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Philadelphia campuses offer multidisciplinary engineering degree

male student working on a robot
3/2/2012 —

Beginning in fall 2012, the Penn State Abington, Brandywine and Great Valley campuses will jointly offer a bachelor of science degree in general engineering with the multidisciplinary engineering design (MED) option.

The MED degree incorporates advanced coursework in electrical, chemical and computer engineering, as well as engineering design to produce innovative engineers specialized in systems design and integration.

Interdisciplinary learning and design has been identified by the National Academy of Engineering as an important element of undergraduate engineering education. These skills are often associated with the design of large systems such as ships, aircrafts, automobiles, space crafts and other complex systems that require the knowledge of several engineering disciplines to complete a successful design.

Students will choose to complete the first two years of foundational engineering coursework at either the Brandywine or Abington campuses. The second two years of advanced engineering coursework will be completed at the new engineering laboratories at the School of Graduate Professional Studies at the Great Valley campus.

In addition to rigorous engineering, mathematics and physics coursework, the engineering students are strongly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research projects in engineering and robotics, the activities of the Abington and Brandywine Engineering Clubs, local industry internships and engineering opportunities abroad.

The MED program develops technical and problem-solving skills, written and oral communication skills and teamwork and leadership skills, all of which culminate in a two-semester senior design engineering project and a compulsory internship in the engineering industry. The MED degree prepares Penn State students for exciting careers in product engineering, process engineering, manufacturing, research and development, materials engineering and graduate school.

“The MED program will prepare students to pursue a variety of areas so they can appeal to a variety of companies who might be interested in them,” Brandywine campus Director of Academic Affairs Paul deGategno said. “The flexibility and multidisciplinary nature of the program makes the students more employable.”

Bringing the program to the Philadelphia area will allow students a better opportunity to network and build relationships through internships—both will help them find jobs after graduation, he said.

“The idea is to bring together the strength of the three campuses—Brandywine, Abington and Great Valley—and to offer a Penn State engineering degree in this region,” deGategno said. “We hope to have partnerships with key corporations, because we have so many in the area, so we can build opportunities for internships and employment for our students.”

Click here for more information on the degree program.

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