In an effort to graduate well-rounded students who will be competitive in the tightening job market, UNT's College of Engineering and Texas Woman's University's College of Arts and Sciences have expanded their dual degree offerings.
The dual degree program, which began in 2007, allows students to attend both UNT and TWU, and simultaneously earn bachelor's degrees from both schools in as little as four years. The program grew out of a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for an innovative electrical engineering program, which included funding for scholarships to attract women and minorities to UNT's College of Engineering.
Initially, the program allowed students to earn a bachelor's in mathematics from TWU and a bachelor's in electrical engineering from UNT. Now students have the option of pursuing a degree in materials science and engineering from UNT, to pair with a TWU math or chemistry degree. The College of Engineering also is developing a dual degree option for students interested in mechanical and energy engineering and math, which should be available in fall 2011.
Siemens recently showed its support for the dual degree program by providing scholarship funds. The funds will be awarded on a merit basis to students enrolled in the dual degree program.
"We believe the expanded UNT-TWU dual degree offerings, which give students the choice of two additional high-quality programs, will help both universities attract more women to science, engineering and mathematics," says Costas Tsatsoulis, dean of the College of Engineering.
Adriana Blanco, a sophomore in the dual degree program, says that classmates are often surprised to learn that she attends both UNT and TWU, but she feels that the program gives her the best of both universities. Blanco, the 2009 valedictorian at Lake Worth High School and a first-generation college student, plans to work in the oil and gas industry when she completes her degrees.
"I have always liked the challenge of math, so I was excited to learn about the dual degree program," Blanco says. "Because of the program, I know that I'll be well-rounded and marketable when I enter the job market."
Katie Schniebs, another of the program's early participants, also has excelled. Schniebs received a $40,000 scholarship from NASA in 2010. The award provides two years of financial support and a summer internship at a NASA research center.
"TWU will graduate its first student from the dual degree program this year," says Don Edwards, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the mathematics department at TWU. "The program has been good for our students, and this expansion will provide even more opportunities for them to succeed."
- For more information on the dual degree program, view UNT's undergraduate catalog. Or contact Vijay Vaidyanathan, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering, at Vijay.firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-369-5334.
- Contact Edwards, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at TWU, at 940-898-2166 with TWU-specific questions.
Alyssa Yancey with UNT News Service can be reached at Alyssa.Yancey@unt.edu.