Skip to main

Board of Trustees Approves Six New Graduate Degree Programs

The Duke University Board of Trustees approved six new graduate degree programs that will be offered beginning in 2014.

The new master’s degrees are in bioethics and science policy; historical and cultural visualization; medical physics; statistical science; and economics and computation. The board also approved a new Ph.D. program in biostatistics.

The medical physics degree is the third graduate degree approved for Duke Kunshan, joining master’s degrees in global health and in management studies.

The new graduate programs build on Duke’s research strengths in a variety of disciplines. Medical physics is the basis for specialties such as radiology, radiation oncology and nuclear medicine. Historical and cultural visualization connects scholars from computer science, engineering, classical studies and art history who are using technology to recreate art and architecture from the past. The bioethics and science policy program trains professionals to apply perspectives from law, science, technology and ethics in the development of scientific advances.

The economics and computation degree program — a joint effort of the computer science and economics departments — addresses a need in the global economy, said Carlo Tomasi, chair of Duke’s computer science department. The growing importance of “big data,” he said, is increasing the demand for economists with sophisticated computational skills and for computer scientists knowledgeable about economic principles driving computer design and technologies.

The Department of Statistical Science also cited the rise of “big data” as a reason for establishing its new master’s degree program. Ranked in the Top 5 in the country, the department envisions the program as a pathway for students to its Ph.D. program, and as a way to meet growing demand in industry for skilled statisticians, said department chair Merlise Clyde.

The new Ph.D. program in biostatistics responds to a current shortage of biostatisticians needed for medical research in academia, government and industry, said Elizabeth DeLong, chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

 — Reprinted with permission from Duke Today.