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Welcome to EE at Caltech
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Undergraduate Program
The objective of the undergraduate program in Electrical Engineering at Caltech is to produce graduates who will attain careers and higher education that ultimately lead to leadership roles in academia, industry and government in areas of rapidly advancing interdisciplinary technology related to telecommunications, solid-state, information, computer and electrical systems.

The program prepares its students for either graduate study, entrepreneurial careers, or research and development work in government or industrial laboratories. It inspires them to undertake careers and professional practices that provide an opportunity to address the pressing technological needs of society. It accomplishes this by building on the core curriculum to provide a broad and rigorous exposure to the fundamentals (e.g., math, science, and engineering) of electrical engineering. EE’s other program objectives are multiple. The program strives to maintain a balance between classroom lectures and laboratory and design experience, and it emphasizes the problem formulation, system-design, and solving skills that are essential to any engineering discipline. The program also strives to develop in each student self-reliance, creativity, teamwork ability, professional ethics, communication skills, and an appreciation of the importance of contemporary issues and lifelong intellectual growth. For interested students, there are opportunities to conduct research with a faculty member.

Completed applications are due no later than January 1, for entrance the following September. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.

Please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website for on-line applications, downloadable forms, important dates, and complete information about the undergraduate admissions process.

Apply now!

Undergraduate Program

External Links

Undergraduate Admissions
Registrar
Current Class ScheduleCaltech Catalog
EE Course Descriptions

The EE Enterprise: Sweeping into Uncharted Terrian (2MB pdf, Engenious article)

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 EE site
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Option Requirements
option requirements | double majors | typical course schedule | suggested electives

The objective of the undergraduate program in Electrical
Engineering at Caltech is to produce graduates who will attain
careers and higher education that ultimately lead to leadership
roles in academia, industry and government in areas of rapidly
advancing interdisciplinary technology related to telecommunications,
solid-state, information, computer and electrical systems.
The program prepares its students for either graduate study,
entrepreneurial careers, or research and development work in government
or industrial laboratories. It inspires them to undertake
careers and professional practices that provide an opportunity to
address the pressing technological needs of society. It accomplishes
this by building on the core curriculum to provide a broad and rigorous
exposure to the fundamentals (e.g., math, science, and principles
of engineering) of electrical engineering. EE’s other program
objectives are multiple. The program strives to maintain a balance
between classroom lectures and laboratory and design experience,
and it emphasizes the problem formulation, system-design, and
solving skills that are essential to any engineering discipline. The
program also strives to develop in each student self-reliance, creativity,
teamwork ability, professional ethics, communication skills,
and an appreciation of the importance of contemporary issues and
lifelong intellectual growth. For interested students, there are
opportunities to conduct research with a faculty member.
Students electing this option will normally choose to take
APh/EE 9 ab as a freshman-year elective and the introductory seminar
EE 1. The formal study of electrical engineering begins in the
sophomore year with circuits and systems, EE 44; digital electronics,
EE/CS 51, 52; semiconductor sensors and actuators, EE 40; the
theory and laboratory practice of analog circuits, EE 45; and then a
course on feedback control systems, EE 113 or CDS 110 a. The
junior year features the fundamentals of signals and systems and
digital signal processing, EE 111; probability and random processes,
ACM/EE 116; an introduction to analog and digital communications,
EE 160; electromagnetic engineering, EE 151; and an analog
electronics laboratory, EE 90. In the senior year, the student will be
asked to demonstrate his or her ability to formulate and carry out a
design project through independent research or either a senior thesis,
EE 80 abc, or two courses selected from the senior project
design laboratory, EE 91 ab, EE/CS 53, and CS/EE/ME 75 c. In
addition, the student, especially in the senior year, will have a significant
opportunity to take elective courses that will allow him/her to
explore earlier topics in depth, or to investigate topics that have not
been covered previously. (See the “suggested electives” section, page
233.)

A student whose interests lie in the electrical sciences but who
wishes to pursue a broader course of studies than that allowed by
the requirements of the electrical engineering option may elect the
engineering and applied science option.

