6 Unique Graduate Programs at MTSU

MTSU graduate with decorated graduation cap that reads

Looking for a master’s program that stands out from the crowd? Check out these six unique graduate programs from MTSU.

1. School Counseling, M.Ed.

If you like kids and want to make a lasting impact in their lives, consider the Professional Counseling, M.Ed. with a school counseling focus. “We train our students to give children and adolescents the tools they need for healthy mental and emotional development,” says program director Dr. Ginny Dansby. This master’s program involves plenty of hands-on learning: “We require students to complete internships at elementary schools and high schools, and they record their sessions so that faculty can review them,” Dr. Dansby explains. “We also allow our students to work with clients from the community at our clinic, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. It’s an important part of our training, as well as a great service to the community.” Don’t have a background in psychology? Don’t worry. “We’re very open with our program because our training is comprehensive,” says Dr. Dansby. “We’re a CACREP-accredited program, which indicates the gold standard in counseling training. We seek to emphasize prevention in order to change the environment of schools.”

2. Liberal Arts, M.A.

If you have a wide variety of academic interests, this interdisciplinary degree might be for you.

“What makes the M.A. in Liberal Arts so unique is its versatility,” says program director Dr. Leah Lyons. “In addition to the core requirements of the program, students engage in elective courses that examine specific topics in-depth.” Rachel, a current Liberal Arts M.A. student, explains: “The first two core classes are topical, with disciplines and professors that rotate every two weeks. For example, my first course was on human migration, which we explored through studying geography, literature, history, and film.” The broad focus of the program allows its students to select their own concentrations of study and explore different interests. Rachel says, “This program was a perfect fit for someone like me, a non-traditional student with the desire to continue my education in varying disciplines.” 

3. Concrete Industry Management, M.B.A.

Looking for a completely unique master’s program? Look no further. “I don’t know of any other MBA in the country that has concrete and construction knowledge built into the program,” says Dr. Heather Brown, director of the Concrete Industry Management program. “Custom MBAs are starting to become popular, so I feel like we’re part of a good trend. It’s nice to be able to offer an advanced degree for this industry.” Better yet, it’s specially tailored for working adults: “The degree is completely online, and can be completed in just 15 months,” Dr. Brown says. Kevin, a concrete lab instructor and current candidate in the MBA program, is eager to pursue new opportunities in a booming industry. “I’m excited about where this program is going to take me,” he says. “Upon graduation, I’d like to either take a faculty position here at MTSU or seek a construction management job, and I think this degree has helped me hone the professional development skills to make these career options possible.”

4. Health Care Informatics, M.S.

One of the fastest-growing fields in today’s economy is the healthcare industry, and degrees such as the M.S. in Health Care Informatics are more marketable than ever. “HCI is one of our Professional Science master’s programs, which are unique degrees that combine science and business classes,” explains Dr. Carey Snowden, graduate coordinator of the M.S.P.S. programs. “The HCI degree prepares students for careers in healthcare information technology and analytics, even if they have no previous background with healthcare.” The program’s coursework builds a strong foundation of professional experience. “Our students must complete a 250-hour capstone internship, and over 70% of our students are offered jobs at these internships,” Dr. Snowden says. Composed entirely of night classes, this program is specially-tailored for those with day jobs. “Many of our candidates work full-time and are returning to school to pursue this degree,” says Dr. Snowden. “This program offers a great option for students who want to make a difference and improve patient outcomes.”

5. International Affairs, M.A.

If you’re looking for a master’s program with a focus on current events, consider the M.A. in International Affairs. “Our program teaches a combination of international relations and comparative politics,” says Dr. Stephen Morris of the Political Science department. This degree is also part of the Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s (ABM) program at MTSU. “The ABM component means that an undergraduate student who is majoring in international relations could get both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years,” says Dr. Morris. This master’s offers two concentrations: International Security and Peace, and International Development and Globalization. “Students also take core classes in human rights, conflict resolution, and research methods,” Dr. Morris explains. “Our graduates are prepared to work in any organization that has an international component.” If you want to make a difference on a global scale, this program can help. “Some of our students go into international organizations that deal with issues such as refugee placement, human trafficking prevention, and human rights activism,” says Dr. Morris. “Our program helps prepare them to make a positive impact.”

6. Actuarial Science, M.S.

If you’re mathematically inclined and looking for an exciting, versatile career, the M.S. in Actuarial Science might be the degree path for you. “Actuarial science is a special discipline that trains students how to apply statistical techniques to manage risks and solve problems,” explains Dr. Don Hong, the program’s director. “Actuaries work anywhere risk is present, and they participate in high-level decision-making for solving real problems in different industries.” The actuarial science program offers its graduates plenty of career versatility, as well as job stability: “Actuary work has been consistently been rated one of the top jobs in the United States, and they often enjoy job security in uncertain times,” says Dr. Hong. “A career as an actuary is best described as a business career with a mathematical basis, and our program prepares students for both the mathematical and professional elements of actuarial careers.”