Opportunities for the University of Michigan-Flint’s graduate students just got a little bigger.
The Board of Regents on Thursday approved two new graduate programs: a Master of Science in Engineering and a doctoral degree in occupational therapy.
The Master of Science in Engineering degree will be specifically in mechanical engineering, offering students a career path in the growing fields of consumer products, manufacturing, transportation systems, security systems, defense systems, aerospace, sports, and biomedical systems, among others.
“It’s based on the market demand and the students’ needs,” said Quamrul Mazumder, associate chair of engineering about the program.
The degree is expected to be attractive to out-of-state and international students as well as UM-Flint’s current undergraduate mechanical engineering students who previously might have left to go to other universities to pursue a master’s degree.
The College of Arts and Science’s current undergraduate enrollment in mechanical engineering is one of the fastest growing undergraduate programs at UM-Flint. The program will be available starting in fall of 2016.
The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program is designed to increase professional level health care degree program offerings at the UM-Flint and to prepare entry-level occupational therapists to enter the field of occupational therapy.
Donna Fry, professor of physical therapy and interim dean of the School of Health Professions and Studies, said the program would be a good complement to the existing Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Students will have more professional options, she said, while faculty will have the opportunity to do more collaborative research and teaching. Those options for students will come at an apt time, she said, as the demand for occupational therapists — who help everyone from children to geriatric patients function in school, the workplace, at home or just out in society, learn to function with physical or psychological disabilities. The program could begin as early as fall 2017.