Mininum Viable Team at summit.cs
Photo: Tony Mastres, UCSB
Courtesy: CS 189 Sr. Projects

The Undergraduate Student Office is closed due to COVID-19. For advising questions and virtual meetings, contact

About the Program

The CE Program is offered jointly by the Computer Science (CS) and the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) departments.

Computer engineering focuses on the design of computer systems. Students learn hardware design, software concepts, robotics, circuit design, and networking. Computer engineers gain more software based training than do electrical engineers, and differ from computer science majors in that the curriculum is focused more on the lowest-level interactions among software and hardware, digital hardware design, and peripheral-systems interfacing.

Research areas include bio-inspired computing; circuit and system design; computer architecture; electronic design automation and testing; emerging technologies for computing; energy-efficient computing; nanotechnology; networking; operating and distributed systems; software and language

The program offers students:

  • a broad education in the fundamentals of computer engineering, as well as a solid foundation in the basic sciences including mathematics, probability and statistics, data science, and physics
  • research areas including bioinspired computing; circuit & system design; computer architecture; design, manufacturing & test automation; machine learning & AI; emerging technologies for computing; energy-efficient computing; nanotechnology; and software and language
  • preparation for a wide range of positions in industry, business, research & development, and government

Program Features

Brycen Westgarth, Senior from Encinitas, CA
Favorite Class: Intro to Computer Vision (ECE 181)
The 10 projects ranged from an object detection system (Safevision) to a handheld, wireless oscilloscope (Scopen)
Mininum Viable Team (Well Health): CS 189 project – a telemedicine platform for efficient virtual doctor's visits

Degree Program

The Computer Engineering major’s objective is to educate  engineers with both depth and breadth. We expect our undergraduates to gain an understanding of digital electronics, computer architecture, system software, hardware/software interfaces and integrated circuit design. These topics bridge traditional electrical engineering and computer science curricula.

CE major’s graduates can design and build integrated digital hardware and software systems in a wide range of application domains. Teamwork and project management skills are emphasized throughout the program.

Curriculum Highlights

Senior Elective Sequences

During the junior, year students select two sequence topics each consisting of two to three courses. These courses help satisfy CE Major Degree Requirements in the Senior Elective Study Plan.

Senior Projects (ECE 189 or CMPSC 189)

During the senior year, each CE student is required to take the Senior Computer Systems Project series. Students work in teams and use hardware and software to design and engineer systems.

Mission Statement

Our Mission

To prepare our students to reach their full potential in computer engineering research and industrial practice through a curriculum emphasizing the mathematical tools, scientific basics, fundamental knowledge, engineering principles, and practical experience in the field.

Educational Objectives

The Computer Engineering Program seeks to impart to each student:

  1. Broad knowledge in the fundamental theories, techniques, and tools relating to computer engineering.
  2. The ability to apply computer engineering principles in solving problems, creating products, and improving performance in hardware and software applications.
  3. A continuing commitment to the advancement of science, lifelong education, professionalism, and interest in education and mentoring for the coming generations of students.
  4. An understanding of the social, business, technical, and human context of the world in which their engineering contributions will be utilized.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will have:

  1. Acquired strong basic knowledge and skills in those fundamental areas of mathematics, science, and engineering necessary to facilitate specialized professional training at an advanced level. Developed a recognition of the need for and the ability to engage in lifelong learning.
  2. Experienced in-depth training in state-of-the-art specialty areas in computer engineering.
  3. Benefited from hands-on, practical laboratory experiences where appropriate throughout the program. The laboratory experiences will be closely integrated with coursework and will make use of up-to-date instrumentation and computing facilities. Students will have completed both hardware-oriented and software-oriented assignments.
  4. Experienced design-oriented challenges that exercise and integrate skills and knowledge acquired during their course of study. These challenges may include design of components or subsystems with performance specifications. Graduates should be able to demonstrate an ability to design and test a system, analyze experimental results, and draw logical conclusions from them.
  5. Learned to function well in multidisciplinary teams and collaborative environments. To this end, students must develop communication skills, both written and oral, through teamwork and classroom participation. Teamwork and individual originality will be evidenced through written reports, webpage preparation, and public presentations.
  6. Completed a well-rounded and balanced education through required studies in selected areas of fine arts, humanities, and social sciences. This outcome provides for the ability to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. A required course in engineering ethics will have prepared students.

The Computer Engineering B.S. program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

CE Five-Year Enrollment & Degree History

  • Fall Enrollment - 2020 (271) | 2019 (259) | 2018 (261) | 2017 (249) | 2016 (237)
  • Degrees Awarded - 2019-2020 (55) | 2019-2018 (51) | 2017-18 (58) | 2016-17 (42) | 2015-16 (49)

CE Program Statistics (Fall 2019)

  • 2184 applicants | 369 admitted | 65 enrolled
  • Average incoming GPA: 4.36
  • SAT average: Math - 783 and Total SAT - 1495
  • Lower Division average classroom size: 160 students
  • Upper Division average classroom size: 75 students
  • Students/Faculty: ~17
Interested in the BS/MS Program?

A program offered by either the ECE or CS departments.

BS/MS options available for Computer Engineering undergraduates:

Applications for the program are usually due at the end of the spring quarter of the junior year. As this is an accelerated program, it is expected that you have completed all the required courses for the CE major including all the junior required courses. GRE exams are not required to apply.

To check the status your BS/MS application in ECE, contact Gayle Gonzales, Graduate Admissions Coordinator