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Weber offers new computer engineering degree

Brian Rague is the Chair for the Department of Computer Science at Weber State University. (Photo provided by Brian Rague.)
Brian Rague is the chairman of the Department of Computer Science at Weber State University. (Photo provided by Brian Rague.)

A new undergraduate and graduate degree in computer engineering will be offered starting this fall at Weber State University. The degrees are the result of the combined efforts of both the department of engineering and the department of computer science at WSU.

A new bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and combined BS/MS will be offered to students.

The undergrad degree will take students about four years to complete. The MS degree by itself will take two years. Students who choose the BS/MS in computer engineering can expect it to take about five years to complete.

Engineering department chairman Kirk Hagen said it’s the first master’s degree offered in the college, formerly known as the College of Applied Science and Technology. The college worked with the computer science department to design the degrees.

“The BS and MS degrees in computer engineering are consistent with WSU’s mission and the institution’s ongoing commitment to meet the educational needs of the businesses and industries in Northern Utah,” said Brian Rague, computer science chairman.

The degree went from an idea to a program in about 11 months, starting with the College Curriculum Committee, to the Registrar’s Office, and finally the Board of Trustees at Weber State. The finished proposal was sent to the State Advisory Council on Teacher Education, the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah State Board of Regents for their approval.

“We’re very excited to be offering additional programs in engineering at WSU and through our college,” Rague said. “We believe this will significantly support the economic growth of the state in key technological areas.”

Additional courses were not required for the undergraduate degree; however, new courses will be added for the master’s degree.

Hagen said that over time the staff will expand. “We anticipate to hire one new faculty by the end of the first year, another by the end of the third and a third faculty by the end of the fifth year,” he said.

The master’s degree will feature new courses such as image processing, formal system design and digital communication.

Hagen believes the new degree options will increase enrollment in engineering, which began at Weber in 2010. He hopes these programs will be the foundation of a vibrant and competent engineering program.

“This area of work is pretty hot right now,” Hagen said. “So people will not run into difficulty when looking for work in these fields.”

According to Brown, a website with degree information is not online yet, but will be available for students to view soon.

Associate Professor Larry Zeng of the engineering department said the program will be a great asset for both students and the university. “Everything in today’s society requires computers,” Zeng said. “With this program, students will be able to design and build computers.”

Students who are interested in learning more about the program can contact Susan Foss, the engineering department secretary, at (801) 626-6898.

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