Program Objectives

The program objectives of the UCSC B.S. in computer engineering are:

  1. Graduates who choose to pursue a career in industry, government, or academia will become successful engineers, scientists, or educators who demonstrate strong leadership, technical, and team skills; and a commitment to continuing professional development.
  2. Graduates who choose to pursue advanced degrees will gain admission to graduate programs and will be successful graduate students.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

The UCSC B.S. in computer engineering prepares graduates for a rewarding career in engineering. UCSC computer engineering graduates will have a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of computer engineering and the scientific and mathematical principles upon which they are built; they will be prepared for further education (both formal and informal) and for productive employment in industry. Because computer engineering is so broad, the B.S. in computer engineering offers five specialized concentrations for completing the program: systems programming, computer systems, robotics and control, networks, and digital hardware. The program’s emphasis on problem solving provides both excellent training for future engineers and a strong background for graduate study.

Degrees from UCSC in computer science lay the foundation for students who wish to pursue careers in many diverse areas, including algorithms, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition and retrieval, machine learning, neural networks, computer graphics, computer animation, scientific visualization, computer and sensor vision, image processing, image synthesis, multimodal human-computer interaction, programming languages and environments, software engineering, Web and Internet engineering, real-time embedded systems, computer security, databases, parallel and distributed computation, operating systems, and storage systems.

The UCSC B.A. in network and digital technology provides students with in-depth knowledge of the underlying structure and function of network and computer technology and the design processes that make those technologies function. The program is tailored to students who wish to combine technology with other fields or have a general focus on digital design or computer networks. The B.A. in network and digital technology is not an engineering degree, but B.A. graduates will be prepared to work with technology development in other capacities, or join the computer network workforce. Students interested in graduate study should pursue one of the two B.S. programs.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers an undergraduate minor. The minor in computer engineering focuses on the technical aspects of computer hardware, embedded systems, and software design. This minor is particularly recommended for students interested in the design of computer technology for use in another discipline.

The Department co-sponsors the B.S. in bioengineering with the Departments of Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology.

Every major and minor must have a computer engineering faculty adviser, assigned by the SOE Undergraduate Advising Office, and with that adviser must formulate a program of proposed course work that meets the major or minor requirements.

Beyond the extensive research, design, and development projects taking place within courses required for the degrees, many computer engineering students join faculty-led research projects to take part in cutting-edge research. 

Many computer engineering students continue their education through the M.S. degree. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers an accelerated contiguous pathway B.S./M.S. degree in computer engineering that enables eligible undergraduates to move without interruption to the graduate program. Interested computer engineering majors should contact their adviser for more details. The graduate programs of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering also offers both the standard M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees.