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ASU launches wide range of new programs for fall 2020 semester

From a trailblazing online planetary sciences undergraduate degree to a fast-track MBA, these programs are set for takeoff

United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Thursday, July 30, 2020
August 19, 2020

Arizona State University offers more than 800 fully accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs — not to mention more than 270 minors and certificates — and that number is growing this fall.

From sports business to political philosophy to venture development, these new programs will equip students with the knowledge and hands-on learning to thrive in their future careers. Here are some of the new options for fall 2020.

Immersion (on campus)

American studies

The discussion and understanding of the United States in an interdisciplinary context is important, and in wake of current events, increasingly relevant. The American studies master’s degree program — now offered through the School of Social Transformation — is designed to give students a look into what the field of American studies is, where it comes from, and where it’s going.

Classical liberal education and leadership

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership has launched a new master’s degree in classical liberal education and leadership. Focusing on philosophy, politics, literature, ethics, history, mathematics and science, the program combines theory and practice through the reading of classic texts with opportunities to strengthen pedagogical leadership skills.

Counseling — substance abuse and addictions

The substance abuse and addictions concentration of the BS program in counseling and applied psychological science in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts prepares students to care for and help individuals who struggle with substance abuse, addictions and related disorders. Students in this concentration program acquire the necessary skills in screening, assessing, diagnosing and planning treatment of patients afflicted with substance abuse, addictions and related disorders.

Creative writing

The Department of English offers an accelerated degree program in creative writing. The 4+1 BA English (creative writing) and MA English (creative writing track) program seeks to support the artistic growth of student-writers through access to writing workshops affiliated with the nationally ranked MFA program in creative writing while also providing clear, practical value.

Data science

Machine learning and data mining are invaluable technologies with applications as diverse as detecting fraudulent online credit-card transactions, understanding the dynamics of social movements, and personalizing medical treatments based on a tumor's unique genetic profile. The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences' new bachelor’s degree in data science prepares students to be critical analysts and users of data in a variety of areas such as business, research and government. The program allows students to choose a focus area from six different tracks (scroll to the bottom of the major map for the tracks). 

Disability studies

The School of Social Transformation has established an undergraduate and a graduate certificate in disability studies that promotes a new understanding of contemporary culture, not only for the disabled, but for society as well.

Financial planning

The W. P. Carey School of Business has created a bachelor's degree in financial planning, which provides students with the tools and expertise to work as a personal financial planner. The program highlights ways to stand out in the industry and ensures students graduate with the ability to solve complex problems for their clients.


The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning has a new accelerated/4+1 degree for geography. The fast-track approach allows highly qualified students who are finishing their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in geography degree, or Bachelor of Science in geography (meteorology-climatology) to be enrolled simultaneously in the Master of Arts in geography degree program.

Humanities and global management

The School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies has partnered with Thunderbird School of Global Management to offer a new 4+1 program allowing students to receive an undergraduate degree in a humanities-related field and a graduate degree in global management.

Innovation and venture development

A unique new degree will teach students from any background how to launch a successful venture. The Master of Science in innovation and venture development is a transdisciplinary partnership among three schools at ASU: The Design School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Students in the one-year, on-campus program will choose an issue, research it, develop ideas, prototype and develop a business model.


To accommodate working professionals, the W. P. Carey School of Business is launching a new blended format for its highly ranked executive MBA through enhanced learning technology. EMBA students will get the same comprehensive business curriculum taught by W. P. Carey faculty with less time away from home and work. The school is also now offering a fast-track MBA that allows students to earn an MBA in as little as 12 months

Organizational leadership

The College of Integrative Sciences and Arts has added an accelerated 4+1 option for its master's degree in organizational leadership. With an emphasis on learning best practices, students explore areas such as institutional evolution, strategic change, leading diverse teams and conflict mediation, as well as learning advanced methodological and statistical skills.

Population health

Optimizing health requires a blending of both public health and health care delivery — a timely degree for a global public health crisis we never could have predicted. In the College of Health Solutions' new Bachelor of Science program in population health, students will learn how social determinants, access to care, decision-making, policy and infrastructure influence the health of defined groups, as well as the roles of various stakeholders and how to work across systems to improve health.

