New majors increase educational opportunities at UIS

Jeff Burnett, Staff Writer

UIS added five new majors in the fall of 2016, expanding its degree offerings to current and prospective students with a sixth additional major in 2017.

The university added Biochemistry, Exercise Science, Public Administration, and Public Policy to its bachelor majors, as well as a Data Analytics master’s degree.

In March 2016, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved six new degree programs.

“These new majors represent a continual effort by our faculty to provide undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities in the professional fields, STEM, and the liberal arts,” James Ermatinger, UIS interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, said in a statement. “These majors are in areas which have high student interest and demand and represent our commitment to providing high quality education for the region and its students.”

Starting in the fall of 2017, a Theatre major will be added, through which students will have the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of theatre production, including dramatic literature and talent development.

A Data Analytics master’s degree is now being offered for on-campus, online, and blended students. The degree covers the mathematical approach of data science and the computational methods.

Prior to the new Biochemistry major, the university offered a degree in Chemistry with concentrations in biochemistry, but not as a full major.

With the addition of the Biochemistry major, students will focus on biomedical sciences and health that prepares them for careers in the medicinal, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries.

The degree also prepares students for post-secondary educational programs in medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy school, as well as other health-related programs.

The Exercise Science major focuses on the science of movement, physical exertion, kinesiology, health awareness, and research into health disorders.

The degree has two tracks students can pursue. One track is Health and Fitness, which focuses on the physiology of strength and conditioning, and exercise psychology. The other track, Physical Therapy, prepares students for to pursue careers in patient care and other health professions.

After completion of the program, students can pursue a career in the exercise and health field, or go on to a post-graduate study program.

Public Administration undergraduate students can pursue four concentrations of Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy, State and Local Government Management, and Management of Public Policy.

The bachelor’s degree will advance students’ public interest and civic engagement with serving in perspective management roles in local, state, and federal government, as well as in the nonprofit sector.

Public Policy is another bachelor’s degree that is being offered by the Department of Political Science.

The major explores the policy-making process with focusing on multiple policy issues, such as healthcare, education, and criminal justice, along with other areas.

The university now offers a total of 31 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees, and one doctoral program in Public Administration.