Dwight Look College of Engineering

Curricula in Computer Engineering

The Computer Engineering curricula provide a balanced view of hardware, software, hardware-software trade-offs, analysis, design, and implementation techniques. It is a dynamic and broadly interdisciplinary field that continues to experience rapid professional growth that impacts every area of human endeavor.

Program Mission

The mission of the Computer Engineering program is to provide students with an education that ensures an excellent understanding of hardware and software systems and the necessary system design and development skills, and that fosters professional curiosity and imagination that drives them throughout their career.

The program will stimulate and challenge the students with an exceptional, highly motivated faculty that shares its knowledge and excitement about Computer Engineering, well designed undergraduate and graduate curricula, research opportunities at all levels, and a first-class educational infrastructure.

The program strives to produce graduates who are well prepared to excel in industry, academia and government, and who will take on leadership roles in shaping the technological landscape of the future.

Education Program Objectives

In support of this mission, the Computer Engineering program has defined the following educational objectives:

  1. Graduates of the program will have the necessary knowledge, both in breadth and depth, to pursue the practice, or advanced study, of Computer Engineering.
  2. Graduates of the program will understand the importance of life-long learning, and be prepared to learn and understand new technological developments in their field.
  3. Graduates of the program will understand the technical, social and ethical context of their engineering contributions.
  4. Graduates of the program will develop the communication, teamwork, and leadership skills necessary to carry on the legacy of excellence of an Aggie Engineer.

The program periodically evaluates these objectives and assesses the level at which they are met. Input in this ongoing effort is provided by alumni, employers and recruiters, the faculty, and by external advisors to the program. This feedback drives the continuous improvement both of individual courses and of the overall curriculum. For more information on this process contact the Computer Engineering Program Web site at ece.tamu.edu.

Details of the Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to cover the engineering aspects of both hardware and software—a total computer systems perspective. All computer engineering students take courses in the following areas: electrical circuits, electronics, digital circuits, computer architecture ranging from microcomputers to mainframes, interfacing, programming languages ranging from assembler to high level, data structures, analysis of algorithms, operating systems, software engineering and microcomputer systems. A solid foundation in the basic sciences of physics, chemistry and mathematics is used to support these courses.

There are two distinct tracks in this curriculum, the Electrical Engineering Track and the Computer Science Track, both culminating in the same Computer Engineering degree. The tracks are substantially similar, each providing a broad coverage of the computer engineering discipline, but each has a slightly different emphasis. Note that students in either track can take courses from the other as electives, or they can use their electives to further specialize within their own track. Although students are required to select a track immediately upon entering the Computer Engineering program, it is usually possible to change tracks as late as the junior year.

The Electrical Engineering track of the Computer Engineering degree places stronger emphasis on digital Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuits and systems, microprocessor interfacing and system design, and computer system architecture and design. The track is primarily administered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is designed to encompass nearly all of the core material of the Electrical Engineering degree but provides much more depth in computing than is possible within the context of an Electrical Engineering degree.

The Computer Science track of the Computer Engineering degree provides students the freedom to enhance their knowledge in the broad range of topics comprising Computer Engineering: computer networks, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, computer graphics, robotics, real-time computing, computer languages, microcomputers, VLSI, and large-scale hardware and software systems. The track is primarily administered by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and encompasses nearly all of the core material of the Computer Science degree, but its greater emphasis on design and engineering fundamentals prepares the student for registration as a professional engineer.

Throughout this program, the student works with state-of-the-art computers and laboratory equipment and is exposed to the most recent analytical techniques and technological developments. Significant association with the program's faculty, who are actively engaged in research and professional consulting activities, serves to acquaint the student with the opportunities and rewards available to the practicing Computer Engineering professional.