Mercer University recently announced four new academic programs that will be offered beginning fall 2012.
These four new programs include a Master of Laws degree in federal criminal practice and procedure in the Walter F. George School of Law, a new Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in the Townsend School of Music, an interdisciplinary major in Law and Public Policy in the College of Liberal Arts and a major in Sports Management in the Stetson School of Business and Economics.
The Master of Laws degree is the first of its kind in the nation. The one-year advanced legal degree will prepare graduates for careers in federal criminal law.
In a recent interview, Dean Gary J. Simson said, “The new LL.M. program is an ideal fit for the Law School and a great contribution to the legal profession. Graduates of the program will acquire a level of expertise that will make them especially attractive candidates for positions, both prosecution and defense, in federal criminal practice – a field of ever-increasing national importance.”
In the Townsend School of Music, the addition of a new Bachelor of Musical Arts degree will provide students a unique degree that retains the focus and curriculum of a performance degree while offering a secondary area of study focused on entrepreneurial skills in business, economics, marketing, new media, communications, psychology, and arts management.
Senior Jill Mares, who works in the music department, said, “[Students] feel like they have an amazing degree from an amazing school, but at the end of they day they are just great musicians. This program will be really helpful for providing music students the tools to get into the business, marketing and even the psychology or therapy aspect of music.”
The interdisciplinary major in Law and Public Policy offers Mercer students a chance to study contemporary issues such as climate change, health care, fiscal policy and terrorism.
Students in the major will develop their skills in analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, oral communication, writing and research needed to address these public policy issues. Career possibilities for students with this major include policy-related fields such as law, government, public administration, health care or work with non-governmental organizations and non-profit groups.
Mares said that this program “would be a really popular major because not only is the subject really interesting, it’s also useful not just for a career but for also living in the modern world. Being aware of public issues is such a big problem. People think that our age demographic doesn’t vote and that they don’t know about issues. A major like this would really force students to look at the issues from a different perspective.”
Mercer’s Bachelor of Business Administration program will be offering a major in sports business management.
The program will teach business skills and management techniques of a traditional undergraduate business degree with additional courses in the business of spectator sports.
Jennifer Fingles, a senior History Major, said, “The program sounds like a great thing to be offered at a bigger university, like the University of Georgia, where sports are bigger.”
However, with the addition of Mercer Football in 2013, “this sports business management major could offer a link between the academic -minded population and the sports-minded population of Mercer,” said junior Josh Holloway.
These four new academic programs will be available to Mercer students beginning in fall 2012.