Popular music

The popular music concentration within the Bachelor of Arts degree in music in the School of Music is for those interested in becoming singers, songwriters, laptop performers or composers, producers, engineers, or entrepreneurs in the entertainment world.

Project management

Leadership and project management are vital skills in today's job market. The College of Integrative Sciences and Arts' BAS program in project management offers a skill-driven curriculum to prepare students to be excellent project managers and project management leaders. Students acquire the skills necessary to manage complex projects and learn to integrate leadership theory and practice in organizational leadership courses. (This degree is also available through ASU Online.)

Special education – visual impairment

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College's bachelor's degree in special education – visual impairment prepares graduates to work with blind and partially sighted students across educational settings. Candidates are taught to work collaboratively with parents, classroom teachers and related service personnel to meet the unique needs of students with visual impairments. The program leads to dual certification in visual impairment (birth–grade 12) and mild-moderate special education (K–12).


The graduate certificate in sustainability from the School of Sustainability is designed to be the first introduction to sustainability research for a nondegree graduate student or allow a currently enrolled student to add a sustainability dimension to their existing degree plan. The certificate requires 15 credit hours and is available on multiple campuses and through ASU Online. 

Technological leadership

ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative has announced its first degree program, the Bachelor of Science in technological leadership, a scalable three-year program where students learn complex problem-solving, critical thinking and leadership through an interdisciplinary blend of classroom learning and research. (This degree is also available through ASU Online.)

Writing, rhetorics and literacies

The Department of English's new minor in writing, rhetorics and literacies teaches students strategies for inquiry. Students study the ways in which communication has, does and will create knowledge and action, and how communication is constructed, circulated, reacted to, and repurposed through time and place.

ASU Online

Aging and health

The Master of Science in aging and health teaches students about the multidimensional aging process and how to address the complex needs of older adults. Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation students learn to work with other professionals and obtain a certificate of completion in interprofessional collaboration. 

Astronomical and planetary sciences

Through ASU Online, the School of Earth and Space Exploration is offering a new bachelor’s degree in astronomical and planetary sciences, 100% online. In this program, students can explore planets, solar systems and galaxies, preparing them for careers in science policy, journalism or K-12 teaching in STEM fields.


Students in the School of Molecular Sciences' online biochemistry degree programs take formal lecture-style courses online but also get critical hands-on skills through in-person laboratory courses. New to ASU Online are the Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry program and the Bachelor of Science in biochemistry with a focus on medicinal chemistry, which covers the fundamentals of organic chemistry in the context of drug discovery and development. 

Biological sciences

The School of Life Sciences has launched three new concentrations through ASU Online, as well as a minor.

  • The bachelor's degree in biological sciences – biomedical sciences will prepare students for careers in medicine and biomedical research. They will gain in-depth knowledge of human biology, including genetics, anatomy, physiology and behavior, while completing the coursework necessary for applying to medical school.
  • Learn to navigate the complexities of how biology and society intertwine. The bachelor's degree in biological sciences – biology and society explores how society shapes science and how science shapes human behavior and our place in the environment.
  • For students concerned about environmental challenges such as climate change and habitat destruction, the bachelor's degree in biological sciences – conservation biology and ecology will prepare them to understand and potentially find solutions to complex environmental threats.
  • The minor in biological sciences can open up the secrets of the living world in ways that satisfy students' desire to know more while complementing their major in surprising ways.

Early childhood studies

The bachelor's degree in applied science – early childhood studies through Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is intended for students working in early childhood settings, focusing on birth through age 5, who do not need initial teacher certification issued through a state department of education. The program prepares students with skills in child development, setting appropriate learning goals and more.

Education — various master's degree concentrations

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College has expanded its online offerings with the following:

  • The master's degree in education is designed for professionals interested in learning about education or whose work intersects with education. It prepares students to work with children, youth and adults in formal or informal learning environments in nonprofit settings, community institutions, civic organizations and businesses. This flexible graduate program can be completed in as few as 16 months.
  • Graduates from the master's degree in education – literacy education program are leaders in literacy in a broad array of educational contexts — wherever reading, writing, oral language and the visual arts are at play. Graduates learn how to support inclusive educational practices, critical-thinking skills and multiliteracies to face the challenges of a diverse and global society.
  • The master's degree in education – educating multilingual learners program prepares students to educate bilingual and multilingual learners in a variety of settings, including pre-K–12 schools, colleges and organizations serving linguistically diverse populations. Students of this program gain skills and knowledge in language and literacy development, pedagogy, culture and context, and in advocacy for multilingual learners.

Educational studies

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College's bachelor’s degree in educational studies prepares students to work with children, youth and adults in several environments, such as nonprofits, community institutions, civic organizations and businesses. Students also complete a three-course internship series wherein they put their knowledge and skills to practice in the field. 

Energy production and sustainable use

As new energy technologies are introduced for commercial use, they will create new jobs for American workers who will need to be trained in a variety of areas from renewable energy generation and storage to sustainable transportation. Enter the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy's Master of Science in modern energy production and sustainable use, in which the school will utilize its transdisciplinary expertise to provide graduate student training in fundamental science and engineering principles.

English language learning/teaching

ASU's Global Launch — a platform that provides academic preparation services, training in multilingual communication and professional skills development for students, teachers and professionals — has launched several new offerings for fall 2020.

  • The self-paced Teach English Now: 120-Hour Online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certification is for anyone with an interest in teaching English as a second or foreign language, with a focus on college-aged and adult learners. This course is especially beneficial for those with little background in TEFL.
  • The Full-Time Online Immersion English Language Program is developed for a wide range of learners at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels. In each level, all students will learn and improve upon the four core competencies of reading, writing, listening and speaking while experiencing American culture. This program is accepted as proof of English proficiency for admission to ASU undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
  • The Academic Persuasion Self-paced Online English Course is for students who wish to improve upon their English language skills in the characteristics of persuasion in academic writing, speaking and instruction. Learners will understand all aspects of persuasion and how best to organize summary and response compositions for a future career in academia as a student, researcher or lecturer.

Graphic design

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is expanding its bachelor's degree in graphic design to ASU Online. The program is focused on teaching how to visually communicate rather than teaching software. Students will learn visual literacy, critical thinking and storytelling skills that can be used in many design-related industries.

Homeland security

Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions' graduate certificate program in homeland security is focused on the topic as a field applicable to all levels of government (federal, state and local) and to positions in private-sector organizations with functions related to organizational security. Students can study topics related to current international and domestic terrorism issues, intelligence analysis, cybersecurity issues and crime prevention.

Nursing and food safety

The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation has expanded two of its master's degree programs to online: the Master of Science in nursing and the Master of Science in nursing (nursing education). Additionally, it has launched the all-new online Master of Science in regulatory science (food safety), which focuses on the regulations to ensure the safety of food products, including the production, manufacturing, processing and handling of food and food products and sale to consumers.

Political psychology

The Department of Psychology and the School of Politics and Global Studies have joined forces to better equip students for the modern political environment with the new online master’s degree in political psychology. Political psychology focuses on decision-making and the psychological factors behind politics, such as group dynamics, conflict, leadership and understanding beliefs and motivation. 

Public interest technology

The School for the Future of Innovation in Society is launching the Master of Science in public interest technology. The online, cross-disciplinary program will help students develop the knowledge and skills that will allow them to understand the motivations for and challenges of public interest technology, assess new and emerging technologies for social impact, engage with users and deploy technologies responsibly.

Sports business

For the sports enthusiast, the online bachelor’s degree in sports business prepares students for evolving careers in the domain of sports. The program resides in the top-ranked W. P. Carey School of Business and focuses on sports business with analytics, consumer behavior and design principles embedded into the curriculum.

Sustainable food systems

Students enrolled in the School of Sustainability's online Master of Science in sustainable food systems examine policies and practices related to sustainability, food trends, public policy and agricultural innovation in the United States. Graduates will be prepared to create policy initiatives that will drive the future of food policy and production. 

MORE: Browse the full list of recently launched ASU Online programs.

Top photo: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 30, 2020. The Perseverance rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. Read about Mastcam-Z, the camera system on the new Mars Perseverance rover created by principal investigator and ASU scientist Jim Bell's team. Photo by Joel Kowsky/NASA

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