A&M International Adds 53rd Degree to Inventory

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has provided Texas A&M International University with its authority to offer a new Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies this Fall.

The new degree boosts the University's undergraduate or graduate degree offerings to 53 and is the only interdisciplinary bachelors degree in urban studies at a public institution of higher education in the State of Texas.

Dr. Charles Jennett, University president, said the new degree is a fitting addition for a University located at a crossroads of demographic growth and international life and business.

"As a major gateway between the US and Mexico, our metropolitan area offers the student majoring in urban studies an opportunity to observe the combination of national cultures and economies into a global culture and economy," Dr. Jennett said.

Dr. Jerry Thompson, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities which will deliver the new program, said the interdisciplinary foundation of the program is pivotal.

"Now, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas and this urbanization is the key influence as to how global culture will be shaped. Understanding the complexities of urban growth requires an interdisciplinary study approach," Dr. Thompson said.

The 126-credit hour program in Urban Studies includes required urban-related course work in political science, geography, public administration, sociology, and planning. Elective course work is available in these same disciplines, as well as in criminal justice, economics, and environmental science.

A required internship will expose students to the challenges that rapid urban growth creates. The University's Department of Social Sciences has arranged internships with city and county governments to offer the student valuable experiences designed to enhance employment prospects in the government or private sector.

Coordinator of the program, Dr. Michael Yoder, assistant professor of geography, said as the program grows the University will develop additional internship possibilities with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, further enhancing graduates' career opportunities.

"We believe an impressive array of career opportunities await the A&M International Bachelors of Urban Studies graduate. With the growth of the cities and counties of South Texas, jobs will be available in various agencies," Dr. Yoder said.

For additional information, contact Yoder at 326.2634, email to myoder@tamiu.edu or visit offices in Killam Library, room 419F.

Registration will be held at A&M International on Aug. 22.

For registration information, contact the Office of the Registrar at 326.2250 or visit offices located in Killam Library, room 168F.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu