WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023

Academic Program Descriptions

This information has been provided by departments offering these degree-granting programs. It is included to help students make informed decisions about their education. Please refer to the actual programs described elsewhere.

Accounting: Prepares students for entry-level positions in the field of accountancy.

Anthropology/Sociology: The allied fields of anthropology and sociology offer ways of understanding the world that are fundamental to the understanding of everyday life in the context of groups, societies and cultures to which humankind contribute. This combined major offers a comprehensive education in the methods and content of anthropology and sociology within a liberal arts tradition.  Faculty in anthropology and sociology work collaboratively with students on a variety of social and environmental justice initiatives, providing students with first-hand experiences on and off campus.  The major prepares students to take a proactive, independent role in selecting a career option or graduate training program.  Majors in anthropology/sociology are well-trained for a variety of business, government and social service careers locally and globally, as well as for advanced graduate studies in a wide area of disciplines. 

Applied Computing: Emphasizes the applied, rather than the theoretical aspects of computing. Provides a solid background in software and database development, supported by a deep understanding of operating systems and computer architecture. Develops problem solving skills and substantial project experience. Offers concentrations in Software Engineering, Computer Security and Digital Media.

Art:  Provides students with challenging visual arts training which is a critical component to creative problem solving, offering an overview of contemporary art–based research methods and cultural theories, art history, and studio practice within the context of a liberal arts education. The program allows students to build necessary skills and knowledge in their chosen area of concentration which includes Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Studio Art and to strengthen their understanding and engagement towards a sophisticated level of work in their field of exploration.

Biology: Provides students with a strong background in the biological sciences suitable for entering either the work force, professional schools in health and veterinary care, or graduate school. Program offers three options, professional, ecological, and bioscience.

Biology — Secondary Education: Develops the competencies for teaching biology in both middle and high school; develops a broad understanding of all the major concepts of biology (from molecular to ecological), its methodology and its technical language; evaluates the role which biology has played in the advancement of human society; develops skills related to biological experimentation and advancement of scientific knowledge.

Chemistry: Aids students in selecting meaningful career directions in chemistry while providing them with the professional background to pursue such careers.

Chemistry — Secondary Education: Prepares students to have careers in teaching chemistry in both middle and high schools. Aids students in selecting meaningful career direction; educates students with the professional background to pursue such careers; prepares them to take active responsibilities as concerned citizens in our society; and develops the abilities of students for self-education, introspection and commitment to accountable holistic life styles.

Communication: The Department of Communication and Media Arts at Western Connecticut State University is committed to teaching the theory, ethics, and skills necessary to expand and deepen students’ participation in a globalized world. Students learn to engage in challenging dialogues across a variety of communicative landscapes. Each of our degrees and options shares an emphasis on the enhancement of capacities for observation, critical appraisal, and expression. Graduates of the program are positioned to pursue careers in public service, media campaigns, advocating for the underserved, organizational relations, broadcasting, and filmmaking, among many others.

Computer Science: Provides students with a strong background in Computer Science, suitable for entering either the work force or graduate school in a variety of Computer Science areas.

Contract Major: Allows students, with faculty guidance, to combine existing courses and study opportunities into innovative major programs responsive to individual interests and needs. Proposed contract majors must be approved by the academic departments involved and by the university curriculum committee.

Digital and Interactive Media Arts: Grounds students in design and aesthetics as they learn to work collaboratively using text, moving images, video and audio to create interactive media for the web, social networking, and video games, among others.

Economics:  The economics program provides students with an understanding and appreciation of the economic behavior of individuals, business and society. The focus is on social outcomes of economic transactions and activities, as well as on economic performance. In addition to economic efficiency, economics studies the issue of equityanalyzing various social issues from the economic perspective, including inequalities in economic opportunities and discrimination; it examines efforts to remedy those inequities through means of redistribution of income or wealth and their impact on the overall economy. Economics is taught as part of a liberal arts education at WCSU and provides an especially relevant background for careers in business or government, as well as for graduate study in economics, law or business. Students can develop strong connections with their professors who are active in their professional contributions to the field and proud of their outstanding work as mentors to their students.

