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College of Engineering

Computer Engineering




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Dr. Jim Lumpp

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor

College of Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

453 F. Paul Anderson Tower

Lexington, KY 40506-0046

Program website

(859) 257-8042

  • BS

Computer engineers design computer systems, both hardware and software, to create new technologies and meet the ever-changing needs of society. The field of computer engineering covers a wide range of topics including computer architecture, operating systems, communications, computer networks, robotics, artificial intelligence, supercomputers, computer-aided design and neural nets. Whether designing and developing new products or improving manufacturing processes, computer engineers work at the frontier of technology.

Program Your Future

Computer engineers understand how to design and make the hardware that helps our newest “intelligent” tools and machines — and houses and cars – get smarter, smaller, cheaper, faster and safer. Students who enroll as Computer Engineering majors at UK study at Kentucky’s flagship research institution, meaning you’ll be learning from top faculty looking to make the next big breakthrough in their field. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty are readily accessible both inside and outside the classroom and students have every opportunity necessary to grow personally and professionally.

Courses cover all the essentials: circuits, software, semiconductors, embedded systems, computer architecture and others. The undergraduate degree culminates in the capstone design courses where seniors work in teams to handle real-world problems outside the classroom and get a taste of real world engineering work. Undergraduate certificates are also available in power and energy as well as nanoscale engineering.

Industries Looking for You 

  • Personal computing
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Computer hardwire
  • Optics
  • Communications
  • Manufacturing
"Our goal is to make the hardware and software components of a computer system not just better, but also able to work together more effectively. That's how UK computer engineers advance the state of the art in computer systems."

Hank Dietz

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Current Curriculum Information

Access Major Template

source: myUK: GPS

  • Computer Engineering (BS) 130 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester

    Engineering Exploration I introduces students to the engineering and computer science professions, College of Engineering degree programs, and opportunities for career path exploration. Topics and assignments include study skills, team development, ethics, problem solving and basic engineering tools for modeling, analysis and visualization. Open to students enrolled in the College of Engineering. Students who received credit for EGR 112 are not eligible for EGR 101.


    Fundamentals of Engineering Computing introduces students to the practice and principles of computer programming and computational problem solving. Students will engage in hands-on project-based problem solving using modern computer software and hardware, with a particular emphasis on problems and techniques commonly appearing in various domains of engineering. Open to students enrolled in the College of Engineering.

  • Choose CHE 105 or PHY 2314

    A laboratory course offering experiments in mechanics and heat, framed in a small group environment that requires coordination and team work in the development of a well-written lab report.

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • MA 113 - CALCULUS I4

    A course is one-variable calculus, including topics from analytic geometry. Derivatives and integrals of elementary functions (including the trigonometric functions) with applications. Lecture, three hours; recitation, two hours per week. Students may not receive credit for MA 113 and MA 137. Prereq: Math ACT of 27 or above, or Math SAT of 620 or above, or a grade of C or better in MA 109 and in MA 112, or a grade of C or better in MA 110, or appropriate score on math placement test, or consent of the department. Students who enroll in MA 113 based on their test scores should have completed a year of pre-calculus study in high school that includes the study of trigonometric functions. Note: Math placement test recommended.

    • Total15
Spring Semester

    Engineering Exploration II focuses on a semester long engineering design project with students working in teams to apply the skills and tools introduced in EGR 101 or EGR 112 for transfer students and EGR 102. Topics and assignments include more in depth exploration of engineering tools for modeling, analysis, visualization, programming, hardware interfacing, team development, documentation and communication. Students gain experience in project management, identifying constraints, iteration and technical report writing.

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • MA 114 - CALCULUS II4

    A second course in Calculus. Applications of the integral, techniques of integration, convergence of sequence and series, Taylor series, polar coordinates. Lecture, three hours; recitation, two hours per week. Prereq: A grade of C or better in MA 113, MA 137, or MA 132.

  • Choose CHE 105 or PHY 2314

    The course covers introductory object-oriented problem solving, design, and programming engineering. Fundamental elements of data structures and algorithm design will be addressed. An equally balanced effort will be devoted to the three main threads in the course: concepts, programming language skills, and rudiments of object-oriented programming and software engineering.

