June 13, 2018

Siena College Announces Three New Academic Programs

Siena College is offering three new academic programs effective immediately:

• Bachelor of science in software development
• Bachelor of science in applied physics
• Advanced certificate in data analytics

All three programs were approved recently by the New York State Department of Education.

“Siena is constantly developing and enhancing its academic programs to address the interests of current and prospective Siena students and the needs of employers in the Capital Region and beyond,” said Ned Jones, vice president for enrollment management. “All three of these new programs were created with that mission in mind.”

B.S. in Software Development
According to Dr. Eric Breimer, associate professor of computer science and department chair,
“The field of computer science has evolved greatly over the past 30 years, and we want to offer a degree that is specific to this well-established sub-discipline.”

Dr. Breimer said it will apply the principles of engineering to designing software that is secure and can easily be extended to meet future needs.

He explained that many potential students are interested in software development, but most high schools don’t offer courses in it.

“The great thing about the new degree program is that students can come in as freshmen with no experience and learn all the fundamentals,” he said.

The department already offers a year-long software engineering course; the new program expands this topic into a whole degree. Software design will still be part of the existing B.S. in computer science curriculum, which has broader applications.

“The goal of the new program is to prepare graduates for careers in software engineering, where they will design software to meet a variety of needs and interests,” said Dr. Breimer. “This is what the vast majority of our computer science grads are already going into, and they are working for companies such as Google, Amazon and Transfinder.”

B.S. in Applied Physics
Students planning on a career in engineering can earn Siena’s bachelor of science in applied physics that will prepare them to directly enter the field.

According to Dr. Rose Finn, chair of Siena’s department of physics and astronomy, the new degree is “essentially a physics major with a minor in engineering to prepare graduates to work at the interface of science and engineering.”

There will be two tracks of study: mechanical and electrical, both of which can form the basis for other types of engineering such a civil, biomechanical or aeronautical.

“Nationally, about 20 percent of physics graduates go into engineering,” she said. “This new program is more tailored for physics students who want to pursue that option, although other paths, such as research and teaching, can be pursued.”

The major will be an option for students who attend Siena for four years and receive a bachelor’s degree, or those who are part of the College’s 3/2 and 4/1 agreements with other universities where they earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.

Dr. Finn said the applied physics major provides broad training in physics, teaches problem solving as a skill, and enhances the understanding of the science behind engineering.

Data Analytics Advanced Certificate
This four-course, post baccalaureate certificate program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree and at least one college-level statistics course. Participants will learn how to assess, analyze and summarize data to help improve effective decision making for employers.

“Data analytics is among today’s fastest-growing and highest-paid professions,” said Dr. Charles Seifert, dean of Siena’s School of Business. “As organizations increasingly rely on data to drive strategic business decisions, the market demand for individuals possessing advanced education in the field is at an all-time high.”

The program is designed to meet the needs of working students, with classes scheduled for early evenings and weekends.

Siena also offers a B.S. and a minor in data science, and a B.S. in applied data science.