Apr 13, 2021  
Rensselaer Catalog 2020-2021 
Rensselaer Catalog 2020-2021

Electrical Engineering

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Traditionally the largest and most diverse in all of engineering, this curriculum offers courses with various degrees of emphasis on theory, design, experimental work, and computer simulation. Subject matter ranges from semiconductors, electromagnetics, circuits and electronics, and electric power, to control, computer, communication, and information processing systems.

First Year


  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4


  • Science Elective Credit Hours: 4

Select one of:

Second Year


  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4


  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4

Third Year

The Arch Summer Semester*

* For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, The Arch Summer courses would be taken during the fall semester.  For listing of the exception process go to: http://info.rpi.edu/arch/students/#ExceptionProcess.

  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 3-4
    (See footnote 2 below)

Fall OR Spring

  • Math/Science Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)

Fourth Year

  • Laboratory Elective Credit Hours: 3
    (See footnotes 1 and 4 below)
  • Restricted Electives (2) Credit Hours: 6-8
    (See footnotes 1, 4 and 5 below)
  • Technical Elective Credit Hours: 3-4
    (See footnotes 1, 4 and 5 below)
  • Free Electives (2 or 3) Credit Hours: 8-9
    (See footnote 1 and 2 below)
  • HASS Core Electives Credit Hours: 4

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Electives

In this area, electives are based on the Institute and School of Engineering requirements. Additionally, at least one course must be selected from the list posted on the ECSE home page. Students are urged to elect humanities, arts, and social science sequences through which they will obtain adequate breadth and depth in subject areas. Students desiring minors in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences must consult the school or department in which the courses are offered to obtain further information and specific requirements.

Math/Science Elective

A 4-credit-hour course (or a 3-credit-hour course with a 1-credit-hour laboratory) in Science (ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, ERTH, PHYS) or Mathematics (MATH, MATP). An independent Study course cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.

Restricted Electives

Any 3- or 4-credit-hour course with the designation ECSE 4XXX or ECSE 6XXX.

Technical Elective

Any 3- or 4-credit-hour course in engineering, mathematics, or science at the 4000 level or higher.


  1. May be taken either term.
  2. The free electives must total at least 12 credits.
  3. This course will be fulfilled from a list published at the start of each semester.  For a list of courses that satisfy the Professional Development – Technical Issues & Solution requirement refer to the link “Professional Development Courses” on the Registrar’s “Academic Planning” web page.  It should be completed before the capstone design course.
  4. It is recommended that students use electives to form a concentration. See the ECSE Web page for concentration listings.
  5. No more than one Independent Study course may be used when satisfying the combined Technical and Restricted Elective requirements.
  6. May be replaced with ENGR 1100 Introduction to Engineering Analysis.
  7. Students who wish to take ENGR-1600 Materials Science as their Math/Science Elective must take CHEM-1100.
  8. Core courses that are the prerequisites for 4000-level courses, offered in Fall and Spring terms annually. Students should take the courses as soon as their prerequisites are met. 


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