Feb 29, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalogue 
2016-2017 Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Consider these questions:

Are you interested in learning how technology improves our quality of life?
Are you intrigued by high-tech gadgets?
Do you enjoy working with computers?

Now, what are you seeking from your VMI Academic Experience?

Are small class sizes and readily-available professors important to you?
Do you prefer an interactive, “hands-on” education with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment?
Are you looking for a flexible curriculum that offers many elective course options?
Are you interested in opportunities to enhance your education through undergraduate research activities and professional conference participation?

Finally, what are your career aspirations?

Are you interested in working in industry or with the government?
Do you want to serve in the military?
Are you considering graduate school and higher education opportunities?

If so, you should consider majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering!!

Our philosophy is to provide the highest quality undergraduate education available, balancing a solid theoretical foundation with an equally strong practical training in the electrical and computer engineering discipline. We stress the importance of high-tech design and problem solving skills coupled with integrity and professionalism. Our wide diversity of course and laboratory offerings is complemented by opportunities to personalize your education through the selection of electives and independent studies. Our curriculum is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

In order to prepare students to meet the educational objectives, the Student Outcomes of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department are listed below.

The department seeks to prepare students who, by the time of graduation, possess:


(a)  an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b)  an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to 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 multidisciplinary 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.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Program of Study

In order to meet these goals, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has designed a program of study to prepare you for a rewarding and successful career. To give you the most flexibility after you graduate from our program, our courses provide a broad foundation in many areas of electrical and computer engineering. For those students seeking additional specialization in a particular area, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department offers a variety of elective courses, as well as customized independent research courses that are tailored to the specific interests of the students and faculty. The program of study culminates with a capstone design experience that includes a competition with design teams from other colleges and universities in the southeastern U.S.

ECE Mathematics Preparation Policy

VMI ECE majors must take Calculus I (MA 123 ) or higher in the first semester by:

  • Passing the VMI math placement test or retest (given in the summer before matriculation)
  • Passing MA 114  (Precalculus) in STP (before matriculation)
  • Achieving a score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus test (either AB or BC)
  • Passing an equivalent precalculus course at another school before matriculation (requires VMI math department head approval)

Professional Licensure

The ECE Department encourages all electrical and computer engineering (ECE) cadets to take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination as an early step toward licensure as a professional engineer.

The FE Examination is offered several times each year at a number of testing locations.

ECE cadets who pass the FE Examination may present documentation to the ECE Secretary for reimbursement for one exam fee.

Math/Science Electives

ECE cadets should consult with their academic advisor or department head concerning approved math/science electives.  X- and W- designated math/science courses are not acceptable, nor are math/science courses already required within the ECE program of study.  In addition, math/science courses deemed to be equivalent to, or at a lower level than, math/science content already included in the ECE program of study are not acceptable.

Honors in Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Students may apply to the ECE Honors Program no earlier than the beginning of their third class year. The application form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office through the ECE Department Head.
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a minimum ECE GPA of 3.30.


  • Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a minimum ECE GPA of 3.30 in order to remain in the ECE Honors Program and be eligible for ECE Honors upon graduation. 
  • Students must submit an honors thesis proposal to the ECE Department Head no later than the end of the second class year. The honors thesis proposal must include the following: 
    • A description of the project 
    • Approval of the project advisor(s) 
  • Students must complete (with no grades below B) a minimum of 3 hours of Undergraduate Research in ECE (EE 491-496 ) or ECE Internship for Credit (EE 469 ).  
  • Students must present the results of their work in an external professional forum, such as IEEE, NCUR, ASEE, etc. 
  • At the conclusion of their project, but no later than one week before the end of classes that semester, students must submit their final honors thesis to their project advisor(s) and the ECE Department Head for approval.

Scholarship and Internship Opportunities in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Numerous Scholarship and Internship Opportunities are available to cadets majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering! Contact the ECE Department Head, or visit the departmental web site: www.vmi.edu/elen, for up-to-date information.

Transfer Policies

Electrical and computer engineering courses, including online courses, may be transferred to VMI pending an evaluation of equivalency and approval by the ECE Department Head.