Why ECE?

Our Approach to Education

Our curriculum employs a hands-on, active learning approach to education. It is designed to give students a broad view of the field early in their academic careers so that they can confidently select and pursue their passions as they advance. Our goal is to develop students who not only are technically competent, but also are leaders who can work seamlessly with professionals from other disciplines in local, national, and international environments.

The curricular theme of Integrated Sensing and Information Processing links key fields of electrical and computer engineering -- circuits and devices, signals and systems, electromagnetics, and computer engineering – throughout the curriculum. The heart of the curriculum is the introductory ECE course, Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which makes extensive use of hands-on learning to build a foundation for understanding electrical and computer engineering and which develops important skills such as oral and written communication, teamwork, and project management. Subsequently, our core courses explore key ECE fields in depth, enabling students to knowledgeably choose the specialized courses that further their interests and career goals. Theoretical concepts discussed in the classroom are frequently coupled to laboratory practice, where students are often challenged to solve open-ended problems. The curriculum provides ample opportunity to design, build a prototype, test until it breaks, and then redesign to fix the problems -- crucial skills for engineers.

Could Electrical and Computer Engineering be the right choice for you? 

What comes to mind when you think about a career in Electrical and Computer Engineering? Designing circuit boards and computer programming are two activities often associated with an electrical and computer engineer. 

But, the field of ECE is much broader and can lead in many unexpected directions. For example, electrical and computer engineers design MRI and CAT scanners, direct investments through quantitative finance, and improve recommendation systems for companies like Google and Netflix. They build more energy-efficient computers and devices, engineer new materials for solar panels, detect bombs and other threats, and design special sensors for night vision, marine biology, storm tracking, water sanitation, astronomy, and construction zone safety. They can even protect intellectual property as a patent lawyer. 

The possibilities are staggering – Duke ECE brings together diverse fields such as math, biology, computer science, physics, and statistics, and equips its graduates with the skills to make a real impact in the world.