Electrical engineering is a major field of modern technology. Electrical engineers are involved in research, development, design, production, and operation of a wide variety of devices and systems, including reliable, secure, and high-speed communication networks, autonomous vehicles, robots, multi-agent systems, nanoscale integrated circuits as well as sensors that are essential to the internet-of-things. Other technologies in electrical engineering include smartphones, tablets and other modern computing platforms, as well as wearable technology such as health-monitoring wristbands, biomedical systems such as prosthetic devices, and brain-machine interfaces.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is staffed by 33 full-time professors and several part-time professors.

The bachelor's program in electrical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

Career Opportunities

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

Specializations

The curriculum provides a strong background in the fundamentals of electrical engineering and senior-level courses in the areas of electronics, networks, communications and signal processing, bioengineering, computer engineering, and controls and robotics. Further, the curriculum includes 12 credits of senior technical electives, 2 credits of advanced engineering labs, and 3 credits of senior advanced design project, which may be used for further specialization in one of these areas.

Additional Information

Degree requirements may be satisfied on a full-time or part-time basis. Cooperative education provides students with the opportunity to integrate paid career-related work experience with classroom learning. Academic credit towards the completion of major requirements is not given for co-op experience. In addition to the usual financial aid available through the Office of Student Financial Aid, electrical engineering majors are encouraged to apply for scholarships provided by various professional societies and industrial organizations in their field.

Policies

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Mason's writing-intensive requirement is satisfied by the following two courses: ECE 333 Linear Electronics I and ECE 491 Engineering Seminar in which faculty provide writing instruction and feedback on student technical writing assignments. Drafts and revisions are required.

Change of Major

See Change of Major for more information. 

Double Major and Minor Programs for Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering

Electrical Engineering majors and Computer Engineering majors can earn degrees with double majors in a number of disciplines. Computer Engineering and Computer Science are frequently combined. Electrical Engineering has been combined with Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics or Math. Details are available in the department brochures or at the Volgenau School web site volgenau.gmu.edu. There are several minors available for students in the ECE Department including the Mechanical Engineering minor, Bioengineering minor, and others as listed in the catalog.

Grade Requirements

All electrical engineering students are strongly encouraged to see their major faculty advisor before course registration each semester.

Students must complete each ECE, ENGR, BENG, CS, MATH, PHYS, and STAT course presented as part of the required 121 credits for the degree with a grade of C or better.

Students must also complete any course required by the program that is a prerequisite to another course applicable to the degree with a grade of C or better.

Termination from the Major

No math, science, or Volgenau School of Engineering course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. Undeclared students in the Volgenau School who do not successfully complete a course required for a Volgenau School major within three attempts will also be terminated. For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

Once a student has attempted one of these courses twice unsuccessfully, the third attempt must be no later than the next semester of enrollment, excluding summers. Failure to take the course at that time will result in termination from the major. If the student is unable to take the course when required, the student may request an extension to a future semester; extensions require approval of the student's advisor, their department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The deadline for extension requests is the add deadline for the semester in which the course is required.

Students who have been terminated from a Volgenau School of Engineering major may not register for a Volgenau School course without permission of the department offering the course. This applies to all undergraduate courses offered by the Volgenau School except IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core) and STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)

A student may not declare any major in the Volgenau School of Engineering if the student has previously met the termination criteria for that major at any time, regardless of what the student's major was at the time the courses were taken.

Banner Code: VS-BS-ELEN

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 121

Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 101Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering3
ECE 201Introduction to Signals and Systems3
ECE 220Continuous-Time Signals and Systems3
ECE 285Electric Circuit Analysis I3
ECE 286Electric Circuit Analysis II3
ECE 305Electromagnetic Theory3
ECE 331Digital System Design3
ECE 332Digital Electronics and Logic Design Lab1
ECE 333Linear Electronics I3
ECE 334Linear Electronics Lab I1
ECE 421Classical Systems and Control Theory3
ECE 433Linear Electronics II3
ECE 445Computer Organization3
ECE 460Communication and Information Theory3
ECE 491Engineering Seminar1
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core) 11
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)2
Total Credits42
1

Students who would like to complete a more challenging senior design project have the option of enrolling in ECE 392 Engineering Design Studio to gain a semester head start in the design process.

Technical Electives

Four technical elective courses totaling 12 credit hours must be selected from the list below. Up to 3 credits of ECE 499 Special Topics in Electrical Engineering courses may be taken as technical electives. ECE 447 Single-Chip Microcomputers and ECE 448 FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL, which are 4-credit courses with built-in labs, can be used to fulfill one technical elective and one advanced lab requirement. Some graduate courses and courses outside the ECE department may be taken to fulfill the technical elective requirement with the permission of the department. The decision to approve more than 3 credits of ECE 499 Special Topics in Electrical Engineering, non-ECE courses as well as graduate courses as technical electives is at the discretion of the department based on a review of the course content and the student's academic record.

