Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Welcome to the Undergraduate Computer Engineering Program:
a joint program of the Swanson School of Engineering and the School of Computing and Information

Alex K. JonesWelcome to the Computer Engineering Undergraduate Program at the University of Pittsburgh, a joint program of the Swanson School of Engineering and the School of Computing and Information.  Our ABET accredited undergraduate program has been steadily rising with respect to both enrollment and quality of students.  The word is out about Pitt’s commitment to the complete education of the student, which includes theory, practical application in innovative laboratory courses, and design and entrepreneurship.  Additionally, Computer Engineering students can personalize their curriculum to leverage a wide range of topics and also take advantage of options for integration with industry experience, international experiences, multidisciplinary learning, and graduate-level research opportunities.

The Pitt Computer Engineering Program has truly become an international destination.  While we retain at our heart a core of students from Western Pennsylvania and the larger tri-state region including Ohio and West Virginia, the reach of the program has extended to the entire US, South America, Europe, and Asia.  Our undergraduate students continue to be recognized as a growing part of the Pitt University Honors College as well as achieving national awards such as prestigious Goldwater Scholarships.  

Students have the opportunity to focus in a variety of exciting areas such as big data science, the Internet of things, and security while also potentially building innovative curriculum connections with areas ranging from biology and mechanical engineering to environmental preservation and the arts.  Our program boasts an extremely high professional placement rate.  Our students are well qualified for positions requiring degrees in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or computer science.  Our co-operative education program, which includes three semesters of work experience with industry partners, complemented by our successful internship program, further contribute to these high student placement rates.  Students are also well prepared to continue study in graduate schools.  We place students in some of the highest ranked schools in the country such as MIT, UC Berkeley, and Stanford, among others, and in a variety of disciplines including Computing, Biology, Robotics, Business, and many others.

I invite you to learn more about our program and activities through the included pages, which contain details about our curriculum, faculty, and accreditation.


Alex K. Jones, PhD
Director, Computer Engineering
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

The undergraduate program in Computer Engineering provides an education in the fundamentals of mathematics and the physical sciences, coupled with a strong emphasis on analysis and design of computer hardware and software that is essential for solving real-world engineering problems.

There is also a strong emphasis on the humanities and the development of an appreciation for societal issues, which are introduced into the curriculum through course work and seminars.

The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,   http://www.abet.org .

The most recent set of the ABET criteria (3a-3k), taken from the Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs Effective for Evaluations During the 2011-2012 Accreditation Cycle are:

    a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
    b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
    c. 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;
    d. an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;

Our interpretation of multidisciplinary teams includes teams of individuals with similar educational backgrounds focusing on different aspects of a project as well as teams of individuals with different educational backgrounds.

    e. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
    f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;

Our interpretation of this outcome includes the ethical reporting of experimental data, issues related to plagiarism (including self-plagiarism), academic and professional integrity/intellectual property (e.g., credit for work), and avoidance of intentionally harmful application of engineering knowledge, particularly in the context of design.

    g. an ability to communicate effectively;
    h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context;

Our interpretation of this outcome is to consider impacts of engineering practices on society. This outcome considers the long-term impacts of designs on various environments and socio-economic/cultural groups as ethical issues.

    i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;

Our interpretation of this includes teaching students that the underlying theory is important because the technology will change. We interpret this outcome to require us to identify mechanisms that our students can use for continued learning such as professional societies, graduate school, etc.

    j. a knowledge of contemporary issues;

Our interpretation of this outcome includes theory and practice of emerging research areas within a discipline. This outcome also requires us to present students with contemporary issues such as the impact of globalization, the outsourcing of both engineering and other support jobs as practiced by modern international companies.

    k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

The overall objective of the Computer Engineering Program is for our graduates to become successful professionals in a diverse, global environment, and to be able to innovate and operate new technologies, and adapt to shifting technologies, in the career path they choose to pursue.  This includes careers in computer engineering through employment in industry, academic research, government or private practices, as well as careers in other engineering, computing, science, or professional disciplines such as bioengineering, electrical engineering, computer science, business, law, or medicine.  Our graduates will also pursue advanced study in computer engineering or other engineering, science, or professional and academic fields and be able to serve in leadership positions in industry, academia, research, or government.

Freshman Engineering Students

Further Information 
* Advanced Standing & Special Students 
* Transfer of Credits 
* Cross Registration 
* Financial Aid

Students from the Freshman Engineering Program will be considered for admission into the Computer Engineering Program if they satisfy the following criteria.

1. Have completed the freshman engineering program curriculum. 
2. Have maintained a cumulative QPA of at least 2.00/4.00.


Transfer Students (internal and external): Please click here for more information.


Admission Dates

The dates for submission of applications for admission to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Program are as follows:

  • July 15 for the fall term
  • November 15 for the spring term
  • March 15 for the summer term



 The program totals a minimum of 128 credits. 

