Electrical Engineering Program

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2016-17 UG Electrical Engineering Major Program

  • Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education: Robert Dutton, 333X Allen, rdutton@stanford.edu *
  • Student Services: Meo Kittiwanich, 163 Packard, meo@ee.stanford.edu
  • Dept Chair: Abbas El Gamal, abbas@ee.stanford.edu
  • Student Advisor: 110 Packard, undergradta@ee.stanford.edu, 725-3799

The mission of the Department of Electrical Engineering is to augment the liberal education expected of all Stanford undergraduates, to impart a basic understanding of electrical engineering, and to develop skills in the design and building of systems that directly impact societal needs.

The program includes a balanced foundation in the physical sciences, mathematics and computing; presents core courses in electronics, information systems and digital systems; and develops specific skills in the analysis and design of systems. Students in the major have broad flexibility to select from disciplinary areas beyond the core, including hardware and software, information systems and science, and physical technology and science, as well as electives in multidisciplinary areas, including bio-electronics and bio-imaging, energy and environment, and music.

The program prepares students for a broad range of careers—both industrial and government—as well as for professional and academic graduate education. The educational objectives and student outcomes for the Department of Electrical Engineering are shown below in the Objectives section.

Degree Requirements

Math and Science Requirements:

Minimum 40 units combined; 9 courses

It is a School of Engineering requirement that all courses counting toward the major must be taken for a letter grade if the instructor offers that option. Students with multiple degrees should be aware that math, science, and fundamentals courses can be used to fulfill breadth requirements for more than one degree program, but a depth course can be counted toward only one major or minor program; any course can be double-counted in a secondary major.
Math (minimum 26-27 units, 6-7 courses)

  • MATH 19, 20, 21 OR MATH 41, 42, or 10 units AP Calculus; 10 units are required
  • Select one 2-course sequence from CME 100 & 102 or MATH 51 (or 52) & 53. The MATH courses are more theoretical, while the CME courses are applied and build on programming and use of tools like MATLAB.
  • Select an additional 100-level Math course: EE 102B (if not used in EE disciplinary area) or EE 103 or EE 142 or CME 104 or MATH 113 or CS 103
  • Statistics/Probability: Select one: EE 178 OR CS 109. Choosing a statistics options depends upon your interest and preferences. The EE option has a theoretical perspective; the CS option is more application-oriented)

Science (minimum 12 units, 3 courses)

  • Choose one of the following two-course sequences (8 units required): PHYSICS 41+43^, ^^  or PHYSICS 41+EE 42 or PHYSICS 61+63^^ 
  • Approved science elective; see Approved Courses page

^The EE introductory class ENGR 40M, or both ENGR 40A and ENGR 40B, may be taken concurrently with PHYSICS 43; PHYSICS 43 is NOT a prerequisite for these courses. Many students find the material complimentary in terms of fundamental and applied perspectives on electronics.
^^Score of 4-5 on AP Physics C test for Mechanics and/or Electricity and Magnetism also acceptable

Technology in Society (1 course, minimum 3-5 units)
See the Approved Courses page for courses that fulfill the Technology in Society requirement. To fulfill the requirement, the TiS course must be on the Approved Courses list the year it is taken.

Engineering Topics

-- Minimum 60 units comprised of:

  • Engineering Fundamentals (minimum 13-15 units),
  • Core EE Courses (minimum 16-18 units)
  • Disciplinary Area (minimum 14 units)
  • Electives (minimum 12 units, restrictions apply)

Engineering Fundamentals (3 courses required; minimum 13-15 units)

  • CS 106B or X (same as ENGR 70B or X). Programming Abstractions (or Accelerated version); required, 5 units
  • At least two additional Fundamentals from Approved List; Recommended: ENGR 40A+40B or 40M (recommended before taking EE 101A); taking CS 106A or a second E40-series course not allowed for the Fundamentals elective.

Core EE Courses

  • EE 100. The Electrical Engineering Profession
  • EE 101A. Circuits I
  • EE 102A. Signal Processing and Linear Systems I
  • EE 108. Digital Systems Design
  • Physics of Electrical Engineering: Take one of
    --EE 65 Modern Physics for Engineers or
    --EE 142. Engineering Electromagnetics

Disciplinary Area (minimum 14 units, 4 courses: 1 WIM/Design, 1 Required, and 2 disciplinary area electives)

I. Hardware and Software: The evolution of computers continue with ever-growing needs for lower-power, smaller and faster devices. Consumer demands for portability with full-function graphics and high-speed pose daunting challenges. Moreover, “big data” and “cloud computing” pose major hardware challenges. This area in Electrical Engineering offers the opportunity to have the best of both worlds—EE and CS. The courses that can be taken include virtually the complete spectrum of those offered in CS.

