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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
  May 28, 2024
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Computer Engineering

For students who enrolled prior to Fall 2019, please refer to the Archived Catalogs , and select the academic year in which you began to view your program requirements.

Computer Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum

The overall objective of the computer engineering (CoE) program is to prepare individuals to be successful and lead lives of impact in whatever path they choose to pursue in the 21st century global economy. This includes those who move into practice within the computer engineering discipline either through employment in industry or government, entrepreneurship, those who move on to advanced computer study and research in graduate school, or those that move into other professions such as law, business, or management.

Building upon the Swanson School of Engineering freshmen program, a common and comprehensive year of study is delivered to sophomore computer engineering (CoE) and electrical engineering (EE) students.   The sophomore year features four tracks, including two-course sequences in analog hardware, digital hardware, software, and applied math.  These eight courses prepare students to continue as juniors in their specific program (CoE or EE) with foundational strength.  

During the CoE junior year, students complete  six core courses unique to CoE (computer architecture, advanced digital design, embedded systems, computer networks, information security, systems and project engineering) and a core course common to both programs (junior design fundamentals).  Broad flexibility is provided in the senior year, including four ECE electives, three technical electives, and one general elective, providing many dozens of options.

The CoE program is designed to build on foundational engineering strength developed during the freshman year, extend with broad ECE fundamentals in the sophomore year, further extend and deepen with CoE fundamentals in the junior year, and then diversify for career exploration and specialization in the senior year.  Our graduates will be among the best prepared computer engineers in the nation for impactful careers and post-graduate studies in one of the most exciting and thriving professions of STEM.

Credits: 17

Credits: 17

Credits: 16

Credits: 16

Seventh Term

  • ECE Elective - 3 credits
  • ECE Elective - 3 credits
  • ECE Elective - 3 credits
  • Technical Elective - 3 credits
  • Humanities/Social Science Elective - 3 credits

Credits: 15

Eighth Term

  • ECE Elective - 3 credits
  • Technical Elective - 3 credits
  • Technical Elective - 3 credits
  • Open Elective - 3 credits

Credits: 15


*Students may take ENGR 1050 - PRODUCT REALIZATION  to fulfill the Senior Design Project requirement with approval from the Undergraduate Coordinator.


ECE Electives

Students must complete at least four ECE Elective courses from the following list:

Communication Skills Electives

Students must complete at least one Communication Skills Elective course from the following list:

Humanities/Social Science Electives

Students must complete at least four Humanities/Social Science Elective courses from a list of Approved Electives  as part of the Computer Engineering curriculum.  (Note: students will complete a total of six Humanities/Social Science Elective courses, but two are completed as part of the First-Year Program curriculum, and four are completed as part of the Computer Engineering curriculum.)

Open Electives

Students must complete at least one Open Elective course.  Any course that is not of a similar nature to, or lower level than, a required or previously taken course can be used to fulfill this requirement.  Three credits of Physical Education, or three credits of Band, ROTC, or Chorus may also be used as an Open Elective.  Three credits of Co-op may also be used to fulfill the Open Elective.

Technical Electives

Students must complete at least three Technical Elective courses from the ECE Department’s list of approved Technical Electives.  Technical Electives can be any ECE elective or any other School of Engineering course, which has not been used to fulfill another requirement or does not substantially duplicate other required course material.  Most science and math courses that can be taken by students majoring in those departments can be used as Technical Electives.

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