Computer Engineering

Computer Engineers (CPE) are electrical engineers that have additional training in the areas of software design and hardware-software integration. Common CPE tasks include writing embedded software for real-time microcontrollers, designing VLSI chips, working with analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing operating systems. Computer engineers are also well-suited for research in the field of robotics, which relies on using computers together with other electrical systems. Below is a recommended plan of study for CPE.

CPE program educational objectives

Computer Engineering graduates shall:

  1. Practice excellence in their profession using a systems approach encompassing technological, economic, ethical, environmental, social, and human issues within a changing global  environment;
  2. Function independently and in leadership positions within multidisciplinary teams;
  3. Continue life-long learning by acquiring new knowledge, mastering emerging technologies, and using   appropriate tools and methods;
  4. Adapt and independently extend their learning to excel in fields about which they are passionate;
  5. Strengthen teams and communities through collaboration, effective communication, public service, and leadership.

CPE student outcomes

At the time of graduation, students will have demonstrated:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. 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
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and social context
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

The computer engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,


Course Number Course Title Credits
ECE160 Engineering Practice 2
ECE180 Introduction to Signal Processing 4
ECE203 DC Circuits 4
ECE204 AC Circuits 4
ECE205 Circuits and Systems 4
ECE230 Introduction to Embedded Systems 4
ECE233 Introduction to Digital Systems 4
ECE250 Electronic Device Modeling 4
ECE300 Continuous-Time Signals Systems 4
ECE312 Communication Networks 4
ECE332 Computer Architecture II 4
ECE343 High Speed Digital Design 4
ECE362 Principles of Design 3
Discrete-Time Signals and Systems
Linear Control Systems
ECE460 Engineering Design I 3
ECE461 Engineering Design II 4
ECE462 Engineering Design III 2

*CPE students who are also earning the robotics minor MUST take ECE320.


The ECE Department will not allow the following second major combinations:

  1. Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Second Major in Computer Engineering.
  2. Degree in Computer Engineering and a Second Major in Electrical Engineering.


The Minor in ECE is designed to allow students to add another dimension to their Rose-Hulman degree.

Advisor ECE Department Head

Requirements for Minor in ECE

  • ECE203 or ES203 (not both)
  • Plus five additional ECE courses, except ECE362, ECE460, ECE461, ECE462, ECE466, and ECE206


Optical Communications Certificate

Faculty advisors: B. Black and S. Granieri

Rose-Hulman has become a leader in providing opportunities for students to choose a great mainstream degree program with flexibility to specialize in other areas of interest. This leadership is in no way limited to only traditional areas of study. One of these new areas that had a high impact in technology is optical communications. It is a rapidly growing field requiring investment beyond the traditional program structure, and is well suited to the students at Rose-Hulman All these topics are closely related to well established disciplines as optics and electronics. Considerable R&D efforts are allocated in both university and industrial laboratories enhancing the demand for both researchers and engineers with expertise in the field.

We propose the creation of a new certificate program in Optical Communications to enhance the programs currently offered. Combining expertise in Optical and Electrical Engineering, this program requires an interdisciplinary emphasis that is beyond the traditional content of either of its parent programs. This program is more than just the creation of the certificate program Optical Communications. This program will be critical to help developing a more interdisciplinary interaction for students and faculty. The creation of a workgroup within the faculty of both departments will coordinate current courses and resources, create new courses of interest for the field, and develop a showcase testbed education and research laboratory. Primary objectives include the removal of redundancy from existing courses, increasing interaction between the PHOE and ECE departments, and improving opportunities for students in the field.

This certificate is designed to give the student a firm theoretical and practical working knowledge in the area of fiber optic devices, optical communications, networks and its applications. The main purpose is to couch these fundamentals in a context that serves as the backbone for device, components and sub-system development for use in high-speed optical data and information links and networks. At the end of the program the student will be expected to:

  1. Understand the fundamental operation characteristics of high speed optoelectronic components, such as laser transmitters, light modulators and receivers and passive fiber optic components as connectors, couplers, filters, and switches.
  2. Understand the technology and performance of analog and digital fiber optic links, optical amplification and optical wavelength division multiplexing and optical time division multiplexing networks.
  3. Have a hands-on working knowledge of the use of fiber optic test equipment and techniques used by industry and telecommunication companies to test the performance of optical fiber links and components, such as, optical time domain reflectometry, optical spectrum analyzers and optical bit error testing equipment.

The Certificate will consist of 20 credit hours of which 12 credit hours will be required courses. Students interested in pursuing this Certificate should contact an ECE/PHOE certificate advisor (Professors Black, Bunch, and Granieri)

Required Courses

  • ECE 310 Communication Systems
  • OE 393 Fiber Optics and Applications
  • OE 493 Fundamentals of Optical Fiber Communications

Elective Courses (two from the list)

Only courses not required for the student’s major will count for electives in the certificate.

  • ECE 380 Discrete-Time Signals and Systems
  • ECE 410 Communication Networks
  • ECE 414 Wireless Systems
  • OE 360 Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics
  • OE 435 Biomedical Optics
  • OE 450 Laser Systems and Applications
  • OE 485 Electro-Optics and Applications

Plan of Study

Freshman Open Close
Sophomore Open Close
Junior Open Close
Senior Open Close

Total credits required: 194


* CPE students who are also earning the robotics minor MUST take ECE320.

At least two of the three Area Electives must bear an ECE prefix at the 400 level or above
At most one of the Area Electives can bear an ECE or CSSE prefix at the 300 level or above
Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the ECE Department Head

TECHNICAL ELECTIVE - Any course NOT bearing a GS, RH, IA, SV, GE, JP, and SP prefix

  1. MA 351-356 Problem Solving Seminar may not be combined and substituted for the math elective.
  2. CPE majors are not permitted to take ECE 206 Elements of Electrical Engineering as a free elective or technical elective. Free electives may be selected from any other Rose-Hulman courses.
  3. CPE majors may take any additional mathematics or biomathematics classes to satisfy the departmental mathematics requirement, and any biology, chemistry, geology or physics courses to satisfy the departmental science requirement. Courses that are cross-referenced with any engineering courses will not satisfy either the mathematics or science requirements.
RESTRICTED ELECTIVE - (4 credit hours required) Must take one of the following electives including the lab:

CHEM111, PH255, PH405, BIO110, BIO120, BIO130

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