This is an archived copy of the 2017-18 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering Major

The Computer Engineering program provides a background in three broad areas: computer hardware, software, and hardware-software integration. Fundamental topics included in the program are embedded systems, computer architecture, digital systems, software engineering, computer networks, and operating systems. In addition, the program includes core subjects that are common to all engineering disciplines and basic university studies in humanities and social science. The Computer Engineering program at NDSU is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET .

CpE Specialization

The Computer Engineering program allows students to tailor their studies within broad parameters. Students are encouraged to develop an individual program of study in close consultation with their advisers. Examples are available to illustrate how specialization may be obtained in a number of different technical areas. Students may mix and match from the examples to suit their particular interests. Technical areas include the following:

  • Computer Architecture/Digital VLSI -- VLSI Designers and Computer Architects design computer system hardware, including how the CPU communicates with various types of memory, and high-performance multi-processor systems. VLSI Design focuses on the lower levels of abstraction: transistor-level and physical-level design; whereas Computer Architecture focusses on the higher levels of abstraction: architecture and gate-level design.

  • Cyber Physical Systems deal with the interaction of computing elements monitoring/controlling physical entities, often in a large network.

  • Embedded Systems deal with the design of a dedicated computer system to perform a specific task, often requiring real-time constraints. An example is a smartphone.

  • Computer Systems dealswith the close interaction between a system’s hardware and software.

Major Requirements

Major: Computer Engineering

Degree Type: B.S.Cpr.E.
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 128

General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree

  • A list of approved general education courses is available here .
  • General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable. Students should carefully review the major, minor, and program emphases requirements for minimum grade restrictions, should they apply.
Communication (C)12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Quantitative Reasoning (R) 3
Science and Technology (S) 10
Humanities and Fine Arts (A) 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) 6
Wellness (W) 2
Cultural Diversity (D) *†
Global Perspectives (G) *†
Total Credits39

 May be satisfied by completing courses in another General Education category.

 May be satisfied with courses required in the major. Review major requirements to determine if a specific upper division writing course is required.

Major Requirements

Computer Engineering Core Requirements
ECE 111Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering3
ECE 173Introduction to Computing *4
ECE 275Digital Design *4
ECE 320Electronics for Computer Engineers3
ECE 341Random Processes3
ECE 343Signals & Systems4
ECE 374Computer Organization4
ECE 376Embedded Systems4
ECE 401Design I (capstone)1
ECE 403Design II (capstone)2
ECE 405Design III (capstone)3
ECE 474Computer Architecture3
ECE 475Advanced Digital Design4
Math Courses Required
MATH 129Basic Linear Algebra *3
MATH 165Calculus I (May satisfy general education category R)4
MATH 166Calculus II *4
MATH 265Calculus III (w/ vectors) *4
MATH 266Introduction to Differential Equations *3
CSCI Courses Required
CSCI 161Computer Science II (May satisfy general education category S for Computer Engineering majors only))4
CSCI 222Discrete Mathematics3
CSCI 413Principles of Software Engineering3
CSCI 459Foundations of Computer Networks3
CSCI 474Operating Systems Concepts3
Other Courses Required
CHEM 121General Chemistry I (May satisfy general education category S)3
CHEM 121LGeneral Chemistry I Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)1
or PHYS 251L University Physics I Laboratory
EE 206Circuit Analysis I *4
Select one of the following: (May satisfy general education category C)3
Business and Professional Writing
Writing in the Technical Professions
Writing in the Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
ENGR 402Engineering Ethics and Social Responsibility1
PHYS 251University Physics I (May satisfy general education category S)4
ECE ElectivesSelect 6 cr. of ECE 400 level electives (excluding 494 and 496); may include CSCI 4676
Includes the cross listed courses of ECE/IME 427; ECE/IME 429; ECE/PHYS 411; & ECE/PHYS 411L
Tech Electives: Select 6 credits from the following:6
Theoretical Computer Science
Database Systems
Comparative Programming Languages
Any CSCI 400 level didactic course
Circuit Analysis II
Electronics for Electrical Engineers
Applied Electromagnetics
Any ECE 400 level didactic course
Individual Study
Field Experience (max. of 3 cr.)
Entrepreneurship for Engineers and Scientists
Engineering Economy
Program and Project Management
Evaluation of Engineering Data
Operations Research I
University Physics II
Total Credits100

No grade less than a C accepted in these courses.

Degree Requirements and Notes

  • A student must complete at least 60 semester credits of professional level course work in his/her program while in residence and enrolled in the college.  Students transferring into the college from programs with professional accreditation are exempt from this residency requirement but are subject to the residency requirement of NDSU.
  • Transfer Students – Transfer courses with grades less than ‘C’ in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and any type of engineering class will not be accepted as a major requirement.
  • In order to graduate, an ECE student must have at least a 2.0 GPA in all required EE and ECE courses taken at NDSU.  Elective ECE courses are not included in this GPA requirement.
  • All Students – Students are required to attain a grade of ‘C’ or better in ECE 173 Introduction to Computing, ECE 275 Digital Design, EE 206 Circuit Analysis I, and all required MATH courses.