Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Welcome to the Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Program


The overall objective of the Electrical 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 whatever career path they choose to pursue. This includes careers in electrical engineering through employment in industry, government or private practices, as well as careers in other engineering, science, or professional disciplines such as bioengineering, computer engineering, computer science, business, law, or medicine. Our graduates will also pursue advanced study in electrical engineering or other engineering, science, or professional fields and be able to serve in leadership positions in academia, industry or government.


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 curriculum in the electrical engineering program includes:


Optional  areas of concentration  have been defined to allow a student to develop a strength in a particular area of interest. Students satisfying the requirements of an area of concentration will have that fact noted on their transcripts.

This Updated Curriculum Chart gives a visual representation of the EE curriculum over eight terms.

Old  curriculum chart  (includes ECE 0041).


Sample Co-op Schedules

Starting Co-op in Spring

Starting Co-op in Summer

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an electrical engineering (EE) minor for engineering students who are not majoring in electrical or computer engineering. The minor will be of interest to undergraduate engineering students who wish to develop expertise in areas such as electronics, instrumentation, control, signal processing, or digital devices. Requirements for engineering physics are slightly different than those for other students because of the extensive overlap between the two programs.

All students interested in declaring a minor in electrical engineering should do so on their application for graduation.

Minor Requirements 

The electrical engineering minor is a minimum of 19 credits to include:

  • ECE/CoE 0031 : Linear Circuits and Systems 1 (4 credits)*
  • ECE/CoE 0257 : Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits (3 credits)
  • ECE/CoE 0132 : Digital Logic (3 credits)
  • Plus three additional elective electrical engineering courses

*MEMS 0031 and BIOE 1310 will satisfy 3 of the 4 required Linear Circuit credits.  Beginning Fall 2017 (2181), students completing the EE minor who have taken either one of those classes will need to take ECE 0035 - Linear Circuits and Systems 1 Lab for 1 credit.

Students can select the three electives from any courses offered in electrical engineering. MEMS and BIOENG students who have taken ECE equivalent courses in their home department are able to apply only 1 of the 6 required such courses toward the minor.  At least 5 of the 6 required courses for the minor must be taken in the ECE department.

Students must obtain a QPA average of at least 2.0 in the courses required for the minor, with a passing grade (D- or higher) in all courses. 

Students who are pursuing an EE minor are encouraged to meet with the EE Program Director or EE Program Administrator to make sure all minor requirements are understood and fulfilled.

The suggestions below are appropriate for students with interests in a particular area.  These courses have some or all of the three required courses as prerequisites. In most cases, students should take the required courses by the junior year in order to be prepared to take advanced courses before graduation.


  • ECE 1247  : Semiconductor Device Theory
  • ECE 1238 : Digital Electronics 
  • ECE 1286 : Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits


  • ECE 1201 : Electronic Measurements and Circuits Laboratory
  • ECE 1247 : Semiconductor Device Theory

Digital Systems:  

Signals and Systems:  

  • ECE 1552 : Signals and Systems Analysis (Fall and Spring Term)
    ECE 1472:  Analog Communications Systems (1552 is its prereq) (Fall Term)
  • ECE 1473:  Digital Communications Systems (1552 is its prereq) (Spring Term)
  • ECE 1562 : Digital and Analog Filters (1552 is its prereq) (Spring Term)
  • ECE 1673 : Linear Control Systems (1552 is its prereq) (Spring Term)


  • ECE 1769  : Power System Analysis  (offered Fall Term)
  • ECE 1771 : Electric Machinery  (offered Fall term)
  • ECE 1710:  Power Distribution Systems Engineering and Smart Grids  (offered Summer Term)
  • ECE 1773:  Power Generation, Operation, and Control (ECE 1769 is its prereq)  (Spring Term)
  • ECE 1775:  Power Quality (ECE 1769 is its prereq)  (Spring Term)

For a full listing of Electrical Engineering electives, including prerequisite requirements and terms offered, please click here.


Requirements (Engineering Physics students)

The requirements for the electrical engineering minor for students in the Engineering Physics Program include (in addition to EE courses that are already part of their degree requirements):

Since engineering physics students take  ECE 0031 (Linear Circuits and Systems 1)  and several other ECE courses as part of their degree requirements, they need only complete the two extra courses listed above to obtain the EE minor.


The undergraduate program includes four required laboratory courses.

ECE/COE 0501 - Digital Systems Laboratory: Taken during the sophomore year, this course complements the circuits, digital logic, and computer organization courses that are being taken at the same time. In the lab projects, students gain practical experience with the analysis techniques being covered in lectures and are introduced to cost, size, and complexity trade-offs that are part of the design process. Design tools and documentation standards are introduced.

ECE 1201 - Electronics Measurements / ECE 1212 - Circuits and Electronic Circuit Design: Taken during the junior year, these courses continue to strengthen the students' skills in analysis and design. Students work with more complex systems, including power supplies (regulated and unregulated), BJT and FET amplifier designs, and operational amplifier circuits and applications.

ECE 1563 Digital Signal Processing: -  In this fourth required lab, students apply the mathematical concepts presented in the required course ECE 1552 - Signals and Systems to real engineering problems, such as representation of continuous signals in a computer, determination of system stability, filter design, and real-time computing applications. Students become very proficient with the MATLAB software system, which is incorporated throughout the curriculum and is extensively used in this lab.

In addition to the formal laboratory courses, several of the electives have associated laboratories to provide students with practical experience in applying the techniques covered in lectures.


Students are expected to attend the Undergraduate Seminar each term during their sophomore, junior, and senior years.

The seminar presents topics that are not discussed in regular courses but are of importance to the academic and professional development of undergraduate students. Examples of these topics include advising, how and where engineers work, and methods for career development, ethical concerns, and opportunities for engineers in medicine, law, and other professions.

Speakers from within and outside the University community provide different perspectives on these issues that are critical to the professional success of students. The seminar meets for one hour per week during each fall and spring term. Students are required to enroll in and attend the seminar each fall and spring term they are on campus.