Lessons Learned with Transatlantic Undergraduate Engineering Dual Degree Program

The departments of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech (USA) and Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany) have developed an education abroad program with a full year of engineering coursework abroad in a foreign language, culminating with the students simultaneously earning two bachelor of science degrees in the field of mechanical engineering; one from each university. This program has been growing since the first students graduated in 2009, and 35-45 students are expected to spend their 2013-2014 senior year abroad. The program has been designed to be near cost-neural for the students so as to not necessitate scholarships or subsidizes. The US students can commence learning German as late as their second semester junior year without adding time to graduation. This paper discusses lessons learned while developing this dual degree program. It notes the importance of curricular redesign for conforming to the Bologna process so as to enable international dual degree compatibility.

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