L AM 20  ECE 103 & ECE 103L
  PHYS 5C & PHYS 5N  PHYS 5D  
 3rd (junior)  STAT 131 Design elective Upper-division elective
  ECE 171 & ECE 171L ECE 151  ECE 135 & ECE 135L
       
 4th (senior)  ECE 129A  ECE 129B  ECE 129C 
  ECE 102 & ECE 102L
 
Upper-division elective  Upper-division elective 
       

Three of the four electives must be taken in the student’s concentration.

In addition to the specific courses shown in the planner above, a student must complete courses satisfying the

CC, ER, IM, TA and PE general education requirements.

Plan for Junior Transfer Students*

  Fall  Winter  Spring 
 1st (junior)  ECE 101 & ECE 101L  ECE 171 & ECE 171L ECE 103 & ECE 103L 
CSE 100 & CSE 100L STAT 131

 Design elective

PHYS 5D or MATH 23B CSE 13E or MATH 23B  
2nd (senior)  ECE 129A  ECE 129B  ECE 129C 
ECE 102 & ECE 102L  ECE 151  ECE 135 & ECE 135L
Upper-division elective Upper-division elective Upper-division elective

*This planner assumes that transfer students have completed all of their lower-division courses except two out of the three courses PHYS 5D, MATH 23B, and CSE 13E prior to attending UCSC. Transfer students are encouraged to minimally complete CSE 13E before entering UCSC or during the summer quarter preceding their entry to UCSC.

Three of the four electives must be taken in the student’s concentration.

Curriculum charts for all BSOE majors are available at the department's Major Curriculum Charts page.

Additional information about this program can be found on the department’s website.