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A&S Unveils New Programs for Fall


Beginning fall quarter the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences will offer new programs in archaeology, environmental policy and analysis, liberal arts and more.

Date: 9/13/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577

UC ingot   This fall the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) will begin offering new degrees, minors, tracks and certificates for students at the University of Cincinnati. The new programs will blend interdisciplinary studies and practical skills to give students ample ammunition for their future careers and a lifetime of learning.

For more information, visit departmental websites or contact each program's director.

BA in Archaeology

Department of Anthropology website
This new bachelor’s degree in archaeology is designed to provide rigorous, interdisciplinary training in archaeological theory and practice as well as hands-on experience in real-world problem-solving. It encompasses existing courses in anthropology, classics, geography, geology and history in A&S, and in historical preservation from DAAP. It incorporates experiential learning for all students in the form of a required field course, field research or internship.

The program will be one of only a handful of bachelor’s degrees in archaeology in the country, and its multiple interdisciplinary tracks in landscape archaeology, geoarchaeology, and the archaeology of social complexity make it unique. This degree is housed in the Department of Anthropology.

“The BA archaeology program provides a challenging intellectual path of skill-based learning, which students at other campuses nationwide can only dream about,” says Alan Sullivan, anthropology professor and program director of the archaeology degree. “With three optional tracks that connect with a wide variety of student interests, the interdisciplinary BA archaeology program exemplifies the expansion and modernization of the anthropology program that enables students to explore the vast sweep of human evolutionary history and cultural diversity from scientific and humanistic perspectives.”

BA in Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts website 
The bachelor’s degree in liberal arts allows students to create a multidisciplinary course of study by combining three minors or certificates. Students gain the ability to apply the terminology, methods and perspectives of several disciplines to new and diverse settings and to complex problems, while developing the hallmark transferable intellectual and practical skills of a strong liberal arts education.

The large number of ways students can combine the underlying constituent pieces makes this program exceptionally adaptable to a variety of educational pathways. Several minors are currently available in the evening, and the college is working with departments to increase that number. As new certificates are created, they will automatically be available to students in this program. Faculty oversight and advising to support the needs of students in this program are built on components of the current college infrastructure.

“For the student who wants a truly multidisciplinary, ‘outside the box’ degree program, this is the real deal,” says John Brolley, assistant academic director.

BA in Physics
Department of Physics website
A BA in physics provides an option for students who wish to develop a strong background in the fundamental concepts and problem-solving approach of physics and the rigorous analytical and computational methods of mathematics as a foundation for career paths that may not involve a graduate degree in physics (e.g., secondary education, business, law, medicine, technology).

It will complement the existing BS degree in physics, a demanding program that successfully prepares students to enter a doctoral program in physics. Both degrees require the same mathematics courses, develop high-level technical laboratory skills using sophisticated laboratory equipment, and require students to apply principles learned in the laboratory and class to new problems and situations. However, the flexibility of the BA degree makes it easier for students to take advantage of the optional co-op program in physics or to combine physics with another major.

“The traditional physics BS is extremely ridged and is meant for those wanting to continue to graduate school in physics or astrophysics. The new addition of the physics BA program gives students strong math and physics training, skills under great demand in our technology age, but provides incredible flexibility,” says Margaret Hanson, professor of physics. “Students with a variety of post-graduate career plans can tailor the courses in the physics BA to their interests and needs.”

Minor in Environmental Studies
Minor in Environmental Analysis and Policy
Environmental Studies website
The broadly interdisciplinary environmental studies program offers its majors opportunities in the classroom and through practical experiences to understand how environmental issues touch upon all walks of society and can be addressed fruitfully.  With the development of two new minors/certificates in environmental studies and environmental policy & analysis, students in other fields now have an opportunity to begin developing their expertise in this arena. Both minors offer opportunities to gain experience in environmental aspects of law, public policy, economics, risk analysis, GIS/remote sensing and other areas. The environmental studies minor requires additional course work in biology (including ecology) and mathematics.

Program director Arnie Miller says, “At a time when environmental issues and questions of sustainability are in the news nearly every day, there is a pressing need in the workforce for professionals with expertise to help societies worldwide diagnose and overcome problems inherent in development and expansion. 

