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The Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has launched its first Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program offered completely online. The program is intended for engineering professionals and is designed to address the need for rigorous yet flexible higher education programs for working adults.

The program’s curriculum focuses on mechanics, thermodynamics and energy, and offers students a foundation for advanced concepts related to motor vehicles, aircraft, heating and cooling systems, manufacturing operations, industrial equipment and machinery, robotics, medical devices and more.

The two-year program, administered by the school’s Center for Lifelong Engineering Education (CLEE), is now accepting applications for the first class, which begins in spring 2016. To qualify for the 30-credit-hour program, students must have acquired 12 months of professional experience and must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related engineering field.

A core group of faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering worked to develop and restructure existing course content to fit the educational needs of working professionals.

“The Department of Mechanical Engineering has an internationally regarded and intellectually diverse community of faculty leaders,” said Ofodike Ezekoye, program director and UT Austin mechanical engineering professor. “In partnership with CLEE, we now have the ability to bring these leaders to the world through this truly innovative online platform.”

The program offers material with an emphasis on current and future application, weaving engineering theory with industrial trends. The courses are presented in an interactive learning environment similar to face-to-face instruction, including group projects, guest lectures, peer reviews and self-evaluation assignments.

“This program leverages the latest online educational technology to deliver courses with the same quality and rigor as the in-person classes offered by the Cockrell School,” said Eric Roe, executive director of CLEE. “We have developed a unique program that is tailored to meet the needs of today’s working professionals and employers, and we are excited about the possibilities.”

The program focuses on current industry trends with instructors and students sharing authentic experiences from their careers. Students are expected to build a professional network with their instructors and classmates located around the world, giving them opportunities to learn from global perspectives.

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