Dual Degree Program diversifies by adding three new schools

The program has added a historically Black university, a university that offers a women’s undergraduate program and a Hispanic-serving institution to its list of affiliated schools

Danielle Lacey 
The Dual Degree program brings students from more than 100 affiliated schools throughout the country to McKelvey Engineering to earn an engineering degree.
The Dual Degree program brings students from more than 100 affiliated schools throughout the country to McKelvey Engineering to earn an engineering degree.

The Dual Degree Program in the McKelvey School of Engineering, which currently has 300 students, welcomes three new institutions to the program’s roster of more than 100 affiliated schools. Each institution, including a historically Black college or university (HBCU) and a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), serves a population that has historically been underrepresented in STEM.

“This is a very exciting year,” said Ron Laue, senior assistant dean for engineering admissions and advising who directs the Dual Degree Program, which is celebrating its 50th year in 2023. “We have been trying hard to do more outreach with HBCUs and HSIs and to diversify the student body. We’re very happy there’s an opportunity to work with these outstanding institutions.” 

The Dual Degree program offers undergraduate students at liberal arts institutions throughout the country the opportunity to attend McKelvey Engineering while earning bachelor’s degrees from both their home institution and WashU.

Learn more about the three new affiliated schools and how they joined the Dual Degree Program’s roster.

Dillard Universitydillard-logo-600.jpg

An HBCU in New Orleans.

Enrollment: 1,224 (undergraduate) 

LaVeasey Carter, assistant dean of undergraduate student services, reached out to a former colleague who was an alumna of Dillard University, and she connected Dual Degree Program staff with university administration.

“Dillard has a beautiful campus, they’re a small liberal arts institution and they have the infrastructure for a successful program,” Carter said. “I think the students there would be comfortable on WashU’s campus.” 

The team has been working together to formalize a partnership and students from Dillard University could join McKelvey Engineering by fall 2024. 

Simmons Universitysimmons-logo-600.jpg

A university in Boston offering a women’s undergraduate program and coeducational graduate programs.

Enrollment: 1,690 (undergraduate); 4,620 (graduate)

Simmons University is unique among the Dual Degree Programs’ affiliated schools: Administrators from the university approached the McKelvey Engineering team first.

“Simmons University had a particular student who was really interested in biomedical engineering,” Laue said. “That student applied and was here for our visit weekend. She asked incredible things about our research.”

The agreement with Simmons University is official and the students would be able to enroll in McKelvey Engineering this fall. 

Texas Lutheran Universitytlu-logo-600.png

An HSI in Seguin, Texas.

Enrollment: 1,358 (undergraduate) 

John Perez, an academic adviser in the office of undergraduate student services, frequently travels to Texas as part of the school’s recruiting efforts and said he is passionate about serving Latino students in higher education. 

“The team thought I should reach out to a few of the Texas schools I identified as HSIs,” Perez said. “Texas Lutheran University replied and said they were interested in the program.”

Laue and Perez are working closely with the university’s administration to determine program specifics and requirements. If things progress as scheduled, students from Texas Lutheran University could join McKelvey Engineering in fall 2024.

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