Certificate in Medical Humanities and Bioethics
Contact an A&S Advisor for details about the certificate
The certificate in Medial Humanities and Bioethics is one way for undergraduates interested in any aspect of health care to develop their skills in observation, analysis, empathy, and self-reflection. This certificate will help students identify, analyze, and resolve moral and social conflicts as they might arise in the care of patients. It heightens their sensitivity to others’ health care experiences and how those experiences are shaped by social, political and cultural circumstances. In completing this certificate, students will enter the work force better prepared to cope with the often bewildering challenges that represent today’s health care industry.

“In today's rapidly accelerating world of scientific, technological, cultural, and political transformations, health care faces challenges that transcend traditional academic disciplines,” says Valerie Gray Hardcastle, dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. “The demand for professionals who can synthesize the ethical, social and practical aspects of health care continues to grow. In our world, where advances in science and technology often outpace our ability to understand and cope with new concepts and situations, the need for deep grounding in medical humanities is particularly acute for new professionals entering the health care industry.”

Certificate in Human Resources
HR Certificate website
The undergraduate certificate in Human Resources (HR) is available to students within and outside of A&S who wish to complement their major field of study with coursework in HR. The HR certificate requires 30 credit hours of coursework including a core set of classes focused on the functional areas of HR with elective courses relating to leadership, teamwork and diversity. The objective of the certificate is to provide a fundamental understanding of HR as a discipline and potential career choice.  

“Regardless of the industry or profession you ultimately choose, students aspiring to a managerial or leadership role will be engaged in some form of human resource management during their career,” says Stacie Furst-Holloway, undergraduate program director of organizational leadership. “Knowing how to recruit, select, train, develop and retain top talent are highly valuable and transferable skills that would benefit any of our majors.”

Certificate in Ancient Greek
Department of Classics website
Knowledge of ancient Greek can be very attractive to majors in programs other than Classics. Philosophy, Judaic Studies and Archaeology are examples of programs where knowledge of ancient Greek can be a great plus. Other students may also be interested in learning enough ancient Greek to be able to read the New Testament in the original. All such students are invited to take enough courses in ancient Greek to earn a new certificate and, if they are A&S majors, to fulfill their foreign language requirement at the same time.

"It's Greek to me—it can be to you too!" says Professor Peter van Minnen, head of Classics. "Students who take courses for the ancient Greek certificate will read the first poet (Homer), the first historian (Herodotus), and the first major philosopher (Plato) in the Western tradition—all in the original."

Service/Experiential Learning Track in Judaic Studies
Department of Judaic Studies website
This new track for Judaic studies majors combines rigorous, interdisciplinary academic training with its practical application in real-life settings. The study of Jewish civilization embraces a broad chronological and geographical range that incorporates numerous fields including religion, history, literature and philosophy.

Through this track, students may intern in such areas as newspapers, archives, schools and Holocaust education. Experiential opportunities include research assistantships, archaeological digs or a summer travel-study course. Besides the service/experiential learning component, the new track also differs from the original major by requiring two—not three—years of Hebrew. The service/experiential learning track represents an opportunity to take advantage of an outstanding Judaic Studies department, UC's urban setting, and a deep commitment to actively engage with the local community.

“I am especially excited about the new service/experiential learning track for Judaic Studies major because it provides students with the opportunity to apply their academic education in real-world settings,” says Matthew Kraus, director of undergraduate studies in Judaic Studies. “We not only learn about Judaism through reading, discussing and writing—we also learn through active engagement with our community.”

Biohumanities Track in Philosophy
Biohumanities website
The Department of Philosophy at UC has joined together with the Pre-Professional Advising Center to counsel interested pre-med students toward majoring in philosophy on the biohumanities track. Biohumanities encompasses the philosophical study of the biological, cognitive, and medical sciences and their social and ethical dimensions. The program is designed primarily for pre-med students, but any student may pursue it.

Law and Ethics Track in Philosophy
Law and Ethics website
The Pre-Professional Advising Center also worked with the philosophy department to counsel interested pre-law students toward majoring in philosophy on the law and ethics track. Law & Ethics encompasses the philosophical study of ethics, politics, the law, epistemology and logic. The program is designed primarily for pre-law students, but any student may pursue it.

“Philosophers think analytically and creatively—this is the essence of the discipline. It's also the business of law and medicine,” says Philosophy Professor and Department Head Robert Skipper. “Both law and medical schools test your ability to take in, organize, analyze, and connect huge amounts of information. Let philosophy be your foundation.

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