The ECE Department began offering courses for the computer program in the Fall of 2001. The first two years of the computer program are identical to the first two years of the electrical engineering program. The cp,puter track provides a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of electrical and computer engineering that would allow a graduate to function effectively in industry or continue on to graduate school.
A computer engineer must understand the fundamentals of general engineering and hardware design as well as essential low and high level programming. A computer engineer must have a fundamental understanding of digital signal processing VLSI filters, electronics, digital/advanced digital computer logic and architecture (at the hardware level) as well as the associated software. This defines the differences between a computer engineer, an electrical engineer, and a computer scientist. An electrical engineer will study math, physical science, and some hardware, while a computer engineer will focus more on hardware and software along with physical science and math, especially discrete math. The computer scientist concentrates more on software and discrete math than the computer engineer and less time to hardware and physical science. For example, both electrical and computer engineers require at least 20 credits of circuits and electronics (theory and laboratories). Computer engineers use their knowledge to create new devices and systems that satisfy perceived societal needs, including health and welfare, safety, environmental control, knowledge enhancement, etc.
The specialization areas available for a student in the BS Eng in Electrical Engineering program do not sufficiently emphasize computer engineering. Computer engineering has grown rapidly to a size justifying a separate degree program. A BS in Computer Science focuses primarily on the theory, design, and analysis of algorithms applied to the software aspects of computer technology. This is in contrast to the BS Eng in Computer Engineering, in which there is a desire to integrate hardware aspects at various levels (embedded systems and systems integration) with software aspects, also at various levels.
The department offers several tracks for students with different levels of preparation in mathematics and English. It may take some students five years to complete their degree.
For the latest information regarding curriculum, please see the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog.
For admissions information, visit the UML admissions site:
To encourage outstanding undergraduate students to continue their studies toward an advanced degree, the College of Engineering and Graduate Admissions offer a program of accelerated study leading to the dual degrees of a bachelor of science in engineering and a master of science in engineering. Students taking full advantage of the combined program ordinarily finish the master of science in engineering degree at the end of the fifth year of study. Undergraduates may take up to two courses (6 credits) during the senior year that may be used to satisfy both the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.
To be eligible to enter this course of study, students must file a formal Graduate Admissions application in the junior or senior year. Applicants for this program are not required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or pay an application fee. Upon the recommendation of their advisor and with the approval of the Department of Chemical Engineering Graduate Admissions Committee and Graduate Admissions, students may be admitted as provisional graduate students during the second semester of the senior year.
Students in this program may be eligible for financial assistance, i.e. fellowships, research and teaching assistantships, during the fifth year of study. Acceptance of this assistance and the attendant responsibilities may delay the completion of the program beyond the five years.
For the latest requirements, course descriptions and more please consult the UMass Lowell online Graduate Catalog.