United States Air Force Academy

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A Systems View Toward Computing Design


Computer Engineering cadet with augmented reality glasses

The impact of Computer Engineering in the 21st century battlefield is more vital than ever before. The Air Force’s increasing reliance on electronic surveillance, electronic warfare, cyber warfare, advanced communication systems, and modern computers has created an insatiable demand for Computer Engineers (CpE). The Computer Engineering major prepares the CpE student with a deep understanding of the basic principles of modern electronic systems such as “smart” computer-guided munitions, advanced “fly-by-wire” aircraft, radio systems capable of communicating through hostile electronic jamming environments, terrain-following radar, and much more.

As an Air Force Computer Engineer, you will combine your creativity and analytic ingenuity to optimize existing computing systems, as well as design new systems that have not yet even been conceived. Air Force officers who understand these emerging technologies can use their expertise to gain a “combat edge” over our adversaries. If you want to help the Air Force develop new and better techniques to accomplish its mission, this major may be for you.

Required coursework in the Computer Engineering major includes the core curriculum, and courses that apply electronics and computer science, such as electrical and electronic circuit and systems analysis, computer systems and architecture, and signal processing. The CpE curriculum culminates in a two-semester capstone design course, where seniors work on a team, building on their coursework to design an electronic system that meets the needs of a real customer.

To ensure the success of our graduates, we prepare them to attain Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) two to five years after graduation. These PEOs are:
Cadets who major in Electrical and Computer Engineering will have been successful Air Force Officers who have:

  1. Applied their engineering, management, and leadership skills in service to our nation.
  2. Demonstrated intellectual growth through self-study, continuing education, and professional development.
  3. Provided technical leadership and disciplinary knowledge, with a broad understanding of the potential ethical and societal impacts of technology.
  4. Applied engineering methodology and creativity to technological problems while effectively communicating to diverse audiences.

The qualities, or outcomes, of the ECE major that prepare each graduate for attaining these PEOs are the following Student Outcomes (SOs):
Each Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate shall demonstrate:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Cadets who successfully complete the Computer Engineering major are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. The Computer Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The Computer Engineering major is an excellent choice if you are interested in an advanced degree. As a Computer Engineer, your knowledge and skill will be in high demand both in the Air Force and in society as a whole.

Computer Engineering Enrollment and Graduation Data
School Year Total Enrollment Degrees Conferred
2017–2018 40 12
2016–2017 42 13
2015–2016 46 13
2014–2015 52 14
2013–2014 58 18

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
(719) 333-3190