Majors, Minors, & Pre-professional Programs

Your success is part of Nebraska Wesleyan’s campus culture. It’s a culture that respects hard work and embraces new experiences. That’s why you’ll wait at least a semester to declare any major at NWU. That way you can explore new interests – like political science or music or German.

A little exploration can change your life.

See our majors and minors below:

Art

Whether it’s metalsmithing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography or digital media, our professors will equip you with the fundamentals and art history you need. Stressing intensive and specialized studio practice in the creative art disciplines, the B.F.A. is considered a professional art degree which is the preferred credential for entry-level positions in design, advertising agencies or studios. Many of our alumni have become professional artists, photographers, graphic designers, teachers, curators, architects and muralists.

Major

  • Art (B.A., B.S., B.F.A.)

Minor

  • Art History

The B.A. is recommended if you wish to pursue K-12 teaching certification.

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Biology

The study of life takes us to some exciting places—from the trees of our own campus to Honduran barrier reefs. The goals of the biology degree program are to teach the basic skills and knowledge that will enable you to pursue advanced work in the biological sciences. By nurturing an appreciation of the complexity and grandeur of nature, you will gain an understanding of evolution as the unifying theme of biology, the ethical dimensions of biological knowledge, and a lifelong participation in science. Students interested in medicine, dentistry, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, and allied health professions should consult with the department chair for a suggested program of study. Pre-professional programs are available in optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry, and physician assistant. Over 80% of our graduates continue in graduate or professional schools, receiving degrees in areas such as restoration ecology, environmental toxicology, horticulture, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics.

Majors

  • Biology (B.A., B.S.)
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (B.S.)

Minor

  • Biology

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Business, Accounting and Economics

A business administration degree is one of the most sought-after by employers because it covers a wide area of expertise. The objective of the business administration degree program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need in business administration and accounting, in sufficient depth to achieve and thrive in the global marketplace. Most majors within the Department of Business, Accounting and Economics require students to complete related internships. While internships vary widely in scope and duties, every internship provides a valuable opportunity to gain real-world experience and network with potential employers and partners. Jobs that may be available include accounting, management, business information system manager, hospitality management, human resource management, sales and marketing positions, and small-business management.

Majors

  • Accounting (B.A., B.S.)
  • Business Administration (B.A., B.S.)
  • Economics (B.A., B.S.)
  • Business-Sociology (B.A.)
  • International Business (B.A.)

Minors

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing

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Chemistry

Chemists are the people who transform materials into amazing things—cures for cancer, new insulation for homes and offices, more efficient coatings for solar panels, or new textiles for fashion designers and decorators. Specialization generally occurs in one or more branches of chemistry, such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry or environmental control. Molecular biologists focus on the interactions between the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between the different types of DNA, RNA, and protein biosynthesis. Chemists are employed by wastewater treatment plants and chemical laboratories, as well as by food and perfumer companies.

Majors

  • Chemistry (B.A, B.S.)
  • Chemistry and Molecular Biology (B.S.)

Minor

  • Chemistry

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Communication Studies

The communication degree program helps students examine how organizational or political culture is created, maintained, and influenced. You will learn about interpersonal communication, intercultural communication and communication in the professions—including leadership, persuasion, advertising, and public relations. The political communication major will allow you to focus on the role of communication in American and international politics, as well as political theory. Understanding how people communicate is key to both professional success and interpersonal awareness. Employers will seek those who have the skills to conduct new types of advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales and political campaigns involving new media, particularly the Internet.

Majors

  • Communication (B.A., B.S.)
  • Political Communication (B.A., B.S.)

Minor

  • Communication

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Education

The Nebraska Wesleyan bachelors in education program will provide you with the theories and skills needed to instruct students individually and in groups, using a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, discussions, and demonstrations. In addition, you’ll be prepared to develop clear objectives for all lessons; create materials for activities; maintain order among the students; and meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress. You’ll spend 20 to 25 hours each semester in classroom situations, where you’ll apply the theories you’ve learned and gain valuable practical experience. Employment of kindergarten through secondary school teachers will grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018. There will be a greater demand for mathematics, science and bi-lingual education teachers and for those who want to teach in less desirable school districts.

Degrees Offered

  • Education (B.A., B.S.)

Majors

  • Elementary Education
  • Middle Grades Education
  • Special Education
  • Language Arts Education
  • History-Social Science Education
  • Natural Science Education
  • Secondary Education Endorsement

Certificate in English Language Learning
The choice of a B.A. or B.S. may be dependent on the student’s area of study or second major.

Accreditation
Nebraska Wesleyan's education programs are approved by the Nebraska Department of Education and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

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English

The abilities to express ideas well in writing and to comprehend and organize large amounts of complex material are perhaps the quickest ways to stand out in any career field. The Nebraska Wesleyan English degree is a versatile program, which provides a wide variety of potential career paths. A communications emphasis, for example, can prepare you for news reporting, feature writing, public relations, and photography. Or, you may choose to focus on creative writing, fiction, poetry, linguistics, classical rhetoric, and the history of English to become an English teacher or writer for television, movies, and radio—even a librarian. Technical writers also are in high demand for their ability to write documentation, grants, and proposals.

Major

  • English (B.A.)

Minors

  • English
  • Journalism
  • Writing

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Gender Studies

The Nebraska Wesleyan Gender Studies Program examines gender and sexuality within humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and popular culture in the United States and abroad. Gender Studies activism strives for a more humane world. By applying feminist theories to their own lives, students learn, interpret, and evaluate various cultural phenomena, using a broad range of criteria, including gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and sexual orientation. Fieldwork addresses the problems women confront in U.S. society such as rape, incest, abuse, poverty, and discrimination. The Bachelor of Science is advisable for those who wish to signal social science expertise in a related career such as social work or counseling psychology.

