Where should I be in ECE at Northeastern?
Our department is diverse and ever-changing. You will receive a broad introduction to ECE, after which you may choose from many options. In all, we offer six different undergradute majors and two BS/MS programs. Although all are rooted in the underlying principles of ECE, this diversity gives you an opportunity to specialize in your area of interest.
Your first decision is among the options of EE, CE, and ECE. If your focus is in circuits, semiconductor devices, electromagnetic or optical systems, or information, networks and systems, you will probably choose the EE major. If your interest is primarily computers, CE will be your choice. If your interest spans both fields, you may choose ECE.
The ECE program can be completed in five years with three cooperative education terms of six months each.
Next, you have a choice of dual majors such as EE/Physics or CE/Physics, or you may choose a minor in electrical engineering, computer engineering, biomedical engineering or pick from these other options.
If you know you are interested in a MS degree, you may want to consider the 5-year BS/MS programs in EE and CE.
Electrical engineering-based majors generally focus more on the hardware than on the software end of electrical/computer systems. These systems are in demand across nearly all segments of society. This means that after graduation you can work or embark on graduate studies in fields ranging from entertainment to wireless communications, medicine, image/video processing, nanotechnology, business, medical devices, audio, toys, assistive technologies and many more. If you are equally interested in electrical and computer engineering, you can pursue an ECE major or a combined major with Physics is available. Many minors across the University are available, including Business, Music Industry, Biomedical Engineering, and Technical Entrepreneurship. You can also customize your major to your particular interests with courses from any part of Northeastern University.
Combined ECE Major
This major will give you a complete knowledge of electrical and computer engineering. Your interests may lie at the intersection of hardware and software, you may want to keep future options open, or you may just want to know everything you can about electrical and computer engineering!
Computer Engineers design and implement/develop both computer hardware and software systems. As you know, these systems, from largest supercomputers to tiny computers inside toys that cost just pennies, are ubiquitous in the modern world. This means that you can use your knowledge of computer engineering to work in almost any segment of society, from the space program to entertainment, to education, and more. You will learn about digital and analog circuits, processors (both embedded and high performance), networks, programming languages, as well as algorithms to manage the myriad of data being created in today's digital world. If you are equally interested in electrical and computer engineering, you can pursue an ECE major or a combined major with Physics is available. Many minors across the University are available, including Business, Music Industry, Biomedical Engineering, and Technical Entrepreneurship. You can also customize your major to your particular interests with courses from any part of Northeastern University.
When do I need to make a decision?
Although it is better to start with Circuits and Signals: Biomedical Applications for EE-based majors and Embedded Systems: Enabling Robotics for CE-based majors so that you can get to the desired electives sooner, either course may be taken first for either major. So the bottom line is, you don't need to decide until at least the end of sophomore year.