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Exciting new degree programs await ASU students for fall 2021

University offers new pathways for students who want to be neuroscientists, film executives, veterinarians and more

Students sit on the grass near Palm Walk and look at a cellphone
August 18, 2021

Incoming Sun Devils have more than 800 fully accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs to choose from — plus 275 available minors and certificates — and this fall they have more choices than ever to customize their educational journeys. 

From global health to digital media literacy to human resources, students will gain the knowledge and experience to thrive in a wealth of future careers. Here are some of the new options for fall 2021 at Arizona State University.

Immersion (on campus)

Community development

The challenge to take on the intersecting crises of our times — from the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate emergency to the struggle for social and racial justice — is at the core of a new bachelor’s degree program in community development designed to qualify graduates to meet a growing demand for interesting and important jobs in the field.


The brain is the most complex structure that exists in the body and is central to everything that makes us human. Neuroscience, or the study of the nervous system and nerve cells (neurons), allows us to conduct interdisciplinary research on many of those key questions, along with investigating phenomena like perception, learning and memory, behavior, addiction, and mental illness. The ASU Department of Psychology is launching a new on-ground and online Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience this fall, designed to train the next generation of neuroscientists.

woman wearing cap with electrical nodes

A psychology undergraduate sits in ASU's @HeartLab EEG. Photo by Robert Ewing

Business analytics

ASU’s plans for its new ASU California Center in downtown Los Angeles took another step forward with the announcement that the W. P. Carey School of Business will be launching its highly ranked Master of Science in business analytics in California for the fall 2021 semester. The W. P. Carey School created the MS-BA in 2013, in response to demand for an intensive data analytics master’s degree from industry partners.

Global management and engineering

As the engineering landscape evolves, the benefits of a transdisciplinary education ring especially true for engineering graduates as they enter the workforce. A new academic program strategically combining a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in global management provides just that. It offers the core of both curricula wrapped into one accelerated program that prepares students with a toolkit that the future of engineering demands.

Human resources and employment law

ASU Law added a fifth program to its degree offerings this year with a new Master of Human Resources and Employment Law degree, with over 30 students enrolled in the program as the inaugural class. The Society of Human Resources Management, a premier HR professional organization with more than 300,000 members nationwide and globally, has recognized ASU Law as the first law school whose HR and employment law curriculum is fully aligned with the society's curriculum guidelines.

Education sciences

Experts skilled in quantitative research are needed to analyze and understand what works in education. The new MS in education sciences program prepares students to conduct and use research to address issues in education policy and practice, preparing them for roles as research and data analysts, data scientists, educational administrators working in research centers, school districts, state or federal agencies and more.

Film and media studies

The Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies — both online and immersion — has an updated core course that reflects contemporary media trends. Designed by film and media studies faculty Sarah Florini, Lisa Han and Jeffrey Holmes, FMS 351: Emerging Digital Media guides students through the ever-changing landscape of entertainment and social technologies.

Health sciences

The College of Health Solutions offers the Bachelor of Science program in health sciences with a concentration in healthy lifestyles coaching that will prepare students to move directly into a variety of jobs in health and wellness. Students will gain fundamental knowledge on nutrition, fitness, stress management and substance abuse prevention. The health science and science of health care delivery undergraduate degrees will also be made available as part of a 4+1 degree with the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Medical studies

The medical studies program from the College of Health Solutions allows students to complete the prerequisites for medical and professional schools such as medicine, pharmacy, optometry and occupational therapy. They'll also get the tools they need to be ready for the MCAT exam.

Sustainable food systems

Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable food systems is being offered as a collaboration of the School of Sustainability, the College of Health Solutions and the Morrison School of Agribusiness. Students will use a holistic systems approach to discover the complex connections between food, policy, economic opportunity, natural resources and social equity.

Strength and conditioning

From the College of Health Solutions, the Master of Science in strength and conditioning program focuses on knowledge of human physiology and movement mechanics to optimize the physical abilities of active groups, including athletic and tactical populations, and to prevent injury-related problems.

student running on treadmill

An ASU student runs on a treadmill at the Tempe campus Sun Devil Fitness Complex. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Global affairs and management: Creative industries

The unique graduate degree program will begin in the 2021 fall semester in downtown Los Angeles at the ASU California Center in the historic Herald Examiner building. The Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management in the Creative Industries is designed for learners interested in pursuing global leadership and management careers in entertainment, film/television/new media, music, VR/XR/MR, gaming, design, dance, fashion, theater, sports, themed entertainment and the arts.

Crime analysis

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions will offer the Master of Science program in crime analysis, which focuses on crime analysis as a field, applicable to all levels of government (federal, state, local) and to positions in private sector organizations with functional and operational activities related to crime analysis.

Population health

Students earning their PhD in the population health program with the College of Health Solutions will address the interaction between health systems and other sectors of society, including the private sector, government, nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations, media and academia.

