Mason Offers New Degree Programs This Fall

Posted: June 28, 2010 at 1:05 am, Last Updated: July 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

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Recently, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia approved a half-dozen new degrees that will be offered at Mason for the first time this fall.

Each of the programs is now accepting applications. A brief summary follows.


The demand for new technologies to combat rising health care costs continues to grow. Mason’s new BS in bioengineering will train graduates to fill this need by providing students with a strong background in the fundamentals of biology and engineering with a focus on biomedical measurements and instrumentation, biomedical signal processing, computational analysis and modeling of biological systems.

Housed in the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering, the program leverages Mason’s established bioscience programs to prepare students for career opportunities in biomedical product design, evaluation, bioinformatics, project management or technical sales. The degree also prepares students who want to pursue advanced studies in graduate or medical school.

Mason’s program is supported by federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and features faculty collaborations with nearby federal laboratories and clinical centers. For additional information, see the website or call 703-993-4190.

Environmental Studies, Science

New Century College in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Environmental Science and Policy Department (ESP) in the College of Science are introducing the BA in environmental and sustainability studies, which focuses on the theoretical and practical knowledge of three aspects of environmental and sustainability studies: people, prosperity and planet.

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In addition to required core courses, students obtain additional in-depth knowledge in their selected concentration area. This degree prepares students for employment and graduate study in fields related to social justice, environmental protection, and business and public policy as they relate to the environment and sustainability.

There are four concentrations within this degree for students to choose from: climate change and society, which focuses on the relationship between human action and climate evolution;  environmental policy and politics, which focuses on policy formulation’s role in the management of the global ecosystem; environmental economics; and equity and environmental justice.

ESP is also offering a new BS in environmental science, which provides students with rigorous training in the fundamental science of the environment and the application of key scientific principles to the analysis of environmental processes and problems.

The program covers

  • Fundamental techniques of environmental science and engineering
  • Protection and improvement of environmental quality
  • Environmental policy
  • Risk assessment and risk management
  • Public and private decision-making processes

Students select a concentration in one of the following:

  • Ecological science
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Environmental health
  • Human and ecosystem response to climate change
  • Conservation

For more information, see the website.


Mason’s new MS program in geoinformatics and geospatial intelligence will address the increasing demand for scientists trained in the collection, organization, analysis and dissemination of information about physical features, man-made structures, people and events.

Much of the program focuses on the computational approaches used to analyze diverse types of data in order to identify complex events and phenomena and monitor them over time.

Geospatial intelligence has a wide variety of potential uses, ranging from common navigation systems used by the general public to intricate emergency response systems used during natural and man-made disasters.

For more information, see the website.


Graduate education can lead to advanced careers in both research and clinical practice for nurses with the ultimate aim of improving health care for all. The School of Nursing in Mason’s College of Health and Human Services will offer a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to prepare graduates for the highest level of nursing practice. The program will emphasize creating and evaluating practice delivery systems to improve patient outcomes by applying research-based evidence.

Graduates will be trained to assume leadership roles in clinical practice, including comprehensive management of acute and chronic illness, clinical nursing education, practice management, policy development and program administration.

By choosing either of two tracks — a BS in nursing to DNP or an MS in nursing to DNP — students will be trained to help assuage nursing shortages and provide evidence-based quality health care.

For more information about this program, see the website or contact Renee Milligan at

Sport and Recreation

The 30-credit MS in sport and recreation studies is the newest degree offering from the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism in the College of Education and Human Development.

Consisting of five concentrations, the program meets the growing need for professionals and academics in the areas of

  • International sport management
  • Recreation administration
  • Sport and leisure studies
  • Sport coaching
  • Sport management

The degree program prepares students for careers serving the sport and recreation industry or those who wish to pursue doctoral study in these areas, leading to employment and contributions in academe.

For more information on the program, see the website or contact Jill Singleton at 703-993-9923 or

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