Welcome!

Greetings, and thank you for your interest in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Montana State University. Check us out here on the web and then plan a visit to see our campus first hand. We'd be delighted to show you our outstanding facilities and academic programs. Welcome!

Todd J. Kaiser, Department Head

What's special about ECE at Montana State University?

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Montana State University provides you with many advantages compared to other universities:

Exceptional opportunities for hands-on learning

Our programs emphasize hands-onlaboratory work from EELE 101 through graduate school. Our students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and software, including electrical systems, advanced digital design, communications, control systems, and even a fully functional microfabrication clean room facility. Needless to say, MSU ECE graduates have a great reputation for confidence and effectiveness in engineering design, analysis, and troubleshooting.

Learn from outstanding faculty

All ECE classes are taught by experienced professors, not by teaching assistants. Our award-winning faculty are recognized leaders in their areas of expertise, with graduate degrees earned from the best engineering programs in the world. Most instructors also have years of prior industrial experience ready to share with you in our classrooms and laboratories.

Accredited by ABET

The Electrical Engineering Program and the Computer Engineering Program are both accredited by ABET. http://www.abet.org.

Undergraduate involvement in research

Annual ECE faculty expenditures on competitively funded research typically are around $2M, and a good portion of that funding provides scholarships and stipends for students who work part time in research labs and other creative activities that build new knowledge. Don't just read about it--do it!

Spectacular adventures await you, both in and out of class

MSU-Bozeman is minutes away from public trails and blue ribbon trout streams, less than an hour from Big Sky and Bridger Bowl ski resorts, and just 90 miles from Yellowstone National Park.  Bozeman also is the home of more than 100 small high-tech businesses and 650 non-profit community organizations. Why settle for a dull college town when you can live and study in the fresh air of the northern Rocky Mountains?

Learn more about Student Life in the MSU College of Engineering.

Frequently asked questions

The over-simplified summary is that the EE focuses on electrical hardware, CS centers on computer software, and CpE has one foot in digital hardware and one foot in computer software.

The Electrical Engineering (EE) major follows the traditional electrical engineering emphasis on circuits and electrical hardware.  Requirements include mathematics (4 semesters of calculus and differential equations), basic science/engineering topics (physics chemistry, mechanical statics and dynamics), electrical circuits, and digital computer hardware.

The Computer Science (CS) Bachelor's degree program options emphasize software skills and knowledge for programming, operating systems, networks, and compilers.  The CS degree options require two semesters of calculus and matrix math and 40+ credits of computer science courses.

The Computer Engineering (CpE) degree is similar to the EE degree in its emphasis on mathematics (4 semesters), physics, and electrical and electronic circuits, but also requires a key sequence of computer science classes. In order to accommodate the software courses, the CpE degree does not require chemistry, statics/dynamics, or electrical power classes.  Instead, CpE majors take 20+ credits of required and elective computer science courses.

All degree programs at MSU require fulfillment of the University Core 2.0 requirements for breadth of knowledge in the arts, humanities, social sciences, diversity, and creative research.

ECE career placement is virtually 100%. EE and CpE Bachelor's degree graduates from MSU find numerous professional employment opportunities, including careers with large, multi-national corporations, local and regional companies, entrepreneurial start-ups, government agencies, or continuing their formal education trajectory in graduate school.

The list of recent employers of ECE graduates includes:

  • Micron Technology
  • Boeing
  • IM Flash Technologies
  • HDR
  • Astronics
  • Advanced Electronic Designs
  • Newport/ILX Lightwave
  • Navy Undersea Warfare Center - Keyport
  • Dynojet
  • Northrup Grumman
  • Intel
  • NASA
  • University of Washington
  • Cornell University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Arizona
  • Air Force Institute of Technology – Dayton

… and many, many more.

There are also opportunities to expand your career in related areas, including fields like Project Management. Information about job opportunities for individuals with Project Management certification (PMP) is available here:   http://www.pmpro.org/jobs/

If you are not a Montana resident, state government rules require the University to charge you the non-resident tuition and fees rate--unless you are enrolled in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Scholarship program.

If you are a domestic (U.S.) student you can apply to become a Montana legal resident if you follow the mandatory residency guidelines. Note that the residency qualification process takes twelve months and you cannot enroll for more than 6 credits in any term during the twelve month period. You also cannot leave the state for more than a total of 30 days during the qualification year.

International students are always considered non-residents: there is no process to obtain Montana residency without being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

 MSU, the College of Engineering, and the ECE Department award scholarships on a competitive basis for both new and continuing students.  See the online information about ECE Scholarships, the College of Engineering Scholarships, and the Montana State University Scholarships programs. From time to time there are special scholarship announcements: watch for these announcements on the ECE website and via email.
YES! The ECE Department offers a minor in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Computer Engineering. More information is available here.

For answers to more questions, see this FAQ page on the College of Engineering's students page.