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ASU's New College adds 2 master's degrees

ASU students
November 18, 2014

Two new master’s degrees – one in a traditional field, and another that reflects changes to social interaction brought about by new technologies – have joined the academic programs offered by the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. New College is the core college on ASU’s West campus.

The master's degrees are in social technologies and English. Both offer evening classes and may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Students may begin either program in the fall or spring semester.

The Master of Arts in Social Technologies (MAST) is designed for students who wish to understand how new technologies relate to social and organizational change, and to apply that understanding to help organizations and communities advance their interests.

Focused on the increasing prominence of social technologies in nearly every facet of contemporary life, the Master of Arts in Social Technologies degree is anchored in social, behavioral, cultural and design approaches to this new reality. Students will leave the program with a thorough grounding in social theory and research methods, applied to the social uses of interactive environments, networked technologies and mobile computing.

“Faculty members associated with our groundbreaking MAST degree are leading experts in globalization, surveillance, social networking, online activism, computer gaming, networked learning, collective behavior, social media and social change, cultural theory and technology, sport and social media, and the political economy of media,” said Patrick Bixby, New College’s director of graduate studies.

“MAST graduates will be well-prepared for doctoral work in social technologies, as well as careers in social media, community management, distance collaboration and professions that use communication technologies to interact with clients, interest groups and the general public,” Bixby added. “Working closely with faculty, students select their coursework and develop a final project appropriate to their educational and vocational goals.”

The master's in English is a comprehensive degree program for students who desire a multifaceted understanding of the English language, including its literatures; linguistic, social and cultural histories; and capacities for persuasion, exposition and elucidation.

“The English degree’s curriculum provides not only effective preparation for students planning careers in education, but also extensive training in writing, research and textual analysis for students pursuing one of the many professions that value creativity, critical thinking and skillful communication,” said Bixby, an associate professor of English in New College whose varied research interests include Irish studies, British modernism and postcolonial theory and criticism.

The master’s in English culminates with a capstone project. This project may take the form of an academic paper, recommended for students who intend to pursue doctoral study or professional research and writing, or an applied project that is recommended for students who intend to pursue careers in secondary education, publishing, advertising or digital media.

“The capstone primes our graduates for critical and eloquent engagement with the world beyond the university,” Bixby said.

“The addition of these master’s degrees represents the collaborative efforts of talented, dedicated faculty across multiple disciplines within New College,” said Marlene Tromp, the college’s dean. “Both programs encourage dialogue among fields and offer a strong theoretical foundation coupled with the flexibility for students to collaborate with faculty in designing a program of study that matches their interests and goals.”

In addition to dozens of bachelor’s degrees, New College also offers master’s degrees in communication studies, interdisciplinary studies, psychology, and social justice and human rights.

For more information about any of these master’s degrees, visit or contact Arthur Morales, admissions specialist, at or 602-543-6295.