New degrees offer students a wide range of career choices

By Daniel Cobb

February 12, 2013

New degrees proposed by Western give its students a new perspective. Missouri Western currently offers over 100 different majors and 41 minors to its students.  That’s about to change, as various departments are considering new degrees. Students will soon be able to earn a B.A. in International Studies. “What we wanted to do was develop a degree from several different departments that fell under the scope of an international degree,” Susan Hennessy, foreign language coordinator said. As of right now, the degree requires students to take classes over geography, history and politics.  History, philosophy and geography will be the main departments that this degree will fall under, but not the only departments said Hennessy. Students pursuing a degree in International Studies will also be required to complete nine credit hours of upper level course work in a foreign language in addition to six credit hours of electives. “Considering you can choose from different areas, the degree itself is pretty broad,” Hennessy said. Along with a B.S. in International Studies, students can look forward to earning a B.S. in Philosophy, which compliments other B.S. courses extraordinarily well. “The new degree in Philosophy can almost act as an add-on so that students taking that particular cluster of Philosophy courses can graduate with two majors,”  Jeanne Daffron, vice president of academic affairs said.  In fact, the degree itself can’t be earned without double majoring. While the B.A. in Philosophy is sort of a broad study, the B.S. is more of a deeper study into one particular discipline said Daffron. If the degree passes, students should be able to sign up for it around Aug. 1 Kendig said. “It’s very exciting,” Katherine Kendig, assistant professor of philosophy said.  “Students who are pursuing a B.S. in another field, such as biology, chemistry or political science, will be able to obtain a B.S. in Philosophy as well.” Both degrees have gone through the campus curriculum process and are on their way to the coordinating board of higher education in the state of Missouri. “If the degrees are approved, they probably won’t be in effect until next Fall,” Daffron said. A degree in Art Therapy is also in the works, but there are very few details surrounding it. “I have no information that we can put out at this juncture,” Allison Sauls, chair of the art department said. “The proposal is at state and will not be looked over until the end of the month.” Students will have the opportunity to consider these new degrees which are in the works on being approved and available this coming fall.