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University adds 16 new academic programs

New programs range from a minor in geography geotechnologies to graduate certificates in nuclear packaging

The University of Nevada, Reno continually adds to their list of academic programs, offering more opportunities for students to learn and succeed

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9/23/2016 | By: Hannah Richardson |

The University of Nevada, Reno continues to add new majors, minors and certificates to its growing list of academic programs. In 2016, 16 new academic programs were added to the more than 145 top-tier degree programs in the University's eight colleges and schools. New programs include the biomedical engineering major, the graduate certificate in cybersecurity, the NevadaTeach minor and more. Here's a complete list of these new programs:

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

This new interdisciplinary degree program combines the math, physics and engineering courses that are typical of an engineering degree, with coursework in the life sciences focusing on biology and medicine. The University is offering bachelor's degree-level study in this field because of the rising demands in the health care industries and the increasing research interests in the program.

"This is a major with a great job outlook that offers our students the opportunity to join a rewarding profession, intellectually and financially," M. Sami Fadali, professor and chair of the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Department, said. "The degree also offers a road to medical school with a few additional courses for those who are interested in a medical career."

Employment in the biomedical engineering field is projected to grow much faster than the national average for related occupations in the next 10 years, according to Yantao Shen, associate professor in the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Department and the lead for the program.

The new program is an essential support system and student recruitment base for enhancing the University's current graduate biomedical engineering program.

For more information regarding the major and course requirements, visit the University's 2016-2017 General Course Catalogue.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is offering the new master of physician assistant studies program to anyone interested in gaining the knowledge necessary to perform physical exams, order and review medical testing, diagnose and treat illnesses, assist in surgeries and much more as part of a physician-PA health care team.

To learn more about the program and the prerequisites required, visit the master of physician assistant studies website.

Secondary Education, Business Education, B.S. in College of Education

Students now have the opportunity to gain a bachelor of science degree in secondary education in the College of Education with the new business education degree program. This program supports business education as it is taught in the seventh through 12th grades, and by obtaining a teaching license, students will be able to be a part of the business world as well as teach others.

Students pursuing this degree program will take courses such as computing, marketing, accounting, public speaking, technical career classes, and many others as part of their degree requirements.

"Teaching is a job based on the love of learning," Diana Lovendino, an advisor in the College of Education, said. "The University is a leader in teacher education, and we do all we can to produce well prepared, skillfully educated teachers who will make a difference in our communities."

To learn more about this program and to view the course requirements, visit the University's 2016-2017 General Course Catalogue.

NevadaTeach Minor

The College of Education is now offering an 18-unit NevadaTeach minor. This program offers students the opportunity to experience teaching at the secondary level while simultaneously completing a major in their chosen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content area. Upon completion of the minor, students have the option to complete a major with NevadaTeach.

For more information on NevadaTeach, visit the University's 2016-2017 General Course Catalogue.

Bachelor of Science in NevadaTeach Secondary Education and Mathematics, Physics, Agricultural Science, Chemistry, Biology

NevadaTeach allows students to complete a degree in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields while also qualifying to teach middle and high school in STEM fields. Undergraduates who are interested in teaching secondary STEM have two options:

  • Choose to major in one of the approved NevadaTeach STEM degrees and receive a second degree in secondary education
  • Keep their current major in the College of Science and take the coursework required for certification

NevadaTeach offers five new degree program options:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nevadateach Secondary Education and Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Nevadateach Secondary Education and Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Nevadateach Secondary Education and Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Nevadateach Secondary Education and Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nevadateach and Agricultural Science

To learn more about each of these degree options, and to view the required courses for each option, visit the NevadaTeach degrees and certifications website.

Nuclear Packaging Graduate Certificate

The new nuclear packaging graduate certificate teaches students how to safely transport, transfer, dispose of and store nuclear and other radioactive materials for later use in electricity, medical treatments, food sterilization and other applications. This certificate complements graduate programs in mechanical engineering and materials engineering at the University.

The new graduate certificate and its curriculum were developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. Along with the courses taught at the University, several of the courses will be taught by experienced technical staff at Argonne, Lawrence Livermore and Savannah River National Laboratories.

To learn more about the new graduate certificate or to apply, visit the University's nuclear packaging certificate website.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Hydrology and Hydrogeology

The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources is offering an accelerated master of science degree for those pursuing a bachelor of science in civil engineering, environmental engineering or ecohydrology. The accelerated program allows students to earn a master's degree in hydrology or hydrogeology in a shorter time at the University.

Learn more about this accelerated master's degree and the courses required in the University's 2016-2017 General Course Catalogue.

Geography Geotechnologies Minor

The Department of Geography offers a 19-20 unit geotechnologies minor that emphasizes proficiency in geo-spatial methods. Students who choose this minor will learn the tools, methods and software necessary to manage and analyze spatial data and information to be applied within their own disciplines. Courses within this minor can be applied towards becoming a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) from the GIS Certification Institute.

To view the required courses and other information regarding this new minor, visit the University's 2016-2017 General Course Catalogue.

Geotechnologies Specialization

The Department of Geography is offering a bachelor's degree with a specialization in geotechnologies. Students who are pursuing the geotechnologies specialization will learn the tools, methods and software necessary to manage and analyze spatial data and information. This specialization helps students work towards being certified as a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) by the GIS Certification Institute. This specialization prepares students who are interested in employment as a GIS or remote sensing analyst, cartographer, planner or graduate study in geography or related geotechnology field.

To learn more about the new geotechnologies specialization and courses required, visit the University's 2016-2017 General Course Catalogue.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

The new psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner certificate program prepares nurses who have already earned their Master of Science in Nursing degree to care for patients with behavioral and mental health problems. A shortage of mental health professionals and a need for expert mental health care in rural health care settings make psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners valuable today.

Once the certificate program is completed, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners should be ready to provide care in a variety of treatment settings, including jails, homes, hospitals and outpatient clinics, and have the ability to coordinate with other health care team members.

To learn more about the new certificate program, visit the University's certificate website.

Masters in Communication Studies

Going through a name change, communication studies is now reactivated and offered again at the University. The program is offering a master of arts degree which gives students opportunities to develop a theoretical foundation and skill repertoire associated with managing conflict across a number of contexts. Students may focus on interpersonal, organizational, or public areas of conflict management and are able to include courses from other graduate areas of study.

To learn more about this program, visit the communications studies degrees and programs site.

Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

The new four-course graduate certificate program in cybersecurity teaches students how to identify cybersecurity risks and to work in teams to develop appropriate, user-friendly protection and response options. Students in the program will not only use existing approaches when resolving cyber security threats but learn to create new approaches, particularly ones relevant to the challenges that face small businesses.

To learn more about the new graduate certificate and how to apply, visit the University's cybersecurity certificate website.


The University's list of academic programs is continually growing, offering students more opportunities to discover their career goals. To learn more about some of the new programs offered, visit the program's degree pages located in the related programs box. For a complete list of academic programs offered by the University, visit the degrees and programs website.

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