Jun 25, 2024  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Electrical Engineering, BSEE

About the Program

The Electrical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Electrical and Computer engineering encompasses all areas of research, development, design, and operation of electrical and electronic systems and their components, including software. Emphasis in such varied areas as bioengineering, circuit theory, communication sciences, computers and automata, control systems, electromagnetic fields, energy sources and systems, and materials and electronic devices is available. Two degree programs are offered by the School: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) and Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCmpE).

Engineers in both fields must have a strong background in mathematics and physics, a broad base in the humanities, and a command of the English language in order to provide the scope of knowledge essential for optimum professional growth. The curriculum offered by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering meets these objectives.

Graduates from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering are sought after by all major industries. Electrical engineers hold many unusual and challenging positions in the aerospace, chemical, nuclear, automotive, medical, metallurgical, textile, railway, petroleum, and other basically non-electrical industries, as well as in computers, electronics, communications, power, and other electrical industries. Their professional roles span industrial activity, research, development, design, production, marketing, operation, field testing, and maintenance of many types of equipment for government, industry, farm, and home.

Two degree programs are offered by the school:

Electrical Engineering encompasses the development, design, research, and operation of electrical and electronic systems and components. Disciplines include VLSI and circuit design, communication and signal processing, computer engineering, automatic control, fields and optics, energy sources and systems, and microelectronics and nanotechnology.

Computer Engineering is a specialization within electrical and computer engineering offering an in-depth education in both hardware and software aspects of modern computer systems.

Electrical and Computer Engineering provides students with a versatile education that will prove valuable looking toward a professional future.  Along with problem-solving and design skills, students develop a strong foundation in math, science, and core electrical/computer engineering fundamentals.  This skillset prepares them for research and development positions in industry, management, sales, teaching, medical school, and law school.

At Birck Nanotechnology Center, engineers and scientists conduct research in emerging fields where new materials and tiny structures are built atom by atom or molecule by molecule.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Website

Electrical and Computer Engineering Major Change (CODO) Requirements  

Degree Requirements

124 Credits Required

Required Major Courses (52 credits minimum)

An overall 2.00 cumulative GPA or better in these courses is required. Some courses have minimum grade requirements for prerequisites.

At least 32 credit hours must be completed at the Purdue West Lafayette campus.

Senior Design Requirement - Choose One Option (4 credits)

The Electrical Engineering Core Requirements listed above must be completed before taking Senior Design.

Electrical Engineering Electives (6-9 credits)

  • Select from the list of Electrical Engineering Electives (click here ) so that total credits for Required Major Courses is at least 52.
  • Must include at least three (3) Advanced-Level Laboratory courses. Advanced-Level Laboratory Courses taken as Advanced EE Selectives (ECE 36200, ECE 43800 and ECE 44000) also contribute to the Advanced-Level Laboratory requirement. No more than two (2) of these labs may be EE “Special Content” courses.
  • No more than 6 credit hours of EE “Special Content” courses can be used towards the 52 credit hours of Required Major Courses.

Other Department/Program Course Requirements (72 credits minimum)

Students must complete the First-Year Engineering   Requirements (29-30 credits).

(If pursuing Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, CS 15900 - Prog Appl for Engineers is required to graduate, but not required to complete the First Year Engineering program.)

General Engineering Requirement (3-6 credits)

Mathematics Requirement - Choose One Option (10-11 credits)

Calculus I and II must be completed as part of the First Year Engineering Requirements.

ECE General Education Requirement (17-18 credits)

While a comprehensive understanding of science and mathematics is central and foundational to effective engineering practice, real-world engineering problems are both complex and situated within dynamic social, political, and cultural contexts. Therefore, well-rounded engineering curricula must also include courses that encompass the breadth of human experience and culture, both past and present. Such courses may include, but are not limited to, those that explore individual behavior, social and political structures, aesthetic values, modes and dynamics of communication, philosophical and ethical thought, and cognitive processes. These types of courses provide engineering students with a framework for rational inquiry, critical evaluation, and judgment when dealing with issues that are non-quantifiable, ambiguous, and/or controversial. In addition, they offer engineering students the opportunity to develop interests and insights that will deepen their appreciation for the diversity of the world in which they live and work.

