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Department Spotlight

New CAS Programs and Degrees Preparing Students for Workforce of Future

New CAS Programs and Degrees Preparing Students for Workforce of Future

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“Work has meaning and importance, for individuals and for society as a whole, that transcend the merely economic or financial. Work is a central human activity, critical to self-realization and social cohesion.”
     — MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Work of the Future Report

The world is transforming rapidly. What will the future of work look like?  

No one knows for sure, but the College of Arts and Sciences is looking over the horizon to offer innovative programs and degrees to prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing future. The new offerings cross disciplines and help students gain in-demand skills — from leadership and promoting justice, to digital literacy and translating STEM into policy, and more.  

Read on for just a few examples of innovative offerings from CAS. For more information about these and other programs, reach out to CAS Advising

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate Certificate in Science and Policy

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Pressing societal issues such as climate change, sustainability, arms control, healthcare and more require policy solutions based on sound science. Moreover, enlightened policies are necessary for the growth and regulation of the sciences.  

Now, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Public Affairs are pleased to announce the new Science and Policy Certificate for undergraduate students. This new program is designed to provide a selected cohort of STEM students with experience at the intersection of science and policy, under the mentorship of two faculty members: a science expert and a policy expert.  

“Individuals with expertise in science and policy are rare and are highly sought after in the job market,” says Professor of Chemistry Stefano Constanzi. “Possible employers include government agencies, international organizations, think tanks, the private sector and more.” 

For information and to apply, contact the program director, Professor Costanzi ( No prior knowledge of policy required!

CAS LEAD (Leadership and Ethical Development Program)

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The College of Arts and Sciences Leadership and Ethical Development Program (CAS LEAD) is a 12-credit, cohort based four-year certificate program that teaches students how to become effective and ethical leaders. Students work with a close-knit cohort in seminars and on community-based learning opportunities, learning how to lead in a productive and emotionally intelligent way. There is a special emphasis on promoting justice and confronting ethical challenges. 

"The study of ethical leadership is vitally important for all fields and career paths," says Nabina Liebow, director of the CAS LEAD program. “If you want to develop skills to help you advocate for a more just and equitable world, CAS LEAD is the program for you!" 

After a competitive application process, CAS students enter the program during their first or second semester at AU. Upon completion of the program, you will have earned a certificate in Leadership and Ethical Development. The CAS LEAD program can be added to all existing CAS majors and is structured to complement the AU Living/Learning Programs, AU Scholars, the Honors Program, study abroad, AUx, and internship opportunities.

Graduate Studies

Graduate Chemistry and Society Track

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Want to deepen your knowledge in chemistry and use it to tackle issues of broad societal interest? Are you interested in international affairs, security, business and entrepreneurship, communications, or justice and law? If so, the new Chemistry and Society track in the Chemistry MS can give you the expertise you need.  

The track offers core courses for a well-rounded background in the main chemistry subdisciplines, electives to delve more deeply into the subdisciplines of student interests, lab experience, a broad range of societal issues and social studies topics, and a Capstone to tie advanced chemistry concepts to issues of broad societal interest with an internship or independent study. 

“Chemistry is known as the Central Science because it is involved in so many aspects of life. An understanding of chemistry will help us address many matters of public concern, including environment, healthcare, safety, security, and advanced materials," says Douglas Fox, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. “In the new MS track, Chemistry & Society, students can explore these interconnections and their importance in policy, business, science communication, national security, and more.” 

For more information, email Professor Costanzi at

MS in Statistics + Graduate Certificate in Data Science

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For students looking to launch data-driven careers across business and industry, health and medicine, government and law, or policy and advocacy, AU offers an innovative combination MS degree in Statistics + Graduate Certificate in Data Science.  

While students work toward a Master of Science degree in Statistics, they can simultaneously earn a graduate certificate in Data Science. When they graduate, they are uniquely prepared for leadership roles in the development, research, and analysis of quantitative tools to turn ideas into intelligent, informed actions.  

No matter the industry, every organization must be in the data business, and Statistics and Data Science specialists are highly in demand across fields. According to US News and World Report, Information Security Analyst is the number one Best Career of 2022. Data Scientist comes in at sixth best career, and Statistician comes in at eighth.  

“With Statistician being a top business job, and Data Scientist a top technology job, the combined training in Statistics and Data Science opens unique opportunities across diverse fields,” says Michael Baron, professor and chair of AU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “There is a growing demand for advanced professionals in these fields, according to a recent Hanover Research report. Having built the Data Science core within their MS degree study plan in Statistics, our graduates become such professionals.”   

For more information, visit the website of AU’s Math and Statistics Department or contact Statistics Program Director Jun Lu at

MA Literature, Culture, and Technology

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The Master of Arts in Literature, Culture, and Technology teaches how the deep study of literature, culture, and ideas interfaces with the increasingly digital professional world. Students develop the intellectual, emotional, technical, and social aptitudes necessary in the twenty-first century workplace in seminars that emphasize the careful analysis of texts and theories.

Students graduate with a personalized portfolio and a command of tools and methods drawn from the fields of literary studies, media and cultural studies, writing studies, computer science, data science, and game design.

Alumni Gabe Bullard, one of the first graduates of the program is a journalist and audio producer working at Here & Now, a live production of NPR and WBUR Boston. He says that his Literature, Culture, and Technology classes at AU made his thinking and writing stronger and clearer. “Literature, culture, and technology covers a wide swath of topics, and the program has changed how I think about everything from novels to the electronic devices I use every day.”