What is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineering is the field of design and engineering as applied to computer systems. It combines the study of both hardware and software of computers. CmpE comprises such electrical engineering aspects as the design of computer chips, memories, interface hardware and application devices, and such computer science topics as programming languages, data structures, algorithms, operating systems, and software engineering.

Career Opportunities in Computer Engineering

Computer engineers are needed to develop, design, manufacture, test, evaluate, market, sell and manage computers and computer systems. Job prospects for computer engineers are excellent. The information technology revolution currently sweeping the world has created a heavy demand for computer engineers. Many companies such as Raytheon, Motorola, Intel, AMD, DELL, TVA, AEDC, and Bell South employ computer engineering graduates.

Salary Trends

According to a Winter 2005 issue publishedby the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average beginning annual salary for computer engineering graduates was $51K. Starting salaries for TTU ECE graduates range from $40K to $56K.

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 computer engineering program an applicant should have at least a 2.25 GPA and a 20ACT score in math and composite parts of the ACT. Students are encouraged to have a strong background in math and physical sciences.

To Major in Computeer Engineering at Tennessee Tech

Students who satisfy the above GPA and ACT requirements may choose computer 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 get themselves transferred 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 Calculus I course and achieving a grade point average of 2.25, they may get transferred to ECE Department to pursue computer engineering major. An ECE faculty advisor will work with the student 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 Computer Engineering, a student will have to successfully complete the BSCmpE curriculum that 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.).

Computer Engineering Requirements

Computer engineering majors are required to take 32 hours of ECE core courses that includes a sequence of two courses in digital systems and computer design and four hours of ECE electives. Students will also take 3 hours of fundamentals of engineering design. They take a core of 25 hours of computer science courses and 3 hours of computer science electives, and 3 hours of computer engineering electives. In the senior year they will also complete a senior capstone design sequence.

Additional information, including a description of the work, job outlook, and earnings, is available in the the computer hardware 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