photo of students with model airplane project
Photo: Tony Mastres, UCSB
Courtesy: ECE 188 Sr. Projects

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Program Overview

Students are introduced to computing methods and foundational knowledge for building and designing circuits. They are exposed to a balance of theory and practice, and are encouraged to pursue technical electives in signal processing, control systems, computer engineering, and electronics and photonics.

Electrical engineers develop computer processors, work in optical communications, and study signal processing. They often work with semiconductors, lighting systems and electronics, and in robotics hardware and software.

Research areas include communications and signal processing; wireless networks; computing technology; control systems; systems biology; robotics; electronics and photonics; semiconductor device structure and physics; nanophotonics.

The program offers:

  • a solid set of "core" required classes in math, physics, and engineering to establish a strong foundation for advanced coursework
  • flexible elective program that can be adapted to a variety of student interests in junior and senior year
  • numerous opportunities for undergraduate research or design-oriented projects with linkages to several research centers on campus, local industry, and entrepreneurial outlets via the UCSB Technology Management Program (TMP)
  • completing a course sequence in the senior year, culminating in a senior capstone project
  • 5-yr B.S./M.S. program (for students satisfying certain eligibility criteria)

The undergraduate major in Electrical Engineering prepares students for a wide range of positions in business, government, and private industrial research, development, and manufacturing organizations.

Interviewed senior year from San Francisco, CA
Senior EE Systems Projects (ECE 188)
Interviewed junior year from Oceanside, CA

Degree Program

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering or Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (see CE program website). The undergraduate curriculum in electrical engineering is designed to provide students with a solid background in mathematics, physical sciences, and traditional electrical engineering topics as presented above. A wide range of program options are provided including computer engineering; microwaves; communications, control & signal processing; and semiconductor devices & applications.

Curriculum Highlights

Senior Elective Sequences

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

Senior Projects (ECE 188ABC)

During the senior year, each EE student is required to take the Senior Electrical Engineering Project series. Student groups design a significant project based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier coursework and integrate their technical understanding through practical design experience.

Mission Statement

Our Mission

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks to provide a comprehensive, rigorous and accredited educational program for the graduates of California's high schools and for postgraduate students, both domestic and international. The department has a dual mission:


We will develop and produce excellent electrical and computer engineers who will support the high-tech economy of California and the nation. This mission requires that we offer a balanced and timely education that includes not only strength in the fundamental principles but also experience with the practical skills that are needed to contribute to the complex technological infrastructure of our society. This approach will enable our graduates to continue learning throughout an extended career.


We will develop relevant and innovative science and technology through our research that addresses the needs of industry, government and the scientific community. This technology can be transferred through our graduates, through industrial affiliations, and through publications and presentations. The ECE department emphasizes teaching and research in the areas of electronic and photonic materials, devices and circuits, computer engineering, VLSI design and testing, controls, communications, and signal processing. We provide a faculty that is committed to education and research, is accessible to students, and is highly qualified in their areas of expertise.

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the EE Program identify what we hope that our graduates will accomplish within a few years after graduation.

  1. We expect our graduates to make positive contributions to society in fields including, but not limited to, engineering.
  2. We expect our graduates to have acquired the ability to be flexible and adaptable, showing that their educational background has given them the foundation needed to remain effective, take on new responsibilities and assume leadership roles.
  3. We expect some of our graduates to pursue their formal education further, including graduate study for master's and doctoral degrees.

Program Outcomes

The EE program expects our students upon graduation to have:

  1. Acquired strong basic knowledge and skills in those fundamental areas of mathematics, science, and electrical engineering that are required to support specialized professional training at the advanced level and to provide necessary breadth to the student's overall program of studies. This provides the basis for lifelong learning.
  2. Experienced in-depth training in state-of-the-art specialty areas in electrical engineering. This is implemented through our senior electives. Students are required to take two sequences of at least two courses each at the senior level.
  3. Benefited from imaginative and highly supportive laboratory experiences where appropriate throughout the program. The laboratory experience will be closely integrated with coursework and will make use of up-to-date instrumentation and computing facilities. Students should experience both hardware-oriented and simulation-oriented exercises.
  4. Experienced design-oriented challenges that exercise and integrate skills and knowledge acquired in several courses. These may include design of components or subsystems with performance specifications. Graduates should be able to demonstrate an ability to design and conduct experiments as well as analyze the results.
  5. Learned to function well in teams. Also, students must develop communication skills, written and oral, both through team and classroom experiences. Skills including written reports, web page preparation, and public presentations are required.
  6. Completed a well-rounded and balanced education through required studies in selected areas of fine arts, humanities, and social sciences. This provides for the ability to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. A course in engineering ethics is also required of all undergraduates.

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


  • Luke Theogarajan, ECE Prof.  &
    Vice Chair of Undergrad Studies
  • Val de Veyra, Student Affairs Manager
  • Beth English, Undergraduate Program Officer
    Trailer 380, Rm 101
    +1 805.893.8292

EE Five-Year Enrollment & Degree History

  • Fall Enrollment: 2020 (280) | 2019 (283) | 2018 (293) | 2017 (282) | 2016 (267)
  • Degrees Awarded: 2019-2020 (52) | 2018-2019 (62) | 2017-2018 (52) | 2016-17 (51) | 2015-16 (64)

EE Program Statistics (Fall 2019)

  • 1549 applicants | 468 admitted | 72 enrolled
  • Average incoming GPA: 4.29
  • SAT average: math - 779 and total SAT - 1466
  • Lower Division avg. class size: 160 students
  • Upper Division avg. class size: 75 students
  • Student to faculty ratio: ~ 7
Interested in the BS/MS Program?

BS/MS options available for Electrical Engineering undergraduates:

Applications for the BS/MS in ECE are usually due at the end of the spring quarter of the junior year. As this is an accelerated program, it is expected that all of the required courses for the EE major are completed including all of the junior required courses. GRE exams are not required to apply.

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