Hi, my name is Ted Peters and I'm the Assistant Dean and Chief Divisional Advisor for the College of Arts and Science. I'd like to welcome you to this presentation where we are going to explore the College of Arts and Science, Miami's largest academic division. Because we are so large and complex, I've divided this presentation into four different topics starting with the general overview. As you can imagine, being so large naturally results in breaking things down into manageable pieces. So let's start with our degrees.
At the undergraduate level, we offer three bachelor degree programs, the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Arts and International Studies, and the Bachelor of Science. The main difference between the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees lies in the related hours outside of the major. In the arts, there will be more diverse set of courses, whereas in the science, it will be more courses in related natural science and math courses. At the graduate level, we offer 3 advanced degrees, master's degrees and the doctorate degree. I know you're just now finishing high school and I'm talking about advanced college degrees. However, I think it's important for you to know that there are perks for being at a university that offers these advanced degrees. Not only does it mean that we have experts in their field teaching most of our undergraduate courses, but it also means that some of the resources that come with master's and doctoral programs are shared with undergraduate degrees. This could be in undergraduates during research, having access to expensive and complicated tools and machines, being able to attend interesting guest lectures, and even being published before completing their undergraduate degree.
While the college consists of a wide array of academic disciplines, we generally group them into what we call cognate areas as a way of showing similarities between departments and majors. The first cognate area is the humanities and foreign languages. The humanities are all about the human experience and how we record it can be expressed in many forms. These are important as they help us understand the intricacies of human values, and how they have shaped the world around us. Through studying these subjects, we are able to connect with cultures past, present, as well as those different from our own. This cognate area has eight different departments.
The second cognate is the social sciences, which is also referred to as the behavioral sciences. These departments look at the systematic study of individual interpersonal interactions, the behavior of social subgroups, as well as larger cultural and societal norms. They are then able to analyze how the world operates and begin to predict future actions or behaviors. These social science subjects help us understand with data the world beyond our personal experience. As you can see, there are six departments from the College of Arts and Science in this cognate area. And the Department of Economics, which is unique in that it is housed within the Farmer School of Business, yet offers two majors through the College of Arts and Science.
The third and final cognate is natural sciences and mathematics. This collection of departments focuses on learning to understand natural phenomenon through observation, and experimentation. They are based on a structured approach to organize, test, and analyze information and reach logical conclusions. As you can see, it's comprised of seven different departments.
This brings the college to a total of 21 academic departments. But wait, there's more. In addition to these 21 departments, we also have 24 centers and research facilities. Many of these have ties with one or more of our departments, but they focus on a specific field of study or pre professional program. I know all of this can be overwhelming, which is not my intention. But I want you to see the wealth of opportunity that the College of Arts and Science has to offer you if you need. Pause this video and take your time to look over these different cognate areas and centers. Feel free to visit the Miami website and search for these centers to find more about them.
Now, let's move on and take a look at our programs. I'm going to separate these and what we have to offer into four different subgroups. First, we have our majors. All 53 of them. This is more than any other academic division. And in fact, this is more than all of the other academic divisions on Oxford combined. For those of you who don't know, a major is a student's primary area of study or specialty. The major will often determine what type of degree a student earns, for example, a history major can only earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, and a speech pathology and audiology major can only earn a Bachelor of Science degree. But then we have some majors that get to choose which degree type they want, like biology or chemistry. And while the requirements are similar, they are not exactly the same between the two. Luckily, students don't need to decide which one they want before starting at Miami.
While, I'm not going to dive into each major, what I want you to get a sense of is all that we have to offer. So I'm going to list them by their cognate areas, starting with the humanities and foreign languages. As you look them over, if there are any that you are unfamiliar with, I would suggest that you do a little research from the Miami website. It might be that there is a major that would be a perfect fit for you. And you might not know it. Here we have the social science majors. And then finally, the majors in the natural science and mathematics. Some of you have noticed that we have our public health major listed in two different cognate areas. So good catch. This is because the major has two different concentrations. One that focuses more on the behavior health policy side, while the other focuses on the biological side of health. They share the same core courses but then diverge. Every student must have a declared major in order to earn a degree.
