SBC Launches Accelerated Path to UVA’s Master of Engineering

Through UVAccelerate, Sweet Briar engineering students can get a jump start on a graduate degree.  

Posted on March 25, 2024

Sweet Briar College (SBC) and the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Engineering and Applied Science have signed an agreement establishing a collaborative program called UVAccelerate, which facilitates early entry for SBC students into Master of Engineering degree programs at UVA. Through this partnership, qualified Sweet Briar students can apply for graduate admission to UVA during their junior year and begin taking graduate-level courses during their senior year, thereby accelerating the completion of their Master of Engineering degree.

Sweet Briar students who have been accepted into the program are assigned a dedicated advisor at UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science who will collaborate with the student and their SBC advisor to recommend suitable UVA Engineering graduate-level courses for their senior year. These UVA Engineering courses are taken in tandem with undergraduate courses at SBC and may be taken in person in Charlottesville or online through the Virginia Engineering Online program. In the fifth year of the 4+1 program, students who have earned their undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar will matriculate directly into their designated UVA Master of Engineering program.

“This private-public collaboration is an exciting opportunity for the benefit of talented undergraduate women in the field of engineering,” said the College’s president, Mary Pope M. Hutson. “For many years, Sweet Briar’s ABET-accredited engineering program has prepared our graduates for success in the industry. We are overjoyed to have established this pathway for the College’s students to continue their education at the University of Virginia and proud to announce that three Sweet Briar students have already been accepted into the program.”

UVA President James Ryan added, “I’m grateful to President Hutson and Sweet Briar for working with us on this new partnership, and I’m delighted to welcome Sweet Briar students to our excellent Engineering School. I look forward to seeing the many ways they will contribute to the UVA community and to their chosen field.”

“UVAccelerate is a high-quality and cost-effective option for Sweet Briar students who want a head start on a graduate degree in engineering, a field in which women are historically underrepresented. This partnership is a testament to both institutions’ commitment to expanding access and equity in STEM and we look forward to welcoming Sweet Briar students to the University,” said Jennifer L. West, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia.

Faculty from Sweet Briar and the University of Virginia worked together to establish the parameters of the partnership, reviewing curriculum requirements and admission protocols to ensure that students meet the required learning outcomes of both institutions. Sweet Briar and UVA will promote the program to the College’s engineering students during the fall of their junior year, prior to the application deadline in March. Applicants will typically receive admission decisions by the first of April, in time for students to plan their senior-year course selections.

The partnership agreement, effective immediately, will remain in effect for three years, after which it may be amended or extended.