Attention is called to the fact that any student who has a gradepoint
average less than 1.9 at the end of the academic year in the
subjects listed under electrical engineering may be refused
permission to continue work in this option.

Double Majors

The electrical engineering option allows interested students to declare electrical engineering as one of the majors in a double major pursuit. To enroll in the program, the student should meet and discuss his/her plans with the option representative. In general, approval is contingent on good acadamic performance by the student and demonstrated ability for handling the heavier course load. For students simultaneously pursuing a degree in a second option, courses taken as required courses for that option can also be counted as EE electives where appropriate. However, courses that count toward the electives requirement in the other option cannot be simultaneously counted toward satisfying the elective requirement in EE. To qualify for an EE degree, the student would need to complete all option requirements.

Option Requirements

  1. Ma 2, Ma 3, Ph 2 abc.
  2. EE 1, APh/EE 9 ab, E 10, E 11, EE 40, 44, 45, EE/CS 51, 52, EE 90, 111, 151, and 160.
  3. ACM 95 ab, ACM/EE 116.
  4. EE 113 or CDS 110 a.
  5. One term of EE 91.
  6. EE 80 abc, or a sequence consisting of CS/EE 143, 144, 145, or a sequence consisting of BE/EE/MedE 189 a, or one course selected from an additional term of EE 91, EE/CS 53, EE 119 c, and CS/EE/ME 75 c (note that CS/EE/ME 75 ab does not satisfy this requirement).
  7. In addition to the above courses, 27 units selected from any EE course numbered over 100, or any cross-listed courses numbered over 100 that include EE in the listing.
  8. Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units, including courses listed above.

Typical Course Schedule1

Units Per Term
Second Year - Schedule 1 1st 2nd 3rd
Ph 2 abc Sophomore Physics 9 9 9
Ma 2, Ma 3 Sophomore Mathematics 9 9 -
HSS Electives1 9 9 9
EE 40 Introduction to Semiconductors and Sensors - - 9
EE 44 Circuits and Systems 9 - -
EE 45 Electronics Laboratory - 12 -
EE 113 Feedback and Control Systems - - 12
EE/CS 51 Principles of Microprocessor Systems 12 - -
EE/CS 52 Microprocessor Systems Laboratory - 12 -
Electives - - 9
48 51 48
 
Units Per Term
Second Year - Schedule 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Ph 2 abc Sophomore Physics 9 9 9
Ma 2, Ma 3 Sophomore Mathematics 9 9 -
HSS Electives 9 9 9
EE 40 Introduction to Semiconductors and Sensors - - 9
EE 44 Circuits and Systems 9 - -
EE 45 Electronics Laboratory - 12 -
EE 113 Feedback and Control Circuits - - 12
ACM 95 ab Intro. Methods of Applied Math 12 12 -
  Electives - - 9
48 51 48
 

Units Per Term
Third Year - Schedule 1 1st 2nd 3rd
E 10 Technical Seminar Presentations 3 - -
EE 11 Written Technical Communication - 3 -
ACM 95 ab Intro. Methods of Applied Math. 12 12 -
  HSS Electives1 9 9 9
ACM/EE 116 Intro. to Stochastic Processes 9 - -
EE 151 Electromagnetic Engineering - - 9
EE 111 Signals, Systems, and Transforms 9 - -
EE 90 Analog Electronics Project Lab - - 9
EE 160 Communication-System Fundamentals - 9 -
Electives - 9 18
42 42 45
 
Units Per Term
Third Year - Schedule 2 1st 2nd 3rd
E 10 Technical Seminar Presentation 3 - -
E 11 Written Technical Communication - 3 -
EE/CS 51 Principles of Microprocessor Systems 12 - -
EE/CS 52 Microprocessor Systems Laboratory - 12 -
HSS electives 9 9 9
ACM/EE 116 Intro. to Stochastic Processes 9 - -
EE 151 Electromagnetic Engineering - - 9
EE 111 Signals, Systems, and Transforms 9 - -
EE 90 Analog Electronics Project Lab - - 9
EE 160 Communication-System Fundamentals - 9 -
Electives - 9 18
42 42 45
 

Units Per Term
Fourth Year (for project) 1st 2nd 3rd
HSS Electives1 9 9 9
EE 91 ab2 Experimental Projects in Electronic Circuits 12 - -
  EE Electives 9 9 9
Electives 9 18 18
39 36 36
 
Fourth Year (for thesis) 1st 2nd 3rd
HSS Electives1 9 9 9
EE 91 ab2 Experimental Projects in Electronic Circuits 12 - -
EE 80 Senior Thesis 9 9 9
EE Electives 9 9 9
Electives 3 9 9
42 36 36

1 See Institute requirements for specific rules regarding humanities and social sciences.

2 See option requirements 4 and 5.

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Suggested Electives
First-year students interested in electrical engineering should take APh/EE 9 ab, which is an EE option requirement (though it need not be taken freshman year).

Suggested elective courses for the second, third, and fourth year for various specializations within electrical engineering are given below. Students interested in other areas of specialization or interdisciplinary areas are encouraged to develop their own elective program in consultation with their faculty adviser.

Bioengineering
Second Year:
Bi 9, Bi 10, APh 17 abc.
Third and Fourth Year:
Bi/Ch 110, Bi/Ch 113, BE 141, EE/BE/MedE 166, EE/BE/MedE 185, CNS/Bi/EE/CS/NB 186, CNS/CS/EE 188, BE/EE/MedE 189 ab.

Communications and Signal Processing
Second Year: Selected from APh 17 abc, APh 23, APh 24, EE/CS 53. Third and Fourth Year: EE 112, EE/Ma 126 ab, 127 ab, EE 128 ab, 161, 163 ab, 164, 167, EE/APh 131, APh/EE 130, 132, Ma 112 a.

Control
Second Year: APh 17 abc.
Third and Fourth Year: CDS 110 ab, and selections from EE 112, EE 128 ab, EE 164.

Electronic Circuits
Second Year: EE 113, CDS 101, APh/EE 183.
Third and Fourth Year: EE/MedE 114 ab, 124, EE 125, 153, 119 ab, CS/EE 181 abc, and selections from EE 112, CS 185 abc, EE/APh 180, EE 119, EE 160, EE 128 ab.

Microwave and Radio Engineering
Second Year: APh 23, APh 24, APh 17 abc.
Third and Fourth Year: EE 153, EE/Ae 157 ab, EE/MedE 114 ab, EE/APh 131, APh/EE 130, 132, APh/EE 183.

Optoelectronics
Second Year: APh 23, APh 24, APh 17 abc.
Third and Fourth Year: APh/EE 130, 132, APh 105 abc, APh 114 abc, APh/EE 183, APh 190 abc, EE/APh 131, EE 153.

Solid-State Electronics and Devices
Second Year: APh 17 abc.
Third and Fourth Year: APh/EE 183, and selections from APh 105 abc, APh 114 ab, EE 153, EE/BE 185, EE/MedE 187

ABET Accreditation

The Electrical Engineering program has received ABET accreditation.

ABET is responsible for assuring educational quality. It is a voluntary, non-governmental process of peer review designed to determine if certain, defined standards and criteria are being met. Accreditation verifies that an institution or program has met the criteria.

ABET accreditation tells students, their parents, and employers that the program has met minimum standards and it has been judged by professionals to provide an adequate preparation for the engineering graduate. It also establishes standards, procedures, and an environment that will encourage the highest quality for engineering technology and that the graduates are aware of public health and safety considerations.

Many state registration and certification boards consider ABET-accredited programs for state licensure and certification. It is also a consideration for admission to many graduate programs.

ABET's new set of criteria for engineering accreditation is termed EC2000. Under this new approach, schools must demonstrate program outcomes and assessments that include the following for a well educated engineer:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
  • an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  • an ability to communicate effectively;
  • a broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context;
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues;
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Graduation from an accredited program is an important step to becoming a Registered Professional Engineer.

Academic Year SO JR SR Total
2013-14 30 28 22 80
2012-13 29 25 40 94
2011-12 21 37 35 93
2010-11 34 34 29 97
2009-10 35 30 19 84

 

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   last update: 06/10/2014
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