UNT joins other universities in offering master's degree in electrical engineering

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

About 20 students are expected to start studying for a new master's degree in electrical engineering at the University of North Texas this fall.

The program is the newest degree to be offered by UNT's College of Engineering, which currently offers 10 bachelor's, six master's degrees, and two doctor of philosophy degrees in the fields of engineering technology, computer science and engineering, materials science and engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical and energy engineering.

Dr. Murali Varanasi, professor and chair of UNT's Department of Electrical Engineering, says the new master's degree will allow students to focus on gaining a depth of study in their area of interest and to build upon the understanding they gained about the breadth of the discipline while earning their bachelor's degrees.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted the Department of Electrical Engineering the authority to offer the master's degree plan in 2005, when the department was established. But Varanasi says the department's goal was to build up the undergraduate program before offering the master's. About 150 students are expected to be pursuing degrees through the department this fall, after only 10 enrolled in 2005.

Varanasi says the department's corporate partners and adjunct professors, and the contacts they generate, are key to the department's success and provide an invaluable resource for students.

"Our industrial advisory board meets twice a year to offer suggestions and advice. Our adjuncts are a great resource for our students. They give students a good perspective on what their life as an electrical engineer will be like after graduation," he says.

Dr. Oscar Garcia, founding dean of the College of Engineering says that because electrical engineering is the fastest growing baccalaureate program in the college, "it is therefore natural that our graduates and other students be anxious to continue their education at the graduate level."

"In this competitive world, a master's degree is considered the professional degree that makes our students so appealing to employers," he says.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108