On Feb. 21, the TWU Board of Regents approved two new degrees that offer innovative approaches to burgeoning fields in the DFW area: One a master’s degree in biotechnology that integrates business and science and is aimed at producing more women in the STEM sector; and the other a bachelor’s business degree in health care administration that provides a fresh path to the health care field.
“These degrees support the university’s mission to leverage our historical strengths in health care and business while providing more opportunities for prospective students to fill high-demand jobs,” said TWU Interim Provost Carolyn Kapinus.
The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Biotechnology is designed to prepare students for business-related positions in the biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. There are nearly 50 life sciences companies operating in the DFW metropolitan area, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in biotechnology careers is expected to increase by 10% from 2016 to 2026 — faster than the average for all other occupations.
“As the nation’s largest university primarily for women, TWU is poised to contribute meaningfully to the demand for women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce — and this new degree offering is a means to that end,” Kapinus said.
The PSM program is slated to launch this fall, and will coincide with the opening of TWU’s new Scientific Research Commons on the university’s Denton campus. The building’s innovative facilities and cutting-edge training capabilities will complement the degree program’s industry internship opportunities, said Department of Biology Chair Juliet Spencer.
The Department of Biology plans to recruit industry leaders to serve on a board charged with ensuring the curriculum meets market needs and cultivates partnerships that support student internships.
Already, the program has enlisted internship commitments from DFW-area life sciences companies Antibody Systems, Inc., ACRC Trials, Articulate Labs and Fabgennix International, Inc.
The new bachelor’s business degree in health care administration (BBA-HCA) adds to the array of pathways to the health care field for TWU students, and is a new route to master’s degrees in business and health care.
The program is anticipated to attract transfer students who have earned associates degrees in health occupations, Kapinus said. The degree draws on the university’s long-standing strength in health care and adds business components to produce a robust program to prepare graduates for positions requiring expertise in business and science.
The program is scheduled to launch in fall 2020.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for medical and health services managers are projected to grow 20% through 2026 and the Dallas Regional Chamber notes that while health care accounts for 15% of the regional economy, only one out of every seven health-care jobs is filled.
The master’s and bachelor’s programs are expected to gain final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board this spring.
The two degrees augment a growing number of new programs that Texas Woman’s will offer this fall. Other new offerings include:
- An accelerated MBA in sports management that allows students to complete an undergraduate degree in kinesiology and a master’s in business administration in five years.
- A master of public health degree that prepares students to advocate for and make improvements in population health in rural areas.
- A post-baccalaureate certificate program and a political science minor that help students gain the skills to feel confident working for political and advocacy campaigns.
By Matt Flores
Marketing & Communication