Recommended EE electives to specialize in FPGAs

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by I-Hat, Nov 14, 2017 at 9:26 AM.

  1. I-Hat

    Thread Starter New Member


    I'm hoping professionals can assist me in selecting the most beneficial classes while pursuing my BSEE. First, let me give you my background in case that helps. I'm in the US, and already employed within my desired field (generally). My job title/labor category is actually Systems Engineer; I qualified based on my somewhat unique practical experience gained in the military. I do not, however, fool myself into thinking I'm a real engineer. I bring this up so that you have some perspective in that I have a pretty clear understanding of where I want to go with my career, but am not 100% sure on the exact path. I've managed to "put the cart before the horse", but this has given me the unique opportunity to guide my undergrad education in a way that I would not have been able to right out of high school.

    My desire is to design/build/R&D electronic systems in the RF domain. My background has been in the T&E of already built systems, and some integration of systems. I want to create them. In the last 10 years, as an end-user, I saw my systems transition to almost entirely FPGA based. I was not a fan of them, originally, but have seen that in my specific field, they are here to stay and getting extremely prolific. Antennas blow my mind, but my research into the science behind them has scared me off that track, if I'm honest. So essentially, I see FPGAs as a critical component in my field, though they themselves are not my greatest interest.

    At this point, here's electives that make sense to me:
    HDL and programmable logic
    Communication systems
    various upper-division circuits classes

    Can you see any glaring gaps in my plan? I don't want to graduate thinking I have education that applies to FPGAs and find out HDL was one little piece of the puzzle and I missed something more important.

    Thank you greatly
  2. tindel

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    I like you class selections for the most part. I'd suggest taking antennas instead of microwaves. By the time you"ve had elecromagnetics I and II you'll be ready to tackle Antennas.

    For an undergrad, I'd also add digital electronics, digital systems, and embedded classes to round it out. Sometimes the digital electronics and digital systems are combined into a single digital class. It is important to understand the transistor level operation of integrated circuits if you want to be a good designer. The embedded class will help you understand chip level systems as they are quite complex. Sometimes embedded classes are called microprocessors, microcontrollers, or embedded systems.

    If you decide to continue to your masters I would focus on digital control systems.

    Thank you for your service to our country and my family.
    I-Hat likes this.
  3. I-Hat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Thank you for the very detailed response. It is greatly appreciated.