    • Total17
    • Total Freshman Hours32

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • MA 213 - CALCULUS III4

    A course in multi-variable calculus. Topics include vectors and geometry of space, three-dimensional vector calculus, partial derivatives, double and triple integrals, integration on surfaces, Green’s theorem. Optional topics include Stokes’ theorem and the Gauss’ divergence theorem. Lecture, three hours; recitation, two hours per week. Prereq: MA 114 or MA 138 or equivalent.


    A general course covering electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic waves and physical optics. Lecture, three hours; recitation, one hour per week.


    A laboratory course offering experiments in electricity, magnetism, and light, framed in a small group environment that requires coordination and team work in the development of a well written lab report.


    Implementation of large programming projects using object-oriented design techniques and software tools in a modern development environment. Software engineering topics to include: life cycles, metrics, requirements specifications, design methodologies, validation and verification, testing, reliability and project planning.


    Boolean algebra; number systems; combinational logic circuits; synchronous sequential circuits; asynchronous sequential circuits; design problems using digital logic. Laboratory experiments reinforce the course content. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, one three-hour session.

    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • MA 214 - CALCULUS IV3

    MA 214 is a course in ordinary differential equations. Emphasis is on first and second order equations and applications. The course includes series solutions of second order equations and Laplace transform methods.

  • EE 211 - CIRCUITS I4

    Fundamental laws, principles and analysis techniques for DC and AC linear circuits whose elements consist of passive and active components used in modern engineering practice including the determination of steady state and transient responses. In addition to the required text book, additional materials including a portable Oscillator & Signal Generator, a digital Multimeter, an electronics-part kit, and a simulation software are required for at-home laboratory assignments.


    Introduction to Embedded Systems teaches students how to use microcontrollers to interact with the physical world. Lectures will cover the theory behind microcontroller architecture, programming, and interfacing and lab projects will back up that theory with hands-on design experiments using microcontrollers. Topics include assembly language and high-level language programming, address decoding, hardware interrupts, parallel and serial interfacing, analog I/O, and basic real- time processing.


    This course provides an introduction to computer systems and explores computer architecture, operating systems, and networks from a programmer's perspective. The course also introduces advanced programming and debugging tools. Topics include hardware instruction sets, machine language and C language program representations, linking/loading, operating systems (process management, scheduling, memory management, interprocess communication, and file systems), network programming (socket programming and web protocols), and common security attacks and solutions.


    Topics in discrete math aimed at applications in Computer Science. Fundamental principles: set theory, induction, relations, functions. Boolean algebra. Techniques of counting: permutations, combinations, recurrences, algorithms to generate them. Introduction to graphs and trees.

    • Total18
    • Total Sophomore Hours34

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • EE 223 - AC CIRCUITS4

    Analysis and design methods for analog linear circuits whose elements consist of passive and active components used in modern engineering practice, including transfer functions, network parameters, and a design project and laboratory experiments involving modern design practices.


    Introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms. Asymptotic analysis of time complexity. Proofs of correctness. Algorithms and advanced data structures for searching and sorting lists, graph algorithms, numeric algorithms, and string algorithms. Polynomial time computation and NP-completeness.


    Hardware and software organization of a typical computer; machine language and assembler language programming, interfacing peripheral devices, and input-output programming; real-time computer applications, laboratory included.


    Data collection, description, and factor “association” versus causal relationship; “Confidence”—statistical versus practical; and Hypothesis testing—All of these covered in a conceptual approach while relying heavily on the mathematical language of probability (e.g., population and sample distributions; sampling; regression on one variable) and use of simulated and real data.

  • UK Core - Humanities3
    • Total16
Spring Semester

    An introduction to continuous and discrete signal and system models and analyses. Topics include discrete and continuous convolution, Fourier transforms, and Laplace transforms and Z-transforms with application examples including AM modulation and the sampling theorem.


    Analysis and design of electronic circuitry incorporating nonlinear electronic elements such as transistors, FET's, and vacuum tubes. Applications to amplifiers.


    This course focuses on advanced computer architectures and low-level system software. Topics include RISC architectures, vector and multiprocessor architec- tures, multiprocessor memory architectures, and multiprocessor interconnection networks. Peripheral devices such as disk arrays, NICs, and video/audio devices are covered. Topics also include device drivers, interrupt processing, advanced assembly language programming techniques, assemblers, linkers, and loaders.

