BS CpE FAQ

What is CpE?

  • A degree program offered by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, with the support of the Computer Science Department, to provide students with broad knowledge in computer hardware design and software programming. The program was created to educate high skilled engineers in these complimentary areas of computer technology.
  • CpE has evolved into the design and implementation of distributed computing environments such as the Internet, communication and networking systems, mobile computing, advanced microprocessor systems for desktop and client/server computing, multimedia, integrated-circuit chip design, and high-speed processors for real-time applications.

What are the key features of the GMU CpE program?

  •   A program that provides broad education in computer hardware and software engineering.
  •   Dynamic new program tuned to leading edge technologies.
  •   Well balanced curriculum of core and advanced courses from CpE and CS
  •   Emphasis on design, analysis, application-oriented skills development and system integration.
  •   Many application areas such as mobile communications, network security, multimedia, control and robotics, photonic and microelectronics.
  •   Students choose the right balance between hardware design and programming applications.
  •   Flexibility to choose courses from ECE, CS and SE with one home department.
  •   Access to faculty and personal attention in small size classes.

What is the difference between CpE and CS?

    Both CpE and CS offer solid education in computer technologies. The emphasis of the two programs is somewhat different. Computer scientists primarily work on theoretical aspects of efficient computing, search and routing algorithms, databases, operating systems and high-level programming. Computer engineers focus on hardware design, microprocessors, high speed computing devices, high-speed switches for computer networks, and applications of high-level programming to signal processing, communications, and robotics. The two programs are complementary and enjoy some overlap. Often, computer engineers perform tasks of computer scientists and visa-versa.

Can I transfer from one program to the other?

    Yes. Students may transfer and receive credit for courses approved by the two departments.

Can I graduate with a double major in CpE and CS?

    Yes. If you satisfy the degree requirement in both departments you will graduate with a double major. The existing overlap in the two programs facilities accomplishing this goal. Generally fewer than 20 extra credit hours are required. See, for instance,  CpE-CS.pdf Sample Schedule

What are the benefits in graduating with a CpE degree?

  •   You are more likely to develop an engineering career centered on computers and their uses in one of the many application areas such as computer networks, mobile communications, biomedical engineering, and robotics.
  •   Your dual knowledge in computer hardware and software will make more job opportunities available to you.

Which jobs are available for CpE majors?

    With a degree in CpE, you will be able to perform most jobs available to CS majors. In addition, many other jobs requiring skills in hardware and computer engineering applications will be available to you.

Why should I seriously consider studying CpE at GMU?

  •   CpE is a new and dynamic program that provides dual education in computer engineering and sciences.
  •   CpE is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and in particular in northern Virginia with major companies located in this area.
  •   Many companies in the area offer part-time jobs in computer engineering.
  •   The university and local industry provide excellent environment to start your own business.