May 19, 2024  
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Computer Engineering Major

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BS degree

Computer Engineering encompasses a broad spectrum of challenging activities including research, design, and development of computer systems hardware and software, as well as the electronic or software components that comprise these systems.

The Computer Engineering program prepares students to meet changing high-technology needs in computer engineering, and for graduate study, by providing a strong background in science, mathematics and engineering. The program consists of a core of basic science and mathematics courses interwoven throughout the four years of study. The student also selects 15 credit hours in a general education curriculum called University Studies. Students begin to identify with their field in the first and second year of study. In the junior year, students gain a foundation in computer systems. A senior year composed primarily of elective courses and a capstone design project allows the students to concentrate their studies in one or more areas of their choice, and hone their skills for the real world. A co-op or internship experience is also available for qualified students in cooperation with regional industries.

Specialization opportunities are offered in embedded systems, computer networks, and database systems.

Students have several learning opportunities outside the classroom. Student organizations such as Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) provide a variety of extracurricular engineering activities.  Qualified students can join the Zeta Xi Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical and Computer Engineering National Honor Society. 

Calculation of the GPA in the Computer Engineering Major

In order to graduate students must have a minimum 2.000 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all courses taken at the university. Students must also have a minimum 2.000 cumulative GPA in the major. For purposes of this computation:

  1. All courses that are used to fulfill degree requirements and have an ECE prefix (except ECE 298, ECE 400, ECE 401, ECE 495 or ECE 595) count in calculating the GPA for the major.
  2. Courses required for the major but taken outside the major discipline are not counted.
  3. If a course is repeated, only the most recent course grade (whether higher or lower) shall be used to calculate the major cumulative GPA.



First Year

Second Year

Third Year

First Semester: 16 credits

  • University Studies requirement - 3 credits (see Footnote 1 below)

Second Semester: 13 credits

  • Science Elective - 3 credits  (see Footnote 2 below)

Fourth Year

First Semester: 12 credits

  • Technical Elective - 3 credits  (see Footnote 3 below)

Second Semester: 12 credits

  • University Studies requirement - 3 credits (see Footnote 1 below)
  • University Studies requirement - 3 credits (see Footnote 1 below)
  • Technical Elective - 3 credits  (see Footnote 3 below)

Total credits: 122


* Alternative courses should only be taken in exceptional circumstances and with the written permission of an ECE faculty advisor; MTH 151 in lieu of MTH 153; MTH 152 in lieu of MTH 154; MTH 211 in lieu of MTH 213; PHY 113 in lieu of PHY 111; PHY 114 in lieu of PHY 112).

[1] See University Studies requirements, Clusters 3A, 3B, 4A and 4B.

[2] Must be chosen from the University Studies Cluster 2B (Science in the Engaged Community) approved list and be a BIO, BNG, CHM, MAR, or MLS course; or a PHY course numbered above 150.

[3] Must be taken from approved list of courses.

Technical Electives in Computer Engineering

Technical electives are courses above and beyond the required courses that allow computer engineering students to broaden or deepen their engineering knowledge in one or more technical areas. Students are required to take two technical electives. Generally, allowable technical electives are any 400- or 500- level courses in the College of Engineering (BNG, CEN, CIS, ECE, MNE, or PHY departments) or in Mathematics (MTH) except seminars, independent study, directed study, internship, or required courses within the program. 

Choices of technical electives must always be discussed with, and approved by, the student’s academic advisor prior to enrollment. Some restrictions are:

  1. No more than one technical elective course may be taken from outside the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  2. Only 400 or 500 level courses can be used as technical electives.
  3. The student must have the required prerequisites and/or co-requisites for each course.
  4. Enrollment in 500-level courses requires the written permission of the instructor.

Concentration in Cybersecurity

The Cybersecurity Concentration (CYBR) is offered to students looking to expand their education with an emphasis on cybersecurity concerns; assessment of the impact of new or existing cyber threat products or processes; methods for solving problems resulting from cyber attacks on embedded systems; data storage, control, subsystem communications; Internet of Things, and smart and connected cities.

Students interested in the concentration can declare at the time of application to UMassD or later in their academic career. Those students declaring the concentration later in their academic career must attain a grade of C or better in ECE 256 (Foundations of Cyber Security: Hardware, Software, and Information Systems) to be eligible to declare the concentration. Qualified students should apply no later than the end of spring semester of their sophomore year. Students pursuing the concentration must secure at least a grade of C in each elective course in the concentration for the concentration to appear on the transcript of record.

Educational Objectives

Graduates with the Cybersecurity Concentration will have:

  1. Demonstrated in-depth knowledge within computer engineering and cybersecurity and an awareness of potential social, economic, and political impacts of engineering practices.
  2. Familiarity with current and emerging cybersecurity, computer engineering and global issues, and have an understanding of ethical and societal responsibilities.
  3. An appreciation of the contribution of computer engineers to the benefit of society and the responsibilities of a professional engineer involved with cybersecurity.
  4. The necessary qualifications for employment in computer engineering and cybersecurity related professions, for entry into advanced studies, and for assuming eventual leadership roles in their profession.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates with the Cybersecurity Concentration will demonstrate:

(a) An ability to analyze and design cybersecure computer systems.

(b) An ability to apply multidisciplinary approaches including engineering, mathematics, and physics to manage the unique challenges and balance the competing social, political, economic, and technial goals of cybersecurity problems and solutions.

(c) An ability to work on multidisciplinary teams to arrive at solutions to cybersecurity and computer engineering problems.

CYBR Requirements

The CYBR Concentration consists of two core courses and two elective courses.

Elective Courses

Choose two courses. Students must earn a grade of C or better in the course to meet the requirement.

University Studies Requirements for Computer Engineering

Degree candidates for the BS degree in Computer Engineering must satisfy the University Studies requirements as described in the Academic Policies section of this Catalog.

  • University Studies requirements in Clusters 1, 2A, 4C, and 5 are automatically satisfied by the courses shown as required for this major.
  • The University Studies requirements in Clusters 2B, 3, 4A, and 4B may be fulfilled by selecting courses from the approved lists in each cluster, using the University Studies electives shown in the course requirement tables for each major.

University Studies Departmental Requirements

Students majoring in Computer Engineering will meet their departmentally-determined University Studies requirements as follows:

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