VUSE partners with Tulane in post-Katrina dual-degree plan

The School of Engineering has entered into a partnership that will enable Tulane University undergraduates to obtain engineering degrees in three study areas that were eliminated from Tulane’s curriculum when that university restructured after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Johns Hopkins University will also be a partner, offering engineering degrees in four disciplines.

The program, effective this fall, enables undergraduates enrolled in Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering in New Orleans to earn dual degrees in physics and engineering. Participants will complete three years of study at Tulane, followed by two years at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., or Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Four engineering degree programs were eliminated during Tulane’s post-Katrina restructuring. Those undergraduate programs are civil, electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering.

Vanderbilt will offer participating Tulane students degrees in three of the engineering disciplines: civil, mechanical and electrical.

Upon completion, a successful student would receive a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tulane and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the partner institution.

“We are delighted to partner with Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering in a dual degree undergraduate program,” said Kenneth F. Galloway, dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. “We will welcome physics students from Tulane, after three years of study, to our ABET accredited programs in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering at Vanderbilt.”

Tulane administrators say they are pleased that the new partnership will allow Tulane students to continue to earn degrees in these engineering disciplines. “This attractive combination of study on two different campuses will provide our undergraduates something that is otherwise unavailable at Tulane,” said Nick Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane. “They will be Tulane graduates but will also be able to receive an engineering degree that we no longer offer.”

Currently, Tulane offers undergraduate engineering degree programs in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and engineering physics. In addition, a minor in engineering science is offered for nonengineering majors.

Under the new partnership, once a Tulane student declares his or her intention to participate in the dual-degree program, faculty members from each of the universities will serve as joint advisers to assist students in preparing their academic programs. Students will graduate from their two respective universities in the same year.