WMU News

Two new undergraduate majors approved

April 1, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The addition of two new undergraduate majors was approved by the Western Michigan Board of Trustees at its meeting March 28.

The Department of Finance and Commercial Law in the Haworth College of Business will add personal financial planning as a major, while in the College of Arts and Sciences, a global and international studies major will be added. The new programs will be launched in fall 2003.

The personal financial planning program is an answer to the high demand for financial planners, one of the fastest growing professions in the country. The program will prepare students for the national examination, a requirement needed to become a Certified Financial Planner. Students will be required to take 24 credit hours of course work and can elect to also complete an internship.

The majority of the curriculum for the personal financial planning major is already in place. Five of the eight courses in the requirement have been taught at WMU for more than 30 years, and the remaining three courses have drawn some of the highest student enrollments of classes offered through the Department of Finance and Commercial Law.

The global and international studies major trustees approved will involve consolidating the coordinate majors of Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies and Russian and East European Studies, which are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and require students to also complete a second, noncoordinate major.

The new global and international studies major will require students to complete 42 credit hours, including a single disciplinary focus and either a regional, comparative or foreign language option. Students select their disciplinary focus from among the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, comparative religion and sociology.

Presently, only students with coordinate majors are eligible to enroll in classes in Asian, European, Latin American, Russian and Eastern European studies. Eliminating the international studies coordinate majors, and the double major requirement that went along with them is expected to result in an increase in the number of students who pursue international studies, a trend seen at other international studies programs across the country.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

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