Officials Meet in Beijing To Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Officials Meet in Beijing To Sign Memorandum of Understanding

BEIJING—Officials of Carnegie Mellon University and Tsinghua University on June 7 signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a new dual master's degree program in computer science, with the first students beginning the program this fall.

Students who enroll in the new dual-degree program will spend at least a year at each campus. The students will need to fulfill the course requirements for each university and complete a thesis requirement at Tsinghua. It is anticipated that most students will take two or two and one-half years to complete their degrees.

"Carnegie Mellon has enjoyed exchanges of faculty and students with Chinese universities for many years and has been looking for ways to establish even closer ties with colleagues in China," said Jeannette Wing, head of CMU's Computer Science Department. "The dual-degree program takes us to that next level. We've always wanted to take that step with the best and Tsinghua is known to be the best science and engineering university in China."

Randal E. Bryant, dean of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, signed the memorandum of understanding along with Jianping Wu, head of Tsinghua's Department of Computer Science and Technology, during a ceremony at Tsinghua's Beijing campus. The partnership builds upon Carnegie Mellon's global presence, which includes nearly 20 degree-granting programs around the world.

Initially, up to five students — all from Tsinghua — are expected to enroll this fall and could begin their Carnegie Mellon residency in the spring semester of 2013. Ultimately, the program will enroll as many as 15 students each year and will be open to anyone in the world.

The dual-degree program will enable students to obtain a degree from Carnegie Mellon, one of the top-ranked computer science programs in the world, as well as from Tsinghua. Carnegie Mellon already receives a large number of Chinese applicants for graduate studies; this program gives them another option. It is anticipated that the program also will be attractive to U.S. and international students who want a Carnegie Mellon degree and whose ambitions include a career in burgeoning China.

Eric Xing, associate professor in the School of Computer Science, will direct the dual-degree program at Carnegie Mellon.

Though this new dual-degree program will directly involve Tsinghua's Department of Computer Science and Technology and CMU's Computer Science Department, Wing emphasized that this program is just a first step toward establishing stronger and more ties between other units at Tsinghua and other units in CMU's School of Computer Science.

If the dual-degree program with Tsinghua proves successful, Wing said it could provide a template for establishing similar programs with other leading universities in China.

The Computer Science Department is one of seven units within the School of Computer Science.