Electrical Engineering has changed the way people around the world lead their daily lives since the invention of integrated circuit (IC) chips. It is undoubtedly a broad discipline that aims at harnessing electricity and electrical currents for the design of complex systems, from modern computing devices to analog and digital signal processing systems, from wireless broadband telecommunications systems to aerospace data communications, and from power system generation to power transmission distribution.
Electrical engineers use principles and techniques from mathematics, physics of electromagnetisms, and computer science to measure and analyze natural signals, such as speech and video signals, and build new and improved electrical systems and devices that elaborate such signals in a suitable way under given specifications and constraints. Electrical engineers also design and develop industrial, domestic, and commercial electrical systems for civil applications, engineering firms, telecommunications, consultancies, the military, utility companies, or the IT industry.
Electrical engineering is also a field with diverse challenges and many opportunities. Advances in the technological sector have increased the opportunities for electrical engineers as new electronic devices, materials, and products are developed and brought to the market. Increasing globalization has created new markets and new opportunities around the world, and thus an electrical engineer is now globally marketable.
The major areas, along with some of the most important applications, in which electrical engineers may specialize are:
Communication systems, including wireless communications for applications such as cell phones, TV broadcasting, and AM/FM radio broadcasting
Control systems and robotics
Electromagnetics, including antennas for data broadcasting through wireless systems, optic fibers to transfer high-speed internet, and many others
Electronics, including power electronics
Signal processing for both analog and digital signals
The curriculum of our ABET accredited B.S. in Electrical Engineering degree covers a wide array of specialized topics, including: programming, digital logic and computer architecture, analog and digital signals and systems, electric machines and power systems, electronics for low and high voltage applications, controls and robotics, integrated circuit design, and digital and wireless telecommunications.
Skills you will acquire as an electrical engineering student include:
Thorough knowledge of modern techniques to analyze and measure electrical signals
Thorough knowledge of modern techniques to design analog and digital systems, including digital integrated circuit design and power electronics
Ability to analyze and design electric machines and power systems
Thorough knowledge of analog and digital signal processing techniques
Thorough knowledge of control systems for robotics applications
An understanding of how modern telecommunications systems work
Admission Process Overview
Required to Apply
Prerequisite courses in progress; see application for conditional admission requirements.
July 1 priority deadline
Applications accepted after July 1 until program is full
Rolling decisions after application opens or until program is full.
Student Highlight: James Stevens
An Army 'Computer Guy' Gets His Facts Right
James Stevens (B.S. Electrical Engineering, '20) started at UW Tacoma in the winter of 2016. In 2018, he applied and was accepted into the electrical engineering program at the School of Engineering and Technology.
“I definitely gained physical and mental confidence in the military, but my intellectual confidence has started to bloom during my time here,” said Stevens.
While at SET, Stevens worked on a project alongside Dr. Orlando Baiocchi that used trees to power Internet-of-Things enabled sensors.
Career options for B.S. in Electrical Engineering graduates
As a B.S. in Electrical Engineering graduate, you will acquire the skills and competencies sought by companies such as Power Utilities, Boeing, Intel, HP, Analog Devices, Microsoft, Amazon, T-Mobile, and Texas Instruments, just to name a few. You will also be qualified to work in industries that utilize and design computing systems, such as telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, etc.
Admission to the EE major is competitive. Please review the following prerequisites and application process carefully.
Students may be conditionally admitted into the EE program with certain prerequisites in progress, but all prerequisites must be completed in order to enroll. To qualify for admission to EE, applicants must first be admitted to UWT and 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), 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)*
Electrical Circuits (TCES 215 - must have AC/DC)
10 credits of computer programming coursework (Java and C languages strongly recommended)
* 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.
*All pre-requisite courses must be completed in the last seven years
Required cumulative prerequisite GPA of at least 2.5, with a minimum grade of 2.0 in each individual prerequisite course.
Required minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all college coursework.
Ready to Apply?
Before starting the application, make sure you're ready to apply:
You've been admitted to UW Tacoma and met the requirements to apply to the major (previous tab).
You have completed at least 45 college-level credits.
You completed the prerequisite courses listed in the Admission Requirements tab.
You've earned a minimum grade of 2.0 in each prerequisite course and maintain a minimum cumulative prerequisite GPA of 2.5.
You're meeting the July 1 priority application deadline. The application may close at any time after the priority deadline once the program reaches capacity.
Please note that the EE application does not require a personal statement at this time. Letters of recommendation are not accepted.
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 2to meet the admission requirements. Use theUW Course Equivalency Guideto determine the equivalent prerequisites at your school.
Strong applicants typically have grades of 3.0 and higher in prerequisite math, science, engineering and programming courses, as well as a solid cumulative GPA.
Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:
Completion of all prerequisite courses
Grades in prerequisite courses -- individually and cumulatively (competitive applicants will have earned at least a 2.5 in each prerequisite course)
The EE schedule planning grid shows a sample pathway to complete the B.S. in Electrical Engineering degree. Work with your advisor to make sure you are completing required courses for the program and electives for your area of interest.
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 Electrical Engineering program at UW Tacoma prepares students with the theoretical and practical foundations needed to solve problems in all aspects of electrical engineering.
The mission of the Electrical Engineering Program is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to be responsible and productive engineers who can improve the quality of life in the community and become leaders in the field.
Program educational objectives, as defined by ABET are the abilities, skills, and accomplishments expected of graduates within a few years of graduation. The Program Educational Objectives of the Electrical Engineering program are as follows:
Within three to five years of graduation from the EE program, it is expected that many graduates will have:
Developed a complex product or process by applying their knowledge of engineering principles, science, mathematics, design and implementation.
Participated effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.
Undertaken a leadership role applying communication skills to effectively promote their ideas, goals, or products.
Made decisions related to their work that demonstrate an understanding of the importance of being an ethical engineering professional.
Improved their skills and abilities by taking graduate courses, professional development training, or voluntary experiential learning opportunities.
Made positive contributions to their community and society by applying skills and abilities learned during their undergraduate program in electrical engineering.
Since the objectives are fairly broad, it is not expected that every graduate will achieve every objective.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is a non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Students who complete the BSEE program will achieve the following ABET-based student outcomes:
An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
Enrollment and Graduation Data
External Advisory Board
Manager: Commercial Airplanes, Cyber Security, Cabin & Network Systems
Peninsula Light and Power
Power Generation Engineering Manager, Tacoma Power
Senior Director, Micron
Peninsula Light and Power
US Naval Sea Systems Command
Critical Infrastructure Protection Lead,
Tacoma Power, Tacoma Public Utilities
US Naval Sea Systems Command
Senior Principal Research Engineer
Arm Research, Seattle
Senior Field Applications Engineer