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Outside-ECE Technical Electives

Requirements: 9 credits minimum, among which at least 3 credits must come from lecture course work at 3000-level or above. Courses must be taken for a letter grade unless offered S/U-only.

Rules governing traditional lecture courses

Courses allowed in this category must be technical courses whose technical scope lies outside the course offerings of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Almost any non-ECE math, science, or engineering course at the 2000-level or above will do. A student may count a 1000-level course as an Outside-ECE Technical Elective only if the course lists an explicit university-level prerequisite that the student has completed successfully either at Cornell or through AP or transfer credit. For example, CS 1302 is acceptable since it has an explicit engineering prerequisite, but none of the ENGRIs is acceptable since none of them has any prerequisities. Non-technical courses such as ENGRC and pure business courses are also not acceptable. ECE majors may, however, count ECE 5830 --- Introduction to Technical Management --- as an Outside-ECE Technical Elective.

In order for an engineering course in a non-ECE major to pass muster as an Outside-ECE Technical Elective, the major offering the course must allow its own students to use the course to fulfill a technical course requirement. For example, CEE 3230 and ORIE 3150 are acceptable because they include engineering applications of the business topics they cover, and the offering majors consider them technical courses for their students. When in doubt about the suitability of any course, a student should obtain evidence that students in the major offering the course can use the course in question as a "technical course" and submit associated documentation to 223 Phillips Hall.

One additional option exists for ECE students. A student may, with advisor approval, count one advanced ECE course as an Outside-ECE Technical Elective provided that the course's subject matter lies outside the student's major disciplinary area as determined by the focus of the student's upper-level ECE course work.

Rules governing project work and independent study
Students affiliating with ECE on or before 31 March 2009 may count up to 6 credits of project-team work in the Outside-ECE Technical Electives category. The following are project teams currently allowed in this category: FSAE, CUAUV, CUAIR, CUSD, Minesweeper, CUSat/Violet, Snake Arm, Automotive X-Prize, Baja SAE, and Big Red Chip. Other project teams may be allowed through a petition to the ECE Curriculum and Standards Committee. One or more of the following guidelines will be used in deciding if the project team work is appropriate for the Outside-ECE Technical Elective category.

  1. The project is of an interdisciplinary nature involving principles and methods normally considered outside of ECE.
  2. The project is team-oriented having five or more members, three or more of whom are from Majors outside of ECE.
  3. The project is a capstone design project that requires integration of knowledge from several technical areas either inside or outside of ECE.

Students affiliating with ECE on or after 1 April 2009 may count in the Outside-ECE Technical Electives category up to 3 credits of work that results from either (but not both)

  1. work on a student project team. The list of project teams currently allowed and the rules governing petitioning new teams are the same as those outlined above for students affilating before 1 April 2009.
  2. enrollment in an independent-study course at the 3000-level or above (i.e. ECE 4999) satisfying the following requirements:
    • If the independent-study course is a reading course, its subject must be unavailable in existing ECE courses. A student wishing to count the credits from such a course as Outside-ECE Technical Elective credits must obtain prior approval from the ECE Curriculum and Standards Committee by writing a proposal documenting his or her objectives and rationale for taking the course and must at the end of the semester submit to the supervising faculty member a written report on which the faculty member will base the student's grade.
    • If the independent-study course entails participation on a research project and the student wishes to count its credits as Outside-ECE Technical Elective credits, the student must obtain prior approval from the ECE Curriculum and Standards Committee by writing a proposal documenting his or her objectives and rationale for taking the course and must at the end of the semester submit to the supervising faculty member a written report on which the faculty member will base the student's grade.