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MARTIN, Tenn. — Courses are in place and students being enrolled in the new engineering degree program at the University of Tennessee-Martin, Chancellor Margaret Perry said Monday.

“This program will provide licensed engineers to meet the needs of West Tennessee business and industry,” Perry said.

For the first time, she said, the state has a single-major engineering degree instead of separate majors such as electrical, mechanical or civil engineering. It was approved Friday by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The new degree stresses a general engineering curriculum, teamwork, written and oral skills and requires an engineering internship and a senior applied research project.

“The curriculum’s in place, and we’re recruiting students today. We’re ready to go,” Perry said. The first students will be admitted this fall.

UT President Joe Johnson described the new degree as a “tremendous asset to the small and medium-sized industries” in West Tennessee.

The new program requires no additional faculty, staff or facilities, Johnson said. Moreover, West Tennessee industries have committed funds to buy new equipment for the program.

Perry said West Tennessee industries say they need 225 additional engineers to meet current staffing requirements. An estimated 300 students will be enrolled in the program by the fifth year, she said.

Contact: Troy Henson, UTM engineering dean (901-587-7615)