Jul 21, 2019  
2011-2012 General Catalog 
2011-2012 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Electrical Engineering, BS

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College of Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Effective for students beginning degree Summer Sem. 2011 thru Spring Sem. 2012

Admission to the College of Engineering

In addition to the policies of the University concerning admission of students, the following regulations apply to the College of Engineering:

1. Transfer students from other colleges or universities will be referred to the Engineering Admission Committee for evaluation. Criteria considered in admission decisions for transfer students include resources available in the requested department and the transfer GPA, along with an evaluation of the program of the former college or university. Decisions concerning academic standing once the student is admitted to USU will be based solely on USU grades.

2. Students registered on campus (including Undeclared) must be approved by the Engineering Admission Committee before transferring to the College of Engineering. Students in this category must have demonstrated, by courses taken at USU, a potential to succeed in the major of their choice.

3. Admission requirements for students desiring to major in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering are the same as those governing admission to the College of Engineering, except that students must also be "calculus ready". That is, they must (1) achieve a score of 27 or higher on the Math ACT test; (2) complete MATH 1050  and MATH 1060  or MATH 1210  with a grade of B or better; (3) achieve an AP score of at least 3 on the AB Calculus or BC Calculus test.

Pre-Engineering and Professional Engineering Requirements

Students interested in Engineering careers enter the University with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Therefore, it is necessary for all students to demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency in basic engineering, mathematics, science, and English before they are admitted into a professional engineering program. Specific courses used to evaluate this proficiency are listed on the applications to the Professional Program available in the individual departments or in the Engineering Advising Center. The professional engineering programs consist of the last two years of study listed in the departmental sections of the General Catalog. Students will not be admitted into engineering classes numbered 3000 or higher until they have been admitted into a professional engineering program. Applications listing the required pre-professional courses and admission standards are available from the various departments and the Engineering Advising Center. The minimum requirements a student must satisfy in order to be eligible to apply for admission to a professional program are:

1. The student must achieve a grade of C- or better in every required preprofessional course. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used except in freshman English composition.

2. The student must achieve an overall grade point average of 2.8 or better for all required pre-professional coursework completed at USU.

3. A student can repeat no more than three of the required pre-professional courses in order to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Multiple repeats of the same course are included in the total of three repeats. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the college academic advisor. Satisfying minimum eligibility requirements does not ensure that a student will be admitted to a professional program in a specific department. The number of students accepted will be based upon the number of students that can be accommodated in upper-division classes. Applicants will be ranked and selected in order of their academic standing in the required pre-professional courses.

The Program

The Electrical Engineering program helps to prepare students for careers as practicing engineers by offering a balanced curriculum of classwork, laboratory work and design experiences. Coursework covers many areas, including basic science (with an emphasis on physics), mathematics, computer programming, English, humanities and social sciences. Building upon this foundation, core engineering courses help provide students with a solid foundation in circuit analysis, design and analysis of electronic circuits and the design of digital circuits and microprocessor-based system. Throughout these engineering courses, an emphasis is place on computer-based tools and experience is provided using modern laboratory equipment.

The major includes a sequence of courses in senior design, in which students use the skills they are acquiring in the design, analysis, and implementation of a significant project. The design process also includes a significant writing component, in which students exercise technical writing and project documentation skills. Students frequently work in teams on these projects, both within the department, as well as with teams of students from other engineering departments. Senior projects are frequently done with industry sponsorship, or in conjunction with an internship at a company.

Many students obtain experience and earn summer income by taking internships at engineering companies. Several companies actively recruit USU students. These internships provide excellent experience for students, as well as potential employer contacts. The electrical engineering degree option builds upon the core engineering concepts by providing greater depth in modern physics, with elective options for electromagnetics, controls, signal processing, electronics, and communications. These topics are important in most conventional engineering areas, including communications, transportation, and defense industries. 

Students also have the flexibility to choose from amonga wide variety of technical electives, covering such engineering areas as communications, electromagnetics, antenna design, computer architecture, controls, optics, acoustics, microprocessor interfacing, real-time processing, electronics, and controls, as well as options in computer science, physics, mathematics, and other fundamental sciences.

In cooperation with other departments, all students are encouraged to complete one or more minors in mathematics, computer science, physics, or other appropriate fields of interest to the student.

The electrical engineering major is accredited by the EAC Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Electrical Engineering Objectives

The educational objectives of the Electrical Engineering Program is to provide students with:

1. Education in the fundamental sciences and mathematics that underlie engineering, with a general breadth and depth in engineering analysis and design;

2. Awareness of current technology and the fundamental background to enable them to stay informed and adept at new technologies;

3. The ability to put ideas into practice through effective analysis, problem solving, requirements development, design, and implementation;

4. A broad awareness of the world around them through general education, preparing them to achieve their potential and contribute through their professional and personal lives; and

5. The foundation of communications and teamwork skills, as well as professional attitudes and ethics. 

Career Opportunities

Electrical and computer engineers design, analyze, program, and supervise the production and manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as computers, computer peripherals, CD-players, televisions, radios, cell phones, radar, test equipment, and many other products used in modern society. They contribute in important ways to transportation industries (automotive and aeronautical), the computer industry, and national defense. Engineers are also employed in technical sales and support positions for business and scientific equipment. Many engineers work for private industry, or form their own companies. Others work for large corporations, such as Micron, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Novell, Agilent, and Hewlett-Packard.

Engineering also forms a strong foundation for graduate studies in other areas, such as bioengineering, law, business, or (with additional courses in biology and chemistry) medicine. The job placement rate for students graduating from USU’s electrical engineering program is nearly 100 percent. 

Recommended High School Courses

Students interested in entering any field of engineering should take two or three years of algebra, pre-calculus (including trigonometry), and calculus if possible. Four years of English and courses in computer programming, physics, and chemistry are also recommended. If the suggested pre-calculus mathematics courses are not taken in high school, they must be taken in college prior to starting calculus. 

Academic Advisement

All students should contact their academic advisor for assistance with course selection, program planning, and meeting graduation requirements. If they do not know who their advisor is, students should contact the Engineering Advising Center, ENGR 314A. 

Academic Requirements

The Engineering Advising Center maintains a handout sheet giving current details of all academic regulations of the college. It is the responsibility of the student to know the current regulations and to follow these regulations.

Preprofessional Program

Students must maintain a USU GPA of 2.0 to remain in good standing both in the college and the University. Students in a pre-professional program who are not making satisfactory progress toward acceptance into a professional program or who become ineligible to enter a professional program will be suspended from the college. Students in good standing in a pre-professional program must still meet the entrance requirements for admission into a professional program.

Professional Program

For all engineering majors in the professional program, the following academic regulations apply in addition to University regulations:

1. A GPA of 2.0 or higher must be maintained in all upper-division engineering/ math/science courses required for, or used as technical electives in the chosen major. Courses which were part of the pre-professional program requirements and University Studies courses are not included in this GPA calculation.

2. No more than 10 hours of D or D+ credit may be applied toward meeting graduation requirements in engineering/math/science classes.

3. College of Engineering courses may be repeated only once. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the department head. A maximum of three required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program can be repeated in order to meet graduation requirements. (Courses completed as part of a pre-professional program are not included in this total of three repeats.)

4. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used in required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program. (The P/D+, D, F grading option is approved for University Studies Courses.)

5. The academic regulations listed above (1-4) apply to required coursework and any elective engineering/math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree. That is, once a student completes a particular technical elective, it becomes a required course for that student.

6. Students in violation of departmental or college academic regulations, no longer eligible for graduation, or not making satisfactory progress toward a degree, will be placed on probation.

a. Students will be placed on probation if they (i) earn a an F in an engineering/math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree (see No.5 above); (ii) have more than 10 hours of D credit (see No. 2 above) or (iii) have a GPA of less than 2.0 (see No. 1 above).

b. Students remain on probation until they improve their standing by repeating and passing all failed classes, repeating classes to reduce the number of D credits to 10 or less, and/or by raising their upper division GPA above 2.0.

c. While on probation, a student must earn a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher in engineering/math/science classes and must not earn any grades of D or F. While on probation, a student may not preregister. The student's major code will be changed to a pre-professional code. The student must meet at least once per semester with the college academic advisor to work out a schedule having the primary goal of correcting the existing academic problems.    

Students must complete the General Education Requirements 

  •  PHYS 2220  will fulfill the Physical Science (BPS) requirement for students in the Electrical Engineering major.   
  • Since both MATH 1210  and MATH 1220  are required for the Electrical Engineering major, one of the courses will fulfill the Quantitative Literacy requirement and the other will fulfill the Exploration requirement

Students must also complete the University Studies Depth Requirements :

  • ECE 4840  and ECE 4850  will fulfill the Communication Intensive (CI) requirement 
  • MATH 2270  or MATH 2280  will fulfill the Quantitative Intensive (QI) requirement
  • Complete at least 2 credits in approved 3000-level or above courses from each of the following categories: Humanitites and Creative Arts (DHA) and Social Sciences (DSS)

Transfer Students

Transfer students coming to USU with an associate degree from a regionally- accredited institutution may be deemed as having satisfied the General Education portion of the USU University Studies Requirements, but not necessarily the College of Engineering requirements. Students with transfer credits in University Studies areas will need to have their transfer credit evaluated by the College of Engineering to determine which of the University Studies requirements it will satisfy. In general, transfer students will still need to satisfy the Depth Education portion of University Studies. Also, since not all associate degrees granted by institutions outside of Utah include an American Institutions course (a State of Utah requirement), students may need to complete such a course while at USU.


