2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2021  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Laura J. Steinberg, Dean
227 Link Hall

About the College

These are exciting times in engineering and computer science. Revolutionary changes in multiple areas continue to transform the operations of most traditional employers of engineers and computer scientists. The demand for individuals with degrees in engineering and computer science is greater than ever. In addition, new nontraditional opportunities for engineering and computer science graduates are opening in law, medicine, public policy, finance, management, and communications. Traditional tools and technical know-how are often no longer enough. Today’s engineers and computer scientists must possess a broader set of perspectives, experiences, and skills to contribute successfully in a dynamic, rapidly changing world.

Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science (E&CS) offers courses and programs that are designed to prepare leaders for a high-technology, knowledge-based global community. Through courses in the college and across the University, E&CS offers students a breadth of opportunities and experiences that is unmatched by programs at most other universities.

The college offers ten undergraduate programs: bachelor of science programs in aerospace engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, and bachelor science program in computer is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. In addition we offer, in collaboration with the i-School, the Systems and Information Science, BS .

New engineering and computer science students enroll in ECS 101 - Introduction to Engineering and Computer Science . ECS 101  provides a broad introduction to each of our degree programs, allowing students an opportunity to explore each area before they choose a major. ECS 101  is also open to students of other SU colleges who are interested in exploring the areas of engineering or computer science as a potential field of academic study.

E&CS students may choose from a variety of study options, including technical and non-technical minors, combined B.S./M.S. degree programs, and a combined undergraduate degree program between E&CS and the College of Arts and Sciences. The college also offers its students opportunities for co-op, study abroad, and undergraduate research.

Founded in 1901, E&CS enjoys a long-standing reputation for excellence and innovation. The college community is composed of outstanding students, faculty, and staff who are dedicated to personal excellence and success.

Educational Mission and Vision

The College Mission

The mission of the college is to promote learning in engineering and computer science through integrated activities in teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishments, and service.

The College Vision

The vision of the college is to earn recognition among universities for engineering and computer science programs that prepare leaders for a high-technology, knowledge-based, global community. The vision for E&CS is a distinct student-centered research university model for engineering and computer science education. Features of this model include the following:

  • the commitment that all programs relate directly to students and their learning experiences;
  • the commitment that research is an integral element of the learning environment;
  • the flexibility for students to pursue the diversity of learning opportunities available in a broad university setting; and
  • the commitment to world-class quality in courses and programs.


The college offers nine undergraduate programs: bachelor of science programs in aerospace engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, and bachelor science program in computer is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes in all B.S. in engineering programs:
  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
Student outcomes in the B.S. in computer science program:
  1. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline
  2. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
  3. An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs
  4. An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal
  5. An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities
  6. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  7. An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society
  8. Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development
  9. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.

Undergraduate Program Overview

The college offers ten undergraduate programs: bachelor of science programs in aerospace engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, and bachelor science program in computer is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Aerospace Engineering

Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Systems and Information Science

General Regulations

For academic rules and regulations that apply to all University students, see the Academic Rules  section of this catalog, which also contains special regulations that apply only to students matriculated in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Engineering and computer science students enrolling at Syracuse University must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in all engineering, mathematics, and science courses taken at SU. Furthermore, all students must satisfactorily complete at least 24 credits, including summer courses taken here or transferred to Syracuse University from another institution, within any 12-month period to maintain satisfactory progress, with a 2.0 semester and overall average.

For graduation, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 and at least a 2.00 GPA in all ECS, mathematics, and science courses taken at Syracuse University. In addition, students must meet all degree requirements specific to their chosen major.

Arts and Sciences/Engineering & Computer Science (Combined Degrees)

Arts and Sciences contact the Advising and Academic Support Office, 329 Hall of Languages, 315-443-3150.

Engineering and Computer Science contact Maria Marceau, Director of Student Records, 130 Link Hall, 315-443-5191.
Engineering Faculty, See individual departments listed in the “College of Engineering and Computer Science .”

The College of Arts and Sciences , in cooperation with the College of Engineering and Computer Science, offers a five-year combined curriculum. Students complete the requirements for and receive two degrees-one degree in a major of their choice in engineering or computer science and one degree in a major in the College of Arts and Sciences . Students who enter this program are urged to talk with advisors in both departments in which they plan to major as soon as possible. It is important that they learn the curricular requirements of each department in order to understand how best to merge the two sets of requirements.