Select 12 credit hours from the following:12
Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces
Robot Design
Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing
Digital Control Systems
Principles of Semiconductor Devices
Digital Circuit Design
Device Driver Development
Single-Chip Microcomputers
FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL
Mobile Robots
Data and Computer Communications
Digital Communications Systems
Computer Networking Protocols
Introduction to Humanoid Robotics
Special Topics in Electrical Engineering
Total Credits12

Advanced Engineering Labs

Select two advanced labs from the following:2
Control Systems Lab
Linear Electronics II Laboratory
Single-Chip Microcomputers 1
FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL 1
Communication Engineering Laboratory
Network Implementation Laboratory
Total Credits2
1

Fulfills 3 credits of technical electives and 1 credit of advanced lab.

Computer Science

CS 112Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)4
CS 222Computer Programming for Engineers3
Total Credits7

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 214Elementary Differential Equations3
STAT 346Probability for Engineers3
Total Credits20

Physics

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 262University Physics III (Mason Core)3
PHYS 263University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Total Credits12

Engineering

ENGR 107Introduction to Engineering (Mason Core)2
Total Credits2

English, Communication, and Economics

ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core) (Natural Sciences and Technology section)3
COMM 100Public Speaking (Mason Core)3
or COMM 101 Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
Total Credits9

Additional Mason Core

Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements.  Mason Core courses should be selected from the department's list of approved courses. The Synthesis Mason Core requirement is satisfied by ECE 492 Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core) and ECE 493 RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core). All students must submit at least 24 credits of social science and humanities coursework, which is normally satisfied by the 24 credits of Mason Core social science and humanities courses listed here and in previous sections.

Written Communication 13
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Global Understanding3
Total Credits15
1

Lower-level requirement.

Concentrations

Concentrations are available in the electrical engineering baccalaureate program. Completion of specific science courses and senior-level courses leads to one of these designations on the student's transcript on graduation. Concentration requirements may also meet some or all of the Advanced Engineering Lab and Technical Elective requirements.

Available Concentrations

Concentration in Bioengineering (BIOE)

BENG 301Bioengineering Measurements3
BENG 302Bioengineering Measurements Lab1
ECE 434Linear Electronics II Laboratory1
or ECE 429 Control Systems Lab
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core) 12
Select two from the following:6
Modeling and Control of Physiological Systems
Physiology for Engineers
Introduction to Biomechanics
Bioinformatics for Engineers
Neural Engineering
Special Topics in Bioengineering 2,3
Medical Imaging
Selected Topics in Bioengineering
Special Topics in Electrical Engineering 1,2,3
Selected Topics in Engineering 1,2
Total Credits14
1

Bioengineering topic only.

2

Must be pre-approved by department.

3

For a minimum of 3 credits.

Concentration in Communications and Signal Processing (CSP)

ECE 461Communication Engineering Laboratory1
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core) 12
Select three from the following:9
Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing
Data and Computer Communications
Digital Communications Systems
Computer Networking Protocols
Special Topics in Electrical Engineering 1,2,3
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Digital Signal Processing
Optical Fiber Communications
Selected Topics in Engineering 1,2
Wave Motion and Electromagnetic Radiation
Cryptography and Computer Network Security
Total Credits13
1

Communications and signal processing topic only.

2

Must be pre-approved by department.

3

For a minimum of 3 credits.

Concentration in Computer Engineering (CPE)

ECE 447Single-Chip Microcomputers4
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core) 12
Select two from the following:6-7
Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces
Digital Circuit Design
Device Driver Development
FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL
Mobile Robots
Special Topics in Electrical Engineering 1,2,3
Real-Time Concepts
Sequential Machine Theory
Selected Topics in Engineering 1,2
Operating Systems
Total Credits13-14
1

Computer engineering topic only. 

2

Must be pre-approved by department.

3

For a minimum of 3 credits.

Concentration in Control Systems (CON)

ECE 429Control Systems Lab1
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core) 12
Select three from the following:9-10
Robot Design
Digital Control Systems
Single-Chip Microcomputers
Mobile Robots
Introduction to Humanoid Robotics
Special Topics in Electrical Engineering 1,2,3
Microprocessors
Linear Systems and Control
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Selected Topics in Engineering 1,2
Total Credits13-14
1

Control systems topic only

2

Must be pre-approved by department.

3

For a minimum of 3 credits. 

