Weather Forecast


UW-Stout looks to expand degree offerings

Game design and development, scientific and technical communications, and plastics engineering are some of the new degree programs the University of Wisconsin-Stout wants to add.

UW-Stout officials will present their request for 17 new bachelor's and master's degree programs to the UW-Board of Regents on Thursday.

"Currently UW-Stout has a relatively small number of undergraduate majors, and it is our goal to expand our program array in areas consistent with our mission and our polytechnic designation," said Julie Furst-Bowe, UW-Stout provost.

If approved the programs would be implemented over seven to 10 years.

Other new programs would include undergraduate degrees in cognitive science, property management, computer engineering, supply chain management, professional studies, science education and applied social science.

Additional graduate programs would include fine arts, food packaging, gerontology and construction management.

A complete list of programs is available on the university's Web site at

"We always look to local needs," said Doug Mell, UW-Stout spokesman.

"It's pretty obvious that in this neck of the woods that plastics and computer engineering are in high demand," Mell said.

He added that the plastics engineer program will benefit plastics companies in both the Chippewa and St. Croix valleys.

The new degrees are all part of the university's major academic plan which will also be unveiled on Thursday.

"The academic plan is an excellent example of a progressive, forward-looking design, organized around the polytechnic model," said Charles W. Sorensen, UW-Stout chancellor.

School officials point out that UW-Stout currently offers just 30 undergraduate degrees, the lowest of all comprehensive universities in the UW-System.

School officials say they are finalizing the plans for the new undergraduate plastics engineering and computer engineering degrees.

They hope to get approval from the board of regents so that the programs can be offered this fall.

Furst-Bowe says the new academic plan will aid students because it will help them get jobs in engineering, teaching and social sciences.

""Ideas for these programs came from faculty groups working with area professionals to meet needs in high-demand employment areas," Furst-Bowe said.

The advisory committees for the new programs include Wisconsin employers, according to Mell.