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USC Launches Two New Bachelor of Arts Degrees

Innovative programming in the liberal arts

Photo credit Theo Jemison
Photo credit Theo Jemison

Beginning in fall 2009, USC College will offer admission to two innovative bachelor's degrees in narrative studies and human performance.

The Bachelor of Arts in narrative studies is for students interested in developing and evaluating original content from novels, films, theatre and other narrative platforms. Students will be prepared for professional opportunities that extend beyond the roles of author, screenwriter or playwright and include location managers, production designers, sound editors and even producers who need an understanding of narrative to succeed in their careers.

"This program teaches students how to recognize a good story - critique, shape, realize and transform it. This requires a background in the history of narrative, cross-cultural and contemporary models in addition to understanding the broader context of popular culture," said Richard Fliegel, associate dean for undergraduate programs in USC College.

The narrative studies degree examines the components of effective storytelling that can be adapted to current and developing media across literary and visual media. Fliegel added that the program is designed to prepare students for a future in which the platform for telling meaningful stories is likely to change.

Housed in the humanities, narrative studies will draw upon coursework from several schools of art within USC. Students in the program will work closely with a faculty member in a relevant discipline or professional field during the program's capstone directed research experience. Celebrated poet and professor of English David St. John will serve as the lead faculty member for narrative studies.

The Bachelor of Arts in human performance is designed for students with an interest in applied kinesiology. This degree option is intended for students planning to pursue careers in teaching, coaching, sports management, sports law, athletic training, sports communication, sports journalism and other sport-related professions. Human performance is also an ideal program for students interested in becoming sports agents.

"While this degree provides a rich scientific foundation in exercise physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, and nutrition, undergraduates pursuing a B.A. in human performance will concentrate their studies on the practical application of these disciplines within their personal field of interest, including business, journalism, law, and health sciences," Lorraine Turcotte, chair of kinesiology, said.

Additionally, this degree can easily be integrated with other disciplines of study within USC. For example, a student interested in sports management may combine a major in human performance with a minor in business. Similarly, a student interested in becoming a sports journalist could double major in kinesiology and journalism.

"There is a vast and diverse amount of expertise in the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.  These new programs reflect our commitment to adapting this expertise so that it responds to evolving student interests and provides our amazing undergraduates with ever-more meaningful and engaging academic opportunities," Dean Howard Gillman said.

These new programs complement the more than 60 majors and nearly 80 minors within USC College.


Read more articles from USC College Magazine's Spring/Summer 2009 issue.