B.S. Computer Engineering

Catalog Information | Flowchart | 4-Year Plan | General Education


The Computer Engineering program at CSU, Chico bridges the curriculum gap between electrical/electronic engineering and computer science. The program is designed to provide a broad background in both the theory and practice of computer hardware and software design, and the integration of both into usable digital systems. The curriculum includes courses in logic design, microprocessor system design, computer interfacing, programming and data structures, computer architecture and assembly language programming, embedded system design, and system requirements and design. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone (410) 347-7700.


The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will educate each graduate to be a responsible electrical or computer engineer who can successfully hurdle future challenges.


The objective of the Computer Engineering Program is to produce graduates able to:

  • Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering to identify, formulate, and solve computer engineering problems.
  • Use industry standard tools to analyze, design, develop and test computer-based systems containing both hardware and software components.
  • Achieve success in graduate programs in computer engineering, electrical engineering or computer science.
  • Continue to develop their knowledge and skills after graduation in order to succeed personally and contribute to employer success.
  • Work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary development team and undertake leadership roles when appropriate.
  • Communicate their thoughts, in both written and oral forms, so that others can comprehend and build on their work.
  • Appreciate the importance of ethics in the profession and the need to act in society's best interest.


All computer engineering graduates should demonstrate:

(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 multidisciplinary 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 in both oral and written forms.
(h)   the broad education necessary to understand the 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.

Design Experience

The computer engineering program at CSU, Chico is a balance of engineering science and design. The freshman and sophomore year courses are structured to lay a solid foundation for the junior and senior level design courses by the introduction of courses in hardware, software, and the engineering sciences (math, physics, and chemistry).

Design methodology and analysis techniques are stressed throughout the curriculum in the majority of the core courses required for graduation. The lecture classes are typically complemented by laboratory experiments that the student has designed, simulated and analyzed before commencing with the actual hands on construction and testing. Students are well prepared in the software/hardware design procedure when they reach the final classes of Microprocessor System Design and the Senior Project Classes.

Skills in both software and hardware are employed in the design of a microcomputer system that require the student to write his own operating system in a high level language ( e.g. C or C++) with embedded assembly language. The hardware support requirement is the design and implementation of a direct memory access (DMA) controller using a PLD or FPGA and a peripheral interface controller that supports a printer and an external bus. Students have several pattern electives to choose from in advanced software and hardware design classes. Such classes include topics in networks, embedded systems, digital design, digital signal processing, state machine design, VLSI, control systems, communications and artificial intelligence.

The senior project class brings together, in a balance of solid software and hardware skills acquired throughout the required and elective curriculum, a culminating experience which involves teamwork, design, report writing and oral presentation. Many students enter their projects in the annual IEEE student competition. These experiences prepare our graduates to be successful engineers with an awareness of the many challenges involved in the work place.