University receives OK to begin computer engineering degree

Shippensburg University today (April 7) received approval to begin a new bachelor of science degree program in computer engineering.

The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education today approved the university’s request to start the first such degree program among the 14 PASSHE universities. The announcement was made earlier today in a press release by the Chancellor’s Office

“We’re happy that we are now able to begin implementing a program that will benefit not only our students, but also the businesses and industries that need skilled people in the field,” said university President Bill Ruud.

According to Doug Harbach, a member of the universitys Council of Trustees and chair of the council’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, “This not only fills the need in the Commonwealth for a cost-effective option for students to seek a computer engineering degree, but also assists Pennsylvania’s business community in its growing need for these types of professionals. It is also another way that Shippensburg University continues to serve our citizens and provide opportunities for young Pennsylvanians to remain in and contribute to the future of our state.”

Dr. Barbara Lyman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said, “This is a perfect example of drawing on the existing expertise and experience of Shippensburg faculty to deliver a cutting edge program that will educate students for a strong future. We are very gratified by Shippensburg University's ability to offer its first engineering program in its 140 year history.”

The program is in response to a growing need in Pennsylvania for individuals who can develop software and hardware for a class of computer systems known as embedded systems which include microcontrollers, custom embedded systems and mobile computers. Graduates will have the skills to build and develop software for these complex and increasingly ubiquitous computing environments and to help meet the large and growing demand for trained engineers in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.

A study of such programs statewide found that no universities or colleges in Pennsylvania that currently offer computer engineering programs have tuition rates on par with Shippensburg. This program provides Pennsylvania students with an affordable opportunity to earn a degree in the field and provides PASSHE with the opportunity to provide additional services to the Commonwealth.

The program also takes advantage of the nationally-accredited computer science program and its embedded systems concentration and the university’s strong math and physics programs. The university plans to seek accreditation for this news program after it documents that it meets various standards.

Approximately 15 students per year will be accepted into the program and it will use currently available resources with no need for increase in faculty or related resources. The program will also feature internships resulting in practical experience for the students and faculty.

One goal of the program is to provide graduates who will enrich the high-tech future of Pennsylvania and help the Commonwealth stay technologically competitive.

For additional information about the new bachelor of science in computer engineering at Shippensburg University, please contact Dr. Carol Wellington at 477-1178 or by e-mail at