Baylor University has offered computer science degrees since 1973 and accredited degrees in engineering since 1989. These programs were consolidated into the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) in 1995, when ECS became one of Baylor’s 12 schools and colleges. ECS has three departments – Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Mechanical Engineering (ME), and Computer Science (CSI). CSI received accreditation from the Computer Science Accreditation Board in 1985, and ECE and ME programs were first accredited by ABET in 2001. All ECS programs are accredited by ABET; the most recent ABET accreditation was reaffirmed in 2019 with the next review to occur in 2025.
In the years since its founding, ECS has evolved from a regional teaching facility into a nationally recognized teaching and research institution. With state of the art research facilities, excellent faculty, an average class size of 23, and a focused approach to undergraduate success and leadership development, Baylor’s ECS program offers all of the advantages of a large-scale research institution with the personal attention students need to succeed. ECS is widely recognized for its caring faculty, its integration of Christian values and high academic standards, and its growing emphasis on high quality research and scholarship. The School’s programs combine rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in ethical values, and a global outlook.Mission
ECS’s primary focus is on providing a superior student experience, producing high quality, impactful research, engaging its stakeholders, and supporting its faculty and staff as outlined in its mission statement:
The mission of Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science is to provide a superior education through instruction, scholarship and service that prepares graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian world view.Academic organization, programs, and administration
Academically, ECS’s three departments are each led by a chair, and each department has about 20 full-time tenure-line faculty. At the undergraduate level, ECS offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science, Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering; Bachelor of Science in Informatics with majors in Bioinformatics and Data Science; Bachelor of Science in Computing (Fellows Program); and Bachelor of Arts with a major in Computer Science. At the graduate level, ECS offers Master of Science degrees in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering; Master of Engineering; and three Ph.D. degree programs – in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science. There is also a variety of joint bachelor’s and master’s programs, a joint Master of Engineering/MBA with the Hankamer School of Business, and an online Master of Science in Computer Science.
In the U.S. News & World Report rankings of engineering schools that grant doctoral degrees, the graduate engineering program is ranked No. 127 among Best Engineering Schools. For undergraduate programs among universities granting doctoral degrees, Engineering is No. 114 and Computer Science is No. 135. In the engineering specialty rankings, Baylor’s graduate electrical engineering program moved up 22 places to No. 107, while the graduate program in mechanical engineering moved up five places to No. 112.
ECS employs 60 full-time, tenure-line faculty, evenly divided among its three departments. Faculty research is wide-ranging across ECS departments. For example, in Computer Science, faculty members conduct research in bioinformatics, competitive learning (team-based competitions), cybersecurity & networking, data science, human-computer interaction, machine learning, software engineering, and very large-scale integration (VLSI) design. Faculty in ECE conduct research in biomedical, computing engineering and cyberphysical systems, material and devices, sustainable energy and power systems, and wireless and microwave circuits & systems. Faculty in ME conduct research in advanced materials and additive manufacturing, biomechanics and biomedical engineering, energy systems engineering, geriatric engineering, humanitarian engineering and engineering ethics, sustainable engineering, and thermofluids engineering. Research funding in ECS has grown steadily from about $3 million in fiscal year 2019 to almost $7 million in fiscal year 2021.
In Fall 2021, ECS enrolled 829 undergraduate students, evenly split across departments, 45 master’s students, and 86 Ph.D. students in CSI, ECE, and ME. The number of doctoral students has increased by about 10% every year. Ph.D. graduates typically take jobs in industry, national labs, or academic appointments in smaller universities. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to live in Teal Residential College, an ECS-focused living-learning program.
ECS has budgeted operations expenditures of approximately $17.5 million, generated by tuition, development, and income from the School’s $15 million endowment. Baylor operates on a central budgetary model at the undergraduate level and on a revenue-sharing model for graduate and online program tuition. Baylor is currently completing a $1.1 billion campaign for which ECS’s share is $50 million. To date, $30 million has been raised, representing 60% of ECS’s goal. ECS raises a small amount annually in gifts and pledges. As a relatively young program with a small alumni base, ECS relies heavily on donors who have hired ECS graduates and parents whose students have had a great experience at ECS. Through the campaign, ECS has been funded for three endowed chairs – in Data Sciences, Bioengineering and Materials, and Materials Science.
ECS programs are distributed across several facilities. Engineering programs are located in Rogers Engineering & Computer Science Building; CSI is housed in Morrison Hall; and many engineering research laboratories are located in the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), a relatively new facility that also serves as a technology incubator and houses several current industry partners.
Since its establishment in 1995, ECS has had three deans. For the last ten years, ECS has been led by Dean Dennis O’Neal, who has brought stable, successful, and faithful leadership to the school during a significant process of growth and evolution. He will be retiring in June 2022. Under his leadership, ECS has evolved from an undergraduate teaching school to a more research-focused organization with the development of doctoral programs in mechanical engineering and computer science and a new undergraduate program in data science. Dean O’Neal has promoted the hiring of research-active faculty while ensuring a strong undergraduate program with professional advising, the creation of an ECS Career Center, and outstanding student outcomes. He has also fostered a collegial, collaborative, and student-centered culture that offers a strong foundation for growth.