Harding announced several new postgraduate programs, some of which launching as early as fall 2021.
Among these new degree programs is a master’s in architecture, which will begin in fall 2022, making Harding the only university among its Church of Christ sister schools that offers it.
The coursework will have some overlap with two other degrees: interior architecture and engineering. The architecture material will involve construction and design with a heavier focus on the base and foundation rather than the interior. The engineering material will involve math and calculations, but it will not cover the concepts as extensively.
Amy Cox, chair of the art department, has been involved with this plan since the early 2010s. After a long hold, the plan was revisited two years ago, and a committee brought the proposal to the board, who eventually approved it. A few smaller private schools that have an architecture degree were consulted on how to handle the addition.
“Architecture really is a profession in and of itself that is both art and design, as well as a technical side with the engineering,” Cox said.
New degree programs have also been added via HU Online, which is run by vice president Keith Cronk.
The new online degrees include a Master’s of Science in Information Systems, Master’s of Arts in Organizational Leadership and an Advanced Bachelor’s of Nursing. A Master’s of Education in Christian Education is also in development.
HU Online is a new project that was started in late 2020 but began to gain traction in January 2021. The project is done through collaboration with University partners, including Grand Canyon Education.
“In a sense, we are using partners to help boost enrollments in those degrees,” Cronk said.
A few other new degrees were also announced, including a master’s in nutrition and dietetics, a master’s in strength and conditioning. and a doctorate in occupational therapy.
These programs are accelerated programs — programs designed to have a student graduate sooner than expected with the same amount of experience. A commonality many of the accelerated programs share is taking advantage of intersession and summer courses. Provost Marty Spears said he is an advocate of accelerated courses.
“I really want to emphasize the advantages of accelerated programs,” Spears said.