UT creates new dual degree program combining business, computer, electrical engineering

Joelle DiPaolo, News Reporter

Students can apply for a new honors dual-degree program that combines business, electrical and computer engineering for fall 2022.

The Texas Honors Electrical and Computer Engineering and Business program, which will accept up to 40 students, will be the only degree program in the country in which students can get both honors degrees within four years, according to Sarah Shields, senior academic program coordinator in the McCombs School of Business.

“Both the McCombs School of Business and the Cockrell School of Engineering are two top-ranked programs in the nation and combining these backgrounds are some of the most competitive skill sets for undergraduates,” Shields said in an email. “The program is a particularly attractive opportunity for aspiring electrical and computing engineers, and students interested in the future of business analytics, product management and entrepreneurship.”

The program expects applicants to complete some of the core curriculum before entering their first year at the University to avoid taking summer classes, according to the website. Shields said in the future they plan to offer unique electives for these students.

Francisco Terrado, chemical engineering and finance sophomore, said there are many benefits of majoring in both engineering and business.

“Both engineers and business majors see themselves as problem solvers, but to me there’s a very big distinction in the way that they go about (solving) them,” Terrado said. “If you have somebody that can function as an intermediate that has experience in both, then it makes it really simple to find what solution each of the two disciplines is going to look for and how you bridge that gap.”

Gunjan Bhattarai, a senior in the honors computer science and business dual-degree program, said the program is worthwhile for students who are motivated and have good time management skills.

“(These programs help you) take advantage of the material, internalize it, gain something from it and apply it,” Bhattari said. “It lets you have new ideas about the world that doing just one of these two things wouldn’t have.”

Because double majoring is difficult, Terrado said the program can provide students with tailored advising and peers with the same track.

“One of the biggest problems with being a double major in business is that you’re heavily relying on a very select few people in your network that have taken both chemical engineering and finance classes,” Terrado said. “Because it’s such a rare combination, you don’t really come across a lot of people to guide you appropriately.”