New UVU master’s degrees, bachelor’s programs move forward for approvals


Three new master's programs and two new bachelor's degrees were approved by the Utah Valley University Board of Trustees at its most recent meeting, on Thursday, Nov. 29.

The trustees approved the creation of graduate programs and degrees in financial planning and analytics, physician assistant studies, and marriage and family therapy.

The programs require approval by the Utah State Board of Regents and accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. With that approval, all of the programs except for Master of Physician Assistant Studies could begin in Fall 2019. The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program will begin instructing students in the spring of 2020, pending approval.

The trustees also approved the creation of bachelor’s degrees in architecture and in aerospace technology management.

 The trustees noted that the bachelor’s of science architecture is proposed as a five-year degree packaged as a “two-plus-three” stackable credential that would give students an associate of science degree in engineering design technology after two years of coursework.

In 2017, the UVU Board of Trustees also approved new engineering bachelor’s degrees — mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering — which began in the fall of 2018. The architecture degree and the engineering degrees are housed in the university’s College of Engineering and Technology.

According to the program request presentation made to the trustees, the Master of Financial Planning and Analytics program has seen growth from 358 students in 2012 to 769 in 2016. 

The Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree anticipates growth in Utah at 144 percent higher than the nation, according to the program proposal. The university surveyed current and former UVU students, the proposal stated, and found that 96 percent of the 253 family studies and other behavioral science students indicated they would be interested in participating in a marriage and family therapy program at UVU.

Surveys indicate the demand for physician assistants in Utah is more than 500 positions a year that aren’t being met by current programs within the state, with only about 80 students graduating each year.