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Monday, December 9, 2019

Campus

UH Katy offers exclusive engineering majors


Three new engineering majors are set to be available to students at the University of Houston Katy campus starting in Fall 2020, part of a larger partnership with Houston Community College.

Jiselle Santos/The Cougar

Three new engineering majors are set to be available to students at the University of Houston at Katy campus starting in Fall 2020, part of a larger partnership with Houston Community College.

The Katy campus opened in Fall 2019 and is set to host the UH-HCC Engineering Academy starting Fall 2020. UH approved three new majors specific to the Katy location: Systems Engineering, Construction Engineering and Computer Engineering and Analytics. 

“We set a goal to have a presence in the community in Katy and to offer programs that would be in demand and couldn’t be duplicated,” said UH Katy Interim Associate Dean for Engineering JR Rao.

The three majors won’t be offered at the main campus and a student enrolled in one of the degree plans is meant to start and finish at Katy, Rao said. 

“The curriculum in the Engineering Academy is structured so that students get to take all their engineering classes with the Cullen College of Engineering faculty at UH Katy, whereas other core non-engineering courses will be taught by HCC,” Rao said in a post on the Cullen Engineering news site. “Under this model, the students will have significant lower costs in the first two years.” 

However, Rao said that students would be able to transfer from the main campus to Katy if they wanted, so long as they did so in their early college career. 

“We have a common first year experience across all our engineering programs,” Rao said. “A transfer to any of the three majors is a simple and straightforward process, but the upper division, so junior and senior levels, must be done at Katy.”

A student could also transfer from Katy to one of the main campus degree plans like chemical or mechanical engineering, Rao said. 

The COE commissioned a study from the Hannibal Research Group that investigated which programs in a fifty to hundred mile radius where there would be no competition and had high demand, and from that study the three new majors emerged. 

“The study showed that these are unique programs that will complement Cullen’s offerings,” Rao said. “They’re going to significantly expand our scope for undergraduates.” 

The study showed that there were only five or six accredited construction engineering programs nationwide, and similarly that systems engineering is a growing market and students of that program have a wide range of skills for many industries. 

“We hear constantly from industries that these degrees are in demand,” Rao said. “This is a big feather in our cap.” 

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