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New bachelor programs tied to high demand career areas

New Academic Programs
In addition to the undergraduate strategic and security studies degree, a new public relations concentration was also added to UNG's academic offerings.

Next fall, students at the University of North Georgia (UNG) will have the chance to pursue a degree in a brand new field of study– strategic and security studies.

A new Bachelor of Arts degree in strategic and security studies has been introduced by UNG's College of Arts & Letters and offers concentrations in military science, language, history, international affairs or cyber security. The degree is geared toward ROTC and civilian students interested in careers in public and private sector security with emphases on military and international applications.

"We are launching this degree program because of the national need for graduates who are trained in security affairs, have advanced abilities in critical languages and study abroad experience," said Dr. Chris Jespersen, dean of UNG's College of Arts & Letters." This program leverages UNG's existing resources and will make the university even stronger in those areas while providing students with access to in-demand careers of today and tomorrow."

It is projected that approximately 14,800 jobs will be available nationally for information security analyst positions, according to the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics. This represents a projected growth of 18 percent from 2014 to 2024.

According to Jespersen, UNG will be the only school in the University System of Georgia offering a program of this kind. Other institutions' programs focus on disaster response and recovery, while UNG will prepare graduates for security and intelligence related careers in a wide range of fields including management, marketing, information technology, government policy, health care, finance, education and scientific research. The option to pursue one of five concentrations makes the program both comprehensive and flexible.

It is expected that enrollment for this major will reach 45 students in the first year and increase steadily in the years subsequent.

"Adding this program fits well with UNG's broader academic commitment and builds upon existing programs in significant ways," said Dr. Tom Ormond, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "Building upon our programs in computer science, criminal justice, history, international affairs, languages, and military science, this degree program combines elements from these disciplines to offer students the opportunity to craft an interdisciplinary, exciting and relevant degree program."

In addition to the undergraduate strategic and security studies degree, a new public relations concentration was also added to UNG's academic offerings.

The Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in public relations was launched this fall and a number of students have already declared it as their major.

Elizabeth Foil, a junior from Winder, Georgia, changed her concentration from organizational leadership to public relations this year.

"I did so because I love the options learning public relations has, such as event planning and social media, and because I love the variety of skills the concentration prepares students for," Foil said. "I also like the freedom it gives to choose a specific area or to be general depending on the company. It also gives students the freedom to do things not strictly under the public relations umbrella such as event planning. Plus, public relations is one of the fastest growing fields, especially in Atlanta." 

The curriculum for the new concentration follows guidelines set by the most respected national public relations groups, including The Public Relations Society of America's Commission on Public Relations Education.

UNG currently offers a broad range of degree programs and admission pathways through five campuses and online, with more than 100 programs of study and opportunities ranging from certificates and associate degrees to a variety of graduate programs.

For more information about UNG's academic programs, visit

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