Then, at Miami, we have something that we call a co-major. The way this is different from the majors you've just seen is that it is not an academic program that you can do all by itself. It could only be taken alongside with a major. I like to think of a co-major as a piggyback program, you have your major and then you add on one of these special co-majors. Our most popular co major is pre-medical studies, and it can be matched with any other major offered by the university. This allows us student to be say a psychology major, but also take all of the prerequisite courses to be successful on the MCAT and be a strong applicant for medical schools. So we think of these as a way students can augment their primary major.
Then we have our minors, 51 of them. While students are not required to have a minor in order to graduate, it is an opportunity for a student to engage in a second area of academic study that is outside of their major. It can be a way for students to show that they have wide ranging interests, or it can indicate to future employers a special skill set, like being proficient in another language.
The final subgroup contains the special programs that we have in the College of Arts and Science. The first is our University Studies Program, which is for students who do not yet have a declared major. This is either because they are working toward being admitted to a specific program at the university, or because they are exploring their options, and I think you'll agree there are a lot to consider. One of the goals of this program is to help students investigate all of their options both inside the College of Arts and Science and outside of the college. That way they can find what is right for them. As you can imagine, there are many paths that students can take to find a major, but we often partner with the Center for Career Exploration and Success to help students see what career options are out there, and then work backward to show how different majors can help them reach that career field. This program also offers on-campus opportunities like a pre-fall semester mrogram called Miami Discovery Bound, a Living Learning Community where university studies students can be in the same residence hall. And in-semester programs, we often partner up with the career exploration and Success Center to do this.
The second special program is the Western Program and their individualized studies major. This major is about interdisciplinary learning, which means pulling multiple areas of study together to focus on a topic. As they like to describe it, it's the create your own major major. This can be an excellent option for students who want to pursue a very specific area of study that Miami doesn't offer as a major, or to combine multiple interests into one focus area. The one thing that I like to share about this program is that it does require a student to be self-motivated, and that it culminates in a year long senior thesis.
I know it only looks like we're halfway through, but I promise, we're nearing the end. And so what I'd like to talk about next is student success. I think we would all admit that the undergraduate experience is both an endeavor and an achievement and to be successful a student needs to be ready to put in some effort. So here's some advice I'd like to share with you whether you decide to come to Miami or go somewhere else, I think it's equally applicable.
First, you have to make it yours. Personalize it so it's what you want it to be. I say this because no one else is going to attend class or do your work for you. So you need to enjoy what you're doing and studying. In the College of Arts and Science, we believe in helping you align your interest and career goals with your major, or majors, or major income major, or major and minor, or double major and triple minor. You get the picture. What I want you to consider is doing research or independent study. And this is in any major, not just the natural sciences, if you can, if you're interested. Think about studying abroad, whatever it is that you really want to do. And then let's see if we can make it happen. You only get to do this once, so make it work for you.
Now, I know this sounds simple, but seek out advice. Ask for help. Use your advisor. They want to help you navigate this complex system of academic programs, and policies, and regulations. But often this requires you to be proactive and plan in advance. So many opportunities will slip by if you're not paying attention. And please, please meet with your advisor at least once a semester.
While it's true, you can skate through all four years of your undergraduate career without getting to know a faculty member, why would you? Your professors are more than talking heads in a classroom. Don't be afraid to approach them outside of class, use their office hours, even if it's to go in and chat about a discussion that took place in class. Our faculty like engaging with students, it's what drew them to Miami. By getting to know your professors, you will engage more in class and ultimately learn more.
Going to college is more than just about classes. And learning happens in many places. So get involved. Be active in your department. This leads to other special opportunities potentially. Join student organizations, whether they're academic or co-curricular. Make connections with your peers, take on leadership roles, learn to be comfortable with taking risks, and well, being uncomfortable at times. By pushing yourself you will grow in ways you can't anticipate now.
We're almost there. Graduation and after. You might be wondering what happens after you finish your degree at Miami? Well, alumni in the College of Arts and Science go on to do great things. As you can see a majority of them are employed. Then there are the portion who continue their education either in a graduate program or professional program. Miami students are very successful when it comes to medical school and law school applications. You can see the percentages here, both of which are significantly higher than the national average. And I think that is because the courses they took and the support they received prepared them to be strong applicants. We are very proud of our alumni and all that they achieve after leaving us and I'm happy to say that many of them stay in touch and help out students who come after that. That is part of the Miami way.
I want to thank you for sticking with me through this video and making it to the end. I realize that I've shared a tremendous amount of information with you. But I hope it has been helpful. It has been my pleasure. And I wish you all well. Thank you so much.