In a significant move to expand higher educational offerings across the Houston region, the University of Houston has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer three new undergraduate engineering degrees in Katy.
The UH Bauer College of Business also will offer upper division classes at the UH at Sugar Land instructional site.
“The UH at Katy and UH at Sugar Land instructional sites offer a University of Houston Tier One education to residents across our region in disciplines that are in great demand,” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “These new undergraduate classes and programs are yet another step in making higher education and a UH degree accessible to the greater Houston metropolitan area.”
The UH Cullen College of Engineering this fall will begin offering undergraduate degrees in computer engineering and analytics, construction engineering and systems engineering at UH at Katy. The coordinating board approved the new degrees Jan. 23.
A collaboration with Houston Community College, the UH/HCC Engineering Academy in Katy, means students will be able to complete all classes for the four-year degree in Katy, said J.R. Rao, associate dean for UH Engineering in Katy.
All engineering courses will be taught by UH faculty, while students will take lower division classes and core requirements, such as math and English, through HCC, he said.
Enrollment for the new degree programs will begin with the freshman class in fall 2020. Rao said enrollment is expected to grow to about 750 students when classes are fully enrolled, with about 180 graduates anticipated annually.
UH currently offers a master’s degree and a certificate in subsea engineering at UH at Katy. More information on UH engineering programs in Katy can be found on the college’s website.
The new business classes at the Sugar Land location mean that for the first time, students could complete the first three years of a bachelor’s degree in business administration at an instructional site closer to their homes or offices.
The idea, in what is known as a 2+1+1 arrangement, would allow students to complete the first two years of their degree at a community college, including Wharton Junior College, which shares the Sugar Land instructional site with UH. Third-year classes will be offered in Sugar Land, and students would take the final year of classes on the UH campus.
“Our mission at the Bauer College is to offer leading-edge, student-centered education that is both accessible and affordable,” Bauer Dean Paul A. Pavlou said. “Bringing Bauer courses to Sugar Land and giving students the option to earn their degrees closer to home is part of our mission to make our offerings flexible and convenient for students.”
Jay Neal, associate vice president for academic affairs and chief operating officer at UH at Sugar Land and UH at Katy, said the expansion of programs at the two instructional sites has been an intentional process.
“We want to provide our students with courses and degree plans that have relevance to the industry around us," he said. "As leaders and good neighbors, we want to be part of what strengthens the community."
The UH College of Nursing offers both undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees at UH at Sugar Land, as well as a bachelor’s degree and some graduate classes at UH at Katy.
The UH College of Technology also offers a number of classes in Sugar Land, including for its degree programs in biotechnology and digital media.