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Innovative Master of Science major in Engineering approved

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
August 20, 2014

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has authorized Texas State University to offer a new master of science with a major in engineering through the Ingram School of Engineering within the College of Science and Engineering.

The program, designed with input and support from such major industry figures as Texas Instruments, Samsung, Tokyo Electron and Dell, will produce master’s-level graduates to meet an expected 11 percent national increase in the demand for engineers in the near term. Texas alone is projected to need more than 6,000 new engineers a year to meet demand. Most of the new employment growth is due to increasing demand for engineers in areas which require advanced degrees, such as research and development and design and consulting services.

"This program is not a traditional, specialized, research-oriented master's program. It's a cross-cutting, trans-disciplinary master's degree," explained Stan McClellan, director of the Ingram School of Engineering. "Industry needs graduates with multiple areas of expertise. That's the primary thrust. Most companies don't want someone with a Ph.D. They don't want research-oriented master's degrees. They need functioning engineers who have cross-discipline expertise. That's the way this degree is designed."

The Texas State program will provide graduates with a broad, multidisciplinary perspective in key areas of engineering through a structure that differs from existing programs. The degree provides a practical, industry-driven focus via a long-term, targeted technical project or thesis related to real-world engineering applications. These projects will be conducted in partnership with local industries, and may involve off-campus collaborations.

The degree requires a large-scale project or thesis because the abilities to solve problems, innovate and make immediate contributions to industry are best developed by having students confront a large, open-ended problem, perform detailed research on the problem, develop various solutions, choose and implement the best solution, validate their choice and effectively communicate the process to professional colleagues, executives and customers.