RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 23, 2005) – Electrical engineers are now able to enroll in a new
combined-degree graduate program at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) that helps them enhance their technical education while providing them the business acumen necessary to operate in today’s highly competitive global economic environment.
Through a joint program started last semester by UTD’s School of Management and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, students are able simultaneously to earn a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
“Almost 25 percent of the more than 1,000 students in our MBA program have undergraduate degrees in engineering,” said Dr. Steve Perkins, associate dean for graduate programs in the School of Management. “They are often coming back to school to either switch careers or enhance their current positions. By [our] offering the combined MSEE-MBA degree program, students can broaden their skill set beyond engineering into management.”
Dr. Duncan MacFarlane, an electrical engineering professor and associate dean for interdisciplinary programs in the Jonsson School, said the double-degree proposal came about in large part as a result of input from the university’s stakeholders — students, parents and local corporations.
“It’s important that students get the set of skills they want,” MacFarlane said. “This definitely shows we’re looking out for our students as well as their employers. In addition, our students and graduates are becoming increasingly interested in starting their own companies, and developing a knowledge of business practices will serve them well.”
“Management skills are critical for engineers who aspire to leadership positions,” said Dr. Varghese Jacob, The School of Management’s senior associate dean. Jacob worked with electrical engineering and management faculty to create the combined degree program. He sees the program as particularly benefiting engineers working in start-ups or entrepreneurial positions.
Students in the program must be admitted to both the master’s program for electrical engineering and The School of Management. The MSEE and MBA combination will require 68 graduate hours beyond prerequisites. Separately, the MSEE requires 33 hours, and the MBA requires 53 hours, but taken together the program allows engineering electives to count toward the management degree and management electives to count toward the engineering degree.
A student may also elect to get a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree through The School of Management. The MS option offers various concentrations, from accounting to information technology management to entrepreneurship and finance. This option would require an additional 51 hours beyond prerequisites.
“Many students attend classes part-time,” Perkins said, “and we would expect them to graduate in three to four years.” Students will have advisers in both The School of Management and the Jonsson School.
This is the only program of its kind in North Texas. UTD officials expect about 50 students to be enrolled in the joint program at any given time. UTD, which has an Arts and Technology degree program and was the first university in the U.S. to offer a telecommunications engineering degree, long has been known for its innovative, interdisciplinary degree programs.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls nearly 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.