College of Arts and Sciences adds new STEM, humanities programs

Western Michigan University’s College of Arts and Sciences has added several new programs in the STEM and humanities fields beginning fall 2020. These programs range from climate change policy to communication with robots. The arts and sciences offers a broad range of majors, minors, pre-professional pathways, and master’s and doctor programs, providing students with the confidence and adaptability for their best four years yet.

Climate Change Policy and Management

The College of Arts and Sciences is offering a new graduate certificate program, climate change policy and management. This interdisciplinary program provides professional training and scientific background to address challenges arising from the climate crisis from a policy and management perspective, in the government, private and nonprofit sectors. The program serves early and mid-career professionals and students, and those wishing to be effective advocates for climate action. The program provides the sciences behind climate change causes and consequences, training in areas of policy and management, and opportunities to interact with local and regional organizations working on the climate crisis. Housed in the political science department, it draws on courses from political science, geography, biology and sociology.

Public and Nonprofit Administration

The School of Public Affairs and Administration is now offering a Bachelor of Science in public and nonprofit administration. The new program prepares students for careers in a wide range of public and nonprofit organizations. The major is designed to allow students to focus on the public and nonprofit administration track while offering a more flexible approach depending on their interests and career aspirations.

The school is also offering a minor in public administration. The new minor is designed to prepare students from a variety of majors for entry-level professional positions in public sector organizations.

User Experience/Human-Computer Interaction

The School of Communication is offering a unique new minor for undergraduate students. The user experience/human-computer interaction minor gives students the ability to focus on the interactions between human and computer-based technologies. Students in the program will explore how interactions between people and computers can be used, designed, implemented and evaluated. The minor focuses on several emerging technologies including AI, social robots and web-based interfaces.

Environmental Geology

The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is serving up a new undergraduate program in environmental geology. This program is designed for students who have a strong interest in the environmental sciences. Students will learn the importance of geosciences to society and the natural processes that impact human society, while working alongside renowned faculty conducting research in applied environmental sciences. Graduates of the program will have an understanding of Earth’s internal structure, the dynamic processes that operate within the Earth and how to utilize the Earth’s natural resources while protecting its environment. As employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate an overall 6.2% increase, students will be well equipped to be successful in environmental-related jobs.

4+1 History program with Aquinas College

The Department of History, in partnership with Aquinas College, is offering a new way for students to earn their degrees in history. Students can earn their bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College and their master’s degree from WMU in as little as five years. Qualified undergraduate students have the opportunity to apply up to 12 credits towards an M.A. in history at WMU. More information on this program is forthcoming.

The two institutions have established a framework for 4+1 degree programs – accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs – in multiple fields of study. This partnership puts undergraduate students at Aquinas College on the fast track to earning their master’s degree at Western.