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, http://www.abet.org.

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 9 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. 

In addition, students in the Volgenau School with evidence of continued failure to make adequate progress toward declaring or completing a Volgenau School major will also be terminated. Adequate progress is determined by the major program. 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. A third attempt of a Volgenau School of Engineering course requires support by the student's major department as well as permission by the department offering the course. This permission is not guaranteed. 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 350Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces3
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 Credits45

Technical Electives

Three technical elective courses totaling 9 credit hours must be selected from the list below. Up to 3 credits of ECE 499 Special Topics in Electrical and Computer 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 and Computer 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 9 credit hours from the following:9
Robot Design
Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing
Power System Analysis
Digital Control Systems
Modern Control Systems Design
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 and Computer Engineering
Secure RF Communications
Cryptography Fundamentals
The following 500-level courses may also be taken (with prior approval of the department):
Internet of Things
Real-Time Concepts
Computer Architecture
Applied Electromagnetic Theory
Linear Systems and Control
Neural Engineering
Learning From Data
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sensor Engineering
Introduction to Wireless Communications and Networks
Digital Signal Processing
Medical Imaging
Computer Network Architectures and Protocols
Sequential Machine Theory
System Engineering Design
Introduction to Optical Electronics
Optical Fiber Communications
Semiconductor Device Fundamentals
Digital Integrated Circuits
Design of Analog Integrated Circuits
Selected Topics in Engineering
Total Credits9

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

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

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 Communications and Signal Processing (CSP)

Required Courses:7
Continuous-Time Signals and Systems
Communication and Information Theory
Communication Engineering Laboratory
Network Implementation Laboratory
Select three from the following:9
Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing
Secure RF Communications
Data and Computer Communications
Digital Communications Systems
Computer Networking Protocols
Cryptography Fundamentals
Wave Motion and Electromagnetic Radiation
Learning From Data
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Introduction to Wireless Communications and Networks
Digital Signal Processing
Optical Fiber Communications
Total Credits16

Concentration in Computer Engineering (CPE)

Required Courses:7
Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces
Single-Chip Microcomputers
Select two from the following:6-7
Digital Circuit Design
Device Driver Development
FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL
Operating Systems
Cryptography Fundamentals
Hardware Security
Internet of Things
Real-Time Concepts
Computer Architecture
Mobile Systems and Applications
Sensor Engineering
Total Credits13-14

Concentration in Control Systems (CON)

Required Courses:4
Classical Systems and Control Theory
Control Systems Lab
Select three from the following:9-10
Robot Design
Digital Control Systems
Modern Control Systems Design
Single-Chip Microcomputers
Mobile Robots
Introduction to Humanoid Robotics
Computer Architecture
Linear Systems and Control
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Total Credits13-14

Concentration in Electronics (ELE)

Required Courses:4
Linear Electronics II
Linear Electronics II Laboratory
Select three from the following:9-11
Power System Analysis
Principles of Semiconductor Devices
Digital Circuit Design
Single-Chip Microcomputers
FPGA and ASIC Design with VHDL
Wave Motion and Electromagnetic Radiation
Applied Electromagnetic Theory
Introduction to Optical Electronics
Optical Fiber Communications
Semiconductor Device Fundamentals
Digital Integrated Circuits
Design of Analog Integrated Circuits
Total Credits13-15

BS (selected)/Operations Research, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in BS programs 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 both engineering and non-engineering disciplines may apply to this option if 1) such an accelerated Operations Research, MS pathway is allowable from the student's BS program, which will be determined by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs and by the SEOR department chair, 2) they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30, and 3) they have completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Operations Research, MS program.

Students must additionally complete MATH 203 prior to applying for the graduate program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for both the BS and MS programs. 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. The courses selected for this purpose must be approved by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs and by the SEOR department chair.

For the BS programs that allow undergraduate electives from the department of systems engineering and operations research, the students may choose the graduate version of such elective courses to replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

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 BS programs have the option of applying to the accelerated Statistical Science, MS program.

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

No specific undergraduate BS degree is required.  Students enrolled in any BS degree may apply to the accelerated Statistical Science, MS program if such an accelerated Statistical Science, MS pathway is allowable from the student's BS program, which will be determined by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs; and if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of 3.00. Students must have successfully completed the following Mason courses each with a grade of C or better prior to admission to the accelerated program:

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
STAT 362Introduction to Computer Statistical Packages3

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits satisfying degree requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlap chosen from the following courses: STAT 515 Applied Statistics and Visualization for Analytics, STAT 544 Applied ProbabilitySTAT 554 Applied Statistics I, STAT 560 Biostatistical Methods, and STAT 574 Survey Sampling I.  (Credit may not be received for both STAT 474 and STAT 574; nor for both STAT 460 and STAT 560.) The graduate courses selected for overlap must be approved by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs.  All graduate course prerequisties must be completed prior to enrollment.  Each graduate course must be completed with a grade of B or better to apply toward the MS degree.

While still in undergraduate status, a maximum of 6 additional graduate credits may be taken as reserve graduate credit and applied to the master's program.  Reserve graduate credits do not apply to the undergraduate 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 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 BS programs 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 both engineering and non-engineering disciplines may apply to this option if 1) such an accelerated Systems Engineering, MS pathway is allowable from the student's BS program, which will be determined by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs and by the SEOR department chair, 2) they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30, and 3) they have completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Systems Engineering, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for both the BS and MS programs. 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. The courses selected for this purpose must be approved by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs and by the SEOR department chair.

For the BS programs that allow undergraduate electives from the department of systems engineering and operations research, the students may choose the graduate version of such elective courses to replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

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.