New degrees offer unique opportunities

As the largest and most diverse academic unit on campus, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers students the opportunity to do nearly anything – to learn without boundaries. Graduates from the College go on to explore space, write novels, build businesses, fight disease, lead communities and much, much more.CampanileGrad

Yet, the world continues to expand. Technologies, policies, companies and career paths evolve and education must evolve along with them. This year, students have a variety of new opportunities and pathways thanks to degrees developed by several departments and programs. Since spring, the College has introduced:

  • Two accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs, in classics and philosophy;
  • Three graduate certificates, in global studies, museum studies, and Russian, East European and Eurasian studies;
  • An undergraduate major in human sexuality;
  • A minor in humanities;
  • A minor in Middle East studies;
  • A master’s in East Asian studies

“We want students to have as many options as possible to prepare for a successful career after they leave KU. These new degree options have broad applicability and will benefit students across the spectrum of academic and professional career interests,” said Danny Anderson, dean of the College.DannyGraduation

More options allow students to gain an education that will help achieve their specific career goals. These new programs offer diverse and relevant education in significant emerging fields and many are unique to the state and some, even to the region.

Accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs in classics and philosophy will allow students to complete study in five years rather than the usual six.  These programs not only provide a smooth transition into graduate study but provide a smooth transition after graduation as well; lending a competitive edge in either the job market or admission to doctoral programs such as law, philosophy, library sciences or medicine.

Unique to the state, the human sexuality major will examine how sexual identity and practices contribute to significant contemporary social issues such as human trafficking, family violence and health inequality. This degree is the newest example of KU’s leadership in the state’s efforts to combat slavery and human trafficking. Previous initiatives in this area include last year’s Kansas Conference on Slavery and Human Trafficking hosted by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and KU.

Courses covering Middle East topics have become increasingly popular among undergraduates at KU. About 1,000 students have enrolled in recent years in courses that look at the Middle East from multiple perspectives, ranging from politics to religion to gender. A new minor in Middle East studies will enhance undergraduates’ ability to put current events in context with in-depth study of the region’s multi-faceted history, cultures and influence.

In an increasingly competitive job market, education can set candidates apart. These new degrees will not only help students land an interview but will provide training and skill development, aiding graduates through a successful career.