Computer engineers are electrical engineers who have additional knowledge in software design and hardware-software integration. Our students prepare to work on a variety of applications including circuit design, microprocessor design, software engineering, and embedded systems — the integration of computer systems into other kinds of systems such as appliances, robots or motor vehicles.
What our Graduates Do
Graduates are prepared to solve problems in all aspects of computing. Career options include:
Digital Systems Engineer
Embedded Systems Engineer
Microprocessor Systems Engineer
CES Student Project Highlight
Our students work together to find innovative solutions to real-world problems. Check out these student projects that address safety, health, efficiency and security.
Admission to the CES major is competitive. Please review the following prerequisites and application process carefully.
Students may be conditionally admitted into the CES program with certain prerequisites in progress, but all prerequisites must be completed in order to enroll. To qualify for admission to CES, you must be on track to complete the following by the end of summer quarter before starting the major:
Calculus I (TMATH 124), Calculus II (TMATH 125), and Calculus III (TMATH 126).
Differential Equations (TMATH 207).
Matrix/Linear Algebra (TMATH 208).
Physics I (TPHYS 121), Physics II (TPHYS 122), Physics III (TPHYS 123).
Note that if the physics series is completed at UW Tacoma, no additional lab science is required.
Transfer students may need one additional approved lab-based science course (Chemistry I -TCHEM 142 or Biology I - TBIOL 120) to meet the total number of lab science credits required (18 minimum) for graduation.
Introduction to Programming (TCSS 142).
Object-Oriented Programming (TCSS 143).
Electrical Circuits (TCES 215- must have AC/DC).
GPA and Credit Requirements
Cumulative prerequisite GPA of at least 2.5, with a minimum grade of 2.0 in each individual prerequisite course
Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all college coursework
Completed at least 45 college-level credits.
Notes for Transfer Students:
You may need one additional approved lab-based science course (Chemistry I -TCHEM 142 or Biology I - TBIOL 120) to meet the total number of lab science credits required (18 minimum) for graduation.
UW Seattle and UW Bothell students seeking to transfer to UW Tacoma also need to have a transfer application on file to be considered for admission.
If you are not admitted to UWT, you cannot be admitted to the CES/EE major, but you may hold off on accepting your offer of admission to UWT until you have your program admissions decision.
Transfer students at Washington State community colleges are encouraged to pursue the Associate in Science - Transfer Track 2 to meet the admission requirements. Use theUW Course Equivalency Guideto determine the equivalent prerequisites at your school.
If you have been admitted to UW Tacoma and are on track to complete all application and enrollment requirements by the end of summer, you may be eligible for conditional admission to the CES program.
Conditional Admission - Application Requirements
Applicants with a minimum grade of 3.0 in each of the following required prerequisites may submit an application for conditional admission consideration:
Calculus I (TMATH 124), Calculus II (TMATH 125), Calculus III (TMATH 126)
Differential Equations (TMATH 307)
Physics I (TPHYS 121), Physics II (TPHYS 122)
CES applicants - Introduction to Programming (TCSS 142)
EE applicants - 5 credits of programming coursework (Java and C languages strongly recommended)
Conditional Admission - Enrollment Requirements
To enroll in the CES program with conditional admission:
Earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course
Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for all prerequisite courses
Provide updated unofficial transcripts showing all prerequisite completed before enrolling
Complete the following courses before the start of autumn quarter:
Matrix Algebra (TMATH 308)
Physics III (TPHYS 123)
Note: Students whose physics series totals 15 credits will need an additional approved lab science (either Chemistry I -TCHEM 142 or Biology I - TBIOL 120) to meet the minimum graduation requirements (18 credits) for lab-based science.
Electrical Circuits (TCES 215- must have AC/DC)
CES applicants - Object-Oriented Programming (TCSS 143)
EE applicants – 5 additional credits of programming coursework (Java and C languages strongly recommended)
Conditional admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis.
If you don't meet the GPA requirement for conditional admission, you should complete the prerequisites before submitting an application.
The CES curriculum incorporates the fundamentals of electrical engineering as well as required CES courses. Consult the CES Schedule Planning Gridto complete all required courses.
Computer Science Fundamentals
TCES 203 Programming Practicum
TCSS 342 Data Structures
Electrical Engineering Fundamentals
TCES 310 Linear Systems and Transforms
TCES 312 Electronic and Analog Systems
TCES 372 Computer Organization and Architecture
TCES 420 Operating Systems for Engineers
TCSS 321 Discrete Structures I
TMATH 390 Probability and Statistics
Ethics and Society
TCSS 325 Computers, Ethics and Society
TCES 230 Introduction to Logic Design
TCES 330 Digital System Design
TCES 430 Microprocessor System Design
TCES 455 Devices and Controls
TCSS 460 Embedded Systems Design
TCES 480 Senior Design Project I
TCES 481 Senior Design Project II
TCES 482 Senior Design Project III
10 credits from Approved Elective List
The CES Schedule Planning grid (PDF) shows a sample pathway to complete the B.S. in Computer Engineering & Systems degree. Work with your advisor to make sure you are completing required courses for the program.
The Learning and Research Commons (LARC) is the hub of support for all members of our campus community for teaching, learning, conducting research, and using technology to support all of these endeavors.
The ABET-accredited Computer Engineering and Systems program at UW Tacoma prepares students with the theoretical and practical foundations needed to solve problems in all aspects of computing.
The Computer Engineering and Systems (CES) Program will educate each student to be a responsible and productive engineer who can effectively apply emerging technologies to meet future challenges.
Program objectives, as defined by ABET are the abilities, skills, and accomplishments expected of graduates within a few years of graduation. Programs are required to assess their graduates' accomplishments to determine if the objectives have been achieved. Within three to five years of graduation from the CES program, it is expected that many graduates will have:
Developed a product or process by applying their knowledge of mathematics, computing, systems and development tools,
Participated effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary development team and undertaken a leadership role when appropriate,
Taken graduate courses or continuing education classes to improve their skills and abilities,
Made positive contributions to their community and society by applying skills and abilities learned during their undergraduate program in computer engineering and systems,
Made decisions related to their work that demonstrate an understanding of the importance of being an ethical engineering professional,
Applied their communication skills to effectively promote their ideas, goals, or products.
Since the objectives are fairly broad, it is not expected that every graduate will achieve every objective.
Program educational outcomes, as defined by ABET, are, "Statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation." ABET prescribes the following eleven outcomes with which all graduating engineers should demonstrate proficiency:
All engineering students are assessed to determine if they have satisfied these outcomes.
The Computer Engineering and Systems Program will educate each student to be a responsible and productive computer engineer who can effectively apply emerging technologies to meet future challenges.
Ability to apply knowledge of math, science and engineering,
Ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze and interpret data,
Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs,
Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams,
Ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems,
Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities,
Ability to communicate effectively,
The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context,
A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning,
A knowledge of contemporary issues,
An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.