Students register with the College of Arts and Sciences  as the home college for the first three years. They receive a basic education in mathematics and science along with a liberal education in the social sciences and humanities. While most of the coursework taken during that time is in the liberal arts, approximately one quarter of the program consists of first- and second-year courses in the engineering field chosen by the students.

After completing the third year, students transfer the home college designation to the College of Engineering and Computer Science while maintaining a connection with the College of Arts and Sciences. The fourth and fifth years of the program focus on engineering subjects. The B.A. or B.S. degree in the Arts and Sciences major may be awarded upon completion of the fourth year, but increased scheduling options are possible by completing both degrees at the end of the fifth year.

While some flexibility is possible in the program, it is a formalized curriculum. Students usually major in mathematics, biology, physics, or chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, although other majors are allowed upon approval by both colleges. The completion of the combined degree program requires a minimum of 150 total credits earned.

Admission requirements are the same as those for students entering the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Students who are already enrolled in the College of Engineering and Computer Science or the College of Arts and Sciences  may transfer into the combined program provided requirements can be met. Such transfers must be approved by both colleges.

Intra-University Transfer

Students who wish to transfer into any program within the College of Engineering and Computer Science from another school or college within the University should have a strong record of achievement and demonstrated success in key technical courses and a cumulative GPA of 3.00. Specifically, it is critical for the applicant to have proven their ability to excel in college-level calculus (by completing at least one of MAT 295 , MAT 296 , or MAT 397  with a grade of B- or better) and science (by completing at least one set of PHY 211 /PHY 221  or CHE 106 /CHE 107  with a grade of B- or better). Students who wish to major in computer science must also complete CIS 252  with a grade of at least a B.


PRIDE Office (Programs Rooted In Developing Excellence) provides programming that meets the needs of and fosters excellence in the educational, professional, and personal development of all students with particular emphasis on African American, Latino/a, Native American, and women students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

PRIDE Office offers programs that focus on student development and their academic success including the SummerStart Program, the E&CS Pathfinders (peer advisors), and academic advising for newly admitted students. In addition, first-year students are invited to participate in the E&CS Learning Community in the STEM Residential College located in Shaw Hall which allows for formed social connections and peer collaboration on similar academic pursuits.

Additional programs include Academic Excellence Workshops (AEW), which focus on the mastery of calculus and other fundamental engineering courses and the STAR (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) Program, which provides support in the nonacademic skills that are necessary to ensure student success; and the PRIDE Incentive Program, which celebrates the students’ academic achievement.

PRIDE is also committed to helping students develop leadership skills through involvement in recognized student organizations. The activities, leadership opportunities, and community service projects sponsored by the organizations are important to the students, the college, the University, and the local Syracuse community, as they prepare to be future societal leaders.

PRIDE evolved from the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Office established in 1976.

Students interested in the PRIDE Office programs should contact the director’s office, 123 Link Hall, 315-443-2582, pride@lcs.syr.edu.


The Engineering and Computer Science Cooperative Education program (Co-op) empowers undergraduate students to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities that have proven to aid them in successfully reaching their post-graduate goals. The Co-op program consists of full-time professional work primarily during the summer. This design allows students the opportunity to gain more than six months of paid work experience in their field of study and still graduate in four years. Working during the academic year is an option that students may choose, with the understanding that their ability to graduate on time may be affected. To be eligible, students must be enrolled full time in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Contact Cooperative Education Program, 121 Link Hall, 315-443-2582.

Undergraduate Minors

Engineering Students

Engineering students can pursue any minor within the University. Students are required to complete from 128 to 139 credits, depending on their program of study. Minors can be earned by taking optional or additional coursework. Minors commonly pursued include mathematics, economics, and management.

Computer Science Students

Computer science students can easily pursue any minor within the University. Of the 123 credits required for graduation, 9 credits are free electives. Minors commonly pursued are mathematics, cognitive science, or operations management.

All Other Students

Students enrolled in colleges other than Engineering and Computer Science can earn a minor in computer science. Students with sufficient background in math and science can pursue a minor in computer engineering or electrical engineering.

Bioengineering Students

Bioengineering students can earn a mathematics minor within the prescribed curriculum. Other minors (e.g., biology) can be earned by taking additional courses. Students enrolling with AP credit or who take summer school courses can easily select from a variety of minors.

Computer Engineering Students

Students can easily pursue two minors simultaneously. Without adding any courses to their programs of study, they can pursue a minor in mathematics, and a second one in a discipline outside the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Electrical Engineering Students

Students can easily pursue a technical minor, a non-technical minor without adding any additional course to their program of study. Additionally, a mathematics minor can be obtained by taking only one additional math course.

Study Abroad

The College of Engineering and Computer Science, in cooperation with Syracuse University Study Abroad, offers qualified engineering and computer science students the opportunity to spend a year at a British university in London or a semester in Madrid, Hong Kong, Sydney, Dublin, Istanbul, and Santiago.

In a time of rapidly growing global complexity and opportunity, international study is an increasingly important and relevant component of undergraduate study, especially for students preparing for careers in engineering or computer science. Of all the major professions, engineering and computer science are the most likely to involve international activity. In addition to strong technical skills, employers are increasingly looking for international experience, cross-cultural skills and perspectives, and an understanding of the world’s diversity.

For over 20 years, E&CS in a partnership with SU Abroad, has been a national leader in providing distinctive international study opportunities. These opportunities include:

  • Year Abroad Program in London
  • Spring Semester in Madrid
  • Fall or Spring semester in Dublin, Hong Kong, Santiago and Sydney
  • Spring Semester in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Summer Research program in Strasbourg, France

E&CS international study programs give students the opportunity to gain global experience, develop new ways of viewing the world, form lasting friendships abroad, and deepen their connection to other countries, languages and cultures. Students with these experiences gain a competitive edge in today’s multinational, multicultural environment.

To participate, students must be in good academic standing with a cumulatively GPA of 3.0 and in one of Syracuse University’s engineering or computer science programs or in an equivalent program elsewhere. Participants must also meet any language requirements of the host country.

For further information, contact the College of Engineering and Computer Science Study Abroad Office in 130 Link Hall or Syracuse University Study Abroad, 106 Walnut Place (suabroad.syr.edu).

Facilities and Research



The College of Engineering and Computer Science has facilities in three buildings on the SU Main Campus: Edwin A. Link Hall, Bowne Hall and the Center for Science and Technology, located at the east end of the Quad. In addition, the college operates teaching and research facilities at the Institute for Sensory Research, located on SU’s South Campus.

More than 200 computers are available around the clock for the exclusive use of students in engineering and computer science. These computers are housed in Windows, Mac and UNIX computer labs networked by up-to-date servers offering a range of software appropriate to the disciplines offered by the college. Information about E&CS specific IT resources can be found at http://helpdesk.lcs.syr.edu/.

Students in the college can readily access campus-wide resources operated by the University’s central Information Technology Services (ITS) organization. Wireless network access is available in all campus buildings and across the Quad. Detailed information about campus-wide IT resources is available at http://its.syr.edu.


Encouraging undergraduate research is a hallmark of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. We recommend that students undertake research projects as independent study experiences for academic credit.

Individual students may advance the state of knowledge and its application in dramatic ways. Many of our juniors and seniors attend national meetings and present the results of their undergraduate research projects. It is not unusual for our students to win awards in national research paper competitions or to graduate with one or more publications in the archival literature to their credit.



The College of Engineering and Computer Science (E&CS) has facilities in three buildings: Edwin A. Link Hall; the Center for Science and Technology, located at the east end of the Quad; and the Institute for Sensory Research, located on the South Campus, approximately two miles away.

Each of the buildings has modern, fully equipped laboratories for research and special student projects, as well as ample space for graduate student offices, classrooms, and seminar rooms.

The college and University have invested heavily in the multidisciplinary research area termed “environmental quality systems” that includes civil and environmental engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and electrical engineering and computer science. Research and graduate education facilities dedicated to these activities include a $4.5 million, 22,000-square foot suite of environmental engineering laboratories that house state-of-the art analytical laboratories, a clean room, bioenvironmental facilities, and a GIS lab; a $1.8 million Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory that contains a unique environmental chamber-climate chamber pair for testing building materials, HVAC and filtration technologies, and indoor air quality; a material characterization laboratory for studying hygrothermal performance of building envelopes; a two story full-scale Building Envelope Systems Technology laboratory for in-situ fiel testing of up to 32 envelope assemblies of 4’x9” high, a full-scale lab for intelligent environmental control in office buildings; and a number of additional laboratories that are dedicated to fundamental research focused on the quality of urban and built environments.

Bioengineering laboratories dedicated to biomaterials, tissue engineering, polymer physics, materials chemistry and biomanufacturing housed in the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute’s experimental facilities in Bowne Hall. Instrumentation available can be found at the following URL: http://biomaterials.syr.edu/research/facilities1/.

