The acronyms are Computer Engineering (CE), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Currently, my Department is ECE, and we offer two degrees within the same departmental structure.

As a result of some political issues, I have been asked to find out what is "best practice", i.e., what "most" Universities do. After googling around, I was able to find several departments that pursue each of the possibilities:

  • separate departments (CE and EE) offering separate degrees,
  • single departments (ECE) offering degrees in both CE and EE, and
  • single departments offering one degree that encompasses both fields.

My question is if there is any survey, overview, or summary that would shed light on how common these various options are (preferably in a quantitative way).

  • 2
    Perhaps you can get a hold of the various ABET accreditation guidance? My experience has been these are very loose, and will vary dramatically across universities and continents...
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 4, 2015 at 17:01
  • I'm not sure what your question is: are you asking how common it is for universities to have a combined ECE dept vs separate EE and CompE? Please edit to clarify. Also, if you're looking for answers supported by a reference (e.g. to a survey), and not random opinions, consider tagging this reference-request.
    – ff524
    Nov 4, 2015 at 19:18
  • @ff524 -- I have edited the question slightly -- my intention is to try to find out how common the various options are.
    – bill s
    Nov 4, 2015 at 23:36
  • It seems your question is unclear to many readers, as the existing answers try to explain to you the difference between EE, CompE, and ECE. I don't think that's what you want. I think you should edit both the title and body of the post to clarify.
    – ff524
    Nov 4, 2015 at 23:39
  • dunno if they still call it such, but when i was in grad school at Northwestern, it was the "EECS department". i really didn't think the two should be combined in a single department. EE and CE could. i believe CE is a specialization of EE. Nov 5, 2015 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


CE program has actually been formed to address the digital-electronic-driven technologies, considerably, related to the computer technology, such as computer architecture, parallel processing, VLSI, CAD, etc.

EE program points to the electrical-driven stuffs like power engineering, analog electronics and semi-conductors, telecommunications and so on.

ECE program would often be considered as a mixture of the above cases. As a matter of fact, some minor interdisciplinary programs like robotics, neural engineering and bio-medical engineering could be covered under the aegis of such program.

Above clarifications might be fuzzy and even interchangeable in many cases. One could contend that the applicant must opt among the aforeaid programs, solely, based on the faculty members' research, are who affiliated with the responsible department of each program, are which mostly-aligned with his/her interests.

  • I don't think this answers the OP's question. He isn't asking about the difference between EE, CompE, and ECE; he wants to know: "I have been asked to find out what is "best practice", i.e., what "most" Universities do."
    – ff524
    Nov 4, 2015 at 19:20

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