USC to offer engineering master’s in Lowcountry

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published May 28, 2014

South Carolina’s only master’s degree in engineering management is going to be offered this fall in North Charleston.

The Lowcountry Graduate Center has partnered with the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina to host the graduate program, which will be structured for working adults.

With weekend classes, some of the program’s lectures will be streamed from USC’s main campus in Columbia and some will be held at the graduate center, according to a news release. Instructors will travel, not students.

The new engineering graduate degree will be offered at the Lowcountry Graduate Center’s new, 50,000-square-foot facility at 3800 Paramount Drive in North Charleston. Classes are scheduled to begin at the new location in August. (Photo/Lowcountry Graduate Center)
Students will be able to earn a master's degree in engineering management in addition to the nine other degrees offered by The Citadel, the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina at the Lowcountry Graduate Center. (Photo/Lowcountry Graduate Center) 
Students will be able to earn a master's degree in engineering management in addition to the nine other degrees offered by The Citadel, the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina at the Lowcountry Graduate Center. (Photos/Lowcountry Graduate Center)
Tony Ambler, dean of USC’s College of Engineering and Computing, said there is a strong demand in the fields of engineering and related sciences.

“With this partnership, we would like to expand the access of working professionals seeking to strengthen their management and leadership skills,” Ambler said in a statement. “It’s an alternative to the MBA that should be appealing to professionals who desire to stay on technical track as they move forward in their careers.”

Graduates are expected to work in consulting and service engineering firms, as well as manufacturing and government agencies, the news release said.

Topics covered in the program will include management of product development and optimization of resources, along with negotiation of new projects. Management of teams, engineering functions, technology projects and companies will also be covered.

Interdisciplinary courses in engineering, business, law and communication will be required and will be taught by professors from USC’s College of Engineering and Computing, Darla Moore School of Business, the School of Law and the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. Faculty from The Citadel will also teach some of the courses, the news release said.

Three focus tracks will be available — general, cybersecurity and energy — and course work will typically be completed in two years.

Nancy Muller, director and associate dean of the Lowcountry Graduate Center, said the collaboration demonstrates how to leverage rather than duplicate academic resources.

“By bringing faculty to the students rather than forcing students to do the traveling, it is a new brand of student-centered graduate education and one that is central to the LGC’s philosophy,” Muller said in a statement. “I expect this new offering to be the first of many structured similarly at the LGC, not only from USC but also other state-owned institutions of higher education including Clemson and S.C. State University.”

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science or an equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Letters of reference and a satisfactory Graduate Record Exam score are also required.

The program will initially enroll 30 students, and an information session is planned for 6 p.m. June 17 at the Lowcountry Graduate Center, which is currently located at 5300 International Blvd. It will have a new home by the fall semester.

Real estate development company Holder Properties is building a 50,000-square-foot facility that will include lobby space, administrative offices and classroom areas for the College of Charleston North Campus and Lowcountry Graduate Center. It will be located on 5.3 acres at 3800 Paramount Drive in North Charleston.

The Lowcountry Graduate Center was created in 2001 as a consortium of the College of Charleston, The Citadel and the Medical University of South Carolina. It now also includes Clemson and USC.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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