The Sichuan University - Pittsburgh Institute (SCUPI) is a new academic entity jointly established by Sichuan University (SCU) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). SCUPI realizes the new archetype of institute-scale, collaborative entities between leading universities in the U.S. and China. The Institute is one of five large-scale partnerships between an American and a Chinese university. SCUPI is designed to follow an international model and thus merges the advantages of both universities in its mission, curriculum, teaching, and educational resources. SCUPI aims to provide a world-class engineering education that focuses on design innovation with an international outlook.
During the initial startup phase, SCUPI offers degrees in three undergraduate majors: Industrial Engineering (IE), Mechanical Engineering (ME), and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). Sichuan University will award a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering to qualified students who graduate from SCUPI (4+0), and the institute offers a variety of degree programs for qualified students, including 2+2, 3+1, and 3+1+1 or 2+2+1. Students who participate in one of these programs will earn a bachelor's degree from both Sichuan University and the University of Pittsburgh.
SCUPI welcomed its first class of one hundred students last fall, with plans to grow to 1600 students and 80 faculties within seven years.Students joining SCUPI will gain unique academic experience that combines research with education, professionalism with academics, and eastern with western approaches. All courses at SCUPI will be taught in English. By closely collaborating with the Pitt Swanson School of Engineering, the institute features international academic credits transfer, active-learning-embedded courses (COPUS, Class Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM), academic performance tracking, learning experience interview and survey, Co-op Education Program, study abroad and career service, etc., which ensures exemplary teaching quality and student achievement as well as encourages active learning, creative thinking, teamwork, and leadership in a substantial way. The program design and curriculum encourage active learning, creative thinking, teamwork, and leadership.
Sichuan University – Pittsburgh Institute (SCUPI) is a new, innovative model of international cooperation in higher education. Moving at the forefront of globalization, SCUPI represents a model for transforming China’s higher education institutions.
I have been a university faculty in America for nearly 30 years. I joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 and served as Chairman of Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science for more than 15 years. During this period, I have witnessed an increasing number of Chinese students pursuing degrees in the United States. After experiencing the U.S. educational system, many of them have become outstanding engineers and successful managers; some have continued to study in graduate schools for advanced degrees. Hence the underlying objective of SCUPI is to adapt the University of Pittsburgh high quality undergraduate education system including its instructional resources to China. Starting with three undergraduate degree programs, SCUPI will provide its students with an outstanding education based on active-learning, problem solving and team work. By gaining such experiences as part of their undergraduate education, our students will have an enormous advantage over their peers, especially early in their careers, which will, in turn, lay a solid foundation for their future professional developments.
To realize our goal of producing exceptional engineering graduates in China, SCUPI is implementing a series of innovations in teaching and instructional facilities. Our curriculum is specially designed by a team of experts at the University of Pittsburgh and will be taught exclusively in English. Our faculty members are recruited worldwide with a caliber and scholarship equivalent to that of top-rate universities in the U.S. and Europe. Many students will have an opportunity to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh to complete their Bachelor’s degree. Our students, furthermore, will compete favorably for employment and admission to leading graduate programs.
For the students coming to SCUPI, there are three thoughts.
First, be a good world citizen who can assume historical heritage and deal with globalization challenge.
Second, study hard and manage your time wisely, striking a balance between study and recreation.
Third, be independent and know how to take care of yourself, while being accommodating and respectful of your peers, and being keen to your surroundings as well.
In short, though SCUPI is new, it has great potential to evolve into one of the world’s best engineering schools. We are equipped with the world’s most advanced curriculum, facilities, and faculties, all aimed at producing outstanding engineers and scholars. We are confident that we will live up to our high expectations.