Offers New Degree In Computer Engineering
20, 2000 -- Its official: The University of
Virginias School of Engineering and Applied Science is offering
a bachelors degree in computer engineering.
engineering students have been able to concentrate in computer engineering
since 1997. But their degrees have been granted either in computer
science or electrical engineering. Now, with the recent endorsement
of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, U.Va. has
begun offering an accredited degree program in computer engineering.
first students are expected to receive their degrees in computer
engineering in December 2000.
new computer engineering program is an excellent example of how
two departments can work together to create a key program that will
benefit students and industry," said John Stankovic, chairman
of U.Va.s Department of Computer Science. "The skills
attained by students in this program position them to become major
contributors to the computer revolution."
to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer engineering is
one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, second only
to "database administrators, computer support specialists and
other computer scientists." The bureau estimates that between
1996 and 2006, there will be 235,000 new openings for computer engineers.
Bechta Dugan, a professor of electrical engineering at U.Va. who
has been a strong supporter of the new degree program, says computer
engineering lies somewhere in the middle between computer science
-- which covers theory, algorithms, software, networking, graphics,
and computer architecture -- and electrical engineering -- which
covers microelectronics, electrical circuits and devices, networks,
communications systems, computer architecture, hardware design and
engineering provides a balanced view of both areas -- electrical
engineering and computer science -- that students will need for
many of the new jobs being created by our booming Internet economy,"
Bechta Dugan said.
to concentrate in computer engineering, students had to complete
all the requirements for a degree in electrical engineering or computer
science as well as all the requirements for a degree in computer
engineering. That left almost no elective courses at all, Bechta
reducing the number of required courses to that of other engineering
tracks -- 128 credits of course work -- the new program offers the
students new flexibility," Bechta Dugan said. "They can
fulfill their degree requirements and still have a few electives
available for other intellectual pursuits."
new degree program will be jointly administered by the electrical
engineering and computer science departments. For now, no new courses
have been created. However, some courses have been newly cross-referenced,
so they will count toward degrees both in electrical engineering
and computer science.
the future, new courses likely will be developed for the computer
engineering degree that also will count toward degrees in computer
science and electrical engineering.
program was granted accreditation by the Accreditation Board for
Engineering and Technology (ABET) last summer.
are a part of our everyday life and will be even more critical to
our existence in the future," said James Aylor, chairman of
U.Va.s Department of Electrical Engineering. "This collaboration
between the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
provides an exciting opportunity for students to prepare for the
fast-moving, rapidly expanding, technically advanced world of computing."
programs goal is to reach an enrollment of 150 undergraduate
students within five years.
formal creation of a program in computer engineering comes as enrollment
in classes in electrical engineering and computer science continues
believe the new computer engineering degree will draw students from
existing degree programs in computer science, electrical engineering
and systems engineering, as well as bringing in new students to
U.Va.s engineering school.
in 1836, U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science offers
a diverse program in engineering education, with special focus areas
in information technology, technology in medicine, advanced materials,
and microelectronics and semiconductors. The school, ranked among
the top 50 in the country by U.S. News & World Report, just
reached a $50 million milestone in its capital campaign.
more information, contact Joanne Bechta Dugan at (804) 982-2078
Charlotte Crystal, (804) 924-6858