The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

E-school offers new major degree

The Engineering School now is offering students the option of a degree in computer engineering, officials announced yesterday.

The Engineering School has been planning to offer a degree in this field for several years, and had been waiting for approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Engineering School officials said. The first students are expected to receive this degree in December.

The University has given students the opportunity to concentrate in computer engineering since 1997, but they could receive degrees in computer science or electrical engineering.

"Basically we're organizing current courses into a coherent course with a focus on computer engineering," Computer Science Department Chairman John Stankovic said.

As a result, offering the degree will require almost no cost.

"It is essentially a no-cost program, because it doesn't require any new courses or any new faculty," Electrical Engineering Prof. Joanne Bechta Dugan said.

"We're just using current resources, nothing new. It only involves some redesign of a few courses," Stankovic said.

Students reacted positively to the new program.

"It's kind of confusing now, because the program is still in the process of development," third-year Computer Engineering student Konrad Lorincz said.

Before, to concentrate in computer engineering, students were expected to fulfill all the requirements for a degree in both computer science and electrical engineering.

The program is fairly flexible; it reduces the number of required courses needed to fulfill computer engineering major requirements and also allows students schedule space to take a few electives, Dugan said.

"This program provides another way for students to get involved in information technology," she said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, computer engineering is one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation.

"There is definitely a demand coming from students and from industry for computer engineering degrees," Dugan said.

Stankovic said the implementation of the program was in response to the growing demand for computer engineers both from students and the industry.

"It is definitely a major trend. Almost all engineering schools have it," he said.

He added that he believes the program will help to improve the Engineering School's status in the national rankings.

"However, it is also an intellectual topic worthy of study," Dugan said.

Fourth-year Computer Engineering student Brett Kellihan said, "It gives you a good survey of both [electrical engineering] and [computer science] and a better understanding of how systems work."


Latest Podcast

From her love of Taylor Swift to a late-night Yik Yak post, Olivia Beam describes how Swifties at U.Va. was born. In this week's episode, Olivia details the thin line Swifties at U.Va. successfully walk to share their love of Taylor Swift while also fostering an inclusive and welcoming community.