What Is Electrical Engineering?

Do you like to create? Electrical engineering applies engineering principles to the design, fabrication and use of a wide variety of electronic and electrical systems and devices.

Electrical engineers create, design and build products that meet a broad range of needs: from the tiny electronic circuits that keep spacecraft on course to huge hydroelectric power plants. They create the electronic components that touch every aspect of our daily lives, from cell phones to flat screen TVs to stereos to computers to wireless communications.

Engineering is different from other degrees, such as science, in that while scientists are discovering new knowledge, engineers are making an impact on the world by using that knowledge to innovate, create and build.

The National Academy of Engineering ranked the top 20 engineering feats in the last 100 years; electrical engineering was key to most of them, including:

  • Personal telecommunications systems
  • Broadcast communications
  • Computers and computer networks
  • Signal and image processing
  • The transistor
  • The microprocessor
  • Medical devices
  • Laser and fiber optics
  • The availability of electricity in our daily lives

We encourage students to take ENGR 101 - Introduction to Engineering - to get hands-on experience and learn more about electrical engineering.

For more information on what it's like to be an engineer in today's society, read "Changing the Conversation" by the National Academy of Engineering.