On February 22, the University of Utah’s College of Engineering launched an undergraduate curriculum at the U’s Asia Campus (UAC) in Incheon, South Korea, in a move that will broaden the college’s global reach and strengthen the caliber of its students. UAC students will now have access to baccalaureate programs in electrical engineering and computer engineering.

These four-year undergraduate programs will have the same comprehensive and rigorous courses as their Utah counterparts, including classes in Electromagnetics & Transmission Lines, Embedded Systems, Engineering Probability & Statistics, and Digital System Design. Electrical and Computer Engineering Department chair Florian Solzbacher says this will be the start of a growing curricular offering in ECE at the U’s Asia Campus.

“It will begin with two professors in South Korea working with one of our Salt Lake City-based tenure-track faculty members,” he said. “We ultimately want to encourage research at the Asia Campus as well.”

The goal is to have 50 students enrolled in each of the electrical engineering and computer engineering tracks. Students will spend the first two years at the Asia campus and then complete their junior and senior years in Utah. “Once students come to Utah, we hope they will be inspired to move forward with a master’s or Ph.D degree,” Solzbacher said.

“These are highly structured courses of study,” Randy McCrillis, the U’s Office for Global Engagement Executive director, said of engineering curricula. “Opening these degrees [at the Asia Campus] offers the ability for [U of U] students who couldn’t go abroad before to go and to stay on plan.”

The University of Utah Asia Campus was launched in 2014 and offers undergraduate programs in communication, psychology, film and media arts, and urban ecology. It also has master’s programs in public health and biomedical informatics.

Electrical and Computer Engineering is the second department from the College of Engineering to offer degree options at UAC. In 2019, the U’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering unveiled its undergraduate program at the Asia campus with the same courses taught in Utah. The core civil and environmental engineering curriculum at the Asia Campus, like the one in Salt Lake City, includes classes in engineering calculus, transportation, engineering economics, strength of materials, dynamics, general chemistry and more.

“The opportunity for academic and global exchange will enrich the educational and cultural experience of both student bodies,” said U civil and environmental engineering chair Michael Bartlett. “In the future, I would hope that more U.S. students will take advantage and come to the UAC to learn with our Korean students. I believe this educational, technical and cultural exchange will strengthen the program on both campuses.”