Responding to a positive job growth outlook in several high-demand fields, two new degree programs at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls were recently approved by the UW System Board of Regents.

A new bachelor's degree in biomedical and health science will be offered through the College of Arts and Sciences beginning in fall 2019 and the College of Education and Professional Studies will offer a master's degree in strength and conditioning beginning in spring 2020.

Demand in the job market for graduates with expertise in both fields of study, as well as faculty and staff interest, prompted program development.

"As a regional public university, it is our obligation to provide high-demand programs to meet the needs of our students and their future employers," said Dean Yohnk, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "The new biomedical and health science major will prepare students who are seeking meaningful careers in the growing biomedical and healthcare industries, on both a local and global level."

Yohnk added that students will be offered high-impact learning opportunities in undergraduate research and internships, preparing them for their next career steps whether that be graduate school or directly entering the workforce.

The new biomedical and health science degree is a unique pre-professional degree that is currently only offered at UW-Milwaukee.

Similarly, the new master's degree in strength and conditioning is only the second such program in Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there has been a two percent increase in demand for careers in strength and conditioning during the past year and a nearly 13 percent increase in demand projected over the next ten years.

"This program will meet a regional need for professionals with advanced training in strength and conditioning," said Michael Harris, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. "The new master of science degree in strength and conditioning complements our other stellar programs in the Health and Human Performance Department including health and physical education, exercise and sport science, clinical exercise physiology and health and wellness management."

Harris added that there will be a selective enrollment process for the program with only 12 students admitted each year, creating an ideal student-faculty ratio and allowing for a rigorous, high-quality program that meets individual student needs.

For more information about the new degrees, email dina.fassino@uwrf.edu or call 715-425-4306.