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Major changes for Arts and Sciences

Starting Winter Quarter Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences will be offering new majors and minors on topics ranging from weather to Jewish history to accommodate student needs.

New majors include atmospheric sciences, geographic information science (GIS), neuroscience, sexual studies, new media and communication technology. Critical and cultural theory and oral Jewish history will be offered as minors.

These programs had been in the design phase for a while and were created with the semester switch in mind, said Steve Fink, associate executive dean of curriculum and instruction for the College of Arts and Sciences.

There are now 83 majors available in the college with the addition of the new majors. There are now nearly 150 minors available at OSU.

These were the new majors and minors chosen due to student interest, student demands and different department interests, with the top demand being neuroscience, said Elizabeth Alcalde, arts and sciences communications director.

“It’s a collaboration (between) arts and sciences and the medical college,” Alcalde said. “We’re trying to be flexible so that students have more career opportunities.”

The neuroscience major has a developed pathway that will lead students from an undergraduate degree into medical school.

Rick McClish, an undergraduate academic adviser in geography, said he is aware of one person being hired in the geography department to teach courses in the new majors. He said hires over the past few years have allowed the departments to offer these subjects as majors rather than specializations.

“As soon as the notification (about new majors) went out from arts and sciences I was getting requests within that first week,” McClish said about atmospheric sciences and GIS.

Cory Martin, a third-year in geography and will be in atmospheric sciences next quarter, said he was declared as a geography major with only a specialization in atmospheric sciences before.

“It’s basically the same classes and everything it just looks better on a transcript now with (atmospheric sciences) as a major instead of a specialization,” Martin said. “It’s definitely better and will be less confusing to potential employers.”

Even with the major starting to be offered in his third year at OSU, Martin said he can still graduate in four years. He has been planning for the major to become official since he first heard about its beginning stages his first year at OSU.

McClish said the addition of new majors are at no additional cost to departments.

“The discipline has evolved within the years and we wanted to make sure we were up to date with the current state of the major and the field of geography and meteorology,” McClish said.

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