CCAS officials launch new degrees to meet market demands – The GW Hatchet
The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences launched four new undergraduate degrees earlier this month to prepare STEM and fine arts students for booming careers.
Officials unveiled a Bachelor of Science in Data Science, a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Language Science, a Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in photojournalism that students can declare this fall. Professors involved in creating and teaching these programs have said that the degrees meet the growing interests of students in these academic fields amid growing market demand for graduates in these fields.
Rachel Riedner, associate dean of undergraduate studies at CCAS, said officials hired additional professors for the data science program, but none for the other three degrees. She said CCAS officials do not plan to roll out any additional study programs for this year.
“CCAS is very excited about the new opportunities for degrees in Data Science, Photojournalism, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Cognitive Language Sciences, all of which were created in response to students’ interest in these topics,” he said. she declared.
CCAS officials also added a minor in Asian American Studies and micro-minors in Health Equity and Immigration and Migration Studies as additional academic offerings for the next school year.
Ryan Engstrom, director of data science and associate professor of geography, said courses in the data science program will teach students how to extract, manage and analyze datasets. He said students can apply this knowledge to focused areas such as mathematical modeling, data journalism, and geospatial data science.
The degree requires 42 program-specific credits, nine of which are concentrated in areas such as astronomy, physics, and geography.
“There is so much information that is generated today by everyone clicking on a cell phone or a computer, and all of that data is stored, and there is a huge amount of information,” Engstrom said. . “How to extract that information, how to use it, then how to extract information from it, how to turn it into something that people can easily understand? “
Francys Subiaul, associate professor of speech, language and hearing sciences and undergraduate advisor for the department, said the degree in cognitive language sciences responds to students’ growing interest in language sciences and makes GW a “pioneer” in the discipline with its interdisciplinarity and research. -targeted offers.
The diploma requires a minimum of 63 credits, including at least 19 introductory STEM courses.
“The Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Language Science differs from the Bachelor of Arts offered by the department in that it emphasizes a strong STEM education, scientific reasoning, and practical research skills to apply to problems related to the language. language and communication in various fields. or professions, ”Subiaul said in an email.
Dwight Kravitz, associate professor of cognitive neuroscience, said the Psychology and Brain Sciences program focuses on the empirical and analytical methods and skills needed to understand complex human behavior with a combination of research and psychology courses. He said the new degree was born after students sought a more scientific program focused on neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience instead of biology.
The degree requires 34 credits with 12 elective credits in psychology.
“They should end up with a solid foundation in the analytical techniques necessary to reason in complex areas in general,” Kravitz said. “It can cover everything from computer vision to social behavior depending on the course taken.”
Matt Eich, an assistant professor of photojournalism, said officials had launched the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, as opposed to the original Bachelor of Fine Arts, to help photojournalism students struggling to add a double major. He said the Bachelor of Fine Arts was too “credit intensive” with 87 credits required.
He said the new program allows for a “flexible” path with fewer general art classes than the BFA and more elective opportunities for students wishing to study photojournalism in addition to other fields, such as sociology, l English and science.
The degree requires 51 credits of which 42 are in fine arts and art history and nine in SMPA.
“Let’s say you came to GW and discovered photography or photojournalism in your first year, decided to specialize in second year – it’s much more possible with the Bachelor of Arts track than with the BFA where you kind of had to go back and catch up, ”Eich said.