McDaniel College has received approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission to add eight new undergraduate majors, the first additions since the college cut several last year.

Students will now be able to pursue bachelor’s degrees in actuarial science, applied mathematics, biochemistry, biomedical science, criminal justice, health sciences, marketing, and writing and publishing. Although other schools offer it as a minor, McDaniel is the first school in Maryland to offer writing and publishing as a major, according to a news release from the college.


The college’s Board of Trustees approved the new majors in its May 2019 meeting. The new majors will launch in the fall of 2020.

In a news release about the new offerings, Julia Jasken, the college’s provost and executive vice president, is quoted saying, “These new majors reflect innovative curricular changes that will further enhance the quality of our academic program. All eight of these new undergraduate degree programs are a direct result of the work done by our faculty to strengthen our academic program by aligning our academic offerings with the interests of current and prospective students. We believe that these new degrees will prepare our students for careers in growing fields.”

According to the release, the new majors are a direct result of the restructuring process that began in the summer of 2018 in order to “align the college’s offerings with the interests of current and prospective students.”

In February 2019, the college’s Board of Trustees voted to suspend five majors and two minors and one graduate program. The approximately 45 students enrolled in the affected programs will be able to complete their degrees, but the academic programs will not accept new students.

Art history, religious studies, French, German and music were cut from the list of majors. German, music and Latin were removed as minors. And enrollment was suspended in the Master of Science program for deaf education, though that program was reinitiated at the board’s May meeting.

McDaniel spokesperson Cheryl Knauer said the college added only one program this fall, but because it was a specialization — in engineering — within the existing physics major, approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission wasn’t needed.

“These new majors specifically align with the categories that were identified for strategic re-investments of strong and growing interest to students, including Health Sciences/STEM, Business and Technology, and the Liberal Arts core curriculum,” Knauer said.

The college’s descriptions of each new major are listed below.

  • Actuarial Science: This interdisciplinary program applies mathematical and economic concepts by combining already existing courses in McDaniel’s mathematics, economics and business administration programs. In addition, this new major prepares students for certification through the Society of Actuaries.
  • Applied Mathematics: Offered through McDaniel’s Mathematics and Computer Science department, this new undergraduate degree emphasizes mathematics courses used in common applications. A data analysis track within the major also prepares students for McDaniel’s graduate program in data analytics, either by earning a combined five-year bachelor’s degree/master’s degree or by pursuing a master’s degree after completion of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Biochemistry: Combining coursework in both biology and chemistry, this new standalone major replaces the existing biochemistry specialization within McDaniel’s chemistry major.
  • Biomedical Science: An interdisciplinary major that provides a foundation in both biology and chemistry for students interested in careers in the medical field. This structured program meets the needs and requirements for students interested in pursuing medical, dental and veterinary schools.
  • Criminal Justice: This new standalone major replaces the existing criminal justice specialization within McDaniel’s sociology major and includes additional coursework in political science, religious studies and philosophy.
  • Health Sciences: This new undergraduate major combines courses in kinesiology, biology, chemistry and psychology to create career-focused tracks for students interested in allied health professions as physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists and pharmacists.
  • Marketing: Although McDaniel has offered marketing courses, as well as a marketing minor, this new major allows for greater depth of studies for students interested in pursuing marketing careers including in advertising, sales, promotions and market research.
  • Writing and Publishing: This new undergraduate major within the English department supports students who want to work in writing, editing and publishing. The first major of its kind offered in the State of Maryland, it includes professional, digital and creative writing courses.