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New Degree Programs Meet COVID-19 Crisis Needs and Prepare Students to Reinvent the Future

April 3, 2020

New York Institute of Technology’s exciting new degree programs are poised to train the next generation of talent to solve global challenges in health, wellness, computing, and engineering and to meet current COVID-19 crisis needs. The university’s new academic offerings, which will prepare students to enter some of today’s fastest-growing occupations, include:

“These degrees not only contribute to our continued goal of offering in-demand programs to a talented, dynamic, and diverse student body, but they also underscore our commitment to providing the expertise needed to boost and sustain tomorrow’s workforce needs,” said Junius Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A., provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Students accepted into the OTD degree program will begin their studies as soon as May 2020; students accepted into the Ph.D. in computer science program will begin in the fall, as will students in the three new undergraduate degree programs. Currently, the university is recruiting students for all of these programs, which join a roster of more than 90 degree offerings in in-demand disciplines ranging from computer, cyber and data science, architecture, and engineering, to biology, biotech, pre-med, nursing, business, UX/UI, digital design, and health and medical sciences, among others.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

As the job outlook for occupational therapists is expected to grow exponentially in the coming months and years, the NYIT School of Health Professions OTD program will equip future healers to deliver care in a variety of clinical settings, including in-person and telehealth modalities. The program emphasizes research, evidence-based practice, leadership, program and policy development, and advocacy. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the occupational therapist national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy.

“Occupational therapy plays an integral role in the rehabilitation process, allowing patients affected by injury, surgery, cognitive challenges, and other circumstances to perform necessary daily activities,” said Jerry Balentine, D.O., vice president of health sciences and medical affairs. “The education and training provided by the OTD degree program will prepare occupational therapists to offer the utmost support and expertise required to not only improve their patients’ everyday functions but also help transform their overall quality of life.”

Applied and Computational Mathematics, B.S.

Even before the new needs for data science and increased computing power called for by the COVID-19 crisis, mathematicians ranked third on the list of U.S. News and World Report 2019 Best Business Jobs. The B.S. in Applied and Computational Mathematics, offered by NYIT College of Arts and Sciences, will provide a rich mix of applied and computational mathematics courses and prepare students for myriad careers in industries ranging from health to engineering to data science, as well as advanced graduate work. A unique, contemporary, and technology-infused selection of courses integrating computational methods, mathematical models, simulations, visualization, and data science, will also prepare graduates to communicate clearly and effectively to diverse audiences, especially those with little to no mathematical knowledge.

“In our world today, where computational resources and data are increasingly accessible, employers in all areas are looking for people with a modern mathematical skillset. This new Applied and Computational Mathematics program will prepare our students for careers where they can create innovative computing solutions and informative mathematical models to solve problems in engineering, scientific and technical consulting, insurance, biotech and life sciences, artificial intelligence, data science, and other emerging fields,” noted Daniel Quigley, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Construction Engineering, B.S.

NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences’ new B.S. in Construction Engineering is the only degree program of its kind offered in the New York tri-state area. Graduates will be equipped to apply skills in building much-needed health-related and other infrastructure, such as highways, bridges, ports, tunnels, dams, power plants, rails, and underground utilities. The program provides a strong fundamental knowledge of engineering design and management principles, as students learn design theory and practices to produce solutions that support public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors. Career paths for graduates include civil engineering as well as construction engineering and management.

“The construction engineering program provides students with the fundamental principles of engineering and emerging technologies for the planning, design, and management of the construction processes. This program is the integration of traditional civil engineering and construction management,” said Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences. 

Exercise Science, B.S.

The need for trained exercise science professionals is expected to rise as exercise becomes an increased form of preventative care. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those who are physically active for about 150 minutes a week have a 33 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who are physically inactive. Offered through the School of Health Professions, the B.S. in Exercise Science curriculum includes courses in kinesiology, aerobic conditioning, movement analysis, and survey of athletic injuries. Graduates are not only prepared to enter entry-level jobs within the exercise and fitness industry, but are also prepared to take additional certifications and consider graduate programs in exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medicine.

“The new Exercise Science major attracts physically active individuals who want to be on the forefront of health care within the highly technical exercise domain,” said Gordon Schmidt, Ph.D., FACSM, dean of the School of Health Professions. “The study of exercise science, human movement, and kinesiology prepares students for careers in the fields of fitness, personal training, sports performance, and many other disciplines, including graduate studies in areas such as physical therapy.”

Computer Science, Ph.D.

The new Ph.D. in Computer Science, offered through the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, will offer students an advanced research-oriented education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13 percent nationwide increase in computer and information technology jobs by 2026. This new program aims to fill the region’s demand for highly trained scientists, researchers, and computer science professionals. Students will prepare for research careers, allowing them to serve as leaders in academia, R&D, industry, and government labs and entities. 

Added Beheshti, “This Ph.D. is designed to be rigorous and innovation-focused, to educate highly talented students in multiple emerging areas of computer science, including cybersecurity, data science, cloud computing, AI, and machine learning. The program will include several core fundamental theoretical courses, transformative research, and special topics that are intended to bridge the gap between high-technology products and their commercialization.”

Learn more about all of New York Tech’s innovative, future-focused degree offerings, and how they are challenging students to reinvent the future.