WSU, Zurich university launch double master’s degree

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Switzerland have launched an international, double master’s degree program designed to graduate globally educated professionals to assume leadership positions in technology-driven, multinational corporations.

“In today’s global marketplace, the need for internationally literate leaders in the technology industry is acute and growing,” said Asif Chaudhry, WSU vice president for international programs. “This new degree program leverages the strong relationship between the U.S. and Switzerland to produce future leaders and, at the same time, opens even further opportunity for economic benefit between our two countries.”

“We are proud to be one of WSU’s partners,” said Martina Hirayama, dean of ZHAW’s School of Engineering. “This double degree program will strengthen both universities and provide a unique opportunity for all of our students to expand their international skills and experience for their future and also for the Swiss and U.S. economies.”

With support from the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, the program will foster transatlantic collaboration between the WSU and ZHAW industrial partners in the U.S. and Switzerland, which are strong trade partners.

Spearheaded by WSU professor Joseph Iannelli, who serves as executive director of engineering and computer science at WSU Tri-Cities, the new master’s degree program integrates modules from both WSU and ZHAW master’s degree curricula.

It provides students with graduate-level education that spans the technology and business areas needed for the development and promotion of engineered products with multinational market appeal. The program offers high-demand tracks of study in business engineering, energy and environment, industrial technologies and information and communication technologies.

All tracks include a “management and leadership” module, in Switzerland, in which students are organized in teams and develop a comprehensive business plan for an engineered product under the mentorship of coaches from ZHAW and a selection of its industrial partners.

Cohorts of Swiss and U.S. students studying together for the duration of the program will spend the first year in Switzerland at ZHAW and the second year in the U.S. at WSU, on the Tri-Cities or Pullman campuses; the Vancouver campus is a future possibility. The students will earn WSU and ZHAW master’s degrees.

“This international double master’s degree program will graduate those globally educated students who will advance their societies through leadership in multinational corporations that are committed to solving grand challenge problems,” said Iannelli. “The program will provide students with an unparalleled opportunity not only to experience but also to integrate different multicultural values in the practice of engineering and computer science. This opportunity is only available through partnerships such as the one between WSU and ZHAW.”

One of the leading universities of applied sciences in Switzerland, the Zurich University of Applied Sciences emphasizes interdisciplinary education and applied research. Learn more at


Joseph Iannelli, WSU Tri-Cities engineering and computer science, 509-372-7420,

Asif Chaudhry, WSU Office of International Programs, 509-335-2541,

Kathy Barnard, WSU University Communications, 509-335-8055,