Graduate engineering education is a key to the maintenance of U.S. competitiveness in the world market. The world has been an extremely dynamic engine during the last fifty years, and we have witnessed a dramatic change in the world order. The change has been evolutionary in many cases, but events in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the erstwhile Soviet Union are only slightly less cataclysmic than the Second World War. In a world where strength is measured in terms of the financial resource, the technological ability and the intellectual capability of a populace Japan, China, India and the EEC are poised to make further strides, while the U.S. is slipping when measured by a number of economic and educational indicators The 4 + 1 Program is an accelerated route to the professional MS degree. In many evolving technical areas, four years is not enough time for the formal education of an engineer about to enter a lifelong career of professional practice, even when the individual is committed to life long learning. The 4 + 1 program started in the General Engineering program in 1998 and now allows General Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Materials Engineering students to progress toward the terminal applied MS in Engineering degree appropriate to their interests, or in existing specializations in Biochemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, Integrated Technology Management, while still undergraduates. This paper summarizes the results of an early assessment of the attainment of several educational objectives by the MS graduates of the Biomedical and General Engineering Department. The assessment is evolving and is focused on a determination of the professional progress of these graduates. Data indicates that the program has provided benefit for its participants, and remains strongly supported by students, faculty and industry.
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