North Texas Daily

University plans to offer two new majors

University plans to offer two new majors

University plans to offer two new majors
October 08
01:54 2015

Sarah Lagro | Staff Writer


The university will soon offer two new degree programs for students studying public health and merchandising. The UNT Board of Regents approved the degree programs during its Aug. 28 meeting.

The programs, public health and retail, are expected to launch fall 2016, but are not official, as they must first be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

A bachelor of science degree in retail will be achieved through the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. The bachelor’s in public health will be available through the College of Education’s division of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation.

Health promotion lecturer Jennifer Edwards said according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there will be a greater demand for undergraduate programs in public health by the year 2020.

“The Bachelor of Science in Public Health is an innovative undergraduate program that develops students with interests in service, science and health,” Edwards said. “Ebola and the flu are just the start of critical health issues that a degree in public health equips students to address.”

Edwards said development of the UNT public health program will meet regional business demands because of the numerous public hospitals, health departments and nonprofits in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“These organizations will need our future graduates to support their efforts,” Edwards said. “Graduates can work in positions such as epidemiology, program planners, specialists, and analysts.”

The bachelor of science in public health will be composed of a modern public health core, with focuses in either population studies or biological sciences.

Students on the population studies track will study social sciences to implement and evaluate health programs based on the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and socioeconomic determinants of health that affect special populations.

The biological sciences route will develop public health practitioners who will link the life sciences community with users of scientific information.

UNT will be the only university in North Texas that offers an undergraduate four-year public health degree program. All classes will take place on the Denton campus.

The program allows eligible students to take select courses online for graduate-level credit in their senior year through a partnership with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Through those graduate-level credits, they can get acquainted with graduate school requirements and adjust earlier to upper level courses.

Hospitality management junior Tom Stover said a Bachelor of Science in Retail should appeal to plenty of students.

“There’s always a need for good management,” Stover said. “I think this will be a good option for people who aren’t into running a business, but know the industry.”

Judith Forney, dean of CMHT, declined to give any information regarding the retail program until it is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Forney said approval should be announced within the next few weeks.

Featured Image: Students walk by Chilton Hall, the home of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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