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MEng Column too Sweeping in its Scope

MEng Column too Sweeping in its Scope

Brett Altschul's column ["Mastering an Undergrad Program," Feb. 6] raises some good critical concerns about the evolving Master of Engineering programs at MIT.

However, in the column's focus on the EECS Masters of Engineering program some blanket statements are made that do not apply to other MEng programs. For instance, the one in Civil and Environmental Engineering. This program is most certainly a graduate degree with lots of outside infusion. Most of our students are not from MIT. Now in its third year, the program has had 83 participants of which only 24 are from MIT (29 percent). The remaining 71 percent are primarily from U.S. schools such as Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, Brown, and Cornell. Applicants for this year are numerous, with only about 20 percent from MIT.

The CEE Meng students all take regular MIT graduate subjects and they are treated as graduate students with a strong professional focus. We agree with your statement that MEng programs provide a great addition to the Institute's curriculum. They give students wanting to move to meaningful positions in the professions a solid grounding in not only technology, but also in the skills needed to be successful in the positions. Therefore, in the process of addressing some real concerns in one of MIT's MEng programs, please do not overlook their objectives and success in meeting these new needs.More importantly, please to not lump them all together.MIT's strength is its diversity of approach to education, and the evolving MEng programs show many differences in approach within a successful overall context.

David H. Marks

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering