Electrical Engineering


What is Electrical Engineering?

The electronics age has been with us for many years now, and many of the new products you continue to see as a result of this age are created by electrical engineers.

Electrical engineers perform jobs such as developing new ways of making microchips, designing communications systems, using lasers and robots to solve problems, running our nation’s electric power distribution and telecommunications infrastructure and designing products such as automobile control systems, cellular phones, and biomedical devices.

Programming & Career Focus

Electrical engineers design electronic systems – nearly anything with an electron or photon – including circuits, power, nanotechnology, communication, biomedical, and information systems.

Curricula & CODA

  • EE Degree Curriculum (effective F’13)
  • Students who complete first-year engineering requirements can apply to CODA in the EE degree.
  • Also see ECE Academic Advising for more information.

Specialization Electives

EE requires two courses (6 hrs) selected from any ONE of the following areas.

  • Communication & Signal Processing Systems
  • Control Systems
  • Circuits & Electromagnetic Systems
  • Nano Systems
  • Power Systems

Total Credits

122 credit hrs minimum required to graduate

Dual Degree (Double Major)

  • 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)
  • Total Credit Hours: 131

Accelerated BS/MS

5-year BS/MS in Electrical or Computer Engineering

Renewable Electric Energy Systems

The REES (Renewable Electric Energy Systems) concentration is a set of elective coursework, within the EE major, which focuses on electromechanical energy conversion, renewable electric power systems, power electronics, and power transmission/ distribution systems.

Academic Minors


Freshman Year

Fall Semester Credit Spring Semester Credit
CH 101 Chemistry, A Molecular Science1 3 ECE 109 Intro to Computer Systems2 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Lab1 1 MA 241 Calculus II1 4
E 101 Intro to Engr & Prob Solving2 1 PY 205 Physics for Engineers & Scientists I1 3
E 115 Intro to Computing Environ2 1 PY 206 Physics for Engineers & Scientists I Lab 1
ENG 101 Academic Writing & Research2 4 Economics (EC 201/205, ARE 201) 3
MA 141 Calculus I1 4 HESF 10* HES Fitness Elective* 1
GEP Requirement* 3
17 15

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester Credit Spring Semester Credit
ECE 200 Intro to ECE Laboratory2 4 COM 110 Public Speaking 3
ECE 209 Computer Systems Programming2 3 ECE 211 Electric Circuits2 4
MA 242 Calculus III 4 ECE 212 Fund of Logic Des2 3
PY 208 Physics for Engineers & Scientists II 3 ECE 220 Analytical Found of ECE2 3
PY 209 Physics for Engineers & Scientists II Lab 1 GEP Requirement* 3
15 16

Junior Year

Fall Semester Credit Spring Semester Credit
ECE 301 Linear Systems 3 ECE 303 Electromagnetic Fields 3
ECE 302 Intro to Microelectronics 4 ECE 380 or 381 or 3834 1
ECE 3xx ECE Foundation Elective3 3 ECE 3xx ECE Foundation Elective3 3
ST 371 Intro to Prob & Dist Theory 3 Open/Technical Elective7 3
HES_***Health & Exercise Studies Course 1 ENG 331 Comm for Engr & Tech 3
GEP Requirement* 3
14 16

Senior Year

Fall Semester Credit Spring Semester Credit
ECE 484 ECC Senior Design Project I 3 ECE 485 ECE Senior Design Project II 3
ECE 4xx EE Elective5 3 ECE 4xx Elective6 3
ECE 4xx EE Elective5 3 ECE 4xx Elective6 3
Open/Technical Elective7 3 GEP Requirement* 3
GEP Requirement* 3 GEP Requirement* 2-3
15 14-15

Core Courses

ECE 109: Introduction to Computer Systems

Introduction to key concepts in computer systems. Number representations, switching circuits, logic design, microprocessor design, assembly language programming, input/output, interrupts and traps.

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ECE 200: Introduction to Signals, Circuits and Systems

Ohm's law and Kirchoff's laws; circuits with resistors, photocells, diodes and LEDs; rectifier circuits; first order RC circuits; periodic signals in time and frequency domains, instantaneous, real and apparent power; DC and RMS value; magnitude andpower spectra, dB, dBW, operational amplifier circuits, analog signal processing systems including amplification, clipping, filtering, addition, multiplication, AM modulation sampling and reconstruction. Weekly hardware laboratory utilizing multimeter, function generator, oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer and custom hardware for experiments on various circuits and systems.

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ECE 209: Computer Systems Programming

Computer systems programming using the C language. Translation of C into assembly language. Introduction to fundamental data structures: array, list, tree, hash table.

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ECE 211: Electric Circuits

Introduction to theory, analysis and design of electric circuits. Voltage, current, power, energy, resistance, capacitance, inductance. Kirchhoff's laws node analysis, mesh analysis, Thevenin's theorem, Norton's theorem, steady state and transient analysis, AC, DC, phasors, operational amplifiers, transfer functions.

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ECE 212: Fundamentals of Logic Design

Introduction to digital logic design. Boolean algebra, switching functions, Karnaugh maps, modular combinational circuit design, latches, flip-flops, finite state machines, synchronous sequential circuit design, datapaths, memory technologies, caches, and memory hierarchies. Use of several CAD tools for simulation, logic minimization, synthesis, state assignment, and technology mapping.

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ECE 220: Analytical Foundations of Electrical and Computer Engineering

This course is designed to acquaint you with the basic mathematical tools used in electrical and computer engineering. The concepts covered in this course will be used in higher level courses and, more importantly, throughout your career as an engineer. Major topics of the course include complex numbers, real and complex functions, signal representation, elementary matrix algebra, solutions to linear systems of equations, linear differential equations, laplace transforms used for solving linear differential equations, fourier series and transforms and their uses in solving ECE problems.

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ECE 301: Linear Systems

Representation and analysis of linear systems using differential equations: impulse response and convolution, Fourier series, and Fourier and Laplace transformations for discrete time and continuous time signals. Emphasis on interpreting system descriptions in terms of transient and steady-state response. Digital signal processing.

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ECE 302: Microelectronics

Introduction to the physics of semiconductors, diode (pn-junctions, and transistors (MOSFET, BJT): Physics of operation, I-V characteristics, circuit models, PSPICE analysis; diode circuits; Single Stage Transistor Amplifiers: Common Emitter, Common Source, Common Base, Common Gate, Common Collector and Common Drain configurations, biasing, calculations of small signal voltage gain and current gain, input and output resistances; Logic Inverters, CMOS logic.

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ECE 303: Electromagnetic Fields

This course prepared the students to formulate and solve electromagnetic problems relevant to all fields of electrical and computer engineering and that will find application in subsequent courses in RF circuits, photonics, microwaves, wireless networks, computers, bioengineering, and nanoelectronics. Primary topics include static electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations and force laws, wave propagation, reflection and refraction of plane waves, transient and steady-state behavior of waves on transmission lines.

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ECE 380: Engineering Progression for Electrical Engineers

Introduction to engineering as a profession including issues surrounding electrical engineering. Topics include professional and ethical responsibilities, risks and liabilities, intellectual property, and privacy. Economic issues including entrepreneurship and globalization.

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ECE 381: Engineering Profession for Computer Engineers

Introduction to engineering as a profession including issues surrounding computer engineering. Topics include professional and ethical responsibilities, risks and liabilities, intellectual property, and privacy. Economic issues including entrepreneurship and globalization.

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ECE 383: Introduction to Entrepreneurship and New Product Development

This course is part of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program. Students work as team members on projects being led by seniors completing their senior capstone design. Students will be exposed to many areas of product development and will assist in the design and implementation of the prototype product.

ECE 484: Senior Design Project I

Applications of engineering and basic sciences to the total design of electrical and/or computer engineering circuits and systems. Consideration of the design process including concept and feasibility study, systems design, detailed design, project management, cost effectiveness, along with development and evaluation of a prototype accomplished through design-team project activity. Supported with introduction to a parallel functions impacting engineering design process to including: industrial design, finance, operations, etc.

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ECE 485: Senior Design Project II

Applications of engineering and basic sciences to the total design of electrical engineering circuits and systems. Consideration of the design process including feasibility study, preliminary design detail, cost effectiveness, along with development and evaluation of a prototype accomplished through design-team project activity. Complete written and oral engineering report required.

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Foundation Electives

Choose two Foundation Electives

E 304: Introduction to Nano Science and Technology

Fundamentals Concepts of Nano-Science and Technology including scaling, nano-scale physics, materials, mechanics, electronics, heat transfer, photonics, fluidics, and biology. Applications of nano-technology.
Prerequisite: MA 242 and PY 208 with grade of C- or higher

ECE 305: Principles of Electromechanical Energy Conversion

Three-phase circuits and power flow, analysis of magnetic circuits, performance of single-phase and three-phase transformers, principles of electromechanical energy conversion, steady-state characteristics and performance of alternating current and direct current machinery.
Prerequisite: C- or better in ECE 211 or ECE 331

ECE 308: Elements of Control Systems

Analog system dynamics, open and closed loop control, block diagrams and signal flow graphs, input-output relationships, stability analyses using Routh-Hurwitz, root-locus and Nyquist, time and frequency domain analysis and design of analog control systems. Use of computer-aided analysis and design tools. Class project. EE, CPE, BME majors only.
Prerequisite: (ECE 220 and ECE 211) or BME 311; Co-requisite: ECE 301

Specialization Electives

Circuits & Electromagnetic Systems

ECE 403: Electronics Engineering

Design and analysis of discrete and integrated electronic circuits, from single-transistor stages to operational amplifiers, using bipolar and MOS devices. Feedback in operational amplifier circuits, compensation and stability. Laboratory design projects.

