The two schools team up to offer one undergrad program with two degrees—and countless opportunities
In the tech world, the most successful companies have a firm grasp of both the science behind their offerings and the management necessary to scale them up. But it’s not often that one person can straddle both worlds, navigating smoothly between engineering and business to drive innovation.
Now, a group of top students applying as undergrads to Berkeley this year will be the first to graduate with this one-two punch: degrees in both engineering and business.
A collaboration between the College of Engineering and Berkeley Haas, the new Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (M.E.T.) Program is designed for students who want to start companies or become innovative leaders within existing ones. Students who enroll can earn a bachelor of science in both engineering and business over four years.
“The long-term purpose of this degree is to develop leaders with an integrated mindset and to give them the tools to address our society’s biggest challenges,” says Haas Dean Rich Lyons. “The M.E.T. program will greatly expand students’ capacity to shape a future that we can’t even conceive of today.”
Take, for example, dual-degree holder Gleb Budman, BS 95 (Mech. Eng.), MBA 99, who transformed the world of cloud storage in 2007 with the online-backup service Backblaze. The company’s custom-built servers rival cloud storage offered by behemoth Amazon and others and these days, the profitable company is the world’s lowest-cost cloud storage for personal or business use.
Alumni donations catalyzed the M.E.T. program, which launches in Sept. 2017 and will enroll about 30 students in its first year, a tight cohort that will work closely with faculty and each other.
The key differentiator for the Berkeley Haas program: Both undergraduate programs hold top-tier national rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
The M.E.T. curriculum will include a range of liberal arts, engineering, and business classes taught by faculty including Claire Tomlin and Ken Goldberg from Engineering and Berkeley Haas’ Holly Schroth.
Students will choose between two tracks, either business and electrical engineering/computer sciences, or business and industrial engineering/operations research. Another benefit of the new program: first-year students are admitted to Haas. Current Berkeley Haas undergraduates begin classes after they are admitted for junior year.
Berkeley Engineering and Berkeley Haas maintain strong ties to Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs worldwide, a geographical advantage that will help grow the new M.E.T. program.
“We’re launching this new degree smack-dab in the center of the Bay Area, a major driver of world technology,” Lyons says. “No other program can offer that kind of advantage.”
M.E.T. will address a problem businesses face when they hire: candidates are either strong in engineering or business, but rarely both.
“Our industry partners tell us they face a significant gap in their search for talent,” says S. Shankar Sastry, dean of the College of Engineering. “Those with technical backgrounds need the expertise to bring a great idea to market, while those with business backgrounds must have a stronger grasp of the technologies that drive innovation. We developed M.E.T. with Haas to close that gap.”
Students will also have access to resources at Haas and the College of Engineering—such as startup incubators like the Berkeley Haas Entrepreneurship Program and the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, as well as alumni networks and Silicon Valley internships. All these resources will support the development of professionals who can approach tough problems with a fresh perspective.
The UC Berkeley application process closes on Nov. 30, 2016, for fall 2017 freshman admission. Applicants are able to mark their preference for this program and the track of their choice on the Berkeley application. —Kate Madden Yee