Electrical Engineering Major Guide for 2009-2010
What is Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering deals with the application of the physical laws governing charged particles. From miniature integrated circuits that contain millions of microelectronic devices, to high-speed fiber-optic communication systems that span international boundaries, electrical engineering impacts every aspect of modern-day living. Electrical engineering is unique among the engineering disciplines because of its wide range of applications. Subject areas within electrical engineering are so diverse that it is not always apparent that here is an underlying connection. The range of subjects is not only broad but is also expanding.
The program educational objectives of the electrical engineering program include:
- Will apply the knowledge of the fundamentals of engineering, science and mathematics in the practice of electrical/computer engineering or in advanced professional studies; will identify, formulate and solve electrical/computer engineering problems.
- Will analyze and design complex devices and systems containing hardware and software components with consideration of economic, ethical, safety, environmental, and social issues; will be able to use modern engineering techniques skills and tools.
- Will communicate effectively, function on multi-disciplinary teams, and engage in lifelong learning.
The university’s engineering programs are fully accredited by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Program.
Career Opportunities in Electrical Engineering
The growth trends for employment of electrical engineering graduates are expected to increase through 2010. Projected job growth stems largely from increased demand for electrical and electronic goods, including advanced communications equipment, computer communications, biomedical instrumentation, defense-related electronic equipment, and consumer electronics products. The need for electronics manufacturers to invest heavily in research and development to remain competitive and gain a scientific edge will provide openings for graduates who have learned the latest technologies.
Salary Trends in Electrical Engineering
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual earnings of electrical engineers were $75,930 in 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $60,640 and $95,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $115,240. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of electrical engineers in 2007 were:
- Scientific research and development services-$91,680
- Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing-$89,010
- Electric power generation, transmission and distribution-$81,280
- Navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing-$84,040
- Architectural engineering and related services-$82,830
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual earnings of electronics engineers, except computer, were $81,050 in 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,440 and $99,630. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,056, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,900. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of electronics engineers in 2007 were:
- Federal government-$92,090
- Architectural engineering, and related services-$83,650
- Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing-$83,050
- Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing-$86,800
- Wired telecommunications carriers-$77,080
According to a 2007 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, bachelor’s degree candidates in electrical/electronics and communications engineering received starting offers averaging $55,292 a year; mater’s degree candidates averaged $66,309; and Ph.D. candidates averaged $75,982.
High School Preparation
Core academic subjects required for admission:
- 4 units of English
- 2 units of algebra
- 1 unit of geometry, trigonometry, advanced math or calculus
- 2 units of natural science, including at least 1 unit of biology, chemistry or physics
- 1 unit of American history
- 1 unit of European history, world history or world geography
- 2 units of a single foreign language
- 1 unit of visual or performing arts Computer courses prior to the freshman year in engineering are also highly recommended.
Prospective students who want to enter the engineering program are also required to meet the criteria of the “Success Prediction Index” (SPI). The formula math ACT score. The college is gradually increasing the required SPI score. Check the UT Admissions or College of Engineering web sites to determine the current SPE required. Students who are unable to meet this requirement may register as $university undecided” students and complete appropriate mathematics, science and other courses before applying for admission to the COE.
How to Major in Electrical Engineering
The electrical engineering degree program is administered by the UT Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Students applying to the university should specify electrical engineering as their chosen major when completing the admission form. Students transferring from other departments within UT or from other education institutions should contact the department for more information regarding the appropriate entry level and any additional required courses. For more information on the admissions process, visit http://admissions.utk.edu/undergraduate.
Requirements for Electrical Engineering
The EECS department currently does not have any special requirements for admission to the electrical or computer engineering program, other than the general admission requirements for the university and the college. College of Engineering students at the sophomore level and above are required to own laptop computers for class work. For more information, please visit http://www.engr.utk.edu/futurestudents/computers.html.
Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships
All UT freshman engineering students are automatically enrolled in the innovative Engage Engineering Fundamentals Program, designed to help students learn basic engineering concepts and teamwork skills through a series of hands-on projects and activities: www.engr.utk.edu/efd
The College of Engineering’s Office of Professional Practice (OPP) provides income-generating opportunities for engineering students to experience real-world engineering challenges through cooperative education (co-op) and internship programs. Both programs offer structured learning environments where students develop increasing responsibilities by holding full-time paid positions in a professional environment related to their academic and career goals: www.coop.utk.edu.
In addition to financial and scholarship programs available to all students, the college also provides special scholarships and support programs to minority students, including:
- Diversity Engineering Scholarship Program (DESP) www.engr.utk.edu/edsp
- Engineering Diversity Programs Office (EDP) www.engr.utk.edu/edp
- The Pipeline Engineering Diversity Program www.engr.utk.edu/pipeline
- Tennessee Louis Strokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) www.engr.utk.edu/tlsamp
The College of Engineering also participates in the University Honors Program, which is designed to give academically outstanding students a unique undergraduate experience consisting of special courses, seminars, mentoring and research projects: http://www.utk.edu/honors/.
Highlights of Electrical Engineering
The EECS department is currently constructing a new 150,000 square foot facility, projected for completion in 2010, which will provide students and faculty with state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and research facilities. The department also recently received a $5 million gift, which will be used to match additional donations to generate a $10 million endowment that will fund scholarships, named professorships and fellowships. Dr. Min Kao, Chairman and CEO of Garmin International Inc. and an alumnus of the UT-ECE program, provided this transformational gift, and both the new building and the department will bear Dr. Kao, name in honor of his generosity.
EECS students also have valuable opportunities to participate in student chapters of many engineering professional societies, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) student branch; the electrical and computer engineering honor society Eta Kappa Nu; and Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. These groups afford members the opportunity to gain valuable experience in time management, public speaking and team work.
Engineering students can take part in UT Study Abroad programs throughout the world. There are programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. You can take classes during one semester, mini-term, summer, or the whole academic year. There are also opportunities for international internships and other work experiences. See the websites at the Engineering Outreach Office and Programs Abroad Office for more information.
Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.
|Freshman Year||Credit Hours|
|English 101* or 118*, 102*||6|
|Mathematics 141* or 147*, 142* or 148*||8|
|Engineering Fundamentals 151 or 157, 152 or 158, 105 (see footnote 1)||9|
|ECE 206 or COSC 102||4|
|Sophomore Year||Credit Hours|
|Mathematics 200, 231, 241||8|
|Physics 231*, 232*||7|
|ECE 255, 300, 313||12|
|Philosophy 241*, 243*, or 244*||3|
|Junior Year||Credit Hours|
|ECE 315, 325, 335, 341||14|
|ECE 316, 336, 342, 355, 395||13|
|Social Sciences Electives* (see footnote 2)||6|
|Senior Year||Credit Hours|
|Electrical Engineering Senior Electives (see footnote 3)||12|
|Technical Electives (see footnote 4)||6|
|Arts and Humanities Elective* (see footnote 2)||3|
|Cultures and Civilizations Electives * (see footnote 2)||6|
|Engineering Fundamentals 402||1|
*Meets University General Education Requirement
1 Engineering Fundamentals 157 and 158 are Honors versions of Engineering Fundamentals and students in the Honors Program are not required to take Engineering Fundamentals 402
2 Can be taken at any time
3 Acceptable Senior Electrical and Computer Engineering Sequences: 415-416, 421-422, 431-432, 441-442, 443-446, 451-455, 471-472, 481-482
4 Engineering Technical Electives: Chemistry 130; Materials Science and Engineering 201, 410; Mechanical Engineering 231, 321, 331, 344; Nuclear Engineering 342; Industrial Engineering 405
For More Information
The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.