Computer Engineering

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in computer engineering is offered by the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering (ECBE). The computer engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, Inc. ( Specialization in computer engineering is also available within the Graduate Certificate in Embedded Systems, as well as the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in electrical engineering.

Faculty: Professor He, Chairperson. Professor Lo, Program Coordinator. Professors Ohley, Sendag, Yan Sun, and Qing Yang; Assistant Professor Li; Professor-in-Residence Uht.

Supporting Faculty: Professors Boudreaux-Bartels, Fischer, Sunak, Swaszek, and Vaccaro; Associate Professor Wei.

Program Educational Objectives.

Three to five years after graduation from the B.S. in Computer Engineering, graduates will:

  1. Successfully practice computer engineering to serve state and regional industries, government agencies, or national and international industries.
  2. Work professionally in one or more of the following areas: computer hardware and software design, embedded systems, computer networks and security, system integration, and electronic design automation.
  3. Achieve personal and professional success with awareness and commitment to their ethical and social responsibilities, both as individuals and in team environments.
  4. Maintain and improve their technical competence through lifelong learning, including entering and succeeding in an advanced degree program in a field such as engineering, science, or business.

Student Outcomes. Computer engineering students demonstrate knowledge in all outcomes required by ABET, Inc. which are listed in the college’s student outcomes section of this catalog.

Program Description. Digital computer and communication systems have transformed society in a profound way. The examples range from super powerful scientific computers, to embedded systems such as smart phones, internet of things (IoT), and smart cities. Traditionally, computer engineering has been a discipline that combines both electrical engineering and computer science. The URI computer engineering program is thus designed so the students will have a strong foundation in the relevant fields of electrical engineering and computer science, while establishing themselves with the latest computer engineering topics, such as advanced computer architecture, computer network and cyber security, big data learning and processing, and field programmable gate array (FPGA).

The computer engineering core courses can be categorized as follows: (1) ELE 208/209, 305, and 408/409 are core courses for computer system architecture and hardware and software organization and interaction. (2) ELE 201/202, 301/302, and 405/406 are the core courses for digital design with electronic design automation and rapid prototyping, and for computer system integration. (3) ELE 313 and 437 are core courses for computer communication and networks. The computer engineering program has three computer engineering electives and one free elective in the senior year so students can further expand into areas such as signals and systems, digital control, electronics, and computer software.

The computer engineering program culminates in the senior year with two major design experiences. First, ELE 408/409 is where all the skills accumulated through the curriculum will be employed in a group senior design project. Second, ELE 480 and 481 provide each student with the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team in a senior capstone design project.

Graduates from the program go on to positions in both government agencies and the private sector, or enter graduate school for further study. Many computer engineering undergraduate students work with faculty on research projects before entering graduate school.

The computer engineering major requires 121–124 credits.

Freshman Year First semester: 15 credits
CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); ECN 201 (3);  EGR 105 (1); MTH 141 (4); and general education outcome(s)1 (3).

Second semester: 16 credits
EGR 106 (2); MTH 142 (4); PHY 203 (3), 273 (1); and general education outcome(s)1 (6).

Sophomore Year First semester: 15 credits
ELE 201 (3), 202 (1), 208 (3), 209 (1); MTH 362 (3); and PHY 204 (3), 274 (1).

Second semester: 15 credits
CSC 211 (4); ELE 212 (4), 215 (1); MTH 243 (3);  and general education outcome(s)1 (3).

Junior Year First semester: 14 credits
CSC 212 (4); ELE 313 (3), 338 (3), 339 (1); and MTH/CSC 447 (3).

Second semester: 16 credits
ELE 301 (3), 302 (1), 305 (3); MTH 451 (3); and general education outcome(s)1 (6).

Senior Year First semester: (14–15 credits)
ELE 400 (1), 405 (3), 406 (1), 437 (3), 480 (3) [capstone]; and approved professional elective2 (3-4).

Second semester: 16–18 credits
ELE 408 (3), 409 (1), 481 (3) [capstone]; two approved professional electives2 (6-8); and general education outcome(s)1 (3).

General Education Outcomes (A1-D1): if all outcomes are satisfied in fewer spaces than provided, you must take a course of your choice (Free Elective) to fill each remaining space in order to meet the required earned credit total of your degree plan. A complete detailing of these requirements are listed in the college’s curriculum requirements section of this catalog.

2 Professional Elective Requirements: Three (3) courses from the following: BME/ELE 461; BME 464/465; CSC 301, 305, 402, 406, 412, 415, 436, 481; CSF 410, 412; any ELE 300-, or 400-level course not required by the CPE major; with prior approval of the electrical, computer, and biomedical engineering department chairperson, any ELE 500-level course.

International Engineering Program (IEP). In conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences, the COE offers a five-year program in which students earn two degrees: a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in engineering and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in a foreign language. The foreign languages currently offered by the IEP are Chinese, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. The five-year program includes a year studying abroad. The first semester abroad is spent at the IEP’s partner university taking engineering, language, and culture courses in the host language.  The second six months abroad are spent in a paid professional internship working at an international engineering company or engaged in a research institute in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, or Asia. Upon graduation, students are well prepared to compete in the global marketplace and are highly sought after by employers both in the U.S. and abroad. Interested students should contact the IEP director at the Texas Instruments (TI) House on Upper College Road. The IEP has received several awards for excellence in international engineering education.

Minor in Computer Engineering. Minors require the completion of 18 or more credits. A minimum grade point average of 2.00 must be earned in the minor courses, and at least 12 of the 18 credits must be at the 200 level or above. At least half of the credits required for the minor must be earned at the University of Rhode Island. General education requirements may be used for the minor, but no course may be used for both the major and minor field of study. Minor courses may not be taken on a pass-fail basis. Students interested in pursuing a minor in computer engineering should speak with the department chairperson to discuss specific course requirements.

Accelerated Five-Year B.S./M.S. Degree Program. To qualify for this program, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher while pursuing their B.S. degree. To ease the course load at the graduate level, candidates are encouraged to earn some graduate credits (e.g. one or two courses not required for their B.S. degree) during their senior year. Additional program information can be obtained by contacting the department chairperson.