Computer Engineering Degrees: Requirements to Enroll in and Complete a Computer Engineering Degree Program

Published Sep 18, 2009

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Computer engineers work in computer hardware and software development where they design, develop and evaluate the components that allow computers to function, including everything from memory chips to databases. Programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree level. The following article discusses the requirements to enroll in and complete a degree in computer engineering.

Enrolling in a Computer Engineering Degree Program

Bachelor's degree programs are offered at a number of universities and colleges. Admission requirements vary. Some programs require a minimum high school grade point average or minimum test scores on college entrance exams. Other programs require students to enroll in pre-major programs and obtain a minimum grade point average in prescribed courses before being admitted into the computer engineering program.

Graduate level programs may require an undergraduate degree in computer engineering or may require completion of specific coursework. Some schools offer Degree of Engineering programs, which require students to have a master's degree in computer engineering for admission. Ph.D. programs usually require bachelor's and master's degree in related areas and may have additional admission requirements, including a qualifying exam and a minimum number of seminar credits.

Completing a Computer Engineering Degree Program

A Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. Some programs combine hardware and software engineering, while others allow students to choose a concentration. Students take courses in programming languages, data structures, algorithms, operating systems, networks and computer security. Lab courses are generally an integral part of the studies, and some programs require a student project.

Master's degree programs are offered with thesis or non-thesis options. Master's degrees in computer engineering generally require 30 hours of coursework beyond the undergraduate degree. Some schools offer Degree of Engineer programs requiring 30 hours of coursework in addition to master's degree coursework. A minimum grade point average usually must be maintained. Ph.D. programs require around 70 credit hours beyond undergraduate study, which usually includes a dissertation as well and services as a teaching assistant during a semester.

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