Ask any two electrical engineers or computer scientists what they do, and you will likely get very different answers. Not surprisingly, the range of skills needed for engineering jobs is also very diverse. The EECS degree reflects this by giving you broad exposure to all aspects of the field and the flexibility to deepen your understanding in directions you choose. This flexibility requires some planning on your part, and these notes are designed to help you with this planning.

Although degree plans and goals tend to evolve as you proceed in your studies, it is very important that you start the planning process already in your first semester at Berkeley. For your degree you have a choice of hundreds of courses offered by the department, the college, and the university. You need to start looking at your options now to ensure that you follow the program that best fits you and your goals. Some of your choices may have a profound impact on your career opportunities for years to come. Learning happens not only in the classroom. The department offers a wide range of options to learn about the field, including undergraduate research opportunities and internships. Many of these are in high demand and often require appropriate preparation (e.g. taking specific courses ahead of time). Becoming an undergraduate teaching assistant is an excellent opportunity to deepen your understanding in core areas of engineering. The EECS honors degree program gives additional flexibility in your program and the opportunity to select an academic concentration outside EECS. You may find more information about these and other opportunities in these notes.

Not all possible study plans make sense and guarantee that you will become a successful engineer. A number of rules have been designed to ensure that your degree program gives you a good grasp of engineering concepts and comprehensive in-depth exposure in one or more areas. This guide summarizes these rules and helps you find your way through the system efficiently. The first chapter is a "quick guide" to the Bachelor of Science degree and guides you through the most important decisions for this program. Later chapters describe other degree programs and policies. You may find the sample programs in Chapter 4 useful as a starting point for your own studies.

In addition to this guide you have sources of information available to plan your degree. Take the opportunity to discuss your degree plan with your academic advisor and ask about options you should consider. More information is also available on departmental and university websites, and in the UC Berkeley General Catalog and the College of Engineering Undergraduate Guide.

Learning is not a passive activity. I invite you to challenge your creativity to put together a degree program that engages your talents and starts a fruitful career.

Dan Klein
Vice Chair for Undergraduate Matters
April 2013

Ugrad Handbook Index