This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Computer engineers are responsible for developing the powerful computer systems that have become a part of our everyday life. Applications for computer engineering span the spectrum from high-performance, general-purpose computing systems such as desktop workstations used in all facets of business, to small microprocessors embedded in larger systems and functioning as controllers. These latter applications, known as embedded systems, can be found in control systems for trains, aircraft and automobiles; medical equipment; telecommunications systems; and consumer electronics and appliances. This explosive growth of computer systems in use in almost every new appliance or vehicle has resulted in a strong demand for engineers trained in the development of these systems, and all indications are that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  1. Identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics
  2. Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental and economic factors
  3. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts
  5. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives
  6. Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
 

Special requirements

Program D grade policy: Students must receive a minimum grade of C in all engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics and all technical electives to graduate.

Degree requirements for Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Course Title Hours
General education
Select 30 credits of general education courses in consultation with an adviser.30
Major requirements
• Major core requirements
CMSC 312Introduction to Operating Systems3
EGRE 101Introduction to Engineering4
EGRE 206Electric Circuits4
EGRE 207Electric Circuits II4
EGRE 245Engineering Programming4
EGRE 246Advanced Engineering Programming3
EGRE 254Digital Logic Design4
EGRE 306Introduction to Microelectronics4
EGRE 335Signals and Systems4
EGRE 337Statistical Information Processing3
EGRE 347Applied Embedded Programming3
EGRE 364Microcomputer Systems4
EGRE 365Digital Systems4
EGRE 426Computer Organization and Design3
EGRE 428Introduction to Integrated Systems Design2
EGRE 429Advanced Digital Systems Design2
ENGR 395Professional Development1
ENGR 402
ENGR 403
Senior Design Studio (Seminar)
and Senior Design Studio (Seminar)
2
• Additional major requirements
Select one of the following sequences:4
Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)
and Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)
Senior Design Studio I - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
and Senior Design Studio II - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
Technical electives (see list and requirements below)16
Ancillary requirements
CHEM 101General Chemistry I (satisfies general education BOK for natural sciences and AOI for scientific and logical reasoning)3
CHEZ 101General Chemistry Laboratory I1
ECON 205The Economics of Product Development and Markets (satisfies BOK for social/behavioral sciences and/or AOI for global perspectives)3
MATH 200Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (satisfies general education quantitative foundations)4
MATH 201Calculus with Analytic Geometry II4
MATH 211Mathematical Structures3
or CMSC 302 Introduction to Discrete Structures
MATH 301Differential Equations3
PHIL 201Introduction to Ethics (satisfies general education BOK for humanities/fine arts and AOI for diversities in the human experience)3
PHYS 207University Physics I (satisfies general education BOK for natural sciences and AOI for scientific and logical reasoning)5
PHYS 208University Physics II5
SPCH 321Speech for Business and the Professions3
Open electives
Select any course.3
Total Hours130

The minimum number of credit hours required for this degree is 130.

Capstone project (four credits)

The program culminates in the capstone project. In order to prepare for the appropriate focus area of the capstone project, students, with the help of their academic adviser, should plan a course of study beginning in the fall semester of their junior year.

Technical electives (16 credits)

The 16 credit hours in the junior and senior year must be chosen from the approved lists. The following criteria must be met:

  • At least eight credit hours must come from the electrical and computer engineering or computer science areas
  • At least three credit hours must come from outside the electrical and computer engineering and computer science areas
  • Courses not from the approved lists must be approved by the adviser and department chair.
  • Courses must be technical courses at the 300 level or above.
  • No more than three credit hours may come from independent study courses.
  • If a student wants to apply ENGR 497 toward their technical electives, a minimum of four credit hours must be earned.
  • A maximum of nine credits of ENGR 410ENGR 497 and independent study courses may be used toward technical electives.

Note: Some of the listed courses may have prerequisites that do not count as technical electives.

Course Title Hours
Approved electives in electrical and computer engineering
EGMN 315Process and Systems Dynamics3
EGMN 416Mechatronics3
EGMN 427Robotics3
EGRE 303Electronic Devices3
EGRE 307Integrated Circuits4
EGRE 309Introduction to Electromagnetic Fields3
EGRE 310Electromagnetic Fields and Waves3
EGRE 334Introduction to Microfabrication4
EGRE 336Introduction to Communication Systems3
EGRE 435Microscale and Nanoscale Fabrication4
EGRE 436Advanced Microscale and Nanoscale Fabrication3
EGRE 444Communication Systems3
EGRE 454Automatic Controls4
EGRE 455Control Systems Design3
EGRE 471Power System Analysis3
EGRE 521Advanced Semiconductor Devices3
EGRE 525Fundamentals of Photonics Engineering3
EGRE 526/CMSC 506Computer Networks and Communications3
EGRE 531Multicore and Multithreaded Programming3
EGRE 532GPU Computing3
EGRE 535Digital Signal Processing3
EGRE 540Microwave System Design3
EGRE 541Medical Devices3
EGRE 553Industrial Automation3
EGRE 554Advanced Industrial Automation3
EGRE 555Dynamics and Multivariable Control I3
EGRE 573Sustainable and Efficient Power Systems3
ENGR 410Review of Internship (completion of internship required)1
Approved electives in computer science
CMSC 303Introduction to the Theory of Computation3
CMSC 355Fundamentals of Software Engineering3
CMSC 401Algorithm Analysis with Advanced Data Structures3
CMSC 403Programming Languages3
CMSC 404Compiler Construction3
CMSC 409Artificial Intelligence3
CMSC 411Computer Graphics3
CMSC 420Software Project Management3
Approved electives outside electrical and computer engineering and computer science
EGMN 309Material Science for Engineers3
EGMN 321Numerical Methods3
EGRB 407Physical Principles of Medical Imaging3
EGRB 408Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing3
EGRB 507Biomedical Electronics and Instrumentation3
ENGR 497Vertically Integrated Projects1,2
MATH 307Multivariate Calculus4
MATH 310Linear Algebra3
MATH 351Applied Abstract Algebra3
PHYS 307The Physics of Sound and Music3
PHYS 320Modern Physics3
PHYZ 320Modern Physics Laboratory1
 

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
CHEM 101 General Chemistry I (satisfies general education BOK for natural sciences and AOI for scientific and logical reasoning) 3
CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Laboratory I 1
EGRE 101 Introduction to Engineering 4
MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (satisfies general education quantitative foundations) 4
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
EGRE 245 Engineering Programming 4
MATH 201 Calculus with Analytic Geometry II 4
PHYS 207 University Physics I (satisfies general education BOK for natural sciences and AOI for scientific and logical reasoning) 5
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
 Term Hours: 16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
EGRE 206 Electric Circuits 4
EGRE 246 Advanced Engineering Programming 3
MATH 301 Differential Equations 3
PHYS 208 University Physics II 5
UNIV 200 Advanced Focused Inquiry: Literacies, Research and Communication (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
 Term Hours: 18
Spring semester
EGRE 207 Electric Circuits II 4
EGRE 254 Digital Logic Design 4
EGRE 335 Signals and Systems 4
ENGR 395 Professional Development 1
MATH 211
Mathematical Structures
or Introduction to Discrete Structures
3
 Term Hours: 16
Junior year
Fall semester
EGRE 306 Introduction to Microelectronics 4
EGRE 337 Statistical Information Processing 3
EGRE 347 Applied Embedded Programming 3
EGRE 364 Microcomputer Systems 4
EGRE 365 Digital Systems 4
 Term Hours: 18
Spring semester
CMSC 312 Introduction to Operating Systems 3
ECON 205 The Economics of Product Development and Markets (satisfies BOK for social/behavioral sciences and/or AOI for global perspectives) 3
PHIL 201 Introduction to Ethics (satisfies general education BOK for humanities/fine arts and AOI for diversities in the human experience) 3
Technical electives 6
 Term Hours: 15
Senior year
Fall semester
EGRE 404
Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)
or Senior Design Studio I - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
2
EGRE 426 Computer Organization and Design 3
EGRE 428 Introduction to Integrated Systems Design 2
ENGR 402 Senior Design Studio (Seminar) 1
SPCH 321 Speech for Business and the Professions 3
General education course 3
Technical elective 3
 Term Hours: 17
Spring semester
EGRE 405
Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)
or Senior Design Studio II - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
2
EGRE 429 Advanced Digital Systems Design 2
ENGR 403 Senior Design Studio (Seminar) 1
General education course (select AOI for creativity, innovation and aesthetic inquiry) 3
Technical electives 7
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 130

The minimum number of credit hours required for this degree is 130.

 

Accelerated B.S. and M.S.

The accelerated B.S. and M.S. program allows qualified students to earn both the B.S. in Computer Engineering and M.S. in Engineering with a concentration in electrical and computer engineering in a minimum of five years by completing approved graduate courses during the senior year of their undergraduate program. Students in the program may count up to 12 credit hours of graduate courses toward both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Thus, the two degrees may be earned with a minimum of 148 credits rather than the 160 credits necessary if the two degrees are pursued separately.

Students holding these degrees will have a head start for pursuing careers in industry or continuing in academia. The M.S. degree provides formal research experience and can lead to expanded job opportunities, greater potential for job advancement and higher starting salaries.

Entrance to the accelerated program

Interested undergraduate students should consult with their adviser as early as possible to receive specific information about the accelerated program, determine academic eligibility and submit (no later than two semesters prior to graduating with a baccalaureate degree, that is, before the end of the spring semester of their junior year) an Accelerated Program Declaration Form to be approved by the graduate program director. Limited spaces may be available in the accelerated program. Academically qualified students may not receive approval if capacity has been reached.

Minimum qualifications for entrance to this accelerated program include completion of 97 undergraduate credits, including the prerequisite courses for the capstone project and a minimum of 11 courses from the major requirements; an overall minimum GPA of 3.0; and a minimum GPA of 3.2 in major course work. Additionally, a reference letter from a computer engineering faculty member must accompany the application. Students who are interested in the accelerated program should consult with the graduate director before they have completed 97 undergraduate credits.

Once enrolled in the accelerated program, students must meet the standards of performance applicable to graduate students as described in the “Satisfactory academic progress” section of the Graduate Bulletin, including maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Guidance to students admitted to the accelerated program is provided by both the ECE undergraduate program director and the ECE graduate program director.

Admission to the graduate program

Entrance to the accelerated program enables the student to take the approved shared courses that will apply to the undergraduate and graduate degrees. However, entry into an accelerated program via an approved Accelerated Program Declaration Form does not constitute application or admission into the graduate program. Admission to the graduate program requires a separate step that occurs through a formal application to the master’s program, which is submitted through Graduate Admissions no later than a semester prior to graduation with the baccalaureate degree, that is, before the end of the fall semester of the senior year. In order to continue pursuing the master’s degree after the baccalaureate degree is conferred, accelerated students must follow the admission to graduate study requirements outlined in the VCU Bulletin. The GRE is waived for the admission to the M.S.

Degree requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree will be awarded upon completion of a minimum of 130 credits and the satisfactory completion of all undergraduate degree requirements as presented in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

A maximum of 12 graduate credits may be taken prior to completion of the baccalaureate degree. These graduate credits will apply as required major electives or open elective credits (engineering electives) for the undergraduate degree. These courses are shared credits with the graduate program, meaning that they will be applied to both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. Three graduate credits may be approved credits from outside engineering, to help meet the undergraduate requirement that at least three technical elective credit hours must be from approved courses outside electrical engineering. 

