The University of Iowa’s General Catalog, which contains all the courses offered by 11 colleges, has a permanent look to it. You’re tempted to think it couldn’t change. But in reality, new courses, departments, and majors appear each year and others, no longer relevant to students as they once were, disappear.
Here are two majors that enrolled students for the first time this fall semester.
A new multidisciplinary undergraduate major in international studies combines the popular global studies major with the University’s area studies program, which has helped students to learn about a region of the world while studying one of the region’s languages.
Johanna Laing, a former business major who intends to go into the Peace Corps and later into the United States Foreign Service, declared the new major as soon as she heard about it. As a senior, she benefits from being able to transfer international courses she had taken into her new major.
“I’m an international studies major with emphases in international business and international politics and relations, as well as minors in business and Spanish,” she says. “I have the opportunity to focus on my particular areas of interest for a strong international education foundation.”
Christopher Roy, former associate dean of International Programs, says the program expects to have 300 majors by 2005, based on the experience of other Big Ten universities’ programs. He said the major was under discussion before Sept. 11, 2001, but took on a new urgency following the terrorist attacks on that day.
“We’ve gotten more inquiries from undergraduates in other majors interested in declaring a double major with international studies,” he says. “Since nearly all fields of study are feeling an increasing need to emphasize international content, international studies offers opportunities for courses or a double major to students in such disciplines as history, economics, journalism, political science, art and art history, and anthropology.”
Students may select either a thematic or geographic emphasis within the major—a thematic emphasis on international business, war, peace and security, or global resources and the environment, for example, or a geographic emphasis on East Asian studies or European studies.
All students study a language as part of the General Education Program, but international studies majors will add two semesters of advanced study to that minimum requirement. In all, the major requires 36-37 semester hours of credit.
A $1,000 scholarship is available for study abroad, and all students electing the major are urged to take advantage of it, Roy says. They also may be eligible for other financial assistance for this portion of their education.
Laing recommends that students study abroad.
“The study abroad experience provided a new foundation in my life: a tolerance for ambiguity, a passion for diverse knowledge, and the chance to polish my Spanish,” she says.
Her trip to Seville, Spain, came before she was eligible for the scholarship, but she’s been talking with new associate dean for International Programs, Teresa Mangum, and with Blythe Burkhardt, coordinator of International Academic Programs, about doing a second trip this year.
In the last year of study, international studies majors enroll in Senior Project, completing a 15- to 20-page research paper on a topic within the student’s emphasis area while working with a faculty member in that area.
International Programs, which offers the major, designed it to prepare students for careers in business, journalism, government, international development agencies, nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic agencies, and the arts. Students also may use it as a foundation for graduate studies in law, social sciences, the arts, business, journalism, international affairs, and area studies.
Graduates will receive a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Your student is trying to select a major from The University of Iowa’s wealth of undergraduate areas of study. He’s very interested in music, theatre arts, or dance. And way in the back of his head is a dream to own and operate his own business.
Have we got a new major for him!
Performing arts entrepreneurship is a specialized degree open to all undergraduates. Its innovative program includes a range of electives, so each student can develop areas of specialization within the major.
“Performing arts entrepreneurship students will learn to be strong, creative contenders in a competitive field of performing arts,” says David Nelson, director of the Division of Performing Arts and professor of music.
As of late summer, no students had elected the major. However, information on it is being introduced this fall.
“Inquiries so far are coming from students who are already here, rather than prospective students,” says Beverly Everett of the School of Music, who will advise students who elect the major. “It requires a student who is interested in the performing arts but also in business, someone who might be interested in establishing a dance studio, business, or nonprofit arts organization.”
To declare the major, students must choose a primary area—dance, theatre arts, or music. Those who choose dance must take a diagnostic test to determine their skill level and which Dance Techniques class they’ll enroll in. Students choosing music must audition for a professor in the applied studies area of the School of Music. No audition or prerequisite is required for admission into the theatre arts primary area.
Students also choose a secondary area from one of the remaining two departments.
Like students who major in dance, music, or theatre arts, Performing Arts Entrepreneurship students will take courses in the history, basic craft, and production of their primary area, and they can be involved in the same plays, concerts, and recitals as their performance cohorts. But they’ll also take Basics of Small Business Accounting, Entrepreneurship and New Business Formation, Capital Acquisition and Cash Flow, and Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness with business majors.
Until the new major was approved in the spring of 2003, students could combine a major, a minor, and an entrepreneurial certificate program to achieve some of the same courses as the major offers. But at the end, they didn’t have a major in entrepreneurship, and their courses were not tailored to meet their needs.
Graduates will receive a bachelor of arts degree. The program is offered jointly through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Division of Performing Arts and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.
By Anne Tanner