This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

UB helps SUNY launch first online B.S. in electrical engineering

Published: June 16, 2005

Contributing Editor

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the schools of engineering at the SUNY university centers at Stony Brook and Binghamton together are creating the world's first fully online bachelor's-degree program in electrical engineering.

Funding for development of the program is being provided by a $300,000 grant from the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the SUNY Office of Learning Environments, SUNY's division of online and distance education.

"Geography will no longer be a barrier to a SUNY education for engineering students who live outside of this state, or for that matter, this nation, or who cannot attend classes on campus because of professional and personal commitments," said Mark H. Karwan, dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The goal is to begin enrolling the program's first students by Fall 2006.

Once the electrical engineering program is up and running, the plan is to create other online engineering degrees.

"Electrical engineering has historically been the field that is in highest demand by industry," said Karwan, "so this was the logical discipline to start with for launching an online degree for undergraduates."

In the latest survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, electrical engineering is second only to accounting in a list of the top 10 degrees in demand by employers.

The new program is an outgrowth of SUNY EngiNet™, which brought SUNY's graduate engineering courses to individuals and employees of companies through the use of videoconferencing technologies, CDs and, more recently, streaming video and other Web-based approaches.

"The online electrical engineering degree for undergraduates developed out of those efforts, with the engineering deans of these three institutions working together to accomplish more as a group than any of us could by ourselves," said Karwan.

Students will choose to matriculate at one of the three institutions—UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the most comprehensive engineering school in the SUNY system; the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University.