Skip to header Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

 
Program description

Computer engineers are responsible for developing the powerful computer systems that have become a part of our everyday life. Applications for computer engineering span the spectrum from high-performance, general-purpose computing systems such as desktop workstations used in all facets of business, to small microprocessors embedded in larger systems and functioning as controllers. These latter applications, known as embedded systems, can be found in control systems for trains, aircraft and automobiles; medical equipment; telecommunications systems; and consumer electronics and appliances. This explosive growth of computer systems in use in almost every new appliance or vehicle has resulted in a strong demand for engineers trained in the development of these systems, and all indications are that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Career opportunities

Computer engineers (or computer hardware engineers) research, design, develop, test, and oversee the manufacture and installation of computer hardware, including computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, and related equipment such as keyboards, routers, and printers.


This field should not be confused with computer software engineers, who design and develop the software systems that control computers. The work of computer hardware engineers is similar to that of electrical engineers in that they may design and test circuits and other electronic components; however, computer hardware engineers do that work only as it relates to computers and computer-related equipment. They work on the design, planning, development, testing, and even the supervision of manufacturing of computer hardware -- including everything from chips to device controllers. They also focus on computer networks for the transmission of data and multimedia. The work of a computer engineer is grounded in the hardware -- from circuits to architecture -- but also focuses on operating systems and software. Computer engineers must understand logic design, microprocessor system design, computer architecture, computer interfacing, and continually focus on system requirements and design.

Change of major requirements

VCU GPA of 3.0 or greater, with a minimum of 12 VCU credit hours earned. Completion, with grades of B or higher, of MATH 200, MATH 201, and any of PHYS 207, EGRE 101, or ENGR 101. If attempted, MATH 200, MATH 201, MATH 211, MATH 301, MATH 307, PHYS 207, PHYS 208, CHEM 101, and/or CHEM 102 must be completed with a 3.0+ GPA. All attempted engineering and computer science courses must be 3.0 or greater.


The historical repeat course option does not apply to these averages.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Computer engineer
  • Computer network architects
  • Computer systems engineer
  • Controls engineer
  • Hardware design engineer
  • Mechatronics engineer
  • Microsystems engineer
  • Network engineer
  • Product engineer
  • Test engineer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • College Professor
  • Lead Research Scientist
  • Research & Development Engineer
  • Senior Embedded Software Engineer
  • System Architect
Professional associations and resources
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
Additional tuition/fees
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 3.0+ cumulative GPA to declare
Department name:
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Building/room location:
601 West Main Street, Room 203
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-0181
Email:
electricalengr@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue progression in engineering and mathematics coursework.
  • Learn about double-majors or minors that pair easily with your major.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Consider taking ENGR 395 Professional Development: gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, & VIP Teams.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend the College of Engineering’s internship and career fair.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Consider attending a regional or national career fair like BEYA, SWE, SHPE, NSBE, or oSTEM to gain exposure to more industry employers.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Begin selecting Technical Electives, being aware of the prerequisites to fourth-year Technical Electives.
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • In consultation with your advisor, identify which third-year courses are prereqs for the 3 capstones for CPE.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Practice professional communication and interpersonal skills that embrace cultural differences.
  • Update your engineering resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend the College of Engineering’s internship and career fair.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Engineering Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit like math, physics, or computer science.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend the College of Engineering’s internship and career fair.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue progression in engineering and mathematics coursework.
  • Learn about double-majors or minors that pair easily with your major.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Consider taking ENGR 395 Professional Development: gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, & VIP Teams.
  • Attend the College of Engineering’s internship and career fair.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Consider attending a regional or national career fair like BEYA, SWE, SHPE, NSBE, or oSTEM to gain exposure to more industry employers.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • Begin selecting Technical Electives, being aware of the prerequisites to fourth-year Technical Electives.
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • In consultation with your advisor, identify which third-year courses are prereqs for the 3 capstones for CPE.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Practice professional communication and interpersonal skills that embrace cultural differences.
  • Update your engineering resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Attend the College of Engineering’s internship and career fair.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Engineering Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit like math, physics, or computer science.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
  • Attend the College of Engineering’s internship and career fair.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
View graphic versionView graphic versionView graphic version