ARCHIVED CATALOG: Visit to view the 2023-2024 General Catalog.

UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Building 380, Room 101;
Telephone (805) 893-2269 or (805) 893-3821
Web site:
Chair: B.S. Manjunath
Vice Chair: Clint Schow
Vice Chair: Luke Theogarajan


Electrical and Computer Engineering is a broad field encompassing many diverse areas such as computers and digital systems, control, communications, computer engineering, electronics, signal processing, electromagnetics, electro-optics, physics and fabrication of electronic and photonic devices. As in most areas of engineering, knowledge of mathematics and the natural sciences is combined with engineering fundamentals and applied to the theory, design, analysis, and implementation of devices and systems for the benefit of society.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers programs leading to the degrees of bachelor of science in electrical engineering or bachelor of science in computer engineering. (Please see the “Computer Engineering” section for further information.) The undergraduate curriculum in electrical engineering is designed to provide students with a solid background in mathematics, physical sciences, and traditional electrical engineering topics as presented above. A wide range of program options, including computer engineering; microwaves; communications, control, and signal processing; and semiconductor devices and applications, is offered. The department’s Electrical Engineering undergraduate program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  It is one of the degrees recognized in all fifty states as leading to eligibility for registration as a professional engineer.

Graduate studies leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering are offered in three major areas of specialization: computer engineering; communications, control, and signal processing; and electronics and photonics.
The undergraduate major in Electrical Engineering prepares students for a wide range of positions in business, government, and private industrial research, development, and manufacturing organizations. The graduate programs offer educational opportunities at an advanced level, leading at the M.S. level to increased career opportunities in the foregoing positions, and at the Ph.D. level to careers in research and teaching and positions of professional leadership.

Students who complete a major in electrical engineering may be eligible to pursue a California teaching credential. Interested students should consult the credential advisor in the Graduate School of Education.

Under the direction of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, academic advising services are jointly provided by advisors in the College of Engineering, as well as advisors in the department. Students who plan to change to a major in the department should consult the ECE student office. Departmental faculty advisors are assigned to students to assist them in choosing senior elective courses.

Counseling is provided to graduate students through the ECE graduate advisor. Individual faculty members are also available for help in academic planning.

Mission Statement

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks to provide a comprehensive, rigorous and accredited educational program for the graduates of California’s high schools and for postgraduate students, both domestic and international. The department has a dual mission: 

  • Education.  We will develop and produce excellent electrical and computer engineers who will support the high-tech economy of California and the nation. This mission requires that we offer a balanced and timely education that includes not only strength in the fundamental principles but also experience with the practical skills that are needed to contribute to the complex technological infrastructure of our society. This approach will enable each of our graduates to continue learning throughout an extended career.
  • Research:  We will develop relevant and innovative science and technology through our research that addresses the needs of industry, government and the scientific community. This technology can be transferred through our graduates, through industrial affiliations, and through publications and presentations.

We provide a faculty that is committed to education and research, is accessible to students, and is highly qualified in their areas of expertise.

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the Electrical Engineering Program identify what we hope that our graduates will accomplish within a few years after graduation.

  1. We expect our graduates to make positive contributions to society in fields including, but not limited to, engineering.
  2. We expect our graduates to have acquired the ability to be flexible and adaptable, showing that their educational background has given them the foundation needed to remain effective, take on new responsibilities and assume leadership roles.
  3. We expect some of our graduates to pursue their formal education further, including graduate study for master’s and doctoral degrees.

Program Outcomes        

The EE program expects our students upon graduation to have:

  1. Acquired strong basic knowledge and skills in those fundamental areas of mathematics, science, and electrical engineering that are required to support specialized professional training at the advanced level and to provide necessary breadth to the student’s overall program of studies.  This provides the basis for lifelong learning.
  2. Experienced in-depth training in state-of-the-art specialty areas in electrical engineering.  This is implemented through our senior electives.  Students are required to take two sequences of at least two courses each at the senior level.
  3. Benefited from imaginative and highly supportive laboratory experiences where appropriate throughout the program.  The laboratory experience will be closely integrated with coursework and will make use of up-to-date instrumentation and computing facilities.  Students should experience both hardware-oriented and simulation-oriented exercises.
  4. Experienced design-oriented challenges that exercise and integrate skills and knowledge acquired in several courses.  These may include design of components or subsystems with performance specifications.  Graduates should be able to demonstrate an ability to design and conduct experiments as well as analyze the results.
  5. Learned to function well in teams. Also, students must develop communication skills, written and oral, both through team and classroom experiences. Skills including written reports, webpage preparation, and public presentations are required.
  6. Completed a well-rounded and balanced education through required studies in selected areas of fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.  This provides for the ability to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.  A course in engineering ethics is also required of all undergraduates.

Laboratory Facilities

In addition to formal classroom lectures and studies, the department places strong emphasis on the inclusion of laboratory and computational experience in a student’s program of study. To support this experience, the department and the campus maintain an extensive complement of relevant laboratory and computational facilities. Instructional laboratory facilities are available to support undergraduate courses in circuits, electronics, digital systems, communications, control, signal and image processing, microwaves, and solid-state device fabrication. Students may access microcomputers and workstations in the Microcomputer Laboratory or the College of Engineering ECI and CAD Laboratories.
The Department also maintains modern well-equipped facilities for research in communications, control, signal processing, image processing, scientific computation, VLSI design and testing, computer architecture, fault-tolerant computing, microwaves, optoelectronics, and solid state microelectronics. All research laboratories include or have access to modern computer facilities. Workstations in the various research laboratories have access via a local area network to a wide range of computing resources. The solid state research facilities include laboratories for crystal growth by molecular beam epitaxy and metal-organic CVD, microfabrication and processing, analog and digital integrated circuit design, and compound-semiconductor optoelectronic device and materials research.