Examples of graduate engineering courses that may be taken as an undergraduate once a student is admitted to the program are:

Course Title Hours
EGRE 510Introduction to Internet of Things3
EGRE 512Intelligent Autonomous Systems3
EGRE 513Fundamentals of Modern Systems Engineering3
EGRE 521Advanced Semiconductor Devices3
EGRE 525Fundamentals of Photonics Engineering3
EGRE 526Computer Networks and Communications3
EGRE 531Multicore and Multithreaded Programming3
EGRE 532GPU Computing3
EGRE 535Digital Signal Processing3
EGRE 536Introduction to Cyber-Physical Systems 3
EGRE 539Introduction to Microwave Engineering3
EGRE 540Microwave System Design3
EGRE 541Medical Devices3
EGRE 553Industrial Automation3
EGRE 554Advanced Industrial Automation3
EGRE 555Dynamics and Multivariable Control I3
EGRE 573Sustainable and Efficient Power Systems3
EGRE 591Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering1-4

Upon approval by the instructor of the course, one 600-level graduate course can be taken as an undergraduate and used to fulfill three undergraduate technical elective credits. Examples of 600-level courses are: Recommended course sequence/plan of study

Recommended course sequence/plan of study

What follows is the recommended plan of study for students interested in the accelerated program beginning in the fall of the senior year.

For students accelerating toward the thesis option in the master’s degree:

Course Title Hours
Senior year
Fall semester
EGRE 404Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)2
or EGRE 406 Senior Design Studio I - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
EGRE 426Computer Organization and Design3
EGRE 428Introduction to Integrated Systems Design2
ENGR 402Senior Design Studio (Seminar)1
EGRE 5XX (from list above)6
Other required B.S. course work3
Term Hours:17
Spring semester
EGRE 405Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)2
or EGRE 407 Senior Design Studio II - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
EGRE 429Advanced Digital Systems Design2
ENGR 403Senior Design Studio (Seminar)1
EGRE 5XX (from list above) 16
Other required B.S. course work5
Term Hours:16
Fifth year
Fall semester
EGRE 697Directed Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering (for thesis-option only)3
EGRE technical electives (500-level or above)3
Open elective 23
Term Hours:9
Spring semester
EGRE 697Directed Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering (for thesis-option only)3
Open elective 23
EGRE technical electives (500-level or above)3
Term Hours: 9
1

One three-credit 600-level EGRE course can be substituted for one three-credit 500-level course in the senior year and upon approval by the instructor of the course.

2

EGRE, ENGR, EGRB, EGMN, CMSC, CLSE, PHYS, MATH, OPER, STAT, CHEM at 500-level or above, approved by the adviser  

For students accelerating toward the non-thesis option in the master’s degree:

Course Title Hours
Senior year
Fall semester
EGRE 404Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)2
or EGRE 406 Senior Design Studio I - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
EGRE 426Computer Organization and Design3
EGRE 428Introduction to Integrated Systems Design2
ENGR 402Senior Design Studio (Seminar)1
EGRE 5XX (from list above)6
Other required B.S. course work3
Term Hours:17
Spring semester
EGRE 405Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)2
or EGRE 407 Senior Design Studio II - VIP (Laboratory/Project Time)
EGRE 429Advanced Digital Systems Design2
ENGR 403Senior Design Studio (Seminar)1
EGRE 5XX (from list above) 16
Other required B.S. course work5
Term Hours:16
Fifth year
Fall semester
EGRE technical electives (500-level or above)6
Open elective 23
Term Hours:9
Spring semester
EGRE technical electives (500-level or above)6
Open elective 23
Term Hours: 9
1

One three-credit 600-level EGRE course can be substituted for one three-credit 500-level course in the senior year and upon approval by the instructor of the course.

2

EGRE, ENGR, EGRB, EGMN, CMSC, CLSE, PHYS, MATH, OPER, STAT, CHEM at 500-level or above, approved by the adviser