Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame will debut three advanced degrees this year. The new programs are a nursing practice doctorate and data science and speech pathology master's. January 6, 2015

News Release

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the start of each New Year, people often make resolutions for self-improvement, which could include working toward an advanced degree. In 2015, Saint Mary's College will offer three in-demand graduate programs that will elevate students' professional skills and earning potentials while preparing them to make a difference in the world, as the school has since 1844. The graduate programs are a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, a Master of Science in Data Science, and a Master of Science in Speech Pathology.

“Our graduate programs combine top-level academics, a commitment to ethics, and an eye toward innovation. In our 170 years, hallmarks of a Saint Mary's education have included the integration of knowledge, leadership development, and attention to service to the community,” said Saint Mary's College President Carol Ann Mooney '72. “Whether delivering care to those in need or using data in an ethically responsible manner, students earning a graduate degree from Saint Mary's College will emerge better skilled, more knowledgeable, and thoroughly prepared to serve others.”

Each program meets national demands for professionals in these fields.

Doctorate of Nursing Practice: The Institute of Medicine has identified the need for doctorally prepared nurses who will not only provide an advanced level of nursing care, but provide leadership resulting in changes in health care systems to improve health outcomes. Many states are lagging behind in the graduation of advanced practice nurses to support the high patient need. Graduate students who matriculate though this program will earn a professional doctorate. There are two tracks, for students who already have bachelor's or master's degrees in nursing. The bachelor's to DNP program includes courses leading to certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Of special note is that the Saint Mary's program integrates best practices in the use of health care data.

Master of Science in Data Science: The McKinsey Global Institute found that by 2018 there will be a shortage of people with the skills and talents to collect and effectively and ethically analyze big data. The labor market could need as many as 140,000 to 190,000 trained individuals with deep analytical skills and 1.5 million leaders with the understanding to use data analyses to make effective decisions. This interdisciplinary program with a strong mathematical orientation prepares professionals to analyze existing data and also lead significant changes in data analytics in the future. This program was made possible through a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to expand opportunities for graduates to find meaningful employment in Indiana. This graduate program will have relationships/partnerships with Indiana businesses that will be involved in a new data economy in which innovation is driven by the use of data.

Master of Science in Speech Pathology: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will be more than 28,000 new speech pathology positions by the year 2020. One of the states in most need of these skills is Indiana, though students in the Saint Mary's program will be trained to work in any state. This degree builds on the bachelor's degree in communicative disorders and helps improve the quality of life for some of the most underserved children and adults in the country. Graduate student preparation will include extensive hands-on experience developed through practical experience in the campus-based Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic and through affiliations with more than 40 community agencies. The clinic, located in Madeleva Hall, and the establishment of this master's program are thanks to a $1 million grant from the Judd Leighton Foundation, Inc.

Pending accreditations of the three programs in the spring, classes for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice will begin in May and classes for the Master of Science in Data Science and the Master of Science in Speech Pathology will start in August. The nursing and data science graduate programs will be hybrid, including both online and on-campus learning, though most courses will be online. The speech pathology graduate program will be an on-campus program. Men and women are encouraged to apply to the graduate programs. The College will remain an undergraduate women's college.

Click for more information on the graduate programs, including application deadlines, or contact Melissa Fruscione, associate director of graduate admissions, at or (574) 284-5098.

About Saint Mary's College

Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women's liberal arts college offering five bachelor's degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. By the fall of 2015, pending accreditations anticipated in the spring, Saint Mary's College will offer two graduate degrees: a Master of Science and a Doctorate. All programs that fall under these degrees are co-educational and include a Master of Science in Data Science, a Master of Science in Speech Pathology, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary's College's mission is to educate students, develop their talents, and prepare them to make a difference in the world. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015 published by U.S. News & World Report.

Source: Saint Mary's College

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