Computer engineering deals with both hardware and software aspects of computer systems. Students take essential electrical engineering classes along with specialized classes in computer engineering and computer science. Demand for computer engineers is strong due to the growing use of computers in all sorts of products and the need for engineers competent with computers in both hardware and software areas.
Computer engineering is a degree program in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). The majority of the undergraduate curriculum is devoted to the general engineering core of science, math, English, social science and humanities, and to the electrical engineering core of circuits, electronics, electromagnetics and control systems. Additionally, computer engineering students may focus on computer networking and communication, embedded computer systems, computer architecture, digital systems and digital electronics. The computer engineering program at North Dakota State University is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the ABET, www.abet.org.
Areas of Specialization
The curriculum is designed to reflect the broad nature of the field and allows the student to tailor his or her studies within broad parameters. Students are encouraged to develop an individual program of study in close consultation with their advisors. To aid this process, recommendations are available to illustrate how specialization may be obtained in a number of different technical areas. Students are free to mix and match from the following examples to suit their particular interests.
Computer Architecture/Digital VLSI -- VLSI designers and computer architects design computer system hardware, including how the CPU communicates with various types of memory and high-performance multi-processor systems. VLSI design focusses on the lower levels of abstraction: transistor-level and physical-level design; whereas computer architecture focuses on the higher levels of abstraction: architecture and gate-level designs.
Cyber Physical Systems -- Cyber physical systems deals with the interaction of computing elements monitoring/controlling physical entities, often in a large network.
Embedded Systems -- Embedded systems deals with the design of a dedicated computer system to perform a specific task, often requiring real-time constraints. An example is a smartphone.
Computer Systems -- Computer systems deals with the close interaction between a system’s hardware and software.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering building is part of an eight building engineering complex. The building contains specialized laboratories and equipment. Numerous grants and donations from the National Science Foundation and private industry have provided valuable equipment. Laboratories along with department and University computer capabilities support education and research. Computer engineering facilities include a microprocessor development laboratory, a microcomputer systems laboratory, a digital electronic simulation laboratory and a computer architecture laboratory. A computer structures and networking laboratory is cooperatively shared with computer science. Students also have full access to computer clusters located throughout the campus. These and all other major computer resources are tied to local, regional, national and international computer networks.
The department has admission requirements for freshmen and transfer students. For freshmen, a minimum math ACT (or equivalent) score of 23, or a top 30 percent class rank and a minimum math ACT of 20, is required. Domestic transfer students must have a 2.3 grade point average; international students, a 3.0.
High School Preparation
High school students should attempt to complete one unit of physics, four units of mathematics and one unit of chemistry.
Graduates may find work as design engineers (computer hardware, software and systems), computer consultants, sales and customer support engineers or as engineers involved with computer-aided manufacturing and testing.
Research and Graduate Study
Graduate studies leading to a master’s degree or doctoral degree are offered in the department. Further details are available in the Graduate Bulletin.
Cooperative Education Program
The Cooperative Education Program allows students to alternate classroom study with a series of paid professional work experiences related to electrical and computer engineering. These experiences increase in complexity as the student's background increases. The program provides opportunities for pre-graduation experience in the profession, exploration of several career opportunities, money for education, an enriched degree and enhanced opportunities for employment following graduation.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will make every effort to provide adequate financial assistance to all students demonstrating financial need.
General Education Requirements
|First Year Experience|
|1||UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success|
|3||COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking|
|3, 3||ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II|
|3||English Upper Level Writing Course|
|4||MATH 165 - Calculus I|
|Science & Technology|
|3||CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I|
|1||CHEM 121L - General Chemistry I Laboratory or|
|PHYS 251L - University Physics I Laboratory|
|4||CSCI 161 - Computer Science II|
|3||PHYS 251 - University Physics I|
|2||Science & Technology Course|
|6||Humanities & Fine Arts|
|6||Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|3||CSCI 222 - Discrete Mathematics|
|3||CSCI 413 - Principles of Software Engineering|
|3||CSCI 459 - Foundations of Computer Networks|
|3||CSCI 474 - Operating Systems Concepts|
|4||EE 206 - Circuit Analysis I|
|3||ECE 111 - Introduction to Electrical and Computer|
|3||ECE 173 - Introduction to Computing|
|4||ECE 275 - Digital Design|
|3||ECE 320 - Electronics I|
|3||ECE 341 - Random Processes|
|4||ECE 343 - Signals and Systems|
|4||ECE 374 - Computer Organization|
|4||ECE 376 - Embedded Systems|
|1||ECE 401 - Design I (capstone)|
|2||ECE 403 - Design II (capstone)|
|3||ECE 405 - Design III (capstone)|
|3||ECE 474 - Computer Architecture|
|4||ECE 475 - Advanced Digital Design|
|1||ENGR 402 - Engineering Ethics and Social|
|2||MATH 129 - Basic Linear Algebra|
|4||MATH 166 - Calculus II|
|4||MATH 265 - Calculus III (w/ vectors)|
|3||MATH 266 - Introduction Differential Equations|
This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.
Electrical Engineering is located on the corner of Albrecht Boulevard and Centennial Boulevard (Campus Map)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
North Dakota State University
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dept #2480, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: (701) 231-7019 / Fax: (701) 231-8677
Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802