Circuit board

What is electrical engineering?

Electrical Engineers apply electronic and electromagnetic/optical design principles to design, build, and test analog or digital devices, circuits, and systems - for processing, communication, and storage of information; distribution, conversion, and storage of energy; and process automation or robotics. Application areas include communication, manufacturing, power and energy, health care, computing, security, entertainment, and many others. By their choice of elective courses, students may focus on the following broad domains:

  • Systems for communication, control, or power.
  • Digital hardware, software, and the computer as a component.
  • Electronic, radio-frequency, or optical devices, circuits, and fabrication.

Electrical engineering is a huge and well established engineering field, with hundreds of career paths. For example, as an electrical engineer, you might:

  • plan and design power stations and equipment for generators,
  • design the integrated circuits for the next generation of microprocessors,
  • design an aircraft control system, or
  • design telecommunications equipment and networks.

The Electrical Engineering Program is controlled and administered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. More information is available by contacting the Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Office.

Academic curriculum in electrical engineering

The curriculum is designed to teach those fundamental physical and engineering sciences that form the basis of the work of electrical engineers. It consists of prescribed core courses complemented by five technical elective courses, two natural sciences elective courses, and four complementary studies elective courses.

The normal recommended program involves a course load (excluding seminars and work reports) of five or six courses per term. Laboratory exercises are compulsory where they form part of a course. Approval from the Department is required for departures from this recommended program. Permission to carry more than the normal load in any one term is at the discretion of the Department and is dependent on both the student's previous term average and their cumulative average.

Each cohort is a blend of electrical and computer engineering students and these students share all courses in the first three academic terms. The next three academic terms see two shared core courses, two program-specific courses, and an elective of each student's choice. The last two years see all electrical and computer engineering students merge again to take their chosen technical electives in each student's own personal areas of focus.

There are six co-operative work terms and the normal rules of The Co-operative Education System apply, as further described in the Engineering Work Terms section. With permission, the requirement for co-operative work terms may be reduced by one four-month work term.