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Miami University's newest degrees and majors tap into industry expertise

Miami University's newest degrees and majors tap into industry expertise

digital game design students look into computers

Game design at Miami is highly ranked and a new major, games and simulation, is bringing more students to this growing area (image by Jeff Sabo).

Headline-making terms like cybersecurity, game design and urban development are prominent in Miami University’s newest majors and degrees.

Miami’s faculty work with employers and experts in industry as they develop programs that are relevant to today and tomorrow.

For instance, job opportunities in multimedia arts and animation are expected to increase 4% through 2029. Demand for higher-quality graphics, immersive gameplay, and creative storytelling in mobile and console games continues to rise, according to

Glenn Platt, chair of Miami’s new department of Emerging Technology in Business + Design, said interest in the new games and simulation degree was so strong they doubled the capacity of the incoming class to 50.

Miami has had a game design major or co-major for 12 years, and the academic year 2020-2021 was the first for the new bachelor’s degree program in games and simulation.

Platt said about 25-30% of students who apply are accepted into the competitive program. This speaks to the quality of Miami’s program, he said, because most of the top-ranked game design schools are on the West or East Coasts near the gaming industry. ranks Miami second in its list of the Top 49 Game Design Programs, selected from 236 programs offered by 206 colleges and universities.

Combining artistic practice with foundational skills in management

Miami also has approved a new arts management and entrepreneurship major and degree.

The bachelor's degree in arts management and entrepreneurship is "unlike any degree in the country," according to Todd Stuart, associate teaching professor and director of the arts management and entrepreneurship program. "The degree was developed because students wanted more depth in their studies in this innovative field that combines artistic practice with foundational skills in arts management, business, and creativity and innovation in the arts."

The degree builds on the success of the existing minors and co-major in the arts management and entrepreneurship program and the collaboration with the Farmer School of Business.   

Forward-thinking data point to high-achieving careers

Programs within Miami’s Farmer School of Business consistently rank high nationally. A new program major, Information and Cybersecurity Management, begins this fall.

“Security is as much of a people issue as it is a technical issue,” said John “Skip” Benamati, chair of the department of information systems and analytics.

There are numerous business issues surrounding managing risk, and Miami’s Information and Cyber Security major will focus on managerial strategy. Students in the major will learn the skills needed for creating secure corporate cultures, implementing security policies and practices, and managing responses when bad things do happen. 

In fact, recent statistics from and analysis by Burning Glass list risk management, threat intelligence, incident response, compliance and controls, data privacy, security strategy and governance among the skills employers are seeking. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for information security analysts will grow 31 percent looking at data over a ten-year period (2019-2029). This is a higher rate than most occupations, according to the Bureau.

Alumni connections key to program development

When creating new degrees, Miami also looks to alumni. Miami’s alumni were supportive in the development of a new real estate major. They will be an integral part in its implementation. 

The launch of the program within the Department of Finance is partially funded by a donation from Richard (’60) and Carol (’63) Puzzitiello. Real estate has previously been available as a minor at the Farmer School of Business, requiring a mix of finance, business legal studies, and geography classes. FSB also has hosted popular real estate forums each of the past two years and has a popular real estate club.

Capitalizing on Miami’s strengths, the department will expand its collaboration with the department of geography by tapping into its geographic information science program for mapping out urban development projects.

“The new Real Estate major will make it easier for Miami students to enter into the commercial real estate industry, whether in investing, development or operations,” said Joel Harper, chair of the department of finance.

Inaugural class of robotics engineers 

This fall we will see the inaugural class of students starting in Ohio's only four-year bachelor of science in Robotic Engineering degree, which encompasses industrial automation, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence. The degree is a highly interdisciplinary field synthesizing elements from electrical and computer engineering, computer science and software engineering, mechanical and manufacturing engineering, mathematics as well as other disciplines. Students can select one of three specialties within the major: Automation, Intelligent Systems, and General Robotics. The Automation specialty focuses on robotic applications in the manufacturing process. The Intelligent Systems specialty emphasizes the application of artificial intelligence and the design of autonomous systems. General Robotics provides students the flexibility in choosing courses of their interest from a set of courses related to Robotics Engineering.