Mar 30, 2023  
Rensselaer Catalog 2008-2009 
Rensselaer Catalog 2008-2009 [Archived Catalog]

Computer and Systems Engineering

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This field is one of the fastest-growing branches of engineering. Strong course sequences in software, hardware, and systems engineering are available. Students consider the digital computer as a system in itself, as a tool for modeling and design, and as an online element within a real-time system. There is the flexibility to study in depth automatic control, communications, or information processing, in addition to computer software, systems, and hardware.

First Year


  • Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective Credit Hours: 4


  • Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective Credit Hours: 4

Second Year


Third Year


  • Multidisciplinary Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective Credit Hours: 4


  • Software Engineering Elective Credit Hours: 3-4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 3-4
    (See footnotes 1, 4, 7 below)
  • Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective Credit Hours: 4

Fourth Year

  • Professional Development II Credit Hours: 2
    (See footnotes 5, 6 below)
  • Design Elective Credit Hours: 3
  • Restricted Elective  Credit Hours: 3-4
  • Free Electives (2 or 3)  Credit Hours: 8-9
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • Concentration Electives  Credit Hours: 6-8
  • Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective Credit Hours: 4

Humanities or 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 and social science sequences through which they will obtain adequate breadth and depth in subject areas. Students desiring minors in Humanities and Social Sciences must consult the school or department in which the courses are offered to obtain further information and specific requirements.

Restricted Elective

Any course with the designation ECSE, CSCI, or ENGR 4xxx.

Software Engineering Electives

Design Electives

Design electives can be described as “multidisciplinary” (ECSE 4900) or “depth of  understanding.” Students should visit the ECSE homepage for help with design elective selection.

  • ENGR 4060 - Inventor’s Studio (Fall and Spring)

Concentration Electives

Two courses in one of the concentration areas. See for areas and courses.


  1. May be taken either term
  2. May be replaced by ENGR 1300.
  3. Students entering this program in the fourth term should take CSCI 1100 and ENGR 2350 in the spring deferring ECSE 2610, ECSE 2660, CSCI 1200, and CSCI 2300.
  4. The free electives must total at least 12 credits.
  5. This course will be fulfilled from a list published at the start of each semester.
  6. May be taken in the third year.
  7. Students are encouraged to select a life science course, such as BIOL 1010.

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