B.S. EE Program Overview
Thank you for your interest in the Stanford Electrical Engineering undergraduate major! We encourage you to explore the EE undergraduate program.
Our program develops students’ skills in performing and designing experimental projects and communicating their findings to the scientific community effectively. It also prepares them for careers in government agencies, the corporate sector, or for future study in graduate or professional schools. Our mission for undergraduate students is detailed in the Undergraduate Engineering Handbook (UGHB).
Admissions at the undergraduate level is handled by the Stanford Undergraduate Admissions office.
Undergraduate Degree in Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering is a very broad, flexible major. For our undergraduate students, we organize the curriculum through three disciplinary areas: (I) Hardware and Software Systems, (II) Information Systems and Science, (III) Physical Technology and Science, and several multidisciplinary elective areas. Throughout the Bachelor of Science program, EE undergraduates will build all kinds of very cool, sophisticated systems. You will learn about a range of state-of-the-art electronics and devices, signal processing, smart algorithms, and a range of their applications in modern technology.
B.S. Degree Requirements: All Stanford B.A. and B.S. degrees require completion of 180 credit units. An Electrical Engineering B.S. has the following breakdown: minimum of 40 units of Math and Science (combined), minimum of 60 units of Engineering Topics, and 80 elective and language units. Below is an overview of EE's undergraduate program requirements. Additional EE program details are available in the EE chapter of the undergraduate engineering handbook (UGHB).
Mathematics (26-27 units, 6 courses)
Science (12-13 units, 3 courses). Minimum of 40 combined units (9 courses) of Math and Science.
Technology in Society (minimum of 3-5 units, 1 course)
Engineering Topics: Minimum of 60 units comprised of the following:
- Engineering Fundamentals (minimum of 13-15 units, 3 courses)
- Core EE Courses (minimum of 16-18 units, 5 courses)
- Disciplinary area (minimum of 14 units, 4 courses, specifically (all from within chosen Disciplinary Area): 1 WIM/Design, 1 Required, and 2 additional courses.
EE's disciplinary areas provide a curriculum structure that relates to advanced study and research, as well as industry.
I. Hardware and Software systems: The evolution of computers continue with ever-growing needs for lower-power, smaller and faster devices. Consumer demands for portability with full-function graphics and high-speed pose daunting challenges. Moreover, “big data” and “cloud computing” pose major hardware challenges. This area in Electrical Engineering offers the opportunity to have the best of both worlds—EE and CS. The courses that can be taken include virtually the complete spectrum of those offered in CS. Specific requirements in UGHB.
II. Information Systems and Science: This area embraces a very broad and diverse set of topics with an equally broad set of potential application areas. Image processing, for example, can be applied for environmental monitoring of satellite images as well as in medical diagnostics from MRI, CT or other medical imaging modalities. Power and control systems is having a renaissance, leveraged both by new technologies and broad systems needs, including robotics-based systems. Specific requirements in UGHB.
III. Physical Technology and Science: The fields of electronic systems and supporting device technologies continue to drive ubiquitous abundance of both hardware and software. Physical Technology and Science includes new technologies (including “nano” and electro-mechanical) and sensor-based analog circuits. This area also has a broad technical base in physics, ranging from electro-magnetics to quantum mechanics, with an extremely diverse set of application areas. Specific requirements in UGHB.
- Elective areas (minimum of 12 units, restrictions apply). Students may select their electives from the disciplinary areas (I, II, III); from the multidisciplinary elective areas below; or any combination of disciplinary and multidisciplinary areas. Elective choices may include up to two additional Engineering Fundamentals, any CS 193 course, and any letter graded EE/EE related courses (minus any restrictions noted in the UGHB). Freshman and Sophmore seminars, EE191 and CS106A do not count toward the 60 units.
Bio-EE (Bio-electronics and Bio-imaging): This area crosses boundaries and disciplines; it is the cross-roads of bio- sciences, medicine and engineering. The need for improved diagnostics and health care delivery systems couldn’t be more important to the economy and society.
Green-EE (Energy and Environment): This area represents the confluence of new and emerging technologies for clean energy, systems engineering at several levels (the grid, smart buildings, efficient appliances) and innovations in making smarter electronics. It leverages all three of EE's Disciplinary Areas, as well as bottom-up technology and top-down systems.
Music-EE (signal processing and transducers): This area offers students the opportunity to combine their creative passion with expanding their technical expertise in signal processing as well as hardware and systems that push the envelop in music and the performing arts; new interfaces and transducers are the forte of EE.
Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Unique to the EE department is our REU Program. Each summer, the department oversees the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program, which is designed to give undergraduates majoring in EE an opportunity to work directly with faculty and their research groups on advanced research topics. The program is designed to give both an in-depth research experience on a particular topic, as well as a broad hands-on exposure to various areas within EE. REU Program page.
Undergraduate Engineering Handbook (UGHB)
The Electrical Engineering undergraduate program is detailed in the Undergraduate Engineering Handbook (UGHB). This is a valuable resource that provides detailed degree information, including declaring a major, credit transfer, and program sheets.
Sample 4 year plans are a good way to help plan your courses around your interests. Some undergraduate students pursue a co-term; a program that combines Bachelors and Masters degree. Others choose to double-major, and/or take classes outside of EE.