Chemical engineering has research laboratories devoted to supercritical extraction and oxidation, selective ion adsorption, polymer science and technology, nanotechnology, complex fluids and rheology, molecular biology, biochemical engineering and computational modeling of chemical and biological systems/processes. Instrumentation available in these laboratories includes a combination gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer, high-pressure equipment for studying extraction and chemical reaction, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, differential scanning calorimeter, an instrumented bioreactor, rheometers, spectrometers, flow cytometer and high performance computer clusters houses in the Green Data Center.

The electrical engineering and computer science department provides its students with extensive computing facilities in UNIX, Windows and Mac environments as well as with laboratories that cover a wide spectrum of areas, including communications, high performance computing, microwaves, multimedia, networking, optical fibers, and photonics. The Smart Grid and Power Systems laboratory is equipped for experimentation in power electronics, electromechanical devices, measurements in power systems (including synchrophasor technology, smart home metering and nonlinear loading), and advanced microgrid power system functionality (with renewable energy sources, transmission lines, distribution system, and both static and programmable loading). The Ultrafast Nanophotonics Lab is equipped with state-of-the-art tunable femtosecond laser, cw-lasers, inverted fluorescence microscope, spectrometer and CCD camera, among other optics and electronics to study the electromagnetic properties of novel nanophotonic devices and systems.

A wide range of laboratories exists in mechanical and aerospace engineering, with particular strength in the areas of fluid dynamics, energy systems, solid mechanics and materials characterization, and intelligent manufacturing. Cutting-edge facilities, including a full-motion flight simulator, exist for research in indoor environmental quality, composite materials, aerodynamics, computer-aided design, and the application of knowledge-based systems.

Bioengineering laboratories are devoted to teaching principles and applications of biomaterials, biomechanics, and bioinstrumentation. The biomechanics laboratory is equipped with mechanical testing devices, force and motion analysis systems, and a networked computer cluster for data acquisition and analysis. The bioinstrumentation laboratory contains equipment for design and fabrication of electronic devices and a networked computer cluster facilitates circuit design, simulation, data acquisition, and analysis. A suite of biomaterials laboratories includes a scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, differential scanning calorimeter, and FTIR for material characterization. There are also facilities for static and dynamic mechanical testing, anomechanics, polymer synthesis and characterization, and tissue engineering.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering maintains high-quality, advanced laboratory facilities for research and graduate instruction. These include a geosynthetic laboratory, a structure/materials laboratory, a geofoam laboratory, a soil mechanics laboratory, and a particle analysis laboratory.

The structure/materials laboratory includes a large reaction frame capable of testing full-scale beams and other structural elements and systems. The Geofoam Research Center maintains a well-equipped laboratory for geomaterial testing and research.

The environmental engineering laboratories occupy about 22,000 square feet and consist of more than 20 state-of-the-art labs, including a Class 100 clean room for trace analyses. The labs contain extensive analytical equipment, microprocessors for chemical and biological analysis, and advanced computing hardware and software.

Syracuse University is one of a select group of institutions to have access to a federal laboratory for quick fabrication of student-designed integrated circuit chips, which greatly strengthens courses in designing and testing very large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits.

The computing facilities in E&CS and the University’s computing services are outstanding. The computers are available for student use, and students are encouraged to use them throughout their academic careers.

Two all-University public labs of personal computers are located in Link Hall. In addition, the college has UNIX, Windows, and Macintosh microcomputer labs in the facilities that are dedicated and available around the clock to engineering and computer science students.


Programs of fundamental and applied research conducted by the faculty of each department have led to significant contributions in many engineering and computing fields. Graduate students, undergraduate students, research assistants, fellows, and postdoctoral fellows actively participate in this research.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science is closely affiliated with the CASE Center and Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (COE). Faculty and students work through the CASE Center to solve applied research and development problems using software engineering for small and large companies across New York State. Through the Syracuse COE, faculty and students work closely with industries as well as government laboratories to develop technologies that have the greatest market potential as well as advancing the fundamental science and engineering in energy and environmental systems.

The Center for Environmental Systems Engineering, the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory, Geofoam Research Center, the Institute for Sensory Research, and the Institute for Manufacturing Enterprises provide graduate students with a wealth of opportunities to contribute to important research problems across the full range of disciplines in the college.




Combined Degree