Rutgers School of Engineering (SoE) has established a new 4+1 double degree program in partnership with Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), the first of its kind for Rutgers in Latin America. This program, which is an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program that allows students to complete undergraduate and graduate work in 5 years, creates a streamlined pathway for ITBA Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students to purse a master’s degree at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at Rutgers, and the opportunity for Rutgers to further engage in Latin America and expand its global footprint.
Alberto Cuitiño, interim dean of the School of Engineering, Jerry Shan, associate department chair of MAE, and Sebastián D’hers, ITBA’s mechanical engineering undergraduate program director, collaborated on the partnership with support from Rutgers Global and ITBA’s International Office. The formal agreement was finalized in February 2022, and the program was presented to ITBA students last May. Rutgers expects to welcome the program’s first students in September 2023.
The way the program works is that after ITBA students complete eight of the 10 semesters of their undergraduate degree, they are able to apply for the either the Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering degree at Rutgers. The double degree program allows for reciprocal credit transfer, which means that participants may save up to two semesters and thus lower the total cost of obtaining their master’s degree.
Marcelo Meregalli Ferrer, Latin America specialist at Rutgers Global, who coordinated the development of the new program, noted: “We have worked comprehensively with our colleagues to create an opportunity for ITBA students to obtain their degree from two top universities in two different countries in a streamlined way. And we’ve also built an effective model for Rutgers to create access, attract talent, and cultivate diversity with the best students from around the world.”
Eric Garfunkel, vice president of Rutgers Global, said: “This program with ITBA is one of several new efforts to significantly expand Rutgers’ engagement in Latin America. We believe the program will attract highly qualified students, help with our international recruitment efforts, and continue to grow the Rutgers brand throughout the region.”
ITBA is a leading university in Argentina, specialized in engineering and technology teaching and research. “ITBA has a remarkable international profile; it is a member of the Engineering Exchange Network and has strong partnerships in the U.S. and globally, with extensive experience in double degree programs with European counterparts. We are grateful to be partnering with this institution,” Meregalli Ferrer said.
Rutgers School of Engineering is among the top 50 engineering programs in the U.S. offering a strong academic program, hands-on learning, accessible faculty, innovative research, and the latest technology in the engineering disciplines.
Sebastián D’hers shared, “In thinking strategically about academics and professional practice, the combination of flexibility and specialization in this program is what we have envisioned for our students. A program that builds on cutting edge technologies is key to advancing our graduates’ future careers. We had been considering a program like this with Rutgers for some time, so we are ecstatic it has finally come to fruition.”
Alberto Cuitiño added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with ITBA. Their excellent reputation extends to the students, and we look forward to welcoming them to our school where I know they will find a dynamic and connected community.”
“Our goal is to expand agreements like this one with ITBA with select other leading universities in Latin America,” said Eric Garfunkel. “Co-developing articulation, transfer and exchange agreements, as well as research and educational partnerships, benefit both universities and, more importantly, the students engaged in these programs.”