Department Overview

Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) offers one of the strongest research and instructional programs in this field anywhere in the world. Our key strength is in cross-disciplinary team-driven projects. The integration of electrical engineering (EE) and computer science (CS) forms the core, with strong interactions that extend into biological sciences, mechanical and civil engineering, physical sciences, chemistry, mathematics, and operations research. Our programs have been consistently ranked in the top three nationwide and worldwide by various organizations that rank academic programs.

Each year, top students from all parts of the world are attracted to Berkeley by the excellence of the faculty, the breadth of educational opportunities in EECS and campus-wide, the proximity to the vibrant California high-tech economy, and the Berkeley environment. The department's close ties to industry, coupled to its commitment to engineering research and education, ensure that students get a rigorous, relevant, and broad education. The current enrollment of graduate students in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences is about 500.

Faculty members at Berkeley are committed to research and discovery at the highest level, informed and creative teaching, and the creative desire to excel. The distinction of the EECS faculty has been recognized in a long list of prestigious honors and awards, including 2 National Medals of Science, 3 ACM Turing Awards, 3 IEEE Medals of Honor, 36 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 7 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 14 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, etc.

Unlike many institutions of similar stature, the vast majority of our courses are taught by regular faculty, and the most exceptional teachers are often also the most exceptional researchers. The department's list of active teaching faculty includes 7 winners of the prestigious Berkeley Campus Distinguished Teaching Award.

The mission of the EECS Department has three parts:

  1. Educating future leaders in academia, government, industry, and entrepreneurial pursuit, through a rigorous curriculum of theory and application that develops the ability to solve problems, individually and in teams;
  2. Creating knowledge of fundamental principles and innovative technologies, through research within the core areas of EECS and in collaboration with other disciplines, that is distinguished by its impact on academia, industry and society; and
  3. Serving the communities to which we belong, at local, national, and international levels, with a deep awareness of our ethical responsibilities to our profession and to society.

Our strategy to accomplish this mission is simple: recruit and retain the very best faculty, students, and staff, and then empower them to direct and drive the creation and dissemination of knowledge. We know that we have succeeded in this mission when our students succeed, becoming leaders and serving society.

Electrical Engineering began on the Berkeley Campus more than a century ago, with the hiring of the first electrical engineer, Clarence Cory, into the College of Mechanics. The early days focused on electric power production and distribution, and in fact Cory's laboratory provided the first light and power to the entire campus. The evolution since then has been dramatic, accelerating rapidly in the latter half of the 20th century. The development of our world class computer science faculty followed naturally from the synergies between electronics, systems theory, and computing. In the 21st century, EECS has become a broader field, defined more by its intellectual approach to engineering problems than by particular technical solutions. Broadly, EECS harnesses physical processes to perform logical functions, and hence easily extends beyond its core technology base in electronics to, for example, biological systems. Current strengths in biosystems and computational biology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, concurrent and distributed systems, embedded systems, novel devices (such as organic semiconductors), robotics, advanced networking, computer security and trusted computing, energy, and sensor networks, complement beautifully our traditional strengths in physical electronics, integrated circuits, operating systems and networking, graphics and human-computer interaction, communications systems, computer architecture, control theory, signal processing, the theory of computing, programming languages, scientific computing, electronic design automation, power systems, and database management systems. Many of our current research projects are focused on enormous societal challenges and opportunities such as energy efficiency, network intelligence, transportation systems, security, and health care. More than any other engineering discipline, EECS bridges the physical world and the semantic one, creating technologies to serve humanity.

Organizationally, the EECS Department smoothly integrates its world class faculty with dedicated staff and extremely active and involved student groups. Our undergraduate programs recognize the daunting intellectual breadth of the field by offering a great deal of flexibility. These programs are accredited through September 2015 by the Engineering Accreditation Commission and/or by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc.

Our graduate programs emphasize research, preparing students for leadership positions in industrial labs, government, or academia. Our laboratory and computing facilities are among the best anywhere, and have conceived many transformative inventions. Our research programs are well funded, and nearly all of our graduate students receive full financial support.

Please refer to the EECS Faculty Homepages, Research Areas and our Research Labs pages for more information.

Questions? Please contact EECS Graduate Admissions