  • Required: CS 107E (or CS 107) prerequisite for EE 180, and EE 180
  • WIM/Design: EE109 or EE155, EE264, or CS194W
  • Disciplinary area electives: EE107, EE118, EE 213, EE 267, EE271, EE273, EE282, CS108, CS110, CS140, CS143, CS144, CS145, CS148, CS 149, CS155, CS223A, CS225A, CS 229, CS231A, CS241, CS 244

II. Information Systems and Science: This area embraces a very broad and diverse set of topics with an equally broad set of potential application areas. Image processing, for example, can be applied for environmental monitoring of satellite images as well as in medical diagnostics from MRI, CT or other medical imaging modalities. Power and control systems is having a renaissance, leveraged both by new technologies and broad systems needs, including robotics-based systems.

  • Required: EE102B
  • WIM/Design: EE133, EE168, EE 262 (Design only), EE 264 (Design only - must be taken for 4 units and complete the laboratory project)
  • Disciplinary area electives: EE107, EE118, EE124, EE169, EE261, EE263, EE 267, EE278, EE279, ENGR105, ENGR205

III. Physical Technology and Science: The fields of electronic systems and supporting device technologies continue to drive ubiquitous abundance of both hardware and software. Physical Technology and Science includes new technologies (including “nano” and electro-mechanical) and sensor-based analog circuits. This area also has a broad technical base in physics, ranging from electro-magnetics to quantum mechanics, with an extremely diverse set of application areas.

  • Required: EE101B
  • WIM/Design: EE133, EE134, EE153, EE155
  • Disciplinary area electives: EE 107, EE114, EE116, EE118, EE122A, EE 124, EE136, EE142, EE212, EE213, EE214B, EE216, EE222, EE223, EE228, EE236A, EE236B, EE242, EE247, EE267, EE271

DESIGN COURSE: 1 course, 3-4 units
EE 109 Digital Systems Design Lab 4
EE 133 Analog Communications Design Laboratory 4
EE 134 Introduction to Photonics 4
EE 153 Power Electronics 4
EE 155 Green Electronics 4
EE 168 Introduction to Digital Image Processing 3-4
EE 262 Two-Dimensional Imaging 3
EE 264 Digital Signal Processing
To satisfy Design, must take EE 264 for 4 units and complete the laboratory project. 3-4
CS 194 Software Project 3
CS 194W Software Project 3
* Students may select their Design course from any Disciplinary Area.

WIM (Writing in the Major)/Design
Choose from the following courses: EE109, EE133, EE134, EE152, EE155, EE168, EE264, CS194W, EE191W (Department approval required; EE191W may satisfy WIM only if taken as a follow-up to an REU, independent study project or as part of an Honors thesis project where a faculty agrees to provide supervision of writing a technical paper and with suitable support from the Writing Center.)

  • The recommended Design courses for each disciplinary area are given within that areas course list; however, this is not a strict requirement. Note: EE262 and EE264 satisfy Design requirement only, not WIM requirement.

Electives (minimum 12 units)

Students may select electives from the above disciplinary areas (I, II, III); or from the multidisciplinary elective areas below; or any combination of disciplinary and multidisciplinary areas.

Students may select electives from the above disciplinary areas (I, II, III); or from the multidisciplinary elective areas listed in the 2016-17 UG Handbook; or any combination of disciplinary and multidisciplinary areas. Electives may include up to two additional Engineering Fundamentals, any CS 193 course and any letter graded EE courses (minus any previously noted restrictions). Freshman and Sophomore seminars, EE 191 and CS 106A do not count toward the 60 units.

Bio-electronics and Bio-imaging:  This area crosses boundaries and disciplines; it is the cross-roads of bio- sciences, medicine and engineering. The need for improved diagnostics and health care delivery systems couldn’t be more important to the economy and society.

  • Courses: EE101B, EE 102B, EE 107, EE 122B, EE 124, EE 134, EE 168, EE 169, EE 202, EE 225, MED 275B

Green-Energy and Environment: This area represents the confluence of new and emerging technologies for clean energy, systems engineering at several levels (the grid, smart buildings, efficient appliances) and innovations in making smarter electronics. It leverages all three of EE's Disciplinary Areas, as well as bottom-up technology and top-down systems.

