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Below are frequently asked questions and answers relating to the CPEN program.


What is Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineering integrates both electrical engineering and computer science in the development of computer systems. These engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing including design of microcontrollers, computers and circuit design. Computer Engineers focus not just on how computers work but how to integrate them into larger systems.

The Computer Engineering Program begins in the second year of undergraduate studies after completing the required first year engineering courses. Students will graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering. Students in the Computer Engineering Program may choose to focus on computer hardware design or in software intensive computer systems, including requirements eliciation, software design, software quality, user-interface, and software project management.

What are examples of the typical types of work or tasks that someone in Computer Engineering does?

The students complete projects that allow them to apply the principles that they learn during lectures, in a very practical way. In the second year program, they work in small groups of 4-6, which gives them valuable experience in cooperation, leadership, time management and communication. The projects provide intimate knowledge of how theoretical knowledge is applied in the real world as well the principles of design. They learn practical skills such as circuit design, mechanical design and software design as well as mechanical (machining), computer (programming) and electrical prototyping (bread-boarding / soldering). The final evaluations focus just as much on the quality of the design as it does on the functionality of the prototype.

In the project featured in this video, all of the groups were tasked with measuring the resistance of a human hand, but each group applied it in a very different way. One group created a driving simulator, which sped up or slowed a simulated car, based on the pressure applied by the fingers to the resistive sensor. A second group created a lock, which would only open after the correct finger sequence had been detected by the resistive sensor.

Connect with a current student for more student experiences!

Student Experience

What are the unique student experiences in Computer Engineering?

University is about more than just lectures, labs, and late-night study sessions. During your time at UBC, you will have many opportunities to meet people from all over the world and experience new things. You can build a solar car with friends, visit Silicon Valley on a field trip with other students and influence your learning environment by participating in student societies and clubs.

Here is a list of Engineering clubs and society that host amazing events throughout the school year!


How does Co-op work with the program?

Undergraduates can apply for the Engineering Co-op Program at the beginning of their 2nd year of their Engineering degree. The year-round program entails one spring and one fall work term as well as three summer work term. Participation in the program will require an extra year of study for undergraduates to finish their B.A.Sc.

More information on the Engineering Co-op Program is available on the website here.