Written by: 
Erin Cristales
Photography by: 
Michael Clements

UNT doubled down on its commitment to innovative learning this year by introducing 13 new degree programs, many of which center on readying students for the cutting-edge demands of a 21st-century workplace.

The offerings are designed to continue the school's transformation as a next generation research university to best prepare students for success after graduation.

"UNT's degree plans must provide students with practical hands-on experience and career insight so they're capable of achieving a long, satisfying career in today's high-tech marketplace," President Neal Smatresk says.

Turning students into trailblazers

UNT is the first university in the nation to offer a B.S. in consumer experience management, providing students with the know-how to take on changing consumer expectations in retail, hospitality, tourism and other industries. Those expectations largely focus on 24/7 digital access to products and services.

"There is a huge opportunity for graduates who can be ahead of the trends," says Judith Forney, dean of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. The program is offered at UNT and UNT's New College at Frisco.

The Mayborn School of Journalism now includes an online-only M.S. in digital communication analytics among its degree offerings, while the College of Information began offering an M.S. in data science this spring. The digital communication analytics program enables students to build the skills necessary to extract, report, model and analyze communications data critical to public relations, marketing or advertising. The M.S. in data science focuses on areas such as statistical analysis, natural language processing, computational linguistics, information retrieval, information visualization, social network analysis, text analytics and data mining.

"The need for data science has been identified as critical," says Kinshuk, dean of the College of Information, who notes much of the demand for the degree came from students and alumni interested in preparing for careers in DFW's high-tech boom. "We want to meet the demand for highly skilled data science and data analytics professionals."

UNT's New College at Frisco also has added several forward-thinking graduate degree programs, including an M.S. in advanced data analytics; an executive master's in computer science; an M.B.A. in business studies with a focus on sport, entertainment and event management; and an M.A. in design with a focus on interaction design. The interaction design program is ranked 38th in the nation by ValueColleges.com.

More in-demand offerings

And there are more degree programs on the horizon. After heeding calls for expanded degree offerings in liberal arts and social sciences, as well as in health, education, public service and biomedical engineering, UNT also will begin offering a B.A. in nonprofit leadership studies, a B.S. in professional and technical communication, an M.S. in emergency management disaster science and a Ph.D. in performing arts health for the 2018-19 school year.

From conducting research to assisting patients, UNT alumni are finding ways to attack one of the world's greatest enemies.

Cancer Fighters


Elliotte Dunlap

Elliotte Dunlap