Incoming undeclared students may be in luck as UCF is in the process of adding 15 more degree programs to its growing selection of more than 211 degrees throughout the next two to three years.

According to the UCF Work Plan for 2015, these new degree programs include four bachelor's degrees, six master's degrees and five doctoral degrees, and are heading toward the UCF Board of Trustees for potential inclusion in UCF's degree catalog.

Richard Stevens, assistant vice chancellor of the Florida Board of Governors, said that it's not until the degree program proposal gets the final approval from the UCF BOT or, for doctoral programs, the Florida Board of Governors, that UCF will make the degrees available for students to enroll.

"The actual date of implementation will vary significantly based upon how many resources are in place, the window for recruiting faculty and students and other factors," Stevens said.

Of the new programs, a bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering are also in development, which spells out exciting news for students such as Adam Alexander, a senior biomedical science and mechanical engineering major.

"I am thrilled for UCF to offer these degrees to students," he said. "Now that a specific program is under construction, I can look forward to pursuing graduate school at UCF in biomedical engineering."

As president of the Biomedical Engineering Society at UCF, Alexander said the student interest in a biomedical engineering program is exponentially growing.

Diane Chase, vice provost of academic affairs, said some of the main requirements for the approval of a degree program at UCF are for a degree portal to demonstrate the student demand and industry need.

An official proposal for a new academic degree program has to first survive a bureaucratic process of planning, drafting and revision before it reaches the eyes of the UCF BOT to either reject or approve the proposal.

"Proposals are brought forward by the colleges and are developed by the faculty. They must demonstrate demand and need. They may use surveys and national or regional data," Chase said.

Some degree proposals will be submitted for final review before the end of this year, including the bachelor's degrees in materials science and engineering and integrative science and technology.

Other degrees will have to wait until 2016, 2017 or 2018.


Gabby Baquero is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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