What is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is an exciting field that has been on the cutting edge of technology for more than a century. Electrical engineers design, develop, build and test electrical and electronic devices such as high definition television, embedded computer systems, solar power generators, microprocessor chips, electronic amplifiers, laser sources, robots and intelligent systems. Electrical engineering majors learn the physics of electricity and magnetism; mathematics of circuits and systems; and engineering tools of analysis and design. They are trained in the design and manufacture of economical and safe products that enhance the quality of life of human beings.

Career Opportunities in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers are needed to develop, design, manufacture, test, evaluate, market, sell and manage electrical and electronic systems. Job prospects for electrical engineers are quite good. Tech EE graduates have gone to work for companies including Boeing, Raytheon, AdTran, Motorola, Intel, TVA, AEDC, Bell South, Nashville Electric and Square-D.

Salary Trends

According to a Winter 2005 issue published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average beginning annual salary for electrical engineering graduates was $51,113. The range of salaries for recent TTU ECE grads is $40K - $56 K.

High School Preparation

All Tennessee Tech freshman applicants are considered within a competitive admission process for Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters. The primary criteria for admission are the applicant's performance in high school as indicated by class rank or grade point average and performance on the ACT. For direct admission to the electrical engineering program an applicant should have at least a 2.25 GPA and a 20 ACT score in math and physical sciences.

To Major in Electrical Engineering at Tennessee Tech

Students who satisfy the above GPA and ACT requirements may choose electrical engineering as a major when they apply for admission to Tennessee Tech. They will be assigned to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an ECE faculty member will serve as their academic advisor. Those may be admitted to the Basic Engineering Department and start their first year in Basic Engineering. Once they decide on their major, they may transfer to the department offering that major. Those who do not meet the minimum requirement for admission to an engineering program may pursue their studies at TTU in the General Engineering Curriculum. After successfully completing the Calculus I course and achieving a grade point average of 2.25, they may transfer to the ECE Department to pursue electrical engineering. An ECE faculty advisor will work with students to set up a program of study and plan course work for the major.

General Curriculum Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, a student will have to successfully complete the BSEE curriculum, which has been developed to meet the University General Education requirements as well as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology requirements. This requires the completion of English composition (6 hrs.), literature (3 hrs.), speech (3 hrs.), humanities and fine arts (6 hrs.), social and behavioral sciences (6 hrs.), mathematics (18 hrs.), physics (8 hrs.), and chemistry (4 hrs.). In addition, students are also required to take ENGR1020 Connections to Engineering and Technology (1 hr.) and CSC 2100 (3 hr.), C-Programming courses.

Electrical Engineering Requirements

EE majors are required to take 28 hours of EE core courses and 30 hours of EE electives with a sequence of two courses in one area of specialization (Circuit and Signal Processing, Computer and Digital Systems, Control Systems, Electronics, Physical Phenomena, Power, and Telecommunications), and a 4 credit senior capstone design sequence. Students will also take 3 hours of engineering fundamentals, 3 hours of fundamentals of engineering design and 6 hours of engineering/math/science and business electives.

Additional information, including a description of the work, job outlook, and earnings, is available in the the electrical and electronics engineers section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

For More information contact:

Dr. R. Wayne Johnson, Professor and Chair
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 931-372-3397
Office: Brown Hall 217

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