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Old 3rd February 2008
Here for the gear

As others have stated, I think it really depends on the school and the program. At my university, other than EE requiring 9 hours of power and controls combined, the CpE/EE degrees are very similar in requirements and both highly customizable.

Of course, you want to have a solid understanding of analog electronics such as transistors & op-amps ("Electronics 1 & 2" here) and passive circuits ( Circuits 1 & 2 ), but I think it's also really helpful to know quite a bit about linear systems as well. The knowledge that I gained in my linear systems courses and labs has given me a much greater understanding of how a lot of basic audio equipment works (and how simple it can be, depending on how extreme your specifications are) , why it works, and how to analyze, interpret, and actually understand spectrum data.

Honestly, I think that for designing audio equipment, as boring as it is, it could certainly be helpful to be familiar with power systems... I can't help you with the controls stuff, although it does reinforce some of those linear systems concepts.

In either case, you have to suffer through about 9 hours of stuff that it seems you don't really need to know, but I'd say that's pretty fair given that a degree program is going to be at least ~130 credits.

For what it's worth, I just graduated as a computer engineer (and am now in a CpE M.S. program) with a pretty strong emphasis on linear systems and signal processing, and I would really like to work with audio whenever I finally get out. My biggest regret is that I didn't take the analog electronics courses in my undergrad, but my knowledge of software design and signal processing might get me a job writing plugins or something, which is cool with me.