EE/CPE: What's the Difference?

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Electrical and computer engineering have much in common. Both fields rely on many of the same theories and practices, and the education is very similar. Crossing between the fields is not unusual for EEs and CPEs.

Computer engineers are experts in the development and application of computer hardware and software systems, while electrical engineers apply their expertise in many areas, such as communications, power, electronics, electromagnetics, systems and controls, and computing.


There is much course overlap between EEs and CPEs, especially in the sophomore and junior years. CPEs take additional courses in discrete mathematics, data structures, operating systems, and digital design; whereas EEs take additional courses in electromagnetic fields, communications, power, and continuous and discrete systems. In both programs, upper-level students use their technical electives to pursue areas of interest in greater depth.

See Also:

What is an EE?

What is a CPE?

Common/Different Courses Between EE & CPE

Common Math, Engineering & Science Background
Common ECE Courses (Class of 2005)
Required EE (Class of 2005)
Required CPE (Class of 2005)
EF 2984 Engineering Exploration

EF 1016 Introduction to Engineering

ECE 1574 Engineering Problem Solving with C++

ISE 2014 Engineering Economy

MATH 1114 Linear Algebra

MATH 1224 Vector Geometry

MATH 1205 Calculus

MATH 1206 Calculus

MATH 2214 Differential Equations

MATH 2224 Multivariable Calculus

STAT 4714 Probability and Statistics

CHEM 1074 Chemistry for Engineers

CHEM 1084 Chemistry for Engineers Lab

PHYS 2305 Foundations of Physics with Lab

PHYS 2306 Foundations of Physics with Lab

Engineering/ Science elective

ECE 2004 Electric Circuit Analysis

ECE 2504 Introduction to Computer Engineering

ECE 2704 Signals and Systems

ECE 2204 Electronics 1

ECE 2274 Electronic Networks Lab

ECE 3204 Electronics II

ECE 3274 Electronics Networks Lab II

ECE 3534 Microprocessor System Design

ECE 3105 Electromagnetic Fields I

ECE 3106 Electromagnetic Fields II

ECE 3304 Introduction to Power Systems

ECE 3354 Power Lab

ECE 3614 Introduction to Communication Systems

ECE 3704 Continuous and Discrete Systems

EE Math elective

EE Capstone Design elective

4 EE Technical electives

MATH 2534 Discrete Math

ECE 2574 Introduction to Data Structures and Software Engineering

CS 2704 Object Oriented Design

CS 2604 Data Structures and File Management

CS 3204 Operating Systems

ECE 3504 Digital Design I

2 CPE Design Technical electives

3 CPE Technical electives

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Last updated: Wed, Feb 9, 2005