  • Courses: EE 101B, EE 116, EE 134, EE 151, EE 153, EE 155, EE 168, EE 180, EE 263, EE 293A/MATSCI 156, EE 293B; CEE 107A, CEE 155, CEE 176A, CEE 176B; ENGR 105, ENGR 205; ;ME 185, ME 227

Signal Processing; Transducers: This area offers students the opportunity to combine their creative passion with expanding their technical expertise in signal processing as well as hardware and systems that push the envelope in music and the performing arts; new interfaces and transducers are the forte of EE.

  • Courses: EE 102B, EE 109, EE 122A, EE 264; MUSIC 250A, MUSIC 250B, MUSIC 256A, MUSIC 256B, MUSIC 257, MUSIC 320A or B, MUSIC 420A, MUSIC 421A, MUSIC 422, MUSIC 424

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

The Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford University invites undergraduates majoring in EE to participate in its REU Summer Program from June through August. The program is designed to give undergraduates an opportunity to work with members of the EE Faculty and their research groups on advanced research topics.

Program Structure: The program is designed to give both an in-depth research experience on a particular topic, as well as a broad hands-on exposure to various areas within EE. Bi-weekly seminars are offered to cover a wide range of topics. The seminar series lecturers are comprised of EE faculty and industry guests. Discussions will include topics such as graduate education, internships and career opportunities. Each student receives a summer stipend. Students must secure their own housing for the summer and they have the option to live on or off campus.
Presentations: The last week of the summer program will be devoted to preparing a final presentation and creating a poster on the research project. The students will have an oral presentation and a poster session, to which the EE community will be invited.
Application Procedure: For information about our application process, please go to http://ee.stanford.edu/academics/reu.

REU Requirements: Available to enrolled Stanford undergraduate students only. Students must be declared EE by the start of the program. With the exception of coterm students, students may not be seniors when they apply. In the event the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces available, preference is given to first time participants. All REU program inquiries can be directed to reu@ee.stanford.edu.


Stanford’s Overseas Studies Program is a great opportunity for students to build their language and cultural skills abroad. Some of the most popular programs with Electrical Engineering students are in China, Japan and Germany. In many cases there are summer job opportunities as well. Each program has different and specific language requirement that may require early and careful planning. For example, the core classes may be offered during quarters that conflict with the study abroad. For more information, see the “Overseas Studies” section of this handbook.


1. Technical Knowledge: Provide a basic knowledge of electrical engineering principles along with the required supporting knowledge of mathematics, science, computing, and engineering fundamentals. The program must include depth in at least one specialty area, currently including Bio-electronics and Bio-imaging; Circuits and Devices; Computer Hardware; Computer Software; Energy and Environment; Music; Photonics, Solid State, and Electromagnetics; and Signal Processing, Communications and Control.
2. Laboratory and Design Skills: Develop the basic skills needed to perform and design experimental projects. Develop the ability to formulate problems and projects and to plan a process for solutions taking advantage of diverse technical knowledge and skills.
3. Communications Skills: Develop the ability to organize and present information, and to write and speak effective English.
4. Preparation for Further Study: Provide sufficient breadth and depth for successful subsequent graduate study, post-graduate study, or lifelong learning programs.
5. Preparation for the Profession: Provide an appreciation for the broad spectrum of issues arising in professional practice, including teamwork, leadership, safety, ethics, service, economics, and professional organizations. Outcomes:
(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 multi-disciplinary 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 he 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
(l) Background for admission to engineering or other professional graduate programs

Declaring EE as a Major

1. Declare a major in EE on Axess. Do not choose the Honors option on Axess unless you have submitted an Honors application to the department along with the thesis proposal.
2. Complete a copy of the Major Declaration Form. The "Area of Interest" is particularly important to assist in the choice of a faculty advisor. It can always be changed.
3. Meet with the Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education: Please send an email to rdutton@stanford.edu to make an appointment. Make sure to bring your Major Declaration Form, unofficial transcript, and academic file (if available from your previous advisor) to the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to go over the basics of getting a BS in EE, and to assign an EE faculty advisor.
4. After the meeting, bring your Major Declaration Form to the EE Degree Progress Officer in Packard 177, who will approve your major declaration and enter your advisor's name in Axess. We will also add your email to the EE undergraduate email list (also part of the department-wide student email list). These lists are used for announcements about academic requirements, seminars, research opportunities, and other events.

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