Undergraduate Studies

Electrical and computer engineers enjoy flexibility in career options and many engineering careers turn toward management as they mature. NC State University is known worldwide for providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary in all aspects of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
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What’s Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineers design many of the systems that we use every day, including the nation’s electrical power grid, computer systems, cell phones, communications satellites, biomedical devices, automatic control systems, robotics, nanotechnology, renewable energy, and much more. Our students use scientific and engineering principles to design new and better electronics, solve real-world challenges, and improve our quality of life.

What’s Computer Engineering?

Computer engineers design computers and computer-based systems, and their work impacts nearly every aspect of modern technology: the Internet, smartphones, video games, 3DTV, biomedical equipment, autonomous vehicles, WiFi and cellular networks, and much more. Computer engineers are, first and foremost problem solvers – they make computers work better, faster and more efficiently. Computer engineering is among the most lucrative fields in engineering, according to Forbes magazine.

Unlike electrical engineering or computer science, computer engineering primarily deals with how to build computer systems, hence there is more emphasis on hardware and low-level software that make up the systems. In contrast, computer science explores how to process information using computer systems, thus leading to a focus in software.

Revolutionize the nation’s power grid

Build the most powerful supercomputer in the world

Work on the next-generation smartphone

Invent a device capable of diagnosing tuberculosis in seconds

Launch a start-up that becomes the next big thing

ECE Graduates solve problems
and change the world everyday.

What do you want to fix?

Powered by Renewable Energy.

ECE has partnered with the Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) to offer an undergraduate concentration in Renewable Electric Energy Systems (REES). This concentration enables students to understand how to generate secure, sustainable, and environmentally friendly energy to significantly improve U.S. energy independence and reduce carbon emissions.

Your Health. Our Technology.

Our students can minor in Nano Science and Technology through our Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST). Students will be trained in the fundamentals of nano-scale materials, devices, and systems for a broad variety of applications within the world of wearable health monitoring systems – preparing them to contribute to this global industry.

NC State is consistently ranked in the top ECE programs in the United States. We not only teach students the fundamentals of engineering, we give students the ability to expand and develop their own creative capabilities. Our program also strives to develop each student’s skills in all aspects of the field. This enables students to broaden their realm of knowledge to include a variety of issues that they will face in their future careers.


Stringent Accreditation

Both the Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering programs at NC State are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET


In late 2016, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering opened the ECE MakerSpace in Engineering Building II, consisting of two facilities – the Robert M. Kolbas MakerSpace, and the William F. Troxler MakerSpace. The two spaces serve to provide all of the resources students need to realize electronics and fabrication projects, both for Senior Design and other coursework as well as extracurricular and personal experimentation and creation.

The Kolbas MakerSpace provides all the tools required for students to work on electrical projects with state-of-the-art testing and soldering stations, in addition to multiple 3-D printers to aid in prototyping. The Troxler MakerSpace allows for fully-fledged fabrication with a complete wood and metal workshop.

The MakerSpace will enable and encourage students to be involved in hands-on engineering projects in their coursework and of personal interest.

Hands-on Education

Student learn best by doing, so ECE has adopted the Analog Discovery unit throughout our curricula, aiming to accelerate and deepen learning, and have more fun.

The Analog Discovery 2 is a portable and full-featured toolbox that can measure, visualize, generate, record, and control both analog and digital signals. It packs enough punch that it can be used to study and design the vast majority of circuits and signals in our ECE program, augmenting hands-on experiences with traditional desktop workstations.

Senior Design Project

The ECE Senior Design experience is a two semester course (ECE 484\ECE485) designed to prepare students for the workplace through hands on experience in the design and development of a real world solution. Students learn about the product life cycle and about development processes utilizing system engineering and project management techniques.

Students working in teams start with a problem statement, then define product requirements, evaluate possible solutions and perform design tradeoff analyses, then define a system solution, develop a project plan, and share a presentation of their system design and plan at a design review. Next students complete their detailed design and then build a working prototype and verify their solution. Students then present their prototype solutions at Engineering Design Day.

Finally, students document their design process and design solution in a final report. The final report also includes a summary of lessons learned and possible future enhancements.

Your Return on Investment

Earning potential for Electrical and Computer Engineers in the twenty-first century is excellent. The average first term co-op (cooperation education) earns approximately $18.00/hour.

  • New BS graduates start out earning an average of $58,000 per year.
  • The new MS graduate earns an average of $71,000 per year.
  • Graduates who acquire a PhD start at average earnings above $80,000 per year.

Both degrees are also excellent entry points for careers in patent law, business, management, or medicine. The opportunity to develop new technologies and improve existing ones help to make a career in ECE both challenging and exciting. Our graduates don't just work with tomorrow's technology, they create it.

