New Degree Expands Options for IT Professionals

Posted: June 26, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

As part of its continuing focus on the needs of students in the workplace, the School of Information Technology and Engineering offers a new engineer degree in information technology this fall that combines the course work of a doctoral degree with an applied project of shorter duration than a doctoral thesis, thus expanding the range of educational options for the IT professional in the Washington metropolitan area.

“Our data show that about half of our doctoral candidates don’t complete their degrees–they drift off before they finish their dissertations,” says Stephen Nash, associate dean for graduate studies and research, who directs the program. “The engineer degree is ideal for people working in IT who want to do an applied research project that will have industry relevance and give them a boost at a higher level.”

The new degree is interdisciplinary, allowing students to study in a self-selected concentration area and complete a project and research report. Generally, a master’s degree in an information technology-related area, such as engineering, computer science, operations research, statistics, mathematics, physical sciences, economics, or psychology, is required for admission to the program.

Students who come into the program holding master’s degrees complete 30 credit hours of course work to earn the degree. The culminating project and report should represent a definitive contribution to applied knowledge in information technology. Research projects might include applications of information security research to homeland security; development of e-business solutions; testing of Internet protocols; or modeling of congestion in air traffic.

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