Penn State is already one of the best engineering schools in the country.
When it comes to graduate programs, the latest listing from U.S. News and World Report puts the university tied at No. 27. Look at nuclear engineering and it goes up to 10th place. Petroleum? Top five.
Now two new opportunities will join the list.
On Thursday, the board of trustees committee on academic affairs and student life heard a report from Provost Nick Jones on new graduate degrees that will be offered starting in the fall semester.
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One is in biomedical engineering. Both President Eric Barron and Vice President of Research Neil Sharkey have spoken about the potential for Penn State to develop new technologies and entrepreneurial opportunities in that area, especially as the university works closer with its medical arm in Hershey.
The other isn’t a big idea. It’s a really tiny one. Penn State will be offering a master’s degree in engineering at the nanoscale.
Last year, the National Science Foundation gave the university $15 million for materials research on nanoscale. Penn State has dozens of faculty members in seven departments and three colleges working on the uber-micro tech.
Penn State teamed up with Centre County area schools to host a sea, air and land challenge that promotes engineering projects similar to those used at the Department of Defense.