ASU Online

Global health

Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change has launched a new master’s degree to give students an international and interdisciplinary perspective on human health. The Master of Science in global health, offered through ASU Online, provides graduate-level training for careers in government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private-sector companies and research teams.

Elementary education

Students aspiring to start a career educating children in grades K–8 have more options to earn a degree. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College now offers an Master of Education in elementary education in two virtual formats. Students who want to become licensed to teach grades K–8 can pursue the MEd Elementary Education (teacher certification) program. It’s now offered online through both synchronous and asynchronous remote instruction.

Secondary education

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College now offers a Master of Education in secondary education degree for students who want to start a career teaching grades six through 12. The degree, available in two virtual formats, prepares students for careers as noncertified educators in charter schools, private schools or nonschool settings. The MEd Secondary Education (teacher certification) program, designed for students who want to become licensed to teach grades six through 12, is now also available online, in two formats.

Special education

In just three semesters, students can earn a Master of Education in special education, a new degree launched by Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College this fall. It prepares students for a career teaching mild- to moderate-disabilities special education in grades K–12 and is available in two remote formats. It does not lead to certification. Students wishing to become licensed can now pursue the MEd Special Education (teacher certification) online. It’s available in two remote formats and designed for students who want to become licensed to teach special education. It’s also ideal for students who want to pursue dual-certification in special education and elementary education.


With skyrocketing addiction brought on by the pandemic comes a dire need for counseling. Aiming to fill the gap, an undergraduate program in psychological counseling, risky substance use and addiction at ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts is going online for the first time in August.

Digital media literacy

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is offering a new online degree program for future students — a Bachelor of Arts in digital media literacy. The immersive program, offered entirely online, is the only undergraduate digital literacy degree offered in the country. It is focused on how to combat the spread of misinformation and disinformation through critical thinking, global awareness and ethical decision-making in the context of digital media.

man looking at a website on a computer

ASU's new online degree program in media literacy focuses on how to combat the spread of misinformation. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASUNow


More pets means more trips to the veterinarian. And thus a need for more vets. ASU is rising to that challenge with a timely introduction of an online offering of its pre-veterinary program, preparing undergrads for vet school.

International affairs and leadership

To assist with navigating complex challenges while forging leaders in the international affairs realm, ASU’s newly launched Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab partnered in the creation of the School of Politics and Global Studies’ unique online Master of Arts in international affairs and leadership.

Justice studies

The Bachelor of Arts in justice studies through ASU's School of Social Transformation gives students an in-depth look at the evolving nature of justice from multiple academic perspectives. For years, it has been available to pursue on campus, but now it is also available through ASU Online.


The online Bachelor of Arts in English degree has been retooled so students can make more efficient progress toward completion. The restructuring includes a slimmed-down credit requirement (from 45 to 36) and what English’s Associate Director of Academic Services Linda Sullivan calls “a robust core of classes that runs the gamut from literature to rhetoric and from writing to research.”


Communication is a highly sought-after career skill. The ability to communicate verbally and in writing with people inside and outside an organization is prized in all job markets. The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication is offering a new online degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in communication. This popular degree has been available to campus students and is now available through ASU Online.

Data science

The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences program, which launched for on-campus students in fall 2020, is now available through ASU Online. It helps students develop a core set of skills in data analysis that are currently in high demand in industry and would make excellent preparation for further study in any discipline where data plays a prominent role, such as medicine, law or economics.

professor in front of white board

Students can combine their passions for mathematics, computer science and data analysis with a data science online degree.


Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

The Watts College is expanding its learning options this fall with a Graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis, an undergraduate concentration in policing and a Juvenile Justice Certificate.

Thunderbird School of Global Management

To prepare leaders for their roles in global affairs, Thunderbird has five new certificates available: Space Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Ethical Circular Economy, Hollywood Careers Bootcamps, Developing an Effective Global Leadership Style, and Smart Cities and Urban Innovation Excellence. 

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Inndustry giants like Intel are attracted to Arizona for several reasons, but key to their plans is the pipeline of technical talent emerging from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Even so, the semiconductor industry is developing rapidly, and equipping new engineers to succeed in such a dynamic environment is a challenge for any educational institution. Meeting that challenge is the purpose of a new Certificate in Semiconductor Processing program at the Fulton Schools.

College of Health Solutions

The College of Health Solutions has added the following nondegree and certificate programs to its lineup for fall 2021: Improving Health Outcomes for Pediatric Feeding Disorder, Certificate in Clinical Genetics for Health Professionals and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in Health Care (in partnership with the Fulton Schools of Engineering’s Office of Global Outreach and Extended Education).

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College now offers an online graduate certificate leading to teacher certification, an option that requires fewer credits and takes less time to complete than the options that also include a master’s degree. The graduate certificate (teacher certification) is designed for students who are teaching elementary education or secondary education on an Arizona Alternative Teaching Certificate (or equivalent in other states).

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