Computer Engineering

Career potential

As a computer engineer, you will help develop practical and controlled uses of computing for real-world applications.

Traditionally, computer engineering as a discipline lies between computer science and electrical engineering. Computer engineers are concerned with designing and building computing devices that address society's needs. Computers are becoming more essential to appliances, transportation systems, residences, ecological systems and to humans. These components must meet stringent power, performance, safety, security and reliability requirements. Computer engineering provides the education and training necessary to engineer such systems to meet the required specifications. Computer engineers have knowledge of hardware and software and how to apply them to the practical world.

Computer engineering careers include design and implementation of cell phones, personal digital assistants and other consumer electronic devices; design and implementation of embedded sensors for transportation vehicles; co-design of software and hardware for specific applications to meet required performance, reliability and cost specifications; design of computer-based controllers for autonomous vehicles; and design of devices for biomedical applications.

According to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, some of the fastest growing jobs through 2014 are computer-related. UNT's Career Center can help you prepare to pursue your career. The center has information about jobs and employers. The staff can help you with resume and letter writing, job search strategies, and interview preparation.

Majoring in computer engineering

As a computer engineering student, you will be exposed to theoretical and practical issues of hardware and software in laboratories with state-of the-art equipment. The emphasis in the computer engineering program is on the design and implementation of hardware and software for engineering applications.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering is a new program designed to meet ABET, Inc. criteria. Graduates will be eligible to seek the professional engineering license.

As a computer engineering major, you may receive research experience and academic credit by working in a UNT laboratory or research center.

Upon earning a B.S. in computer engineering, you will be able to

  • design; evaluate material, computational and personnel resources to solve problems; work in multi-disciplinary teams and communicate effectively
  • pursue graduate studies or challenging careers involving very-large-scale integration (VLSI) design, real-time systems, communications and networks or computer systems
  • exhibit an awareness of professional responsibility, ethics and the need to engage in life-long learning
  • demonstrate a strong background in the breadth of computer engineering as evidenced by a good balance between software and hardware systems, including software development, design of digital systems, microprocessors, embedded systems, real-time systems and digital communication systems


Center for Information and Computer Security helped UNT earn the designation of "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" from the National Security Agency for its strong computer and information security program.

Net-Centric Software and Systems Center aims to promote cooperative research between industry and universities.

Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis (CeCERA) will bring together Departments of Geography, Computer Science and Engineering, and Biology, and the UNT Health Science Center's Department of Biostatistics.


In addition to facilities provided for instructional purposes, the department supports several laboratories to provide you with an opportunity to learn from faculty at work in research areas.

Computational Epidemiology Research Laboratory applies computational science patterns to public health to provide tools for epidemiologists and public health researchers.

Computer Privacy and Security Laboratory conducts research on improving privacy and security of computer systems.

Computer Systems Research Laboratory focuses on issues related to multi-threaded computing, cooperative architecture and compiler techniques for intelligent memory devices, hardware/software co-design, computer-aided design for field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), and development of high-level design tools in electronic system level design.

Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory focuses on computer vision problems such as image fusion, target recognition, and pattern classification.

Geometric Computing Laboratory conducts research to improve the theoretical effectiveness and efficiency of algorithms for problems with a geometric nature.

Global Software Development works with student teams in four countries, UNT, Panama, Great Britain, and Turkey. The ultimate goal of the project will be to create curriculum materials aimed at teaching students how to work more effectively in global software teams.

Intelligent Distributed Software Systems provides the software and hardware infrastructure for research and graduate teaching in intelligent mobile agents, distributed artificial intelligence and Internet programming.

Laboratory for Recreational Computing is a center for research and education on game development and entertainment computing.

Language and Information Technologies Laboratory fosters research on various aspects of natural language processing, including text understanding, machine translation, natural language learning and information retrieval.

Multimedia Information Laboratory conducts research on multimedia material processing, multimedia information extraction, and multimedia information modeling and retrieval. This includes video and image segmentation, motion and color analysis, image quality analysis, and object recognition by region clustering and classification.

Network Research Laboratory conducts research in high-speed networking techniques and applications.

Network Security Laboratory was established to increase general wireline and wireless network security awareness of computer science and engineering graduates, to produce skilled security specialists, and to conduct research and development activities to advance the state-of-the-art in wireline and wireless network security and communication.

VLSI Design and CAD Laboratory carries out research in low power design and CAD for nanoscale VLSI circuits.

Wireless Sensor Laboratory was established to increase general wireless communications awareness among computer science and engineering graduates, produce skilled wireless specialists, and conduct research and development activities to advance the state-of-the-art in wireless sensors.


UNT's computer science program has been accredited by ABET, Inc. [111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, Md. 21202, telephone 410-347-7700]. This accreditation means that the program has passed strict academic standards for excellence in education.

Student organizations

As a computer engineering major, you can participate in one of several professional organizations that are associated with the department. The organizations include:

  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • IEEE Computer Society
  • UNT Robotics Society
  • UNT Amateur Radio Club
  • Council of Engineering Organizations
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • National Society of Black Engineers

Getting hands-on experience

Upon completion of 12 semester hours at UNT with at least a 2.5 GPA, you may work in a job related to your major through UNT's Cooperative Education and Internships office. You may earn academic credit and money while gaining valuable work experience.

Preparing for UNT: High school students

If you are a high school student, we suggest you prepare for college by becoming computer proficient and taking:

  • English … 4 years
  • Math … 4 years
  • Social science — economics, geography, government, history … 4 years
  • Science … 3 years
  • Foreign language … 3 years
  • Fine arts … 1 year

You will need to take courses in most of these subjects under the university core curriculum required of all undergraduates, in addition to your major courses. Talk with your high school counselor about preparing for college, including the entrance exams (SAT or ACT) that you should take during your junior year.

Preparing for UNT: Transfer students

As a benefit for transfer students, UNT participates in the Texas Common Course Numbering System. This system makes it easier to transfer credits for general academic courses from one Texas institution to another.

If you're attending a Texas community college, you should consult the UNT Transfer Guide, the UNT Undergraduate Catalog and an academic counselor to discuss your degree plan. Proper planning will help you receive the maximum amount of transfer credits.

Charting your path through academic advising

Faculty members in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will help you select courses necessary to earn your degree. They also will give you career guidance and advice. The department office is in Discovery Park, Suite F201.

Curious about courses and other features of this major?
See the current catalog.