DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science SEAS Dean's Update

DeMatteis Dean Sina Rabbany: Introducing a New Engineering Master’s Program

We have worked hard over the years to reach our ranking among the top 15% of non-PhD granting engineering schools in the U.S. We recognize that this ranking reflects the commitment we have made to undergraduate education – in fact, among 845 students last fall, 93 percent were undergraduates.  We are continuing to strengthen our graduate program offerings as well with our first master’s program in engineering management.

In addition to the existing Master of Science in Computer Science, which regularly enrolls between 30 to 50 students each year, we have created several new programs including the Master of Science in Cybersecurity and the Master of Science in Engineering Management. The two new programs reflect a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort with the Zarb School of Business, where students will complete a significant portion of  the coursework. They represent a merging of skill sets that have traditionally been separate but are increasingly seen as essential for today’s workforce.

The MS in Cybersecurity program was launched with much fanfare last fall with the unveiling of our new Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center, and  we expect to see the first significant enrollments in this  program this fall. The Engineering Management program also began last fall with its first cohort of  10 students, and has now doubled in size in the current spring semester. Early indications, based on applicants accepted, suggest that at least 30 students will be enrolling in the program this fall.

Much thought, including consideration of several practical issues, has gone into designing our program in engineering management. We have chosen a hybrid format – part on campus, part online – because we want our students to interact with each other in class. A program like ours is intended to attract working engineers and computer scientists at various stages in their professional careers. We believe that the insights they all bring to the classroom  — in discussing how best to manage project teams, do cost analysis, or even strengthen communications across an entire company —  bring a dimension to the degree program that is hard to replicate in a distance learning environment. In addition, students will benefit from hands-on industry experience through our network of over 200 companies that partner with us in our Co-op program.

The other issue is whether an M.S. program in a field that is so concerned with the workplace environment should be made available to new recipients of undergraduate degrees or whether a few years of  industrial experience should be a prerequisite for admission.  Some schools have the external work requirement, others do not. We are admitting both newly minted bachelor’s degree students as well as more seasoned professionals, and will be studying the dynamics of their interactions to determine how best to shape the program moving forward.

Our foray into graduate education is becoming rapidly more diverse and our faculty are enjoying the opportunity to craft  programs in a way that will directly benefit local companies and enhance the professional opportunities for those who earn these new degrees.  Those who are interested in learning more about the Master of Science in Engineering Management can contact Dr. Brian Galli at Brian.J.Galli@hofstra.edu or visit our graduate engineering page.

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