PSU Introduces New Bachelor’s Degrees in Forensic Science, Game Design, and Sustainability Studies

In response to student interest and evolving workforce demands, Plymouth State University (PSU) is launching three new bachelor’s degree programs in Fall 2022: bachelor of science in forensic science, bachelor of science in game design and bachelor of arts in sustainability studies. All three programs are currently enrolling students. 

“We are constantly evaluating opportunities to prepare students to succeed and thrive in the 21st century global economy,” said Donald L. Birx, Ph.D., president, Plymouth State University. “Each of these new degree programs is built on the strength of our core disciplines but is focused on problem solving across those disciplines. They are in response to student interest and the need for professionals who are not only educated in their respective fields, but who are equipped to think critically and to be strong collaborators and leaders.” 

Aligning with PSU’s Integrated Clusters Learning Model, students enrolled in the new bachelor’s degree programs will work in interdisciplinary teams on real problems, and will develop and practice communication, problem-solving, collaboration and self-regulated learning skills. Students will have opportunities to work in open labs, both in physical spaces on campus and through project-based learning experiences with local and regional businesses, non-profit organizations and communities.  

Game Design Bachelor’s Degree Program:  

PSU’s new game design bachelor’s degree program will be the only one of its kind offered at New Hampshire’s public higher education institutions. The program focuses on the technical and creative aspects of making games, as well as developing a broad perspective and understanding of the gaming industry. It will introduce students to the principles and practice of game design through workshop courses and related studies in art, business, communication and media studies, computer science, graphic design and music. Students will also complete coursework in disciplines such as English and history to inspire their perspectives about the worlds their games embody. Students enrolled in the game design program will have the opportunity to choose between the technology track, which will focus on the technical aspect of programming games, and the creative media track, which will focus on designing game art, storytelling and creating audio and visual effects.  

Program graduates will be able to position themselves for work as innovative game designers, interactive web developers, digital artists and in other related fields, either at an agency or as independent designers.  

Forensic Science Bachelor’s Degree Program: 

PSU’s new forensic science bachelor’s degree program will be geared toward both science and non-science students with a passion for investigation and problem-solving. The program will be the only bachelor degree program in forensic science offered by a public university in New Hampshire.  

While most research universities have modern laboratory facilities, many do not allow undergraduates to use them, restricting access to graduate and post-doctorate students. However, students enrolled in PSU’s forensic studies program will have access to the University’s modern laboratories and will have opportunities to use various laboratory instruments during their undergraduate coursework to ensure they are ready to work in the field as soon as they graduate. 

The bachelor’s degree program allows students to choose from one of three specialties: forensic laboratory analysis, digital forensics (i.e., cyber-attacks) or forensic psychology. Students will also have the opportunity to obtain multiple specialties and/or minors in chemistry, psychology, criminal justice and biology with just a few additional courses using their free electives.  

Graduates will be equipped with the skills necessary for careers with government agencies or private laboratories, in forensic life science, private investigation and information security.  

Sustainability Studies Bachelor’s Degree Program: 

While most sustainability studies programs are science-focused, PSU’s program will give students the tools to create a more sustainable and equitable future by developing combined skill sets from fields including business, the social sciences, the arts and humanities, environmental science and public health. The program is the result of a multi-disciplinary team effort, with faculty members from various disciplines contributing to its development.  

PSU has had a sustainability studies minor for many years, and it has long been committed to sustainability on its campus and has taken a number of steps toward carbon neutrality. Examples range from large capital projects such as solar electric, geothermal and biomass energy systems, as well as programs to engage the campus and greater Plymouth communities. 

The sustainability studies program is focused on influencing cultural behavior to effect change. In addition to a grounding in the science of sustainability, PSU’s approach will help students understand factors that affect human behavior, and to develop communication skills they will need to help others live more sustainably. Students will engage in interdisciplinary learning on local, national and global scales; learn systems-thinking approaches for identifying and resolving sustainability-related problems; and develop skills to promote equitable collaboration, policy and collective action. Students will develop professional and transferable skills for careers in sustainability professions, including private industry, government agencies and non-profit settings. 

“The forensic studies, game design and sustainability studies programs are exciting new and highly relevant offerings for students, and each is a natural fit for our Integrated Clusters Learning Model,” said Birx. “We look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students in fall 2022.”  

For more detailed information on PSU’s new bachelor’s degree programs, visit www.plymouth.edu/academics.