March 26, 2024

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The field of computational engineering is growing, and The University of Texas at Austin is leading the way to prepare students for careers after graduation. A new 5-year integrated bachelor’s degree in computational engineering and master’s degree in computational science, engineering, and mathematics will be launched in Fall 2024, adding to the already popular undergraduate computational engineering degree. This new program extends the reach of interdisciplinary computing degrees at the University.

The new “4+1” degree is a collaboration between the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences and The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (ASE/EM) in the Cockrell School of Engineering, with students graduating in a Bachelor of Science in Computational Engineering (B.S, COE) and Master of Science in Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (M.S., CSEM) degree following the completion of required curricula.

The new degree program builds on the undergraduate computational engineering program to extend students' skills in applied mathematics, scientific computing, and the application of computational methods to tackle challenging problems across engineering, science and medicine.  

UT was the first university in the U.S. to offer an accredited computational engineering degree, which welcomed its first cohort in fall 2017 through the ASE/EM department. Computational engineering uses computers and devises algorithms to solve mathematical models for complex systems, to simulate behaviors, and to analyze simulation output. Since the first graduating class in 2018, a combined 111 B.S. degrees in computational engineering have been awarded. In 2023 the program had 110 students enrolled, many of whom are interested in pursuing a graduate level degree in the growing field.

“I’m pleased to see the continued growth in the field,” said Clint Dawson, professor and chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. “This new integrated program with the Oden Institute offers our students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree focused on computational engineering and sciences in just five years, allowing them to enter the field more quickly with an advanced degree – something our students have expressed interest in for some time now. I’m excited to see how graduates of this new program tackle the complex engineering problems of tomorrow.”

Because of the breadth and depth covered in the curriculum, graduating computational engineers will be capable of pursuing careers in a variety of fields including energy, manufacturing, aerospace, health care, microelectronics, environmental and Earth sciences, and more. According to recent data, computational engineering graduates have gone to work for a diverse range of employers including Axiom Space, Cisco, Charles Schwab, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

The integrated B.S./M.S. program is a growing trend in the engineering field at UT, with student interest driving the growth. The Cockrell School now has 5-year programs offered in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering, and the Oden Institute partners with the Department of Computer Science to offer a 5-year B.S./M.S. program for computer science majors.

“This new 5-year program will prepare students as engineers with a focus on scientific computing classes, and they will also take computer science courses such as Data Structures. We train students with interdisciplinary expertise to solve interdisciplinary problems in the world,” said Tan Bui-Thanh, lead of the Probabilistic and High Order Inference, Computation, Estimation, and Simulation Group at the Oden Institute, and ASE/EM associate professor. "Our external stakeholders have expressed considerable interest in recruiting students from this new program."

Oden Institute director and ASE/EM professor Karen Willcox, is delighted to see this new degree plan come to fruition. “This new degree program illustrates how partnerships across campus can enable interdisciplinary computing education at the undergraduate level. These students will build on their computational engineering core while enhancing it with graduate-level skillsets in applied mathematics and scientific computing. Students with this kind of interdisciplinary computing skillset are in high demand and the Oden Institute is thrilled to partner with the Cockrell School of Engineering to offer this new program.”

Undergraduate students in computational engineering can apply to the new program through May 1, 2024. Upon acceptance, students will continue their senior year undergraduate studies while taking selected graduate-level courses. Students will then become fully-fledged graduate students in the fifth year. 

For detailed information on the program follow this link.