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New Frostburg State University Engineering Program Receives OK
04/03/2008

Expanded Program to Provide Students More Flexibility

The Maryland Higher Education Commission recently approved Frostburg State University’s proposal to offer a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, with the first students eligible to enroll in the fall of 2008.

The new program will allow students to pursue concentrations in electrical engineering, materials engineering, industrial chemistry and engineering management. University officials expect prospective students to be attracted to the added flexibility of the program, which also makes it possible to pursue second majors or minors in disciplines such as physics, mathematics, chemistry or business.

This is FSU’s first stand-alone engineering degree; FSU has offered engineering in collaboration with the University of Maryland since the 1970s.

Dr. Joseph Hoffman, dean of the FSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, calls the new program a model for the future, one that encourages engineers to think across disciplines. “It is a very flexible program in engineering that will allow graduates to be just the kind of problem-solvers that industry demands,” he said.

Hoffman said the program was designed by examining a wide variety of existing general engineering programs and in consultation with industry leaders to ensure “best practices” as identified by industry.

“We are pleased that this new program will prepare our students to meet the critical workforce shortage areas of our state and region, while offering the flexibility that they and their future employers require,“ said FSU Provost Stephen Simpson.

Graduates of the new program will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in a variety of interdisciplinary engineering fields such as mechatronics, robotics, nanotechnology, environmental engineering, systems engineering or applied physics. It is also a suitable engineering foundation for students interested in careers in medicine, law or business administration.

Collaboration with the University of Maryland has been the basis for all past FSU engineering offerings, Hoffman said. The new program will be in addition to these two other collaborative engineering programs:

The collaborative mechanical engineering program with University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering allows students to stay on the FSU campus, but earn a U.Md. degree. A similar collaborative electrical engineering program with U.Md. is being replaced by the new FSU curriculum; it will be discontinued once its current students have graduated.

FSU’s Dual Degree Engineering Program, which began in the 1970s, allows students to spend three years completing mathematics, physics, and general education courses at FSU, then transferring to College Park for two years to focus on an engineering specialty. After the first year, the students have enough credits to earn a physics degree from FSU. Then, after a second year, they earn a second bachelor’s degree in their engineering specialty from U.Md.

FSU’s new program has been designed to meet the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Education (ABET), which has previously accredited the FSU/U.Md. collaborative programs.

For more information on the new major, contact Dr. Oguz Soysal, chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering at osoysal@frostburg.edu or 301-687-7079.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu