University News Service
    P.O. Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone (336) 334-5371
Fax (336) 334-3418
(Posted 2-17-03)
Contact: Steve Gilliam, 336-334-5371

UNCG Establishing New Ph.D. Studies in Economics,
Geography, Information Systems and History

GREENSBORO – New doctoral degree programs in information systems (IS), economics, geography and history are being established at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

UNCG was authorized to offer the new Ph.D. degree at the Feb. 14 meeting of the UNC Board of Governors. The IS program joins three other new doctorates - in economics, geography and history - that have been approved since May 2002 by the Board of Governors.  The IS program will be phased in immediately and
will admit its first students for fall semester 2003. After the necessary curriculum and resource development, the other three new programs will accept their first students for fall 2004. The Ph.D. degrees in economics and geography were approved in November and history was approved last May.

“These new doctorates are an exciting development in graduate studies and they come at an exciting time for UNCG,” said Chancellor Patricia A. Sullivan. “The need for these programs has been well-documented and they will allow us to build on established master’s degrees in three of the University’s strongest departments.

 “The programs are in keeping with our goal of becoming the Triad’s public research university by the end of the decade. The research that will be generated will further position the University in its role as an engine for economic development and social capital development in the region.”

UNCG has not had such a large startup of new doctoral studies since the 1960s and 1970s, when many of its programs were established. The first Ph.D. was awarded by the School of Human Environmental Sciences (then named the School of Home Economics) in 1963, a pivotal year in UNCG’s development. That year, Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina became The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with an expanded educational mission that included extensive development of graduate programs and coeducation for male students.

Provost Edward Uprichard said planning for the degrees has been closely tied to the UNCG Plan 1998-2003, a document that charts future developments in the university’s teaching, research and service missions. Three of the new doctorates, IS, economics and geography, are more applied in nature and do not educate graduate students strictly for academic careers.

“Given the graduate programs we have now and where the university plans to go in the future, we will be developing new master’s and Ph.D. programs based on our strengths across the university,” Uprichard said. “Our graduate programs, which will include a broad array of doctoral programs, will play an important part in UNCG’s expanding research agenda. In doing so, the campus moves forward in strengthening economic, social and cultural developments in the Triad and beyond.”

Dr. James Petersen, dean of the UNCG Graduate School, said the doctorates were logical extensions of successful master’s programs already in place. Establishment of the degrees addresses a documented need for doctoral graduates who are not headed for academic careers, but for business, government agencies and other areas.

“There has been increased recognition nationally that universities need to offer a better balance of doctoral programs,” said Petersen. “Most doctoral programs prepare people to become faculty at research institutions. We will continue to do that but these new degrees recognize that we need Ph.D.s in industry, (graduates) who can go into all kinds of settings. They are more applied in their areas of focus.”

The focus of the new doctorates will be:

UNCG offers three doctoral degrees – Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) – in 14 academic areas, so the new Ph.D.s will raise the number to 18. The university’s last new doctoral program was the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, established in 1984 in the School of Music.  As of May 2002, a total of 2,029 doctorates have been awarded at UNCG since the first was earned in 1963. The number of doctoral students has grown by 19 percent since 1996 – when 402 were enrolled – to this fall’s 477 total.

Petersen is especially excited about the interplay of graduate study and research that will increase when the new programs go on line. The process will bring graduate students onto campus for long periods of time and they will have the opportunity to work directly with faculty members. He also believes that when the graduate programs are expanded, the undergraduate experience will grow, as well.

“We’re hoping for even more undergraduates to be involved in research,” Petersen said. “Students’ lives are sometimes transformed by hands-on work on a project. It captures their imagination much more than just reading about research.”

Uprichard said that the university is looking at presenting other doctoral degree proposals to the UNC system in the near future. “Universities are being asked to play a larger role in the economic, social and cultural development of their cities and regions, and this is one way we can accomplish this,” he said. “We feel that expanding our doctoral and research programs will help UNCG to play a more significant role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.”

Three (3) Doctoral Degrees Offered
Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Academic Areas
Counseling and Counselor Education (Ph.D.)
Counseling and Development (Ed.D)
Curriculum and Teaching (Ph.D.)
Economics (Ph.D. – Fall 2004)
Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation (Ph.D.)
English  (Ph.D.)
Exercise and Sport Science (Ph.D. or Ed.D.)
Geography (Ph.D. – Fall 2004)
History (Ph.D. – Fall 2004)
Human Development and Family Studies (Ph.D.)
Information Systems (Ph.D.)
Music Education (Ph.D.)
Music Performance (D.M.A.)
Music Theory Pedagogy (Ph.D. or D.M.A.)
Nutrition (Ph.D.)
Psychology (Ph.D.)
Textile Products Design and Marketing (Ph.D.)


Back to the Latest News Releases
Return to the University News Service Home Page