Elementary Education: Accepts and matriculates competent teaching candidates seeking elementary certification in Connecticut and prepares students for successful careers in teaching.

English: Prepares students for a variety of careers and for graduate studies by developing three key skills needed in any field: close reading, critical thinking and clear writing.  English majors study the major texts of English and American literature and learn to conduct research in the field to enable them to better situate their ideas in the ever-expanding realm of English studies. English also provides a solid analytical and communications foundation for students pursuing careers in business and law.

English — Secondary Education: Develops abilities to read and analyze literature and to write analytically and creatively while preparing students to become secondary school English teachers; aims to produce teachers who know both their subject and the pedagogy appropriate for the grades they will teach.

Finance: Provides the analytical, practical, computer and communication skills required to succeed in the areas of investments, financial markets and corporate financial management.

Health Education PK-12: Develops the skills and competencies for candidates seeking initial health education certification in Connecticut in grades pre-K through 12. Provides a theoretical and practical foundation in health content areas directed by state and national standards.

Health Promotion Studies: An experiential and competency‐based curriculum that prepares students for careers in community health education, community outreach, allied health clinical settings, holistic and integrative wellness, public health, and fitness and wellness coaching. Students are well‐prepared for graduate studies in Public Health, Human Nutrition, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Naturopathy, Chiropractic, Exercise Science and Kinesiology, Physician Assistant, Health Administration, etc. Service learning is intertwined in the program’s unique experiential learning component.

History: Introduces students to the framework of American, European and to non-western cultures; provides the opportunity to study advanced topics in these areas; teaches the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to evaluate the past; teaches students how to use sources and write history; produces articulate graduates who can express a nuanced verbal and written evaluation of the past and apply analytical skills to fields other than history.

History — Secondary Education: Prepares students to teach history on a global perspective. American and European history courses are taught along with courses on Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Asian history. The understanding of history in civilization is key in working with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds in a modern pluralistic society.

Interdisciplinary Studies: Provides an opportunity for students to integrate knowledge from two disciplines, as well as develop skills and capacities to address complex issues.

Justice and Law Administration: Prepares students to pursue careers in fields such as federal, state and local law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole departments, other offender rehabilitation careers, public administration, paralegal work, private security and fraud investigation.  The JLA program also offer a solid foundation to pursue further studies in law school and graduate school.

Management: Provides knowledge, perspective and competencies necessary to understand and practice management as a generic process in all organizations; prepare students for future managerial positions and roles.

Management Information Systems: Produces management information systems professionals who can integrate business systems, computer security and quantitative skills with creativity and synergy in the solution of complex business problems.

Marketing: Produces graduates who can recognize marketing opportunities and challenges, apply appropriate marketing tools, and find effective solutions that add value for customers, clients, partners, and societies at large.

Mathematics: All programs of the mathematics department provide students with a strong mathematical foundation that will allow them to reason using sound mathematical arguments and are adaptable to current and future trends. Students are provided with opportunities to pursue research and/or internships appropriate to their future plans. The B.S. in Applied and Computational Mathematics as well as the B. S. in Secondary Education – Mathematics weave career applications into the curriculum.

B.A. in Mathematics: Develops students’ ability to reason rigorously and analytically, and to be problem solvers. This degree provides students with the mathematical knowledge to enter the workforce in positions that favor these skills or to pursue the study of mathematics at the Master’s and PhD levels. Graduates of this program will possess a facility for understanding and explaining abstract concepts to diverse audiences.

B.S. in Applied and Computational Mathematics: Prepares students to reason rigorously with the aim of synthesizing and applying major theoretical or computational techniques/concepts and develops the competencies for analyzing, constructing, and solving scientific and mathematical models of practical importance. Students may choose from one of three options: applied differential equations and scientific computing, the mathematics of data science and machine learning, or actuarial science. Graduates will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in the mathematical sciences or career opportunities in a variety of relevant and emerging fields, where mathematical or computational skills are crucial, such as data science, actuarial science, commercial and investment banking, the life/physical sciences and many more.

B.S. in Secondary Education – Mathematics: Students develop a broad understanding of all the concepts of mathematics, quantitative reasoning, problem-solving and logical thinking, enabling them to become effective teachers of mathematics. Graduates are positioned well to enter the teaching field in grades 7-12 and to pursue graduate studies in mathematics education.

