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Harvard to Expand Engineering Program

For all of Cornell’s myriad strong points, the College of Engineering probably stands out as the University’s shining star. It offers one of the best all-around undergraduate engineering educations in the country, and is known worldwide for both its level of excellence and preparedness of its graduates.

Moreover, Cornell’s engineering program has always proven to be a source of pride for Cornellians. For all that students from other schools might jeer that Cornell is a ‘trade school’ we know that students who were serious about engineering would choose Cornell over some fancy- liberal arts education any day.

But now Harvard is announcing that it is going to dedicate some of its considerable resources to developing its engineering program, in part to compete with some unknown vocational school down the street from it. In the process, it is upgrading its ‘division’ of engineering and applied sciences to a full-fledged ‘school’ and will be hiring 30 new faculty members.

Most interestingly, in a bid to develop well-rounded engineers, Harvard’s initiative will be developed within its liberal arts program, and the new school will function as a school ‘within’ the larger Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

While Cornell has considerable momentum in its engineering programs, and its investments in the nanosciences are already starting to play out nicely, it needs to be mindful of its competitors for top engineering undergraduates. It will be interesting to see how Harvard’s initiative may change the dynamic of undergraduate engineering programs in the coming decade.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on July 19, 2006 (#)

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