Published 10/02/12

College of Arts and Sciences announces new master's degrees in communication, global environmental studies

SMITHFIELD, R.I.  – Bryant University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has added a master’s degree in communication and a master’s degree in global environmental studies to its growing list of advanced degree programs.

The additions bring to six the number of new advanced degree programs launched by the University in just over a year. The College of Business announced three new specialized MBA programs in September 2012, and the CAS announced a master of arts in teaching in September 2011.

In addition, the CAS will offer two new undergraduate concentrations beginning in 2013: Social Entrepreneurship and Forensic Science. Each is open to students enrolled in any of the University’s programs.

The additions bring to six the number of new advanced degree programs launched by the University in just over a year.

“These new graduate and undergraduate programs are part of Bryant’s signature educational experience, which emphasizes real-world applications and cultivates a global perspective,” said David Lux, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

For information and details regarding applying to the master’s programs in communications or global environmental studies, or for details about the College of Arts and Sciences newest undergraduate concentrations, send email to Dean Lux at, or telephone him at 401-232-6433.

Master of Arts in Communication

The master’s degree in communication is offered in three concentrations: health communication, organizational communication, or in an area of the student’s choosing.

“Our program emphasizes the skills that are required of 21 st Century careers,” said Communication Prof. Wendy Samter, Ph.D., who chairs the department. “All of our graduate students will have the opportunity to participate in a guided practicum – a placement in some of the area’s most prestigious health, business, social services, education, political and governmental organizations.” Alternatively, she said, students may pursue a track in which they conceive of and conduct research relevant to the field they are interested in.

Master of Science in Global Environmental Studies

Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is expected to increase by 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, with job growth strongest in private-sector consulting firms, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bryant’s program will prepare its graduates to work in any international setting, said Gaytha Langlois, Ph.D., professor of environmental policy and chair of Bryant’s Department of Science and Technology. “The flexibility of the program allows graduate students with business backgrounds to prepare themselves for environmental management careers while enabling scientifically trained students to address international challenges from a sustainable systems point of view," she said.

The program includes collaboration with professors and students at the China University of Geosciences at Wuhan, including study abroad opportunities.

Social Entrepreneurship

The field of social entrepreneurship recognizes that social problems require new thinking and new approaches. Social entrepreneurs employ business models, nonprofit models and hybrids to create new streams of funding and development.

In Bryant’s Social Entrepreneurship concentration, students will study social problems and their sources. They will work directly with organizations to develop innovative solutions in education, health care, immigration, community development and other areas, said Sandra Enos, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology.

“Rhode Island is an excellent teaching base for social entrepreneurship,” she said. “We have organizations that are doing exceptional work serving local and international communities. Students in Bryant’s program will have the opportunity to apply the skills they learn in business courses with the critical perspectives and cultural awareness they learn in the liberal arts in real-world settings, with partners here in the state and beyond.”

Faculty teaching courses in the concentration have expertise in management, finance, sociology, legal studies, and more, “providing the context for helping students who want to start their own enterprise with a goal of improving society – whether it’s for-profit or nonprofit,” Enos said. 

Forensic Science

Langlois said that Bryant’s Forensic Science program will prepare its students for postgraduate study in areas such as trauma assessment, forensic photography, ballistics, medical entomology, soil and chemical analysis, biochemistry, geographical information systems and mapping, bioimaging, DNA analysis, pharmaceutical science, or medical studies. Internship opportunities will be available, she said, as will options for special skills training or certification.

The concentration is based on standards set by the Council of Forensic Science Educators and certification requirements described by the American Academy of Forensic Science.