Nov 28, 2023  
2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog 
2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Engineering

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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Additional information about the Department and programs are available on the Web at

The mission of the Computer Engineering program is to provide quality education, research and public service in the discipline of computer engineering. Toward accomplishing this mission the Department has set the following objectives for its Computer Engineering curriculum:

  • To assist and encourage students in developing a solid foundation in computer engineering and some of its sub-disciplines.
  • To guide students in their preparation for a broad range of career opportunities.
  • To help students develop the ability to function in the workplace through teamwork and effective communication.
  • To help students become aware of their moral, ethical, legal, and professional obligations to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  • To help students develop an appreciation for the necessity of lifelong learning.

Program Description
The Computer Engineering curriculum provides students with the technical skills as well as the basic mathematical and scientific background required to advance current technology and to contribute to future developments in the computer engineering profession. The curriculum strives to instill critical written and oral communication skills in addition to providing a diverse background in the humanities and social sciences. Our graduates acquire a sense of professionalism as they become aware of an engineer’s responsibility to help solve societal problems. They also develop the ability to contribute to team solutions and an appreciation for the importance of life-long learning.

The curriculum adopts a practical hands-on approach that combines classroom theory and laboratory experience to produce an engineer who can carry a technical project from inception through to the implementation of a successful solution. The process begins in the first year of the program when students learn to prototype digital circuits and program micro-controller boards. It continues through the senior year when they complete their capstone design projects. In this latter case, students, usually working in two-person teams over three semesters, propose, specify, create, present, and demonstrate a solution to a technical problem of their choosing.

A double major leading to a BS in both Electrical and Computer Engineering is a popular option for many students. By a judicious choice of electives and early planning, this option can be achieved in an extra semester or by taking summer courses. Note that the first year curriculum is the same for electrical and computer engineers and that the sophomore year is very similar for the two majors. Students interested in the possibility of a double major should consult with their advisors early in their programs.

To obtain a BS in Computer Engineering, a student must: (1) meet all University academic requirements, (2) meet all Computer Engineering curriculum requirements, and (3) have a GPA of 2.0 or better in all ECE courses as well as a GPA of 2.0 or better in all COS courses. Deviation from the above policies requires approval of the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty. The undergraduate degree is accredited by the Engineering Association Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Our undergraduate program prepares students for graduate work as well as industry. Many of our students choose to pursue further study at graduate schools across the US as well as at Maine. Maine offers programs leading to advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. These programs are described in the University of Maine Graduate School online Catalog.

Cooperative “Work Experience” Program Option
Students are strongly encouraged to pursue a co-op work experience. These co-op experiences must be pre-approved by the student’s advisor and the co-op coordinator. They may be taken during the summer as well as the fall or spring semesters. Summer-fall and spring-summer placements are particularly worthwhile. To gain additional practical experience many undergraduate students take advantage of opportunities to work with ECE faculty on research and development projects. Because many of these projects are related to real-world problems and may actually be sponsored by industry, students gain invaluable insight into how to apply their classroom learning to solve industrial problems. The Department strongly encourages both of these approaches through advising and by giving technical elective credit for substantial experiences.

Employment Opportunities
The Computer Engineering Program provides its graduates with the knowledge necessary to design systems based on computers and complex digital logic devices. They know how to select and interconnect the electronic and mechanical devices that make up a computer-based system. A computer engineer, through knowledge of both software and hardware can develop a complete solution to a given problem by assigning some tasks to hardware and others to software. Systems designed by computer engineers find use in such diverse tasks as computation, communication, instrumentation, networking, entertainment, information processing, artificial intelligence, and control. Although trained in both hardware and software, some graduates choose to emphasize one area after graduation, pursuing for example a career involving just software development. Graduates find employment with local, national, and international companies as well as government agencies. Specific examples include IBM, Lockheed Martin, National Semiconductor, Compaq, Tundra Semiconductor, Motorola, Champion Paper, and Hewlett Packard. For more examples please visit our Department web page at  and click on the Alumni/ae link.

The department has several scholarships available on a competitive basis for students majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Outstanding incoming students should apply for college and departmental scholarships through the College of Engineering. Scholarship information is also available by following the “Perspective Students” link at the Department web page

Suggested curriculum for the B.S. in Computer Engineering

The recommended sequence of the four-year curriculum is shown below. An updated version with a current detailed explanation of other curricular requirements should be obtained from

There are many ways to arrange the curriculum to accommodate different goals. For example, one may obtain a double major, lighten the course load, or participate in a co-op work experience. Any variation from the above schedule should be done in consultation with the student’s advisor. Early consultation is particularly important if a co-op work experience or double major is being considered.

Second Year - First Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

Special Requirements:

Technical Electives
Students may use these courses to broaden their knowledge base or to specialize in areas like Industrial Control, Computer Hardware, Networking, Microelectronics, or Computer Graphics. Two technical electives must be ECE technical electives. Two technical electives may be selected from various engineering, math, computer science, or other technical offerings with the approval of the student’s advisor. One or two technical electives may be co-op work experience.

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