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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Computer Engineering @ USNA

Computer Engineering at USNA is a new major.  The major is filled with fascinating courses, motivated students, and a fervent faculty. The material on this page introduces the Computer Engineering program in general and explains the program here at USNA.

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineering is a discipline that combines fundamentals from both electrical engineering and computer science. Computer engineers understand different aspects of a computer, ranging from low-level physics to high-level computer software. Computer engineers design, implement, analyze and evaluate computer systems and devices. We are in the midst of the digital age, and as a computer engineering student, you will learn how the discovery of the transistor sparked an unprecedented growth in digital processors, creating an extraordinary need for computer engineers. Digital processors are everywhere, including PCs, laptops, cell phones, PDAs, iPods, Playstations, Tivos, the backbone of the internet, etc. Below, you'll find a non-exhaustive list of the computer engineering sub-disciplines found at the Naval Academy.

Algorithms and Coding
Computer engineering majors learn to develop methods of writing efficient software code in high level programming languages such as C, C++, Java, etc. The 'under-the-hood' understanding of a computer that comes with being a computer engineer is very useful for writing efficient programs.

Computer Architecture Organization and Parallel Processing
Computer architecture organization encompasses a broad spectrum of design techniques that address different aspects of performance, power consumption, reliability and efficiency. Specific topics include processor fundamentals, super-pipeline architecture, systolic and parallel designs.

Computer Networking
This discipline concerns creating  integrated environments for computers and other communication devices to access information efficiently. The focus is on developing hardware and software components that link devices together, wired or wirelessly, to form a network.

Digital Logic Design
Digital logic circuits evaluate the truthfulness of electronic signals using Boolean algebra expressions (those with terms like AND, OR, and NOT). Logic circuits are used in most electronic systems including computers, cell phones, game consoles, etc.

Embedded Systems
Imagine yourself understanding how a Sony PlayStation or a Nintendo Wii works. Embedded systems are special-purpose computers that are designed to perform a few dedicated functions usually as part of a larger system. Other interesting projects include embedded systems for computer vision, image processing and robotics.

Integrated Circuits and VLSI Design
Computer engineers working in this area focus on enhancing speed, chip area, reliability and energy efficiency. Very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) circuits are created by combining millions of transistors into a single chip that is designed to perform special tasks.

Operating Systems
An operating system is the software responsible for managing activities and hardware resources of a machine. Most computer systems including handheld devices, PCs, supercomputers, and video game consoles use an operating system. Thanks to their understanding of both hardware and software, computer engineers make great operating system designers.

Computer Engineering Major

Computer engineering is a discipline that combines fundamentals from both electrical engineering and computer science. Computer engineers must understand the many different aspects of a computer, ranging from the physics of its low-level components to the computer software that controls its high-level operations.

Computer Engineering majors are required to take courses in electrical engineering fundamentals including AC and DC circuit analysis, digital logic systems, electronics and electromechanics, signals and systems, data structures, communications, computer architecture and the design of microprocessor-based systems. Computer engineering students will have the opportunity to take electives in embedded systems, computer operating systems, mobile OS development, database systems, microcomputer interfacing, superscalar processor design, VLSI design, computer networking, computer and network security, digital signal processing, computer graphics, biometric signal processing and computer vision.

The capstone senior design laboratory sequence integrates the many skills acquired in preparatory courses so that students can design, implement, test, and demonstrate a significant project. Two midshipmen per year are awarded the Hamming Prize for innovative work in the computer engineering design laboratory course sequences.

The computer engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABETA dedicated, high-energy faculty and a suite of leading-edge facilities enables the department to support a curriculum that emphasizes learning through workbench exercises and design (learning by doing). Not only are graduates prepared for many jobs found in the Fleet, but they also have an excellent fundamental background and foundation for continued specialized study at the Naval Postgraduate School or any other post-graduate institutions.

Course Matrix

  • Slight differences exist in the Matrix from one Graduating class to another. Students should use MIDS to see the official CE/EE Matrices.
  • Always consult with your advisor to ensure you are meeting course requirements.


3/C Fall 3/C Spring 2/C Fall 2/C Spring 1/C Fall 1/C Spring
NE203  (3-0-3) Navigation and Piloting NN210 (1-2-2) Basic Navigation NN310 (0-2-1) Advanced Navigation NL310 (3-0-3) Leadership: Theory and Applications NL400 (2-0-2) Law for the Junior Officer NS43X (0-2-1) Practicum
SP211 (3-2-4) General Physics I SP212 (3-2-4) General Physics II HH2XY (3-0-3) Western Civilization I or equivalent HUM/SS I (3-0-3) HUM/SS Elective HUM/SS II (3-0-3) HUM/SS Elective
SM221 (4-0-4) Calculus III SM212 (4-0-4) Differential Equations EE353 (3-0-3) Prob Stats & Lin Alg for ECE SM342 (3-0-3) Discrete Structures EM316 (3-0-3) Engineering Thermodynamics HH216 (3-0-3) Western Civilization II
ES300 (3-0-3) Naval Weapons Systems EM317 (3-0-3) Applied Fluid Mechanics
EE322 (3-2-4) Signals and Systems CE MAJ I 3/4 CE major elective ES360 (0-2-1) Control Systems Laboratory
EC262 (3-2-4) Digital Systems SI204 (3-2-4) Introduction to Computer Science SI221 (2-2-3) Data Structures EC356 (3-2-4) Computer Networks with Security Applications EE411 (2-2-3) EE/CE Design I EC415 (0-4-2) CE Design II
EE221 (3-2-4) Introduction to Electrical Engineering I EC244 (3-2-4) Electronics I EC361 (3-2-4) Microcomputer-Based Digital Design EC362 (3-2-4)  Introduction to Computer Architecture CE MAJ II 3/4 CE major elective CE MAJ III 3/4 CE major elective
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