Pre-professional Program

Professional Program

Because of the variations in schedules, it is recommended that students meet with an advisor to work out a schedule for their junior and senior years. The following courses are required for students selecting the Professional Program in Electrical Engineering.

Suggested Semester Schedule

Junior Year (30-31 credits)

 See note 1

Senior Year (31-32 credits)

Fall Semester (15 credits)

  •  ECE elective courses 15
Spring Semester (16-17 credits)

Technical Elective Courses (select 28 or more credits)

Electrical Engineering Electives (select 21-25 credits)


Also, any ECE 5000-level course (including ECE 5930  when topic relates to electrical engineering) may be counted as an Electrical Engineering Elective.

Math and Science Electives (select 3-7 credits)


*These classes are required for admission to the Professional Engineering Program (PEP). Courses are listed under the semesters in which they best fit.

1 Some of the junior classes can be delayed until the senior year, but this may limit a student’s choice of electives during his or her senior year.

**ENGL 3080  must be taken before or concurrently with ECE 3810 .

***ECE 4850  and a capstone course must be taken during the same semester.

2 Students cannot receive credit for both Engineering Mechanics and Analytical Mechanics.

3 Students cannot receive credit for both Engineering Thermodynamics and Thermal Physics.

4 Students cannot receive credit for both ECE Optics and PHYS Optics.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Minors


Students should have all minors approved by the minor department. Minors may be filled by using the Technical Electives credits for courses in the chosen minor area. All courses required for the minors must be completed with grades of C- or better.

Mathematics Minor

Required courses include MATH 1210 , MATH 1220 , MATH 2210 MATH 2270 , MATH 2280  and two additional courses (6 credits) numbered above 4000, excluding MATH 4300 , MATH 4400 , MATH 4500 , MATH 5570  and MATH 5580 .

Physics Minor

PHYS 2210  and PHYS 2220 , plus 10 credits selected from PHYS 2500 , PHYS 2710 , and/or PHYS courses at the 3000 level and above (not to include PHYS courses designated as USU Depth courses).

Computer Science Minor

A minimum of 16 credits (with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and a C- or better in each class) is required. Students must complete CS 1400 , CS 1405 , CS 1410 CS 2420  and two additional computer science classes. At least one of the two classes must be numbered at the 3000 level or above. Students should contact the Computer Science Department for information about classes that may not be used toward the Computer Science Minor. Other minors should be approved by the minor department.

Electrical Engineering Mentors

The following list of faculty interests is provided to help students select the appropriate faculty member to contact for career and elective selection counseling.

D. J. Baker, electronics, space, electromagnetics
R. Baktur, electromagnetics
S. E. Budge, image processing, signal processing
B. Cetiner, microwaves, electromagnetics
K. Chakraborty, computer engineering
Y. Chen, controls, robotics
D. L. Cripps, control systems, robotics
J. H. Gunther, digital communication, signal processing
H. S. Hinton, optics
P. D. Israelsen, computer engineering
T. K. Moon, digital communication, information theory, signal processing
R. T. Pack, geological and geomatics engineering
W. Ren, controls
S. Roy, computer engineering
E. Spencer, space systems
C. M. Swenson, space systems
P. A. Wheeler, microprocessor design, digital design
C. Winstead, analog VLSI, information theory

Requirement Changes

Graduation requirements shown on this sheet are subject to change. Students should check with their assigned advisor concerning possible changes.

For Information Contact:

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Engineering Laboratory 149; Utah State University; 4120 Old Main Hill; Logan UT 84322-4120; tel. (435) 797-2840; info@ece.usu.edu; www.ece.usu.edu


Minimum University Requirements

Total Credits


Grade Point Average (most majors require higher GPA)

2.00 GPA

Credits of C- or better


Credits of upper-division courses (#3000 or above)


USU Credits (10 of last 40 must be USU credits)


Completion of approved major program of study

See college advisor

Credits in minor (if required)


Credits in American Institutions (ECN 1500 ;HIST 1700 , HIST 2700  or HIST 2710 ; HONR 1300 POLS 1100 ; or USU 1300 


General Education Requirements  and University Studies Depth Requirements 




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