Marymount expanding STEM opportunities for students through newly-available engineering degree programs

Leadership from Marymount University has secured an agreement which will allow its students to earn an undergraduate engineering degree for the first time in the school’s history.
Engineering degree options that will be available to Marymount students include the subfields of chemical, civil, electrical, geological, mechanical and petroleum engineering, plus computer science. Access to these newly-available programs is made possible through an innovative partnership with the University of North Dakota (UND), which will result in the launch of a hybrid distance engineering program that allows students to fulfill the majority of their degree requirements on Marymount’s campus while also participating in face-to-face laboratory courses at UND.
Per the terms of the agreement, students take core courses in the liberal arts as well as upper-level classes in mathematics, chemistry and physics through Marymount’s curriculum, while completing additional engineering coursework online. During the summer, they participate in accelerated, hands-on laboratory work on UND’s campus.
Students accepted into the distance engineering program will be on pace to graduate with an engineering degree, plus an additional Marymount undergraduate degree in another field of study.
“This partnership will help Marymount in many ways,” said Dr. Hesham El-Rewini, Provost at Marymount University and the former Dean of UND’s College of Engineering and Mines. “We live in an area that increasingly requires more graduates from the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math. For our existing students, this will create opportunities for them to expand their degree beyond what we offer. For students who aren’t enrolled here, it gives prospective students more options to choose from and another reason to attend Marymount as their college of choice.”
Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University, praised the partnership as the latest example of the institution’s commitment to student success and how it is preparing students for a complex world.
“Giving our Saints access to engineering degrees for the first time is a major step forward for Marymount,” she said. “One of my predecessors, Sister Majella Berg, served as this University’s President for 33 years and had a desire to see engineering be incorporated into our curriculum one day. I see this agreement as a way of realizing her vision, continuing to prepare students for the careers of the 21st century and broadening the appeal of a Marymount education.”
Over the years, UND’s College of Engineering and Mines has established similar agreements with a number of colleges and universities across the country, including Benedictine College (Kan.), McMurry University (Texas), Principia College (Ill.), Siena Heights University (Mich.) and the University of Mary (N.D.). These programs are accredited by ABET, a nonprofit organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
“We’re very excited to partner with Marymount University to offer engineering programs to their students,” said Dr. Brian Tande of UND. “This agreement brings together our ABET-accredited distance engineering program and Marymount’s student-focused learning environment to provide a unique pathway to an engineering degree and a rewarding career.”
While this initial overarching agreement between Marymount and UND focuses on the distance engineering program, Dr. El-Rewini has expressed a desire to explore other ways in which the two institutions can work together for the benefit of both student populations.
“I’m hoping that this could lead to collaborations with UND in other ways as well, and that we can create a pipeline in the future,” he explained. “For example, their engineering students could be interested in our Cybersecurity doctorate program, which would give them a unique edge in the job market. I’m excited to see where this relationship will take us.”