Four New Majors Added for 2018-19

June 27, 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — In keeping with the increasingly diverse academic interests of students, Illinois Wesleyan University will offer four new majors and six new minors, in addition to more than 80 majors, minors and programs currently available.

Starting in the fall of 2018, students can declare themselves as any one of the following new majors:

Biochemistry - Drawing from curricula in the biology and chemistry departments, a major in biochemistry will allow students the opportunity to study the physical and chemical mechanisms that underlie biological systems. Students will benefit from IWU’s core liberal arts education while maintaining the freedom and flexibility to focus on individual research interests with the support of faculty mentors. A biochemistry degree can be applied to a variety of future studies, such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, optometry, forensic science and law.

Health Promotion and Fitness Management (HPFM) - The health promotion and fitness management major will provide an academic focus on growing health concerns regarding disability and disease, as well as ways to promote healthy living. Students will take prerequisite coursework preparing them for a variety of graduate careers in the health and fitness industry, especially in high-demand areas such as exercise science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, chiropractic, sports nutrition, biomechanics or athletic training. This major falls under the purview of the School of Nursing, the Physical Education Department and the Biology Department.

Marketing - Previously offered as a concentration for business majors, the marketing major will prepare students to respond quickly and ethically to changing business landscapes in order to reach consumers. As the marketing field continues to grow, students learn innovative means to promote their ideas to a range of audiences, both in the classroom and hands-on in a professional business environment.

Neuroscience - Expanding upon previously offered neuroscience courses, IWU has built a comprehensive neuroscience major that combines elements of biology, chemistry and psychology to establish a holistic understanding of the brain’s functions. Students will gain exposure to the structure and function of the nervous system at a variety of levels, from the individual molecules involved in neural function, to brain network analysis, to the behavior of the whole organism. The major offers two concentrations, cellular and molecular neuroscience and behavioral neuroscience, aimed at students interested in pursuing medical school, biomedical engineering, physical therapy, graduate study medicine and more.

New minors for the 2018-19 academic year include:

Creative Writing - Creative writing courses within the English-writing major will be incorporated into a new minor that emphasizes the power of the written word to express complex ideas with sophistication and elicit a powerful response in readers. Guided through various literary mediums and writing techniques, students will come away with a personal portfolio that includes poems, personal essays, short stories and novels, as well as a finesse for writing that carries into a range of professions.

Data Science - Students minoring in data science will be armed with the knowledge required to navigate in an increasingly data-oriented world. Applicable to careers in the sciences, economics, humanities and beyond, the data science minor will allow students to develop skills throughout the process of data collection, analysis and visualization, with the overarching goal of using data to solve problems and make decisions. Additionally, students will be exposed to key subjects including computational thinking, programming and information ethics.

Finance (two options) - Students will have additional opportunities to explore the principles of finance, not only through an existing finance major, but also through two new finance minors: Finance for non-business majors and Finance for accounting majors. Given the wide range of applications for a minor in finance, students in any field can bring to the table a nuanced understanding of banking, budgeting, risk management, investment and other fiscal issues present in any workplace.

Humanities - In response to a growing demand among employers for students with a unique array of knowledge and interests to offer, IWU is consolidating its humanities program into an official minor. The humanities minor accentuates the mission of an IWU liberal arts education to build well-rounded students with the skills to meet and surpass the demands of an ever-shifting professional landscape. In accordance with the minor’s learning goals, students will come away with an awareness of basic human values, develop critical and creative thinking skills, make connections between disciplines and relate the humanities minor to a larger educational goal. With a wide range of courses to select, students can customize the humanities minor to complement their individual career paths and academic interests.

Journalism and New Media Studies - The journalism and new media studies minor will encompass the former journalism concentration within the English-writing major while also preparing students to effectively communicate in the age of social media. Students will become confident communicators in traditional print, TV news, social/new media and other storytelling platforms for journalists. The minor will focus on the fundamentals of journalism, such as professional responsibilities, best practices and research techniques.

Theatre Arts Design & Technology - Already offered as a major, the minor in theater arts design and technology, open to all students, will give students with other majors within the School of Theatre Arts an option to expand their applied technical training. It is also seen as a potential complement to the Design, Technology and Engineering major launched in 2016. Students are taught drawing, rendering, stagecraft, construction, drafting and painting in conjunction with courses in dramatic theory, history and literature. Areas of focus for students to select include costume design, scenic design, lighting design and stage management.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21