About Computer Engineering

In the last 30 years, information technology, wireless communications, and advanced computer, internet, and software-related innovations have transformed the way we live and how we connect with one another. Computer engineers apply the principles and techniques of  electrical engineering, computer science, and mathematical analysis to  the design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and  hardware systems that enable computers to perform increasingly  demanding functions. In the workplace, computer engineers span a wide  range of skills; for instance, they design robots, develop  microprocessors, design supercomputers and smart devices, create integrated circuits for semiconductor fabrication, program computer-vision capabilities, create security/cryptographic systems, and develop software systems and network protocols.

History of Computer Engineering Major at UMD

In the Fall of 1997, the University of Maryland launched the BS degree program in Computer Engineering, drawing upon resources and expert faculty from both the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. The Computer Engineering program, the first of its kind in the state of Maryland, was developed in conjunction with industry leaders to address the demand for excellence in this rapidly developing field.

Computer Engineering Curriculum

The Computer Engineering curriculum requires a minimum of 122 credits to degree completion. Undergraduate students pursue a common foundation in math, physics, and chemistry (as well as computer and engineering sciences), then concentrate on the computer engineering core curriculum during sophomore and junior years. Seniors choose from a wide variety of electrical engineering and computer science courses, including capstone design course work, which integrates classroom learning with hands-on practical design. Students thereby gain valuable technical skills for subsequent graduate study and/or technical advancement.

Due to the similarity in curriculum, students within the Computer Engineering major are not allowed to earn a second major or degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science. Likewise, Computer Engineering majors are not eligible for the Computer Science and Computer Engineering minor programs.

The Computer Engineering undergraduate program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.


Within 3 to 5 years from graduation, a graduate of computer engineering (CpE) will have engaged in life-long learning and will have attained any of the following program educational objectives:
PEO #1. Advance to a leadership position in a reputable industry or government institution.
PEO #2. Earn a graduate degree from a top ranked graduate program in CpE or related field.
PEO #3. Become an innovator and/or entrepreneur in an CpE or related space. 
A comprehensive set of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) has been derived from the Program Educational Objectives (PEOs). These SLOs comprise the knowledge and skills all Computer Engineering students are expected to possess by the time they graduate so the PEOs can be accomplished. The SLOs are:
(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
(c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
(d) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
(e) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
(f)  An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) An ability to communicate effectively
(h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
(i)  A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning
(j) A knowledge of contemporary issues
(k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
(l) Program specific outcome: an ability to apply knowledge of probability and statistics in electrical or computer engineering

The current overall undergraduate enrollment in Computer Engineering (CpE) is 496 students distributed over all four years of study (as of Fall 2017). In the 2016-2017 academic year, 76 students were granted Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering.  

For students who entered the CpE program as freshmen in Fall of 2012, 62 percent graduated in four years and 82 percent graduated in five years with a degree from University of Maryland, College Park. For students who entered the CpE program as freshmen in Fall of 2012, 30 percent graduated in four years and 38 percent graduated in five years with a B.S. in Computer Engineering.