  • CPE Elective3
  • Technical Elective3
  • UK Core - Social Sciences3
    • Total18
    • Total Junior Hours34

Senior Year

Fall Semester

    The first semester of a two-semester capstone design sequence for senior students in electrical engineering with an emphasis on the engineering design processes. Topics important in product design and manufacturing are included, including considerations of economics, safety, and communication. Students are expected to formally propose a design project that includes a problem definition that incorporates engineering standards and realistic constraints. Students work in teams to develop and complete the designs. Lecture, two hours, laboratory, three hours per week.

  • CPE Elective3
  • Technical Elective3
  • Supportive Elective3
  • UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen3
    • Total15
Spring Semester

    The second semester of a two-semester design sequence for senior students in electrical engineering with an emphasis on the engineering processes. Students work in teams to develop and complete the designs. Topics to include engineering ethics, design, documentation, and communication.

  • Hardware Elective3
  • Software Elective3
  • CPE Elective3
  • UK Core - Global Dynamics3
    • Total15
    • Total Senior Hours30

Admission Requirements

Students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, there are minimum admission requirements. Minimum freshman entry requirements are an ACT math score of 23 or higher or a SAT math score of 540 or higher. Additionally, students must also meet the minimum Kentucky statewide academic readiness requirements for reading and writing. If you do not meet the initial admission requirements, please refer to the University of Kentucky Bulletin for alternative routes to admission to the College of Engineering.

First-Year Engineering Program

The smartest, most talented engineers around the world are devoting themselves to tackling immense global challenges. As a First-Year Engineering (FYE) student, you get to join them!

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering identified 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”—opportunities to greatly increase humanity’s sustainability, health, security and joy of living. Themes include making solar energy economical, enhancing virtual reality, reverse-engineering the brain, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and more.

These ambitious goals demand engineers roll up their sleeves and get to work, which is why we put them front and center during your first year as an engineering student. We have designed the FYE program to inspire you. We want you to discover your passion. We want you to explore where you might make your unique contribution. We want you to get your hands dirty and make stuff that might, one day, lead to a breakthrough.

Why wait until you’re taking upper-level classes to figure out what interests you? Through real engineering classes taught by top faculty and exposure to engineering’s greatest challenges, the FYE program gets you into the game from day one.

Degree Requirements

In addition to fulfilling UK Core and College of Engineering requirements, students must complete the Computer Engineering curriculum. The following curriculum meets the requirements for the B.S. degree.

Experiential Education

Growth and learning also happen outside the classroom. It happens in labs working alongside professors and graduate students. It happens on student design teams in the capstone design courses. It happens on cooperative education rotations and internships with companies all over the country. It happens by competing in student robot competitions. There are also numerous education abroad programs. The Engineering Career Development Office can assist you with developing job, co-op and internship search skills, participation in education abroad programs, participation in research endeavors and building career networks so you can secure a rewarding career in your chosen field of study.

Student Involvement

Learning also happens in student organizations, on field trips and on community service projects. UK students can get involved with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, the Society of Women Engineers, Engineers Without Borders, and others.

Career Prospects in Computer Engineering

Computer engineers understand how to design and make the hardware that helps our newest intelligent tools, machines, houses and cars get smarter, smaller, cheaper, faster and safer. Computer engineers work in a variety of industries: film and television, aerospace, automotive, business machines, professional and scientific equipment, computers and electronics, communications and medical technology to name a few. They work in public utilities, for NASA, at the National Institutes of Health, at the Department of Defense, for consumer electronics companies, and much, much more As researchers, they study everything from fuel cells to nanotechnology. 

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Featured Career

Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. These engineers discover new directions in computer hardware, which generate rapid advances in computer technology.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2014

Number of Jobs


in 2014

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Computer hardware engineers usually work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models. Most work in high-tech manufacturing firms.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Enhancing Your Time at UK

There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.

This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad

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Dr. Jim Lumpp

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor

College of Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

453 F. Paul Anderson Tower

Lexington, KY 40506-0046

(859) 257-8042

Get more information about going to the University of Kentucky