University of Hawaii

Department of Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Description

Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Description


The UH Catalog maintains the latest EE BS degree description and requirements.

The Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering requires a minimum of 122 credit hours, covering mathematics and basic science (39 hours); engineering topics consisting of engineering sciences and design (58 or 59 hours); andh general education (22 hours). This exceeds UH Manoa’s minimum requirement of 120 credits to earn a baccalaureate degree. The curriculum covers the following elements:

Mathematics (20 credit hours):

  • Math 241 (4), Math 242 (4), Math 243 (3), Math 244 (3): Calculus I (basic concepts; differentiation with applications; integration) through IV (multiple integrals; line integrals and Green’s Theorem; surface integrals, Stokes’ and Gauss’s Theorems).
  • Substitution: Math 251/252/253 (the accelerated calculus sequence) may be substituted for Math 241-244
  • Math 307 (3): Linear algebra and differential equations.
  • EE 342 (3): Probability and statistics in an electrical engineering context.

Basic Sciences (19 credit hours):

  • Chem 161 (3) and Chem 162 (3): General Chemistry I and II cover the basic principles of chemistry, including stoichiometry; introduction to solution phase chemistry; gas phase chemistry; thermodynamics, including enthalpies of formation and reaction, entropy and free energy; atomic structure, periodic trends, chemical bonding, molecular structure; liquids and solids; solutions and colligative properties; principles and applications of chemical equilibrium, including acid-base chemistry (titrations, buffers); kinetics; redox reactions and electrochemistry.
  • Chem 161L (1): Laboratory for Chem 161.
  • Substitution: Chem 171/171L (Principles of Chemistry) or chem 181/181L (Honors General Chemistry) may be substituted for Chem 161/161L
  • Phys 170 (4), Phys 272 (3), and Phys 274 (3): General Physics I through III which includes mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, wave motion, thermodynamics and kinetic theory; electricity and magnetism; relativity, introduction to quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, geometrical and physical optics.
  • Phys 170L (1) and Phys 272L (1): Laboratories for Phys 170 and Phys 272, respectively.

Engineering Topics (58 or 59 hours):

  • EE required courses:
    • Computer Software or Engineering Computation, and Computer Hardware
      • EE 160 Programming for Engineers (4) or EE 110 Introduction to Engineering Computation (3)
      • EE 260 Introduction to Digital Design (4)
    • Analog Circuits
      • EE 211 Basic Circuit Analysis I (4)
      • EE 213 Basic Circuit Analysis II (4)
      • EE 323 Microelectronic Circuits I (3)
      • EE 323L Microelectronic Circuits I Lab (1)
    • Signals and Systems
      • EE 315 Signal and Systems Analysis (3)
    • Electrophysics
      • EE 324 Physical Electronics (3)
      • EE 371 Engineering Electromagnetics I (3)
    • Projects
      • EE 296 Sophomore Project (1)
      • EE 396 Junior Project (2)
      • EE 496 Capstone Design Project (3)
  • EE technical electives:

    These are upper-division EE courses divided into two tracks: Electrophysics (EP) and Systems. The EP track covers circuits, devices, electromagnetics, and biomedical; the Systems track covers communications, controls, and signal processing. Energy spans both tracks. The tracks allow students to explore specialized topics of their choices. The exploration is in depth and yet provides breadth within a track. A student must choose a track to specialize in advanced topics.

    Table 5-2 lists the technical electives. EE students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of technical electives. A minimum of 17 credits is in one of the major tracks, which includes all courses in Group I and the remaining courses from Group II. A minimum of 7 additional credits is required from the list in Table 5-2, of which 3 credits must be from outside the major track, and 1 credit must be a laboratory.

    In Table 5-1, these technical electives are designated as EE Major Track I and EE Major Track Group II.

    Students that find the track system too restrictive may, with the help and consent of a faculty advisor, propose an alternate set of electives. The proposal must be equivalent in rigor and breadth to the existing tracks, and requires approval from the Department’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

General Education (22 hours):

A more detailed explanation is given in Appendix I (Table I-4), but here is a synopsis of the general education topics:

  • Written Communication is satisfied by ENG 100 Composition I (3)
  • Arts, Humanities, and Literature is satisfied by COMG 251 Principles of Effective Speaking (3), and one additional elective (3)
  • Social Sciences is satisfied by ECON 120 Introduction to Economics (3), ECON 130 Principles of Microeconomics (3), or Principles of Macroeconomics (3), and one other elective (3)
  • Global and Multicultural Perspectives is satisfied by two approved electives (6)
  • EE 495 Ethics in Electrical Engineering (1). This course satisfies the Ethics (E) focus requirement for UH Mānoa.

Other Courses (3 hours):

  • The Engineering Breadth requirement is a selected elective course. Further description can be found here.

Three other features of our curriculum are described here.

Design Experience

Our curriculum quantifies the design content of each EE course based on “design credit”. Design credits represent our Department’s internal accounting method of assuring that design is woven throughout the curriculum. The amount of design credit is assigned by the faculty course coordinator for the course. For example, EE 496 Capstone Design Project is entirely dedicated to design content, so it has 3 design credits of its 3 credit hours. Another example is EE 361 Digital Systems and Computer Design, which has a moderate amount of design; it has 1 design credit of its 3 credit hours. Our program requires that students accumulate a minimum of 14 design credits to graduate so that they have sufficient design experience. Courses with 1 or more design credits are designated as having significant design component in Table 5-1. Tables 5-3 and 5-4 list the design credits associated with each EE course.

Laboratory Experience

Our program has a significant hands-on component associated with laboratories and project experience. Five of the required EE courses have an associated 3-hour laboratory session per week. These laboratories are either part of a 4-credit course, e.g., EE 260, or a 1-credit laboratory course, e.g., EE 323L. Four of the required EE courses use laboratory equipment including oscilloscopes, digital multimeters, power supplies, signal or function generators, proto-boards, discrete parts, and PCs with appropriate software such as design tools and Microsoft Office software.

Four of the courses with laboratory components (EE 160, 260, 211, and 213) are taken during the first two years of college. This gives students early hands-on experience.

Required Project Courses

Our curriculum has a significant design component to prepare students for the engineering profession. It has 6 credit hours of required project courses at the sophomore, junior, and senior level: EE 296 Sophomore Project (1 credit), EE 396 Junior Project (2 credits), and EE 496 Capstone Design Project (3 credits). Note that the sophomore project is an early introduction to project activity to students. In EE 296 and 396, students are not required to be completely responsible for a design. They are expected to learn design methodologies and tools, participate in some phase of the design process, and get hands-on project experience. On the other hand, EE 496 Capstone Design Project, is the major design experience. EE 496 has both an oral and writing focus.

Important Notes

  • Approved breadth courses can be found here.
  • Enrollment in EE courses requires a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses.
  • As a part of the college requirements, students must complete the General Education Core courses for engineering (see the description of the "Undergraduate Programs" for the College of Engineering in the University of Hawaii at Manoa Course Catalog).
  • Students follow the curriculum based on when they entered the EE program, as shown by their curriculum check sheets.  Students may petition to switch to a later (but not earlier) curriculum, or use features of the later curriculum, but it is not automatic. 

Curriculum Changes

The curriculum is based on when a student entered the EE program. The following is a list of changes that were made since August 1996.

  • August 1996:
    • Math 205 is now a 4 credit course.
    • Math 206 now has a 1 credit lab, Math 206 L, required of all engineering students.
  • August 1997:
    • At least one credit of EE 296 is required in the sophomore year.
    • At least two credits of EE 396 is required in the junior year.
    • EE 342 replaces the Math elective and is required of all EE students.
    • Systems track student now have 2 track core courses (EE 351 and lab and EE 415) and require three (3) track electives.
  • August 1998:
    • EE 160 replaces EE 150 for EE students.
    • EE 466 has changed to EE 366, which is 4 credits, including a weekly lab.
    • EE 366 has become a Computer Track Core requirement, together with EE 361/L and EE 367/L. Computer Track Elective is now two courses (6 credits) from EE 461, EE 467, EE 468, or EE 449.
  • August 1999:
    • Math 241, 242, 242L, 243, 244 replaces Math 205, 206, 231, and 232.
    • Math 302 is included in the EE Core
    • There are two Social Science Elective requirements rather than one.
  • August 2000:
    • EE 224 is now EE 324.
    • In the August 2000 Check Sheet CE 211 should be CE 270. It's a typo.
  • August 2001:
    • There is one Social Science Elective requirement rather than two.
    • There is one Humanities Elective requirement rather than two.
    • Econ 120, 130, or 131 can fulfill the Economics requirement. Previously, only Econ 120 or 130 could fulfill the requirement.
  • August 2003:
    • EE Technical Electives:  A student, along with a faculty member, may propose an alternate track (the current tracks being computers, electro-physics, and systems).  The alternate track must be (1) equivalent in rigor and breadth to the existing tracks, (2) endorsed by another faculty member, and (3) approved by the Department's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
    • CEE 270/ME 311 requirement is replaced by the Engineering Breadth requirement.
    • The following courses have been deleted from the curriculum: 150, 201, 331&L, 435, 436, 437, 441, and 466.
    • Matlab will be covered in EE 213.
    • EE 244 had been renumbered to 344.  This can be used as a technical elective.
    • EE 415 has EE 342 as a co-requisite (or pre-requisite).
    • EE 469 Wireless Data Networks is added to the curriculum as a computer technical elective.
  • August 2004:
    • MATH 307 replaces MATH 302 as an EE Core requirement.
  • August 2005:
    • EE 341/341L is not an EE Core requirement
    • EE 341/341L is a Systems Track Core requirement
  • August 2008
    • EE 495 is an EE Core requirement
  • August 2010
    • Computer Track will be replaced by the new Computer Engineering Bachelor of Science degree.
  • April 2014
    • Remove "PHYS 350 Electricity and Magnetism (3)" from EB classes.
    • Add ICS 314 Software Engineering into the EB classes.
    • Add "computer" as one area that could be used to meet the EB requirement if approved by the Department's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC).