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Undergraduate FAQ

How long will it take me to complete my Engineering degree?

Students are encouraged to complete the degree requirements within four years. This is accomplished by satisfactorily completing 30 credits, with a C or better, each year following the recommended degree plans of study. The normal course load is 14-16 credits each semester. Although the Electrical and Computer Engineering curricula are demanding programs, it is highly recommended that students work closely with an academic advisor to select appropriate course schedules.

Should I buy a computer?

Students in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering are not required to buy a computer. The University has many computing facilities, with both UNIX and PC workstation clusters throughout campus, which are available to all students. It is important to note that during busy times, computer labs can be crowded and students may need to use a personal computer.

Will I have a personal advisor during my academic career?

Students in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering are advised by the staff in the Undergraduate Office, as well as faculty in the areas of their proposed specialty. Students meet periodically with advisors to plan course work, career and cooperative educational experiences, as well as to discuss possibilities for independent projects. By contacting the Undergraduate Office, students can set up an appointment to meet with an advisor.

Are there opportunities for research experience while I'm an undergraduate student?

Motivated students can be actively involved with research in their first year of college education, although research-related course work is not generally part of the curriculum until the junior year. Students can choose from more than 70 laboratories, in research areas such as digital signal processing, ATM networks, chip design, microwaves, power sources, and lasers. Research in Computer Engineering is supported by corporations such as Hughes Network Systems, AT&T Bell Labs, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and leading government agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Other opportunities exist for research-including the MERIT Site (www.ece.umd.edu/merit) and the Aspire programs (www.mtech.umd.edu/aspire).

Can I pursue a second major while I'm a Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering student?

Yes. Depending on the second major chosen, you may also end up receiving two degrees (instead of a degree with a double major). This is because you need a minimum of 120 credits for the Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering degree and only 150 credits in order to qualify for two degrees. Students who are interested in a second major or degree should first talk with an academic advisor in the ECE Undergraduate Office.

How many credits can I take each semester?

All engineering students are given permission to take 18 credits per semester. Students should plan on taking 14-16 credits each semester in order to complete the program within four years. However, students with especially strong records may request an exception to take additional credits. Students having academic difficulties should consider taking a lighter load. Please confer with an advisor about appropriate course loads.

Are merit scholarships available to Computer and Electrical Engineering students?

Scholarship information is available at http://www.eng.umd.edu/organizations/osp/Scholarships/. Also, students should also check information from the Office of Student Financial Aid at http://www.financialaid.umd.edu/.

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