Based on these premises, the goals of the ECE General Education Program are to

  • Provide the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  • Support and complement the technical content of the engineering curricula through coursework that emphasizes such skills as written communication, oral communication, information literacy, cultural awareness, leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, and managing change.

These goals are consistent with the objectives of the College of Engineering’s Engineer of 2020 initiative (Engineering Faculty Document 15-06), as well as the objectives of Purdue University’s Undergraduate Outcomes-Based Curriculum (University Senate Document 11-7).

To these ends, all B.S. students in Electrical and Computer Engineering are required to complete the ECE General Education Program described below. This program is consistent with the College of Engineering General Education Program (Engineering Faculty Documents 43-13 and 39-14).

Foundational General Education Electives

Students must select from the list of courses approved by the University Curriculum Council (UCC) to satisfy each of the following six Foundational Learning Outcomes of the University Core Requirements - the Science and Quantitative Reasoning Foundational Outcomes are satisfied elsewhere in the BSCMPE curriculum. Some courses may have been approved to meet more than one of the Foundational Learning Outcomes, so fewer than six courses can be used to fulfill this condition. There is no minimum number of credit hours needed to satisfy this component of the College of Engineering General Education Program. If a course taken to fulfill some other EE/CMPE degree requirement has also been approved as satisfying one or more of these Engineering Foundational Learning Outcomes, then those Engineering Foundational Learning Outcomes need not be satisfied again within the ECE General Education Program. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in courses used to satisfy this component of the ECE General Education Program. The pertinent Foundational Learning Outcomes are defined as follows:

  • Written Communication (satisfied as an FYE requirement)
  • Oral Communication (satisfied as an FYE requirement)
  • Information Literacy (satisfied as an FYE requirement)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science
  • Science, Technology & Society

ECE General Education Electives

Students must take additional approved courses to reach the minimum requirement of 17-18 credit hours (the minimum is 17 credits if a 4 credit hour Written Communication Foundational Core course is taken in the First Year). Other courses, as approved by the ECE Curriculum Committee, may also be selected. See Additional Degree Requirements below to see the list of approved courses.

Advanced Level General Education Requirement

At least 6 of the 17-18 credit hours needed to satisfy the ECE General Education Requirement must come from courses at the 30000-level or above, or from courses with a required prerequisite in the same department.

Educational Diversity Requirement

At least 12 credit hours of the 17-18 credit hours needed to satisfy the ECE General Education Requirement must be taken from the College of Liberal Arts, the Krannert School of Management, and/or the Honors College - provided such courses are not focused primarily on engineering, technology, the natural sciences, or mathematics.

Complementary Electives (up to 5 credits)

Choose additional coursework to bring total credits to the minimum 124 required for the BSEE degree. Students should carefully select these courses to complement their personal interests and their academic record.

All courses, except those specifically excluded by the ECE Curriculum Committee, may be used as Complementary Electives (click here to view list).

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC)

Prerequisite Information:

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.


First Year Engineering Program Requirements

Fall 1st Year

13-14 Credits

Spring 1st Year

16 Credits

Electrical Engineering Program Requirements

Combined with two semesters for FYE above, the following is an example of a 4-year plan that satisfies the BSEE degree requirements. It assumes that CS 15900 and a 4 credit hour Written Communication Foundational Core course were taken in the First Year.

16 Credits

17 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

15 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

15 Credits

Fall 4th Year

16 Credits

Spring 4th Year

  • Advanced EE Selective with Adv Level Lab Credit Hours: 4.00

  • EE Elective with Adv Level Lab Credit Hours: 4.00

  • Engineering Breadth Selective Credit Hours: 3.00

  • ECE General Education Elective Credit Hours: 3.00

15 Credits

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.