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Energy Systems offers 5-year degree program to earn combined bachelor's and master's of engineering


Susan Mumm, Editor

Energy Systems offers 5-year degree program to earn combined bachelor's and master's of engineering

Beginning Fall 2017, juniors of several College of Engineering at Illinois departments can be admitted into a 5-year degree program that will culminate in a master’s of engineering in Energy Systems.

The combined BS/MEng program will provide a smooth integration of the bachelor and master’s studies, while providing the same breadth and depth of coverage for all the required courses of both existing degree programs.

Participating departments are Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural & Bioengineering, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering, Material Science & Engineering, Physics, and Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering. NPRE administers the Energy Systems program for Engineering at Illinois. Students must have at least one year left of their undergraduate program to be eligible to apply, and should apply in their junior year.

The College will identify qualified students early in their academic careers. It’s expected the program’s enrollment levels will rise by providing Engineering at Illinois students with an early introduction to Energy Systems.

Rizwan Uddin
Rizwan Uddin
The combined degree program will save students four credit hours that would be required if the degrees were pursued separately. “If the students plan beforehand, they can get the joint degree in less than what it would take otherwise,” said NPRE Prof. Rizwan Uddin, who directs the Energy Systems program.

Students who enter the university as freshmen with several Advanced Placement credit hours conceivably could earn the two degrees in an even shorter period of time. “People who graduate in December (with a bachelor’s) could do both degrees in one semester and a summer,” Uddin said.

The Energy Systems program is designed to provide flexibility so that students can tailor their studies to the particular energy area that interests them.

Industry today demands engineers who possess a broad mix of math and science tools coupled with professional skills in communication, teamwork, and a big picture understanding of project management.  Private firms, public agencies, and laboratories working toward modern energy solutions deal with multiple aspects of energy systems that require firm understanding of these concepts, as well as an ability to communicate with colleagues working across traditional disciplinary lines.

Typically, Energy Systems students can earn the professional, non-thesis, degree in one year or three semesters, choosing from a wide array of courses to specialize their concentration. The program requires an internship or energy systems design project to provide students with experience, and prepare them for leadership in their careers.

Click here to learn more specifics about the degree program. For more information, contact Amy McCullough at or call 217-300-2378.