Why Study Electrical Engineering?
Electrical engineers work as designers, developers, experimenters, team leads, managers, directors, researchers, educators and entrepreneurs spanning industry, government, and other sectors. They are involved in developing the next cutting-edge technologies, algorithms or systems that make our lives better.
Electrical Engineering is an exciting field that will provide you with opportunities to do the next big thing, whether it’s medical applications, power systems, computing, or wireless networks. Your journey and experience will involve classroom lessons, labs and hands-on design and fabrication, simulations, analysis, optimization, teamwork, presentation and even research. Our four-year program will immerse you in challenges that will prepare you for an exciting career in electrical engineering.
Electrical and electronics engineers use engineering design principles, along with mathematics, physics, computer programs, simulations and experiments to create and build the technology that makes our world click.
Some of the job opportunities for electrical engineers include, but are not limited to:
Aerospace: Wireless communication, control, navigation, radar, sensors
Automotive: Sensing, power, control, wireless communication, navigation, mm-Wave radar
Defense: Military communication, navigation, radar
Medical/Telehealth: Medical implants, imaging, healthcare
Power and Energy: Electric utility, nuclear power plant, wireless charging, smart grid, control
Semiconductor: Microelectronic chip design, semiconductor processing, and manufacturing
Systems Applications: System design and development for complex automation
Wireless Systems: Wireless communications, smartphone technology, IoT and sensing technology
Whether you enter the field after graduation or go to graduate school, our curriculum provides you with a strong foundation in the core areas of electrical engineering. It integrates the study of engineering and computing and exposes you to the full breadth of electrical engineering with core courses in the major specialty areas. A series of vertically integrated laboratory courses provide hands-on experience in electrical and electronics engineering. Career plan electives allow you to concentrate in a specific area of interest.
Major subjects in our curriculum include:
- Circuits and analog electronics
- Semiconductor materials and devices
- Digital electronics
- Signals/systems and digital signal processing
- Control systems
- Electromagnetic fields
- Computer architecture
- Computer programming, algorithms, modeling and simulation
- Five Career Plan electives
Our hands-on curriculum also includes five major laboratory experiences:
- Instrumentation, circuits, and systems lab
- Electronics lab
- Real-time systems lab
- Two-semester, teams-oriented capstone design project
We will broaden your engineering horizons (and your career opportunities) with courses in:
- Fundamentals of mechanical systems
- Engineering Economics
Our curriculum also includes the Carolina Core, and foundational math and science courses. Optional independent study and special topics courses add unique learning opportunities.
Visit Undergraduate Curricula and Courses for additional details.
Electives and Specialization
As an undergraduate student in Electrical Engineering, you have the options to specialize in power and energy, wireless communications, radio frequency (RF) systems, automatic control, microelectronic systems, and more. You can also add a minor or increase breadth to your degree through elective courses from engineering and computer science as well as from finance, management, mathematics, marketing, and other areas of interest.
Our two-semester-long capstone design project will put you to work on a challenging team project that will prepare you for the real world of engineering. Your experience will begin with formal definition of the design problem, analysis of system and subsystem requirements, and identification of measures of performance. Your team will brainstorm solutions, analyze the alternatives, conduct a critical design review, and build prototypes. Eventually, you will emerge victorious with a working system that solves an important problem. Throughout, you will learn and apply skills in project management, scheduling, teamwork and communication skills. And you will have fun while learning!
Some recent capstone design projects in electrical engineering include:
- Cocky’s Magic Cart – electrified!
- LiDAR-based navigational assistant for visually impaired persons
- Supercapacitor backup power source
- Ionospheric-bounce communications for unmanned aerial vehicles
- Brushless DC motor controller with power factor correction
Electrical engineering students participate in a variety of clubs including our student chapters of:
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- GamecockFIRSTers/FRC Team 4901 Garnet Squadron
- IEEE Power Electronics Society
- National Society of Black Engineers
- Society of Women Engineers
- IEEE Eta Kappa Nu
- Formula SAE Racing Team
Undergraduate research opportunities are available. Undergraduate researchers can get involved in several ways: as a volunteer, for course credit, or as a paid assistant to a graduate student. Research opportunities abound in areas such as electronic materials and devices, power and energy systems, radio frequency (RF) systems/wireless communications, and decision and control.
Along with other undergraduates in our college, electrical engineering students take full advantage of living-learning communities, mentorship opportunities, study abroad, intramurals, internships, just hanging out with friends, and more.
Visit Student Experience to learn more.