Brand new majors offered in Dyson College

Irene Schultz

This fall begins an exciting new year for the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences here at the University’s New York City campus. Starting this semester, two new majors are available: a BA in global Asia studies and a BFA in production and design for stage and screen. In addition, new minors in nonprofit studies and translation are now being offered. The Master of public administration degrees, originally offered at the University’s Pleasantville campus, can now be completed entirely at the New York City campus. Dyson’s program offerings have truly grown.

In the new BA in global Asia studies major, students follow either an Asian languages and cultures track or a comparative Asian studies track. The degree program is geared toward developing competent bilingual area specialists and professionals for graduate school, for government and international organizations, or for employment in a globalized economy. “In addition to enriching the learning experience, undergraduates participating in these activities gain bilingual knowledge, work experience and skills, and the professional networks needed to succeed in today’s competitive job market,” as explained on Dyson’s website. Unlike other Asian studies undergraduate majors in the city, the University’s specific degree is unique because of its emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, global literacy and career preparation. It focuses on the core cultures in east Asia, south Asia and inner Asia. Another signature specialty of this program includes many film-centered courses that provide an opportunity to view and study rare Asian feature films and documentaries.

The performing arts department at the University is constantly expanding and it is no doubt that our programs are becoming a dominant source of professional artists in NYC. To keep up with the growing demand for performing arts in lower Manhattan, Dyson launched its new BFA in production and design for stage and screen this fall. The degree program is geared toward training young designers and craftspeople for the entertainment industry. It prepares students for the fields of scenery, costumes, stage management, lighting, sound and media. According to the Dyson website, “The production and design major allows the young artist to hone his or her craft in an extensive array of courses devoted to technique.”

The Dyson College is also breaking grounds on the Pleasantville campus. The philosophy department is now offering the university’s first ever Doctor of philosophy degree. The Ph.D. will be in mental health counseling, the first such degree in New York State. The degree program aims to produce highly-skilled therapeutic practitioners, researchers, supervisors, mental health counseling professors/educators, or professional representatives of the discipline. It is distinct from disciplines such as psychiatry, psychology and social work because it focuses on preventive therapies, marriage and family counseling and career counseling. Rostyslaw Robak, Ph.D., chair and professor of psychology on the Pleasantville campus says “The program will enrich our graduates’ ability to work successfully with clients and to develop new ways to treat mental health conditions that have the potential to significantly advance the field of mental health counseling.”

The Master of public administration degree is now offered at NYC Campus. This is a more relevant location, as it is located across from New York’s city hall. The University offers master’s degrees in public administration with tracks in environmental management, government, health care and not-for-profit management, as well as combined degree programs with undergraduate programs and other graduate and professional programs, such as law, business, computer and information sciences, education and nursing. “We are pleased by the expansion of the program and for students to take advantage of the strong connections to the city’s leaders, policy makers, and non-profit organizations,” says Farrokh Hormozi, program chair.

The University certainly has a history in establishing groundbreaking degree programs. In the early 90’s, the University began offering degrees that were considered edgy, such as a Master of science degree in substance abuse counseling, only the second degree of its kind offered in New York State at the time. The University continues to advance as a leading edge in higher education to this day even with it’s brand new BFA in commercial dance major, the only program of this sort offered in the entire country. “Dyson College strives to be responsive to student and employer demands and to build high-quality, distinctive programs. We recognized here the tremendous opportunity to do both,” Dr. Nira Herrmann, dean of Dyson College of Arts and Sciences explained. As Dyson continues to grow and improve, the University can expect a fresh and enthusing year ahead.