Winthrop Board of Trustees Approves Four New Degrees

March 16, 2020


  • The three new undergraduate degrees are: Bachelor of Arts in data science, Bachelor of Science in applied software development and Bachelor of Science in educational studies.
  • The board also voted to expand the Master of Arts in Teaching program (M.A.T.) in four areas (early childhood education, elementary education, middle-level education and special education).

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The Winthrop University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the creation of new undergraduate and graduate degrees at its March 13 meeting.

The three new undergraduate degrees are: Bachelor of Arts in data science, Bachelor of Science in applied software development and Bachelor of Science in educational studies. The board also voted to expand the Master of Arts in Teaching program (M.A.T.) in four areas (early childhood education, elementary education, middle-level education and special education).

Provost Adrienne McCormick said each of the offerings is timely and necessary to provide Winthrop students with degrees to fit the needs and demands of the current job market. Each degree will still need to be approved by the Commission on Higher Education before it can be offered.

The proposed Bachelor of Arts in data science will attract students with high quantitative reasoning skills who are interested in mathematics and computer science, and who want to solve data-driven problems in a variety of disciplines. There is currently only one undergraduate program in data science in either North Carolina or South Carolina.

The proposed Bachelor of Science in applied software development is targeted to students who have completed an associate’s degree in applied science in computer technology – a programming specialization degree from a South Carolina technical college.

Within the Richard W. Riley College of Education, administrators want to develop a Bachelor of Science in educational studies aimed at helping students who decide later in their academic career to pursue teacher certification in early childhood education, elementary education, middle-level education or special education.

The degree programs in those areas generally require at least three years to complete due to course sequencing. Students in the program would be able to elect the major as a junior (or a transfer student) and through the program complete the prerequisites to enter the M.A.T. program in their desired certification area, McCormick said. The program also would be available to students who decide in their senior year that they do not want to complete one of the certification programs. This program would allow students to complete a degree without teacher certification and enter the workforce.

In the College of Education’s M.A.T. offerings, Winthrop already offers specialization in several grades 7-12 and K-12 subject areas (biology, chemistry, English, French, social studies, Spanish, art, dance, music, theatre and physical education). College officials want to expand offerings to include early childhood education, elementary education, middle-level education and special education.  

Dean Jennie Rakestraw said Winthrop is currently authorized by the S.C. Department of Education to prepare students for initial certification in these areas through its undergraduate programs.  The addition of the M.A.T. to include these four new areas will provide additional options for students to become a licensed teacher in these fields.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or

Button ArrowALL NEWS