ECE Focus Area: Computer Networks (Computer)

A local-area network (LAN)A wide area network (WAN)Comparison of OSI and Internet protocol stacks


Network engineers design, develop and configure, and maintain the high-speed wired and wireless digital networks that carry vast amounts of data, enabling the Internet, cell phones, television, and every other kind of electronic information exchange.

This EFA combines a background in computer hardware and software (gained through the computer track of the curriculum) with additional knowledge of computer networks, communication theory, and computer security.

Students pursuing this EFA may find employment with companies that design and manufacture networking products such as modems, routers, and switches, telecommunication providers, and companies that design and deploy network technologies

Students interested in the Computer Networks Elective Focus Area are encouraged to consider the track and EFA course selection suggestions listed below when completing their plan of study form.

EFA Requirements

Suggested Options


Computer Track: accelerated curriculum, standard curriculum

Breadth Elective
(select one)

055:054 (ECE:3540) Communication Networks
055:043 (ECE:3400) Linear Systems II

Depth Elective
(select one)

055:130 (ECE:5300) Switching Theory
055:132 (ECE:5320) High Performance Computer Architecture
055:133 (ECE:5330) Graph Theory and Combinatorial Optimization

100-Level ECE
(select two)

       All depth electives listed above and
055:152 (ECE:5520) Information and Coding Theory*
055:153 (ECE:5530) Wireless Sensor Networks*
055:150 (ECE:5500) Communication Theory*

Technical Electives
(select three)

22C:021 (CS:2230) Computer Science II: Data Structures (Required)
       All breadth, depth and 100-level ECE electives listed above, and
055:050 (ECE:3500) Communication Systems**
22C:166 (CS:5620) Distributed Systems and Algorithms
22C:169 (CS:5640) Computer Security

Additional Electives
(select two)
Any of the above OR courses selected in consultation with advisor.

     * requires 055:050 (ECE:3500) as a prerequisite
   ** requires 055:043 (ECE:3400) as a prerequisite

Advising Notes

  1. A Mathematics minor can be earned by including one qualifying Math course in the EFA plan.
  2. Several of the advanced courses in this EFA require a prerequisite of 055:050 (ECE:3500) which, in turn, requires 055:043 (ECE:3400) as a prerequisite.  Due to this prerequisite chain, careful planning and consultation with your academic advisor is necessary.

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