The University has announced that the Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) and the Carey Business School will offer a new joint-degree program for undergraduate students starting next fall. The five year program will allow students to receive a Bachelor’s of Science degree (BS) from WSE and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Carey School.
Students will complete their first three years at Whiting, before transferring to the Carey School’s Harbor East campus to begin the Global MBA program during their fourth year. In their fifth year, students will divide their studies between the Carey School and Homewood campus to complete both degrees.
Carey Business School Professor and Vice Dean for Education Kevin Frick explained that the new program was specifically designed with engineering students in mind.
“Looking for ways to tie the MBA to other degrees in ways that can bring the information together meaningfully is something that both [Bernie Ferrari, Dean of the Carey Business School], and I are very interested in,” Frick said. “It seemed that having some type of program where we could have a small number of students from the programs at Homewood – who could have a way of saving time and money on their way to having an MBA – would be very useful. I think engineering is an opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of, particularly given that many of the engineering students are very entrepreneurial and innovative.”
Frick also connected the similarities between an education in engineering and business, believing that the two programs complemented each other well.
“Anybody who is in engineering… sooner or later is going to have to figure out how to work within constraints, how to build teams, and how to secure resources,” Frick said. If you think about what an MBA or a general business education does… it [educates students on] how we think about business — creating business, conducting business, carrying business forward. A lot of that is strategy, and in engineering you’re strategically thinking about how to solve a problem. So now we can add to that by helping students learn how to think about strategically solving business problems.”
WSE Professor and Vice Dean for Education Edward Scheinerman commented on the need for engineers to acquire business skills for the job market.
“Even if students start on a technical track, what typically happens in an engineer’s professional career is after working in a purely technical position for several years, the promotion route is through management. So having this MBA, or an undergraduate minor, that fills in the business smarts is really important,” he said.
Scheinerman also noted the unique opportunities and advantages that students will gain by taking courses at a graduate school.
“Most MBA students have been out in the working world for a couple of years and then return to get their MBA,” Scheinerman said. “Obviously, our students will be younger, and so they will be making contacts with all of these older MBA students and gain a cohort of experience. There are certain things that you can take here [at Homewood] in the Center for Leadership Education, like Marketing and Finance, but they have a different perspective down at [the Carey School] and a different faculty.
The joint-degree program will initially be limited to students majoring in Applied Mathematics or Computer Science because many engineering students outside of those departments spend their senior year participating in the Senior Design Project. This course allows students to address design challenges presented by industry, government and nonprofit organizations. Scheinerman explained that completing the Senior Design Project would make it difficult for students to work towards acquiring the MBA at the Carey School.
Scheinerman noted that the program may be expanded in the future. Frick echoed Scheinerman, saying the dual degree may also become an option to students in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS).
Frick said that the first group for the new program will be comprised of five students. He expects that the recruiting process for juniors will begin in the fall of 2016, and the first students to be accepted into the program will begin their studies at the Carey Business School in the fall of 2017.