Academics and Courses


Bachelor of Engineering Program in Electrical Engineering

Basic courses in electronic circuits, signal processing and computer engineering, along with core mathematics, science and humanities courses, are taken in the freshman and sophomore years.  Students may then elect to pursue study through an appropriate choice of courses in different areas. For students who entered prior to Fall 2016, there are three designated areas:

  1. Electronic Systems and Materials
  2. Signal Processing and Communications
  3. Computer Engineering

For students entering Fall 2016 or later, the track structure has been consolidated (as tracks #1 and #2 were very similar) and somewhat revised to two tracks:

  1. Signals and Electronics
  2. Computer Engineering

There is overlap among the courses in the tracks, and all students are exposed to a broad range of areas within electrical engineering, while being given the opportunity to study areas of interest in significant depth.  The track designations are advisory in nature, and students may change their identified track as long as, by the time they graduate, they have fulfilled all the requirements in a selected track.

By the junior year, students are taking required advanced undergraduate courses (with a 300-level designation) that include material at the graduate level.  The only required courses in the senior year are the capstone senior design project courses.  Undergraduate students with a strong background are encouraged, as part of the Integrated Master Program, to take graduate level electives once they have the proper prerequisites.

The curriculum interweaves strong theory, grounded in mathematics and science, with extensive use of CAD tools and practical projects.  A broad education is supported by taking on-technical electives, including in humanities and social sciences.  Team and individual projects begin in the freshman year and culminate with year-long senior projects.  All laboratory courses, and many recitation courses, are project based.  By the time students commence their senior projects, they perform open-ended system design, implementation and testing, cost analysis and prepare written and oral presentations.  They act as project managers, under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

There are numerous research and independent study opportunities involving close work with faculty and practicing professionals on cutting edge problems.

Students plan their courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor.  Through extensive experience working on team projects and proper selection of courses, students obtain a well-rounded, diverse and challenging educational experience.

Master of Engineering Program in Electrical Engineering

The Master of Engineering program challenges students to pursue one or more areas of specialization in depth, combining rigorous theory and enhancement of analytical skills together with a significant research project experience.  An essential aspect of the program is the close working relationship between the student and faculty thesis advisor.

The candidate must choose a full-time Cooper Union faculty member from the electrical engineering department as one of his or her thesis advisors.  In addition, that advisor, in consultation with the other faculty in the department, approves the set of courses used to fulfill the requirements for the Master’s program.  Possible areas of concetrantion or thesis topics are numerous and reflect the diverse interests of the faculty.  Some examples are:  digital signal processing (including speech, audio, image, video and biomedical signals);  wireless communications and networks;  big data, machine learning, NLP, reconfigurable and distributed computing;  electronic materials and integrated circuit engineering;  sustainable engineering.

The thesis advisor approves the set of courses used to fulfill the requirements for the Master of Engineering degree.  The 30 credits must be distributed as follows:

6 credits thesis (ECE499).

24 credits of 400-level (graduate) courses.     [Exception: Up to 6 out of 24 credits may be 300-level courses if they were taken prior to Fall 2015]

Although non-ECE courses may be permitted in certain cases, the overall course plan should indicate a strong concentration in some area within the broad discipline of electrical engineering.

The Integrated Master Program allows undergraduate students at The Cooper Union who take additional courses beyond those required for the Bachelor of Engineering degree, who then enter the Master of Engineering program, to apply those additional credits towards the requirements for the Master degree, with the approval of the thesis advisor.

Students entering the Master of Engineering program in electrical engineering are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field from an accredited institution.