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UC Merced Adds Several New Engineering Majors

April 30, 2024
The Science and Engineering 2 Building is pictured.
Several new majors will expand opportunities for students.

UC Merced's School of Engineering is expanding its offerings into some exciting areas.

Most recently, the university added a major in aerospace engineering, one of the fastest-growing industries in California, with the number of jobs projected to grow 8.5 percent in the next decade, according to the proposal to add the major. The new major begins in fall 2025.

Aerospace engineering joins other new majors in the school: electrical engineering, biochemical and biomolecular engineering, chemical engineering and data science and analytics. And three years ago, the university added a civil engineering bachelor's of science to the environmental engineering program, which has been offered since UC Merced began.

The bachelor's of science in biochemical and biomolecular engineering is effective in fall 2025.

Graduates from this major will be prepared for careers in several high-demand fields in the food, biotech and biopharma industries, among others. Faculty have established an external advisory board that includes representatives from relevant industries, including the vice president for engineering at Gallo Winery.

The major in chemical engineering is effective this fall.

Chemical engineers are recruited for the design, synthesis and processing of chemicals and materials in a variety of industries including industrial chemicals and petroleum, environmental engineering, electronics, agriculture, tissue engineering, biomaterials engineering, food and beverage processing, semiconductor manufacturing and power generation.

The undergraduate chemical engineering program covers a range of subjects, including chemistry, physics, materials and thermal/mass/fluids/heat transfer, as well as computer-aided engineering, design, scale-up and manufacturing.

Also starting this year are data science and analytics, along with data science and computing.

Data sciences and analytics opens the door to numerous professional opportunities in wide-ranging areas, including business, economics, health care and environmental management, said Professor LeRoy Westerling, chair of the Department of Management of Complex Systems.

"The amount of data that's out there to analyze and apply is increasing exponentially," he said. "It really requires some human judgement to interact with the data."

The new majors will provide students with a wider array of options in an engineering program that's consistently rated among the best in the nation.

"Our new programs will offer growing opportunities for our students to succeed and thrive," said School of Engineering Dean Rakesh Goel.

Patty Guerra

Public Information Officer

Office: (209) 769-0948