Majors & Programs


Electrical Engineering

As an engineering school, we aspire to discover the unknown, educate students, and serve society. Our strategy focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, and security. Through innovative partnerships with academic and industry partners – across disciplines and across the world – we will contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.

Why Consider Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is a field of specialization within engineering that seeks to develop new technologies that contribute to society in many different and exciting ways. The roots of electrical engineering go back to physical laws of electricity (charge, voltage, current, electromagnetic waves, optics, and the like), but today it is a very broad field with impact on a variety of interdisciplinary applications. Electrical engineers are responsible for the most significant human technological advances of the 20th century, including electrical power generation and distribution, telephones, radio, television, defense technologies like radar and sonar, entertainment technologies like CDs and DVDs, medical imaging, computers, and the Internet. Opportunities for shaping the 21st century in similar ways are limited only by the imagination.

The Washington University Advantage

An EE degree from Washington University consists of a breadth of knowledge in electrical engineering, a depth of knowledge in a particular area, and preparation for life-long learning. Breadth of knowledge is ensured through basic courses in the conceptual foundations of electrical engineering, fundamental tools of modern practice, advanced laboratories, and a significant design experience. Depth of knowledge is made possible by a wide selection of upper-level electives that allow students to focus in a particular area. Finally, students are prepared for life-long learning through courses in technical communication, laboratory, and project team activities, courses in the humanities and social sciences, and opportunities to participate in departmental research activities.

First-Year Engineering Seminar

A weekly first-year engineering seminar, organized and run by upper-class students, will introduce you to engineering and will help you identify the specific area of engineering that matches your long-term interests and aspirations. In addition, the seminar helps develop your leadership, collaboration, and communication skills – all of which will help you succeed throughout your undergraduate education.

Sophomore Maker Course

In order to have sophomores experience the joy of hands-on engineering, we have created a maker course, in which sophomores will design and construct devices or apps of their choice under the supervision of senior and graduate students and faculty. The ingenuity of students often surprises faculty.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate students have numerous opportunities to participate with faculty on research projects ranging from cell and tissue engineering to developing biosensors to the synthesis of nanomaterials for use in energy and environmental technologies. Sixty percent of our current students participate in an undergraduate research or independent study with faculty.

International Study Opportunities

Engineering students have the opportunity to study abroad through the College of Arts & Sciences Overseas Programs but there are also opportunities available only to engineering students – including summer-, semester-, or year-long study programs. Students can travel to further study engineering or pursue other cultural experiences to enhance academics through a second major or minor. Students may volunteer for service trips of short durations. Destinations span all continents except Antarctica: China, Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina.

Career Opportunities in Electrical Engineering

Many graduates of the Electrical Engineering program pursue graduate studies in electrical or computer engineering, or they attend medical, business, or law school.

Other professional careers for Electrical Engineering graduates include, but are not limited to:

  • electronic engineers
  • engineering consultants
  • government engineers
  • patent examiners
  • quality control engineers
  • scientific editors

Employment opportunities are rapidly changing and these changes are accelerating due to new technologies. Indeed certain professions have been made obsolete by new technologies. The Washington University electrical engineering degree with its strong core in math and physics will not only protect you from industry restructuring, but also prepare you to exploit new opportunities in these rapidly changing employment scenes.

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