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New Online Master’s Degree Programs – October 2019

Several universities have launched or announced plans to offer new online master’s programs this fall in a number of unique and specialized fields. The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) recently started classes for the first cohort of its new online master’s in medical cannabis science program, which is one of the first of its kind in the country; and the University of Georgia (UGA) announced plans to offer the first fully online Master of Social Work (MSW) program in the state of Georgia beginning next fall. In addition, New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), the University of Wisconsin System (UW System), Emerson College, and the University of Southern California (USC) have all introduced new online master’s degree programs that are now accepting applicants.

University of Maryland, Baltimore – Online Master of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics Program

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is now offering the first online master’s program in medical cannabis science in the country. The two-year Master of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program is being offered through the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) at UMB in conjunction with the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, MD. Students in the program learn about the pharmacology, chemistry, and clinical applications of medical cannabis, as well as the legal and public health issues that surround cannabis and its medical use. The program, which requires students to attend two day-long symposia each year at the Universities at Shady Grove campus, is designed to accommodate students from science and non-science backgrounds. The curriculum consists of four required core courses, four electives in advanced cannabis science topics, a research design course, and a course in medical cannabis case studies. The program is currently accepting applications for the fall of 2020.

University of Georgia (UGA) – Online Master of Social Work (MSW) Program

While there are several schools in Georgia that offer campus-based and hybrid Master of Social Work (MSW) programs, the University of Georgia will become the first state school to offer a fully online MSW program in the fall of 2020, when the program welcomes its inaugural cohort. Offered through UGA’s School of Social Work, the online MSW program will mirror the school’s existing campus-based program, allowing students to choose between a micro-practice (clinical) or macro-practice (community) specialization after completing a year of advanced generalist coursework. In addition to online coursework, students in the program will be required to complete a 312-hour generalist field practicum and 600 hours of field education in their specialization. The program will accept applicants from states outside of Georgia, but the program’s practicum and field education requirements must be completed in person at an agency based in Georgia.

New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) – Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Defense (MSCD) and Online/Hybrid Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), a private, non-profit school with several campuses in Rhode Island, begins offering a new online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Defense (MSCD) program and a new online/hybrid Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program this month. The MSCD program is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field, as well as for students who have significant professional experience in a computer/information technology field. The program’s curriculum aligns with knowledge areas outlined by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium for its Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and by GIAC’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Courses are offered four times per year during ten-week quarters, allowing students to complete the online MSCD program in as few as 18 months.

The online/hybrid MSN program offered by NEIT has two specialization tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); and Educational Leadership. The program is designed for Registered Nurses (RNs) who have engaged in at least one full year of clinical nursing experience in the two years prior to applying to the program. Both of the program’s specializations offer most of their didactic coursework online but require students to complete in-person clinical practicums on campus and at sites approved by the program.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) System – Online Master of Science (MS) Programs in Applied Biotechnology and Information Technology Management

The University of Wisconsin (UW) System, a state-administered university system that has 26 campuses throughout Wisconsin, has begun accepting applications for two new online Master of Science (MS) programs that will start in January of 2020. The programs, which are offered through UW Extended Campus, are an online MS in Applied Biotechnology program and an online MS in Information Technology Management program. The Applied Biotechnology curriculum is designed to provide students with training in the science and the business of biotechnology. It features specialization tracks in: Quality Assurance and Compliance; Business Management; and Research and Development. The Applied Biotechnology program is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in biology or another physical science and/or professional experience in a biotechnology field. The Information Technology Management program has a curriculum that integrates technical and business training, and it is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a technical field and/or prior professional experience in IT.

Emerson College – Online Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA) Program

Emerson College is adding an online Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA) program to its slate of online master’s and graduate certificate programs. Drawing on two existing graduate certificate programs, the online DMDA program pairs four courses in digital marketing topics, including social and mobile marketing, digital storytelling, and online consumer behavior, with four analytics courses that explore predictive analytics, descriptive analytics, web analytics, and social media analytics. Courses are offered during 14-week terms in the spring, summer, and fall, and students who take two or three courses per term can graduate from the program is a little as one year. Emerson’s DMDA online program is currently accepting applications for a January start date.

University of Southern California (USC) – Online Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality (MASLH) Program

The Leonard David School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California (USC) is introducing an online Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality (MASLH) program that can be completed on campus or entirely online. The 43-credit program, which incorporates online courses in hospitality management from Cornell University’s Hotel School into a curriculum that covers legal and regulatory issues in aging, food service and nutrition, and the finance and marketing of senior living facilities, is touted by USC as the first of its kind in the country. Students who enter the program with a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree may qualify for the program’s 28-credit Advanced Standing track. The program is currently accepting applicants for a start date in January of 2020.


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