Concentration in Electronics (ELE)

ECE 434Linear Electronics II Laboratory1
or ECE 435 Digital Circuit Design Laboratory
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core) 12
Select three from the following:9-10
Principles of Semiconductor Devices
Digital Circuit Design
Single-Chip Microcomputers
FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL
Special Topics in Electrical Engineering 1,2,3
Applied Electromagnetic Theory
Introduction to Optical Electronics
Optical Fiber Communications
Semiconductor Device Fundamentals
Digital Integrated Circuits
Design of Analog Integrated Circuits
Selected Topics in Engineering 1,2
Wave Motion and Electromagnetic Radiation
Modern Physics with Applications
Total Credits13-14
1

Electronics topic only.

2

Must be pre-approved by department.

3

For a minimum of 3 credits.

BS (selected)/Operations Research, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in selected BS programs (see below) have the option of obtaining an accelerated Operations Research, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Mason undergraduate students majoring in the following disciplines may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30 and completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Operations Research, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Up to two courses (6 credits) of approved master's level courses taken as part of the undergraduate degree may be applied to the graduate degree. These two courses may be chosen from the graduate courses in the following table.

For BS candidates, these graduate courses replace the corresponding undergraduate courses. The undergraduate version of these courses may not be applied to the MS degree.

Undergraduate Graduate  
SYST 420 SYST 521 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 473 SYST 573 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 441 OR 541 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 442 OR 542 Credit may not be received for both courses.

Any other 500-level course may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees with approval of the advisor and SEOR department chair.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

BS (selected)/Statistical Science, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in selected BS programs (see below) have the option of obtaining an accelerated Statistical Science, MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students enrolled in a BS degree in any one of the Volgenau School major areas, in the Mathematics, BS program from the College of Science, or in the Economics, BS program from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of 3.00. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Statistical Science, MS program, which include successful completion of the following Mason courses each with a grade of C or better:

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
or MATH 321 Abstract Algebra
STAT 250Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)3
or STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
STAT 346Probability for Engineers3
or MATH 351 Probability

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlapping with grades of B or better in two 500-level STAT courses selected from STAT 544 Applied ProbabilitySTAT 554 Applied Statistics I, and STAT 574 Survey Sampling I.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and Graduate Recruitment and Enrollment Services. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

BS (selected)/Systems Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in selected BS programs (see below) have the option of obtaining an accelerated Systems Engineering, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Mason undergraduate students majoring in computer engineeringcomputer science, or electrical engineering may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30 and completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Systems Engineering, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Up to two courses (6 credits) of approved master's level courses taken as part of the undergraduate degree may be applied to the graduate degree. These two courses may be chosen from the graduate courses in the following table.

For BS candidates, these graduate courses replace the corresponding undergraduate courses listed. The undergraduate version of these courses may not be applied toward the MS degree.

Undergraduate Graduate  
SYST 420 SYST 521 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 473 SYST 573 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 441 OR 541 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 442 OR 542 Credit may not be received for both courses.

Any other 500-level course may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees with approval of the advisor and SEOR department chair.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Electrical Engineering, BS/Electrical Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Electrical Engineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Electrical Engineering, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Electrical Engineering, BS program may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of 3.25. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Electrical Engineering, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy the requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlap.

Students take 6 credits of 500-level courses as part of their technical electives or substitutes for required courses as part of their 121-credit undergraduate program. The specific courses that may be taken and applied to the accelerated program will be specified by the ECE Department.

Students admitted to the accelerated program must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.25 during the entire BS/MS program and present a GPA of at least 3.25 for the 24 credits of graduate work submitted for the MS degree.

Students may take additional graduate-level courses as part of their BS technical electives with advisor approval. These additional graduate-level courses will not count toward the MS degree.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Electrical Engineering, BS/Telecommunications, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Electrical Engineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Telecommunications, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students can apply for the program during the semester in which they expect to complete 90 undergraduate credits applicable toward the BS degree. An overall GPA of at least 3.10 at the time of application is required. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the MS in Telecommunications Program. Application is made using the accelerated graduate program application forms, and all usual requirements must be met. The accelerated program application form specifies the overlapping courses and details the 3.10 undergraduate GPA.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete 145 credits that satisfy all the requirements for the BS and MS degrees, with 6 credits overlap. Students take 6 credits of 500-level courses as part of their technical electives or substitutes for required courses as part of their 121-credit undergraduate program. Students may take additional graduate-level courses as part of their BS technical electives with advisor approval. These additional graduate-level courses will not count toward the MS degree. Students admitted to the accelerated program must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.00 during the MS program and present a GPA of at least 3.00 for the 24 credits of graduate work submitted for the MS degree.

Select 6 credits from the following:6
The TCP/IP Suite of Internet Protocols
Digital Communication Systems
Or approved substitutions
Total Credits6

Degree Conferral

Students must apply to have the BS conferred the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements. At the completion of the MS requirements, the MS degree will be awarded.