BS in Computer Engineering

The field of computer engineering can be described as a blend of electrical engineering and computer science. It is an amalgam of the computer hardware orientation of an electrical engineering program and the operating systems and languages of a computer science program. Computer engineers are involved in research, development, design, production, and operation of a wide variety of digital systems, from integrated circuits to computer systems and large-scale computer networks. Reflecting the industry trend to integrate hardware and software development, the computer engineering program is built around software running on advanced hardware that can simulate and assist in the design of new digital systems. Advanced software, such as VHDL, and software tools, such as logic and system design tools by Mentor Graphics and Cadence Design Systems, can be used to model hardware and hardware functionality from the system and architecture level down to the gate level and include relations to integrated circuit fabrication technology. Design and testing methodology involving these tools is taught in the program.

Career opportunities exist in engineering research and development, product design, digital system design and integration, engineering management, engineering consultancy, technical sales, and patent law, among others. The program provides a strong preparation for graduate study.

The curriculum provides a strong background in the fundamentals of computer engineering. A number of technical elective specializations are offered, ranging from strongly hardware-oriented to strongly software-oriented ones.  These include Computer Networks, Signal Processing, Integrated Circuits, and Robotics and Embedded Systems.  The curriculum includes 9 credits of senior technical electives, and 3 credits of senior advanced design project, which may be used for specialization in one of these technical areas.

The requirements for the degree may be satisfied on a part-time or co-op basis. Cooperative education provides students the opportunity to integrate paid career-related work experience with classroom learning.  Academic credit cannot be given for co-op experience.  In addition to the usual financial aid available to all students through the Office of Student Financial Aid, computer engineering majors are eligible to apply through the ECE Department for several scholarships provided by professional societies and industrial organizations, including the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

This undergraduate program offers students the option of applying to the accelerated master’s degree program.  See BS/Accelerated MS Programs for specific requirements.

The bachelor’s program in computer engineering at Mason is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  http://www.abet.org .

Program Educational Objectives

Program Educational Objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation. They are consistent with the mission of George Mason University and the Engineering Criteria of ABET.

Program Educational Objectives of each program are developed in consultation with program constituencies, which include students, alumni, employers, faculty and Department's Advisory Board and are periodically reviewed, revised and documented.

The objectives of both the Electrical Engineering program and the Computer Engineering program are the same.

These Program Educational Objectives are:

(The 2013 version, approved by ECE Advisory Board on March 9, 2013):

Graduates of the Computer Engineering and/or Electrical Engineering program are expected within three to five years of graduation to have:

  • Established themselves as successful and productive engineering professionals or engaged in advanced study such as a graduate degree program.
  • Worked effectively in team environments and individually.
  • Fulfilled their responsibilities in the areas of ethics, continuing professional development and effective communications.

Student Outcomes

ABET Student Outcomes (a)-(k)

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in aglobal, economic, environmental, and societal context
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

 

Degrees Awarded  (Annual data based on Summer, Fall, Spring semesters)


Degree Program 2012-2013 2011-2012 2010-2011 2009-2010 2008-2009
BS CpE 20 24 19 14 18

Current Enrollment (Spring 2014) 170 students