Average Starting Salaries

Double Major (EE & CPE)

Students who complete first-year engineering requirements can apply to CODA in the EE/CPE Dual Degree program.

The curriculum follows the CPE curriculum, taking ECE 303 as the open elective, and adding three extra classes (1 foundation elective and 2 EE electives)

Transferring from an Outside Institution

If you are a student seeking to transfer into the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University from an outside college or university, you should know how classes taken at an external institution transfer over as credit into the NC State Credit System. Follow this link for a list of AP scores that qualify for meeting transfer admission coursework requirements.

College-level work must be completed with a C or better grade at a regionally accredited institution to be considered for admission/transfer credit. Work completed in technical programs is not considered for transfer credit or GPA calculation. Credits awarded by another institution without a letter grade of C or higher cannot be used to meet admissions requirements.

You can browse Admissions Databases which detail which courses from other institutions with transfer to NC State.

Two Degrees, Two Institutions, Same Time

The 2+2 and 3+2 Programs were created in order to accommodate students who were interested in pursuing an engineering degree but are physically attending a different university or community college in North Carolina. This way, the first two years of the students education would be completed at the other North Carolina location and would then be able to finish their degree at NC State Univerisity.

Because of these programs, it becomes possible for universities that do not have a full-fledged engineering program to provide their students with the ability to pursue their dreams.

2+2 Program

Applying to the 2+2 program is easy. There is no special application process outside of simply applying to UNC Asheville, UNC Wilmington, or Craven Community College. Be sure to specify engineering as the program of interest as well as contacting the location’s engineering advisor before course pre-registration.

3+2 Programs

A dual Bachelor of Science degree in physics and electrical engineering is provided through an agreement between the NC Central University’s Department of Mathematics and Physics and the NC State. Students are admitted to NCCU, where they complete three years of their physics curriculum before transferring to NC State for completion of requirements for both degrees over the next two years.

Students attending Meredith who aspire to a career in engineering have the unique opportunity to enroll in the dual degree engineering program — simultaneously completing the academic requirements of each school to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Meredith and a Bachelor of Science degree from NC State in five years.

Get Your Master’s Degree at the Same Time

The Accelerated BS and MS degree program allows exceptional juniors and seniors in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at NCSU to count up to four graduate ECE courses, not exceeding 12 credit hours, toward the credits required for the both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree in either Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering. Juniors and seniors with 75 or more credit hours, an overall GPA of 3.5, and a major GPA of 3.5 may apply.

CPE students may replace the one required technical elective and three of the required specialization electives with four ECE 500 level courses (12 credits) and these classes may be “double counted” toward also satisfying the master’s degree requirements. Similarly, EE students may replace the two required technical electives and two of the required specialization electives with graduate ECE classes.

Degree Requirements

CPE students may replace the one required technical elective and three of the required specialization electives with four ECE 500 level courses (12 credits) and these classes may be “double counted” toward also satisfying the master’s degree requirements. Similarly, EE students may replace the two required technical electives and two of the required specialization electives with graduate ECE classes.

However, students may not receive credit for both with any of the following pairs of courses (the list is subject to revision):

  • ECE 455 and ECE 555
  • ECE 463 and ECE 521
  • ECE 464 and ECE 520
  • ECE 466 and ECE 566
  • ECE 492D and ECE 561

This program will follow the ABM Program description and rules as recommended by the Administrative Board of the Graduate School on March 7, 2002, or as subsequently revised. The program description is in the University’s Graduate Handbook in chapter 3, section 3.12. Students applying for the program should read the description and rules carefully. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will not seek exceptions to the requirements and stipulations stated in the handbook.

“Your five-year master’s program is really well constructed and it serves people extremely well. I can’t imagine there being a higher return on investment that you could do for your career. I can’t imagine a better value in education.”

Jason Rhodes, Ph.D. 1995

CEO, Cirrus Logic

How To Apply

To learn more about applying to the ABM program, please refer to Procedures for Students Interested in ABM Program.

You will need to:

  • Meet with the Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, Ms. Cecilia Townsend, to discuss undergraduate course requirements and meet with Assistant Director of Graduate Programs, Dr. Ginger Yu, to discuss graduate course requirements.
  • Develop an ABM plan of work to be signed by both the Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs and the Assistant Director of Graduate Programs.
  • Apply to the Graduate School and pay the application fee. Your application date should be the first day of the semester immediately following your undergraduate (bachelor’s of science) commencement.
Department Information

Department Information

Undergraduate Information

Undergraduate Information

Undergraduate Curriculum

Undergraduate Curriculum

Renewable Electric Energy Systems

Renewable Electric Energy Systems

ECE Senior Design Overview

ECE Senior Design Overview

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