Academic departments across campus are developing new, relevant majors and minors to better prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals.
|Business—Business and economics students have five tracks from which to choose a major: economics, international economics and finance, business administration, business finance, and global management. A minor in accounting also is now offered.
“These options allow Austin College students to combine the benefits of a strong liberal arts education with exceptional professional training,” said Dr. David Griffith, dean of Social Sciences and Jack B. Morris Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies. “Business finance allows students to develop greater specialization in investment management and international finance, two areas in high demand for our graduates. The accounting minor qualifies students for Gateways programs with Texas Tech, Rice, and other universities, leading to master’s degrees in accounting and CPA exam qualification.”
|Neuroscience—An interdisciplinary minor in neuroscience includes courses from the biology, psychology, and philosophy departments to build a foundation for understanding the study of the brain and nervous system from molecules to behavior and thought. Dr. Renee Countryman, associate professor of psychology, is director of the program.|
|Public Health—A major and minor in public health promote a multidisciplinary approach to studying ways of preventing disease, promoting health, and prolonging life. In May 2017, 20 graduates completed majors and two completed minors. In 2017-2018, some 60 students are majoring or minoring in public health, making it one of the College’s larger programs.
“Public health also fits well into the liberal arts context,” said Dr. George Diggs, Donald MacGregor Chair in Natural Science and co-director of the Public Health Program with Dr. Saritha Bangara, assistant professor of public health. “It draws on a wide variety of fields ranging from the Sciences to disciplines in the Humanities including philosophy, to Social Sciences such as psychology, anthropology, and sociology, as well as economics and business. Hence, our students are exposed to a number of fields and disciplines, preparing them for a promising future in a variety of health-related professions in addition to a career in public health,” Diggs said.
|Engineering Physics—As of fall 2018, the Physics Department will offer a major in engineering physics that can prepare students for a career in engineering or graduate-level education. The benefits of an engineering degree from Austin College include research opportunities for all students, access to state-of-the art labs and research facilities, nationally recognized Ph.D.-level professors, and a small student-to-faculty ratio. Dr. Andra Petrean is the engineering physics advisor.|
|Teacher Education—Since 2014, the Austin Teacher Program has offered a minor in education that provides several benefits to students. Significant savings in tuition are possible as students can complete three graduate courses during their undergraduate studies. Participants can graduate with a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in just 4.5 years, thereby saving time and money.
In 2017-2018, 65 students are pursuing an education minor, with a majority of those seeking a secondary grade-level certification, though that trend may swing toward elementary certification, according to Dr. Julia Shahid, associate professor of education and Austin Teacher Program chair. “Even if we have students who make different career choices, they ultimately will be more knowledgeable about the world of education, which should serve them well as future taxpayers and parents of school-age students,” she said.