Undergraduate Program


Freshman, Term 1


Freshman, Term 2

Engineering Analysis 
ENGR 0011  
3 Credits
Engineering Computing 
ENGR 0012  
3 Credits
Physics 1 
PHYS 0174 
4 Credits
Physics 2 
PHYS 0175 
4 Credits
Chemistry 1 
CHEM 0960 
3 Credits
Chemistry 2 
CHEM 0970 
3 Credits
Calculus 1 
MATH 0220 
4 Credits
Calculus 2
MATH 0230 
4 Credits
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective   
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective  

Sophomore, Term 3


Sophomore, Term 4

Digital Logic
COE 0132  
3 Credits
Computer Organization 
COE 0147 / 0447 
3 Credits
Differential Equations
MATH 0290 
3 Credits
Data Structures 
COE 0445  
3 Credits
Introduction to JAVA 
COE 0401  
4 Credits
Digital Laboratory 
COE 0501  
3 Credits
Linear Systems and Circuits 1 
COE 0031  
4 Credits
Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits         
COE 0257  
3 Credits
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective   Communication Skills Elective 
3 Credits

Junior, Term 5


Junior, Term 6

Systems Software 
COE 0449  
3 Credits
Computer Architecture 
COE 1541  
3 Credits
Probability and Statistics 
ENGR 0020  
4 Credits
Technical Elective 
3 Credits
COE 1501  
3 Credits
Advanced Digital Design 
COE 1502  
3 Credits
Linear Algebra
Math 0280
3 Credits
COE Advanced Elective 
3 Credits
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective   Humanities/Social Sciences Elective  

Senior, Term 7


Senior, Term 8

Technical Elective 
3 Credits
COE Design Elective 
3 Credits
Software Engineering
COE 1186
4 Credits
Technical / Global Elective 
3 Credits
COE Advanced Elective 
3 Credits
Open Elective 
3 Credits
COE Advanced Elective 
3 Credits
COE Advanced Elective 
3 Credits
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective   Open Elective 
3 Credits

  • CS 0441: Discrete Structures for Computer Science
  • COE/ECE 1150 : Introduction to Computer Networks
  • COE/ECE 1160 : Introduction to Embedded System Design
  • COE/ECE 1161 : Embedded Computer System Design
  • COE/ECE 1170 : Special Topics: Computer
  • COE/ECE 1180 : Computational Modeling and Simulation for Engineers
  • COE/ECE 1188: Cyber-Physical Systems
  • COE/ECE 1192 : Introduction to VLSI Design
  • COE/ECE 1193 : Advanced VLSI Design
  • COE/CS 1520 : Programming Languages for Web Applications
  • COE/CS 1550 : Introduction to Operating Systems
  • COE/CS 1622 : Introduction to Compiler Design
  • COE/CS 1631 : Software Design Methodology
  • COE/CS 1645 : Introduction to High Performance Computing Systems
  • COE/CS 1651 : Advanced Systems Software
  • COE/ECE 1896 : Senior Design Project
  • COE/ECE 1898 : Engineering Project

Advanced ECE and CS Courses

Most advanced ECE and CS courses (intended for Engineering students) can count for credit as COE advanced electives, this includes EE and CS core courses not part of the COE program such as CS 1502.  Classes offered in these departments designed for non majors do NOT count for credit as any kind of elective (even open).  Examples are ASTRON 0089, STATS classes, ENGR (ECE) 1869 Intro to Electrical Engineering for Non-EE students and CS 0004, CS 0007, CS 0134, CS 0334, CS 0590, and CS 0699.  

For more information on EE classes see  http://engineering.pitt.edu/Departments/Electrical-Computer/_Content/Undergraduate/Electrical-Engineering/EE-Undergraduate/ under 'Courses and Electives' particularly core and elective courses.  

For more information on CS classes see this page for particularly upper-level courses for majors (all courses in groups IV and V do NOT count for CoE credit as any kind of elective).

Technical Electives

Students must complete three additional technical electives. Technical electives can be any ECE/CoE elective or any other School of Engineering course (except  ENGR 1010) which has not been used to fulfill another requirement or does not substantially duplicate other required course material. Most courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science that can be taken by students majoring in those departments can be used as technical electives by CoE students.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • CS 0441: Discrete Structures for Computer Science
  • PHYS 1150 Mechanics
  • PHYS 1119 Principles of Modern Physics
  • CHEM 0250 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 0310 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 1410 Physical Chemistry I
  • BIOSC 0150 Foundations in Biology I
  • MATH 1290 Topics in Geometry
  • MATH 1530 Advanced Calculus I
  • MATH 1560 Complex Variables and Applications

Enrollment in any of these courses is, of course, constrained by the space and prerequisite limitations of the host department.

**These lists are not exhaustive, however; courses not on these lists can be approved by the ECE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

The Co-operative Engineering Education Program (or "co-op" as it is generally known) is a program within the Swanson School of Engineering whereby the student engineer's education experience is enhanced by a series of challenging, highly relevant "real world" work experiences. The program rotates semesters at work with semesters at school. Typically, the first work rotation is after the end of the sophomore year or the first term of junior year, and each rotating term lasts four months. This is a popular and highly successful program. Co-op salaries are excellent, and the work experience gained is invaluable. More information can be found on the co-op program website here


During each co-op rotation, the student must work with the co-op department to register for one credit of ENGR1090. Students can use three rotations of co-op as one Open Elective.


COE students contact the COE Program Administrator, Dre' Aliquo-Varela, for co-op schedule forms and instructions. Each co-op schedule should rotate every other term at work, and every opposite term in class (no double work rotations). Double rotations are not encouraged, and would require the approval of the co-op team, and the student's academic adviser.  

  • Sample Work Rotations Schedule - Schedule

Seminar (COE1885) is designed to acquaint the student with aspects of engineering that are not normally encountered in classes and school activities and include a wide range of topics such as the significance of engineering as a profession, ethical problems in engineering, and skills required for a successful engineering career. 
Seminar is required of all students registered full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Students are required to attend a minimum of six seminars each semester.

If students are in the co-op program, they are not required to take Seminar during the fall and spring terms that they're working. 

Any fall or spring term that a student is taking a part-time course load, they are excused from participating in Seminar during that part-time term.