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History

The first undergraduate Microelectronic Engineering Program in the world

A 1980 study sponsored by Texas Instruments at RIT revealed a critical national need for engineers suitably qualified to enter the growing semiconductor industry. Texas Instruments at that time was hiring RIT Imaging Science graduates to work as photolithography engineers, but realized that while they had optics and chemistry knowledge, they did not know about semiconductor devices, circuits or processing techniques. The Bachelor of Science program in Microelectronic Engineering at RIT started in the fall of 1982 to specifically address the need for engineers trained in micro-fabrication, device design and characterization. The program was the first of its kind at the undergraduate level in the world and was also the first to be fully ABET accredited.  RIT created the Microelectronic Engineering curriculum to combine the disciplines of imaging science and electrical engineering. It is important to note the strong core electrical engineering component to the program. This is the basis of the program’s location in the department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering.