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Intellect

BYU announces new majors, classes, department for Fall 2019

Brigham Young University has created two new majors, one new department and several new classes available to its students starting Fall Semester 2019.

New programs and emphases are created on an as-needed basis when a department or college can demonstrate that students will benefit from a new focused course of study. Students interested in switching majors can learn more by speaking with their college advisement center.

New Degree Options

Major: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Data Science
Department: Computer Science
College: Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Data science is one of the fastest-growing job areas in the world, because the amount of data used by the tech industry and academia has skyrocketed; 90% of the world's data was created in the last two years.

But it is impossible for humans to sort through these mountains of data, so the computer science industry is increasingly turning to the tools of data science and machine learning to make data better serve its needs.

"In the new emphasis, students will learn how to focus on the mathematical fundamentals that describe patterns, uncertainty and knowledge representations, while also sharpening computational thinking and the programming know-how needed to turn ideas into reality," said BYU computer science professor Tony Martinez. "Students who fulfill the degree will be well positioned to increase their skills in graduate school or to enter the industry in an area with tremendous demand and growth."

Student consults data on a computer screen
BYU Computer Science emphasis in data science

Major: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Software Engineering
Department: Computer Science
College: Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Software engineers are among the most highly paid and highly sought-after employees in today's workforce, according to BYU computer science professor Ken Rodham. Although a computer science degree has historically provided excellent preparation for a career in software engineering, as the industry expands and diversifies, the computer science department wanted to create an emphasis that allowed students to focus more deeply on aspects of computer science that are most relevant to practicing software engineers.

This new emphasis will build on the core computer science degree, adding deeper exposure to and application of principles, tools and practices that will help students contribute to and manage large software projects.

"Students who complete the software engineering emphasis will be well-prepared to become leaders in software development organizations," Rodham said. "Graduates can expect to be in high-demand, to have fulfilling careers working on intellectually-engaging projects and to be very well compensated."

New Department

2013-February_Manufacturing_Michael Miles lab (134).jpg
BYU Manufacturing Engineering

The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering has created a new manufacturing engineering department; it will now house the manufacturing engineering major, which had previously been known as the manufacturing engineering technology program.

Manufacturing engineers use cutting edge technology to transform materials into products that directly impact the efficiency and performance of products in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, food processing, medical and military sectors. According to senior Dane Sargeant, this program allows students to become a “swiss army knife” in the engineering industry.

"Students who have graduated from the manufacturing engineering technology program have been attractive hires for many companies," said Vincent Wilding, associate dean in the College of Engineering. "To help our students be even better prepared for careers in this increasingly sophisticated and automated field, we needed to increase the rigor and depth of their education. We anticipate that this new degree will attract a growing number of students and that graduates of the program will be highly valued by top employers in the field."

New Course Selections

The Student Activity Classes (STAC) are now listed under Student Wellness (SWELL) and there are four new classes for Fall Semester 2019: indoor rock climbing, barre, meditation and pickleball.

Listed as SWELL 101R in BYU's registration catalog, these new classes will be taught on an as-needed basis to include activities not usually taught by Student Wellness, and class offerings may vary each semester, e.g. Winter Semester 2020 will include an ultimate frisbee course.

Additional Adjustments

  • Family history classes, which have been housed in religious education, are now located in the history department. The course curriculum is the same and will still fulfill the religion elective credit, but will now be listed under HIST rather than REL C.
  • The news media emphasis in the school of communications is now the journalism emphasis.
  • The localization minor has been renamed "translation and localization," and is now managed by the Center for Language Studies in the College of Humanities.
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