ECE 422: Transmission Lines and Antennas for Wireless

Review of time-varying electromagnetic theory. A study of the analytical techniques and the characteristics of several useful transmission lines and antennas. Examples are coaxial lines, waveguides, microstrip, optical fibers and dipole, monopole and array antennas.

Communications & Signal Processing Systems

ECE 402: Communications Engineering

An overview of digital communications for wireline and wireless channels which focuses on reliable data transmission in the presence of bandwidth constraints and noise. The emphasis is on the unifying principles common to all communications systems. Examples include digital telephony, compact discs, high-speed modems and satellite communications.

ECE 420: Wireless Communications Systems

A study of applications of communication theory and signal processing to wireless systems. Topics include an introduction to information theory and coding, basics and channel models for wireless communications, and some important wireless communication techniques including spread-spectrum and OFDM.

ECE 421: Intro to Signal Processing

Concepts of electrical digital signal processing: Discrete-Time Signals and Systems, Z-Transform, Frequency Analysis of Signals and Systems, Digital Filter Design. Analog-to Digital-to-Analog Conversion, Discrete Fourier Transform. Two major design projects.

Control Systems

ECE 436: Digital Control Systems

Discrete systems dynamics, sampled-data systems, mathematical representations of analog/digital and digital/analog conversions, open- and closed-loop systems, input-output relationships, state-space and stability analyses, time- and frequency-domain analyses. Design and implementation of digital controllers.

ECE 455: Computer Control of Robots

Techniques of computer control of industrial robots: interfacing with synchronous hardware including analog/digital and digital/analog converters, interfacing noise problems, control of electric and hydraulic actuators, kinematics and kinetics of robots, path control, force control, sensing including vision. Major design project.

ECE 456: Mechatronics

The study of electro-mechanical systems controlled by microcomputer technology. The theory, design and construction of smart systems; closely coupled and fully integrated products and systems. The synergistic integration of mechanisms, materials, sensors, interfaces, actuators, microcomputers, controllers, and information technology. Credit is not allowed for both ECE 456 and ECE 556.

Nano Systems

ECE 404: Intro to Solid-State Devices

Basic principles required to understand the operation of solid-state devices. Semiconductor device equations developed from fundamental concepts. P-N junction theory developed and applied to the analysis of devices such as varactors, detectors, solar cells, bipolar transistors, field-effect transistors. Emphasis on device physics rather than circuit applications.

ECE 423: Optical Communications and Photonics

This course investigates photonic devices at the component level and examines the generation, propagation, and detection of light in the context of optical communication systems. Topics include the design of simple optical systems and focuses on the use of lasers, fiber optics, and photodetectors. The labs include building a Michelson interferometer, preparing and coupling light to an optical fiber, characterizing LEDs and laser diodes and making a fiber optical link.

ECE 442: Integrated Circuit Technology and Fabrication

Semiconductor device and integrated-circuit processing and technology. Wafer specification and preparation, oxidation, diffusion, ion implantation, photolithography, design rules and measurement techniques.

ECE 468: Conventional and Emerging Nanomanufacturing Techniques and Their Applications in Nanosystems

Conventional and emerging nano-manufacturing techniques and their applications in the fabrication of various structures and devices. Review of techniques for patterning, deposition, and etching of thin films including emerging techniques such as an imprint and soft lithography and other unconventional techniques. Electronic and mechanical properties of 0 to 3-D nanostructures and their applications in nano-electronics, MEMS/NEMS devices, sensing, energy harvesting, storage, flexible electronics and nano-medicine. Credit is not allowed for both ECE 468 and ECE 568.

Power Systems

ECE 434: Fundamentals of Power Electronics

Design, analysis, modeling and control of DC-DC converters, DC-AC inverters, AC-DC rectifiers/converters, and AC-to-AC converters. Power conversion using switched high-voltage high-current semiconductors in combination with inductors and capacitors. Design of DC-DC, DC-AC, AC-DC, and AC-AC power converters as well as an introduction to design of magnetic components for use in power converters, applications to fuel cells, photovoltaics, motor drives, and uninterruptable power supplies.

ECE 451: Power Systems Analysis

Long-distance transmission of electric power with emphasis on load flow, economic dispatch, fault calculations and system stability. Applications of digital computers to power-system problems. Major design project.

ECE 452: Renewable Electric Energy Systems

Principles and characteristics of renewable energy based electric power generation technologies such as photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, and fuel cells. Main system design issues. Integration of these energy sources into the power grid. Economics of distributed generation. Credit is not allowed for both ECE 452 and ECE 552.

ECE 453: Electric Motor Drives

Principles of electromechanical energy conversion; analysis, modeling, and control of electric machinery; steady state performance characteristics of direct-current, induction, synchronous and reluctance machines; scalar control of induction machines; introduction to direct- and quadrature-axis theory; dynamic models of induction and synchronous motors; vector control of induction and synchronous motors.

© NC State University. All rights reserved.

© NC State University. All rights reserved.