Media Arts: Develops students’ ability to express themselves appropriately, creatively and effectively in, as well as to understand and evaluate, various communication media.

Meteorology:  Prepares students to enter the workforce at entry-level positions in meteorology and related sciences. Prepares students to enter graduate programs in meteorology and environmental science as well as professional graduate programs in business and law.

Music — Bachelor of Arts: Appropriate program for students who wish to study music within the broader context of a liberal arts education.

Music — Bachelor of Music — Three degree options

B.M. Emphasis in Audio and Music Production: Designed for those wishing to pursue a career in audio and music production. Many students who choose this option continue their studies at the graduate level and in various professional programs in their specific area. This music degree provides a well-rounded education in all aspects of production including recording, mixing, sound design, arranging, and scoring.

B.M. in Performance (Vocal and Instrumental):  Designed for those who wish to pursue a performing or teaching career in music. Many who choose this option continue their studies at the graduate level and participate in various professional programs in their specific area.

B.M. in Jazz Studies: Designed for students wishing to pursue a performing or teaching career in jazz and commercial music. Many who choose this option continue their studies at the graduate level and in professional programs in their specific area.

Music Education — Bachelor of Science:  Prepares the student to apply for provisional PK-12 certification in Connecticut. Designed for students who wish to pursue a career in music education.

Musical Theatre — Bachelor of Fine Arts: Offers students knowledge of and training in all aspects of musical theatre within a liberal arts context in order to compete for employment opportunities in the entertainment industry where musical talent is utilized.

Nursing — Bachelor of Science:  Prepares the interested student to pursue and master content didactic and clinical to become a professional nurse in order to sit for licensure exam as a registered nurse; provides opportunities for educational mobility for registered nurses prepared in associate degree and diploma nursing education programs.

Political Science: The program in political science empowers students to think critically and independently, and provides essential skills for navigating through our era of political complexity. It provides a broad understanding of politics and the expertise necessary to pursue careers in government, law, business, the non-profit sector, and education both on the global and local levels. The program also promotes experiential learning and community experiences which build an understanding of and skills for effective citizenship and careers in a broad range of fields.

Professional Writing: Prepares students to work professionally as writers, editors, and publishers. Optional fields include creative writing, business and technical writing, and journalism and public relations.

Psychology: Provides students with a broad knowledge base in psychology, advanced skills in scientific inquiry and critical thinking, an understanding of ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world, good communication skills, and the opportunity for professional development in the field of psychology.

Social Sciences: The interdisciplinary major in social sciences is designed to provide a broad foundation in the social sciences, allowing students to focus their studies as they see fit.  In particular, students interested in global studies, social justice, sustainability research, policy, multicultural studies, or who are preparing to go into social sciences education find a rich array of opportunities within this major.  Students benefit from an array of faculty who contribute to the social sciences curriculum, including anthropologists, economists, geographers, political scientists, and sociologists.

Social Work: Prepare competent and effective generalist social work professionals to practice in a manner consistent with the purposes and values of the profession, to enhance human and community well-being, and to value the dignity and worth of all persons. Based on the knowledge, values and skills of the profession, the program exposes students to a world view that leads to a commitment to service, human rights and social and economic justice. Provides students with significant opportunities to connect with faculty, students and community.

Spanish: Prepares students to function in an interdependent, multicultural, multilingual world to meet local, national and global needs in business, translation and interpreting, the non-profit sector, government and other professions for a bilingual and bicultural workforce. With a foundation in socio-cultural, literary, commercial, historical and artistic study of Spain, Latin America and Latinos in the United States, students are prepared with linguistic expertise, cultural awareness and community engagement.

Spanish — Secondary Education: Prepares candidates to teach Spanish at the secondary level to develop language proficiency and cultural awareness through: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities. The classroom setting, in which future teachers will be engaged, sets the highest standards of cross-cultural interaction and immersion in the target language.

Theater Arts — Bachelor of Arts: Appropriate for students who wish to study theatre within a broader context of a liberal arts education and to emphasize areas of concentration such as performance, design/technology, theatre arts management or drama studies.