McDaniel adds 8 new majors

Students can find declaration of major forms outside the Registrar's office in Elderdice Hall. (Marya Kuratova / McDaniel Free Press).

In response to student demand and the hard work of faculty, McDaniel College is bringing on eight new undergraduate majors in Fall 2020. The new bachelor’s degrees feature focus areas in mathematics, sciences, sociology, and English to include applied mathematics, actuarial science, biochemistry, biomedical science, health sciences, criminal justice, marketing, and writing and publishing. 

McDaniel students are excited to welcome the specialized fields of study that they have been interested in. Alayna Meekins, a student intending to acquire an actuarial science degree alongside her declared economics major, said, “I am looking forward to beginning the actuarial science major as I originally was interested in majoring in it, but when McDaniel was not offering it, I was looking at other majors that could still possibly lead me to a career like actuarial science.” In 2020, Meekins will be able to pursue her desired career through a McDaniel major.

“These new majors reflect innovative curricular changes that will further enhance the quality of our academic program,” said McDaniel Provost and Executive Vice President Julia Jasken. “All eight of these new undergraduate degree programs are a direct result of the work done by our faculty to strengthen our academic program by aligning our academic offerings with the interests of current and prospective students. We believe that these new degrees will prepare our students for careers in growing fields.” 

Applied mathematics is being offered through the mathematics and computer science department. The major will emphasize mathematical skills in common applications. Additionally, a data analysis track within the major will prepare students for McDaniel’s graduate program in data analytics. Actuarial science is a mathematical and economics interdisciplinary program that will combine existing courses in mathematics, economics, and business administration programs. This new major will prepare students for certification through the Society of Actuaries. 

The McDaniel biology and chemistry departments will serve as building blocks for a few new majors. The biochemistry major will replace the existing biochemistry specialization within the chemistry major. Biomedical science is an interdisciplinary major for students interested in the medical field that will meet the needs and requirements for students pursuing medical, dental, and veterinary school. Health science integrates biology, chemistry, kinesiology, and psychology for students interested in allied health professions as physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and pharmacists. 

The criminal justice major will replace the existing criminal justice specialization in McDaniel’s sociology major and will incorporate coursework from political science, religious studies, and philosophy departments as well. The new marketing major will allow students to go deeper in their studies than the marketing courses and minor.

McDaniel will also be offering writing and publishing, the first major of its kind to be offered in the state of Maryland. It includes professional, digital, and creative writing courses and is aimed towards students who want to work in writing, editing, and publishing.

The new majors were approved by the College’s Board of Trustees at their May 2019 meeting and the College has received approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission to offer the majors. Students who have been taking courses related to these fields and are interested in declaring one of these majors should contact associated faculty.