Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Electrical Engineering

Program Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) with a Major in Electrical Engineering

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Electrical Engineering, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  4. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  5. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  6. An ability to communicate effectively.
  7. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  8. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  9. A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  10. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Electrical Engineering

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Electrical Engineering must complete:

  • A minimum of 21-23 courses (63 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 123 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 8 courses (24 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • The requirements for one area of specialization (see list below). The Electrical Engineering major offers five areas of specialization described below.

The BA degree provides a basic foundation in Electrical and Computer Engineering that is highly flexible, permitting a student to tailor the program to his or her interests, be they broad or highly focused. Because of its flexibility and large number of electives, the BA can be combined easily with courses from other departments to create an interdisciplinary program. This may be particularly appropriate for students planning further study in law, business, or medicine. The program leading to the BA Degree is not accredited by the EAC of ABET. A course can satisfy only one program requirement. Students who place out of required courses without transcript credit must substitute other approved courses in the same area. 

Planning sheets and degree plan forms may be found on the Electrical and Computer Engineering website

Electrical and Computer Engineering undergraduate degrees are organized around a core of required courses and a selection of elective courses from five areas of specialization:

  • Computer Engineering: provides a broad background in computer systems engineering, including computer architecture, digital hardware engineering, software engineering, and computer systems performance analysis.
  • Data Science: integrates the foundations, tools and techniques involving data acquisition, data analytics, data storage and computing infrastructure in order to enable meaningful extraction of actionable information from diverse and potentially massive data sources.  
  • Neuroengineeringexploits engineering techniques to understand, repair, manipulates, or treat the diseases of human neural systems and networks.  
  • Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices: encompasses studies of electronic materials, including nanomaterials, semiconductor and optoelectronic devices, lasers and their applications. 
  • Systems - Communication, Control, Networks, Signal Processing: Control, Communication, and Signal Processing: focuses on wireless communication systems, digital signal processing, image processing, and networking.  

The specialization electives provide the flexibility to create a focus that crosses traditional areas.  

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Electrical Engineering63
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Electrical Engineering123

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Mathematics and Science Courses
ELEC 261ELECTRONIC MATERIALS AND QUANTUM DEVICES3
ELEC 303RANDOM SIGNALS IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING SYSTEMS3
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS3
or MATH 221 HONORS CALCULUS III
MATH 355LINEAR ALGEBRA3
or CAAM 335 MATRIX ANALYSIS
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Core Courses
ELEC 220FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPUTER ENGINEERING4
ELEC 241
ELEC 240
FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING I
and FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING I LABORATORY
4
ELEC 242
ELEC 244
FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING II
and FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING II LABORATORY
4
ELEC 305INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL ELECTRONICS3
ELEC 326 / COMP 326DIGITAL LOGIC DESIGN3
Computation Course
COMP 140COMPUTATIONAL THINKING4
or COMP 130 ELEMENTS OF ALGORITHMS AND COMPUTATION
Design Laboratory 1
Select 1 from the following, based on area of specialization:3
IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL SYSTEMS (for Computer Engineering, Data Science, or Neuroengineering areas of specialization)
ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE (for Data Science, Neuroengineering, or Systems areas of specialization)
PHOTONICS MEASUREMENTS: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE (for Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices area of specialization)
Areas of Specialization
Select 1 from the following (see below for Areas of Specialization):12
Computer Engineering
Data Science
Neuroengineering
Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices
Systems - Communication, Control, Networks, Signal Processing
BA Unrestricted Electives *
Students must complete additional courses to meet the BA degree's minimum requirement of at least 123 semester hours.
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Electrical Engineering63
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours123

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Areas of Specialization

Students pursuing the BA degree must complete a total of 4 courses (minimum of 12 credit hours), including at least 2 courses in one area of specialization, and courses from at least 2 areas of specialization. In addition, ELEC graduate courses in the 500-level series may be used to satisfy specialization requirements with permission. Consult departmental advisors and the ECE website for the latest information.

Area of Specialization: Computer Engineering

Select 2 from the following: 16
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SYSTEMS
REASONING ABOUT ALGORITHMS
INTRODUCTION TO DATABASE SYSTEMS
PRINCIPLES OF PARALLEL PROGRAMMING
ANALOG ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS
OPERATING SYSTEMS AND CONCURRENT PROGRAMMING
VLSI SYSTEMS DESIGN
MOBILE AND EMBEDDED SYSTEM DESIGN AND APPLICATION
COMPUTER SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE
ADVANCED DIGITAL HARDWARE DESIGN, IMPLEMENTATION, AND OPTIMIZATION
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER NETWORKS
MOBILE DEVICE APPLICATIONS PROJECT
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VISION
Select an additional 2 courses from the other areas of specialization.6
Total Credit Hours12
Footnotes and Additional Information

Area of Specialization: Data Science

Select 2 from the following:6
TOOLS AND MODELS FOR DATA SCIENCE
INTRODUCTION TO NEUROENGINEERING: MEASURING AND MANIPULATING NEURAL ACTIVITY
MOBILE AND EMBEDDED SYSTEM DESIGN AND APPLICATION
COMPUTER SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE
ADVANCED DIGITAL HARDWARE DESIGN, IMPLEMENTATION, AND OPTIMIZATION
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
MOBILE BIO-BEHAVIORAL SENSING
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VISION
LEARNING FROM SENSOR DATA
THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE: FROM CELLS TO LEARNING SYSTEMS
NEURAL COMPUTATION
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICAL MACHINE LEARNING
Select an additional 2 courses from the other areas of specialization.6
Total Credit Hours12

Area of Specialization: Neuroengineering

Select 2 from the following:6
ANALOG ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS
INTRODUCTION TO NEUROENGINEERING: MEASURING AND MANIPULATING NEURAL ACTIVITY
FUNDAMENTALS OF NERVE AND MUSCLE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VISION
COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE AND NEURAL ENGINEERING
PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL SYSTEMS
FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING I
FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING II
THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE: FROM CELLS TO LEARNING SYSTEMS
NEURAL COMPUTATION
Select an additional 2 courses from the other areas of specialization.6
Total Credit Hours12

Area of Specialization: Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices

Select 2 from the following:6
INTRODUCTION TO WAVES AND PHOTONICS
APPLIED ELECTROMAGNETICS
INTERMEDIATE ELECTRODYNAMICS
ANALOG ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS
QUANTUM MECHANICS FOR ENGINEERS
INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS I
NANOMATERIALS FOR ENERGY
SOLID STATE PHYSICS
SOLID STATE PHYSICS
OPTOELECTRONIC DEVICES
COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS
Select an additional 2 courses from the other areas of specialization.6
Total Credit Hours12

Area of Specialization: Systems - Communication, Control, Networks, Signal Processing

Select 2 from the following:6
SIGNALS, SYSTEMS, AND LEARNING
INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMS
APPLIED ELECTROMAGNETICS
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
MOBILE BIO-BEHAVIORAL SENSING
ARCHITECTURE FOR WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
INTRODUCTION TO ENERGY-EFFICIENT MECHATRONICS
FUNDAMENTALS OF CONTROL SYSTEMS
INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
WIRELESS NETWORKING FOR UNDER-RESOURCED URBAN COMMUNITIES
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VISION
INTRODUCTION TO ROBOTICS
DESIGN OF MECHATRONIC SYSTEMS
Select an additional 2 courses from the other areas of specialization.6
Total Credit Hours12

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Electrical Engineering

Advising

Rice University provides multiple avenues for undergraduate advising through the Office of Academic Advising, the Rice Residential College system, and academic departments. Although students may consult with their Divisional Advisors in their College during the freshman and sophomore years, they are welcome and encouraged to meet with a major advisor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. In particular, ECE students are required to meet with a major advisor in ECE at least during their junior and senior years to discuss their ECE Specialization Area course selection and Design Courses. The ECE Undergraduate Committee currently has seven faculty members who serve as major advisors. More information on sample degree plans and on the process for declaring ECE as a major is available on the ECE website.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Electrical Engineering should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

For additional information, please see the Electrical and Computer Engineering website: http://www.ece.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Electrical Engineering

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Independent Research

The ECE Department encourages our undergraduates to pursue research projects with the faculty. The ECE Department has several opportunities including the multi-year, team-oriented Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program and individual independent research with a faculty member through the ELEC 490 course. Also, there are often summer research opportunities through the NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, through individual ECE faculty grants, or through the Smalley-Curl Institute REU Sites program. For more information, see the ECE Department web page at: http://www.ece.rice.edu/ugresearch/.

Study Abroad

A semester of study abroad is a valuable experience to enhance an individual's perspective on engineering and technology. The ECE Department encourages students to explore this option particularly for the spring semester of the sophomore or junior year. The ECE Department and the University Study Abroad office coordinate to review programs and courses appropriate for Rice engineering students. Additional information is on the ECE Department website at: 
http://www.ece.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=2147483981.

For additional information, please see the Electrical and Computer Engineering website: http://www.ece.rice.edu/.