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)

ECE:3540 Communication Networks
ECE:3400 Linear Systems II

Depth Elective
(select one)

ECE:5300 Switching Theory
ECE:5320 High Performance Computer Architecture
ECE:5330 Graph Theory and Combinatorial Optimization

5000-Level ECE
(select two)

       All depth electives listed above and
ECE:5520 Information and Coding Theory*
ECE:5530 Wireless Sensor Networks*
ECE:5500 Communication Theory*

Technical Electives
(select three)

CS:2230 Computer Science II: Data Structures (Required)
       All breadth, depth and 5000-level ECE electives listed above, and
ECE:3500 Communication Systems**
CS:5620 Distributed Systems and Algorithms
CS:4640 Computer Security

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

     * requires ECE:3500 as a prerequisite
   ** requires 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 ECE:3500 which, in turn, requires ECE:3400 as a prerequisite.  Due to this prerequisite chain, careful planning and consultation with your academic advisor is necessary.

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