UC Merced Offers New Literature Major, B.S. in Management

MERCED, CA— University of California, Merced, literature professors proudly announced their new major this week.

"I actually got applause in class yesterday when I told my students," said Manuel Martín-Rodríguez, who teaches U.S. Latino literature. "The students now have this major, which they hold close to their hearts."

Students have already formed literary groups and publications on campus, he said, but until now, did not have a program to call home.

Martín-Rodríguez said UC Merced's literature program is not only new, it's unique. There will be two concentrations: literature and cultures of the English-speaking world; and literature and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The two will overlap, in many cases, and, in keeping with UC Merced's interdisciplinary approach, also incorporate history, philosophy and the arts.

Students in the Spanish-speaking concentration will get something no other university can boast: two professors who are learned and published in African writers who write in Spanish.

"Our program is going to encompass all the possibilities and be truly global in nature," Martín-Rodríguez said.

In the English-language concentration, students will study with an expert in ecocriticism and nature writing while being near Yosemite National Park.

Like many UC Merced undergrads, students in the literature major will have plenty of opportunities for research with faculty who are experts in their fields.

The management program also made an announcement this week, being approved to offer students a bachelor's of science degree instead of a bachelor's of arts. UC Merced is one of only three UC campuses to offer the business administration and management programs, and the standard is to offer a bachelor's of science. The other two campuses are UC Berkeley and UC Riverside.

The change doesn't mean the curriculum will be adjusted, however.

"The degree requirements for the UC Merced management program already require technical skills comparable to - and in some cases exceeding - those required for the bachelor's of science degree at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley," management professor Shawn Kantor said.

The change will affect all management students, the first of whom are scheduled to graduate in spring 2008.

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