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VCU, VUU team up for dual-degree project

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Two Richmond-based universities are partnering to offer dual degree programs this fall.

Officials from Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University said Thursday they have signed an agreement to create three dual-degree programs in the following areas: physics and electrical engineering; physics and mechanical engineering or chemistry and chemical and life sciences engineering.

The partnership combines the resources of VCU, a large public university, with those of VUU, a small private historically black university. The schools say the effort is in line with their mission to prepare a diverse workforce.

The new programs will allow students to earn two degrees concurrently in less time than it would take to complete them sequentially. The program also gives students full access to both universities’ services and resources and seeks to widens their professional and personal networks.

“Science students from VUU will bring a new perspective to our VCU engineering students and make them that much better,” Barbara Boyan, dean of the VCU College of Engineering, said in a statement. “By the same token, the science students who will now be immersed in the engineering and problem-solving mindset will be stimulated to think in new and exciting ways.”
Previously, VUU’s mathematics majors had the opportunity to also pursue engineering at VCU. When VUU re-activated its physics major in 2016, it made sense to explore a possible physics-engineering dual degree, officials say.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University to rekindle an old engineering partnership,” Gerard McShepard, interim dean of VUU’s School of Arts and Sciences, said in a news release.

The VCU and VUU campuses are within 2 miles of each other in downtown Richmond.

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