Minor in Embedded Systems

The area of embedded systems is multidisciplinary, and students pursuing this minor are encouraged (but not required) to satisfy the requirements with courses outside of their major department. This minor is jointly administered by multiple departments: currently Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. For questions, please contact Joel Grodstein.

An embedded computing system (also just called an embedded system) is one where computing plays a large role, but the end-user does not see the system primarily as a computer. For example, a modern car may have up to 200 microprocessors controlling antilock brakes and other driving assists – but the user still sees it as a car and not as a computer. These systems typically encompass sensors (e.g., wheel rotation monitors), computation (e.g., to examine wheel speeds and decide how to brake), and actuators (e.g., the brakes).

Another example is robots; they sense their surroundings, compute their desired behavior and move accordingly. Antilock brakes and robotics are often seen as within the field of mechanical engineering, but biomedical engineering also has numerous examples; e.g., a modern pacemaker can monitor bodily signals and the current heart rate, compute whether the current heart rate is appropriate and stimulate the patient’s heart accordingly.


A minor in Embedded Systems requires five distinct courses; no single course can count for two of the five courses.

Software (pick any one of the following choices):

  • EE 150: Software for Regulated Industries
  • EE/ME/BME 193: Embedded Medical Systems
  • CS 40: Machine Structure and Assembly Language Programming

Analog Circuits and the Frequency Domain (pick any one of the following choices):

  • EE 21: Electronics with Lab
  • BME 10: Electrical Circuits and Biomedical Applications
  • ME 31: Electromechanical Systems and Robotics II

Signal Processing (pick any one of the following choices):

  • EE 125/ME 136: Digital Signal Processing

Embedded-Systems Hardware (pick any one of the following choices):

  • EE 14: Embedded Systems
  • EE 193: Advanced Embedded Systems
  • EE 193: Embedded Medical Systems

A fifth course can be any of numerous choices:

  • BME 51/EE 51: Introduction to Photonics
  • BME 100: Design of Medical Instrumentation
  • BME 131/EE 131: Principles of Medical Imaging
  • CS 116: Introduction to Security
  • CS 160: Introduction to Algorithms
  • EE 14: Embedded Systems
  • EE 23: Linear Systems 
  • EE 123/BME 123: Bioelectricity
  • EE 193: Advanced Embedded Systems
  • EE 193: Embedded Medical Devices
  • ME 35: Introductory Robotics and Mechatronics
  • ME 121: Advanced Dynamics
  • ME 130: Digital Controls and Dynamic Systems