Major

  • Gender Studies (B.A., B.S.)

Minor

  • Gender Studies

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Global Studies

This interdisciplinary major will prepare you for careers in international business, law, journalism, international affairs, the Peace Corps, diplomatic service, international agencies, and government. Courses such as cultural anthropology, international relations, world religions, history, and comparative politics are taught by faculty members with expertise in such varied places as the Caribbean, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and West Africa. Global studies students are required to take modern language studies and spend at least one semester studying in another country.

Major

  • Global Studies (B.A., B.S.)

Minor

  • Global Studies

Areas of Interest

  • Asia
  • Development Studies
  • Foreign Policy
  • Industrialized Nations
  • Latin America

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Health and Human Performance

The goal of the Nebraska Wesleyan Health and Human Performance Program is to develop students who are clinically competent and independent-thinking health care professionals. The Athletic Training Education Program utilizes both classroom and clinical experiences to provide the values, skills, and knowledge needed for an athletic training career. Featured classes include human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, strength training/conditioning, personal training, worksite health promotion, care and prevention of athletic injuries, rehabilitation of athletic injuries, and health psychology. Graduates of the Physical Education major go on to work in public and private schools, the fitness industry, allied health clinics, recreation, and athletic programs. Employment of coaches and scouts is expected to grow 29 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. If you are state-certified to teach academic subjects, you’ll have the best prospects for getting coaching and instructor jobs in elementary, middle, and high schools. Very strong competition is expected for jobs at the college or professional level.

Degrees Offered

  • Health and Human Performance (B.A., B.S.)

Majors

  • Athletic Training
  • Exercise Science
  • Health and Fitness Studies
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Physical Education
  • Sports Management

Minors

  • Coaching
  • Exercise Science
  • Health and Fitness Studies
  • Sports Management

Accreditation
The B.S. in Athletic Training is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Nebraska Wesleyan’s Athletic Training Education Program aspires to be recognized as a model and leader for small colleges and universities.

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History

Nothing is a better indicator of the future than the past. Understanding history enriches the present and informs the choices we make. Courses are offered in U.S. history and European history, as well as Asia, Latin America, and Global history. Given the strong humanities emphasis within Nebraska Wesleyan’s history program, typically a degree in history is taken as a Bachelor of Arts. Students who combine history with a degree in the Social or Natural Sciences usually take their degree as a Bachelor of Science. Most history majors become teachers, lawyers, librarians, businesspersons, writers, archivists, politicians, and even entertainers.

Major

  • History (B.A., B.S.)

Minor

  • History

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Mathematics and Computer Science

Today’s most important technology is driven by mathematics and computer science. The goals of the mathematics and computer science programs are to help students acquire both understanding and practical application of their knowledge and skills. A 2009 study showed that the top three best jobs in terms of income and other factors were careers suited for math majors. In addition to teaching, math majors can apply their skills to actuarial science in the finance and insurance industries, computer science, biomathematics, cryptography, and finance.

Majors

  • Mathematics (B.A., B.S.)
  • Information Systems (B.S.)

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Modern Languages

Nebraska Wesleyan’s entire curriculum is about “preparing for global citizenship,” and the study of modern languages is certainly an integral part of that preparation. That’s why the Modern Languages Department works closely with the International Education Office and the Global Studies Program, as well as student groups like International Relations Organization and Global Service Learning. Coursework includes conversation, composition, grammar, history and culture, with an emphasis on practical communication. Students are required to incorporate a study abroad experience of one semester. A number of majors require modern language studies, e.g., global studies and international business. In a global economy, multi language proficiency will become more critical for business careers such as marketing communications, managing off-shore teams, and trade.

Degrees Offered

  • Modern Languages (B.A., B.S.)

Majors

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

If you’re preparing to teach a modern language, consult the education department.

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Music

The Department of Music at Nebraska Wesleyan is a training ground, a performance center, and a laboratory. Directing itself to the needs of students, the department will provide you with rich, personal attention, as well as a strong emphasis on performance. The resources include a faculty of performing artists/teachers and facilities that are among the finest in the Midwest. Vocal students can participate in the University Choir which is recognized throughout this country and internationally. Also available are the Chamber Singers, Opera, Men’s Glee, and Women’s Choir. The Nebraska Wesleyan University instrumental performers include the Symphonic Band which is a distinguished concert ensemble performing works from traditional band repertoire to contemporary music. Also available are the Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, and Small Ensembles.

Majors

  • Music Performance (B.M.)
  • Music Education, Vocal (B.M.)
  • Music Education, Instrumental (B.M.)
  • Music Education, Combination (B.M.)
  • Music (B.A.)

Accreditation
Nebraska Wesleyan is an accredited member of the National Associate of Schools of Music.

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Physics

Physics is a part of everything: from the stars populating the universe, to the environment, to your cell phone. In the Nebraska Wesleyan physics degree program, you will study astronomy, environmental science, fluid mechanics, electromagnetic theory and quantum mechanics, plus other exciting areas. A degree in physics can be the starting point for careers in many exciting fields requiring graduate degrees like astronomy, medicine and engineering. In addition, you will be highly proficient at problem solving and creative thinking, as well as advanced mathematics. More than a third of physics graduates continue with graduate studies.

Majors

  • Physics (B.A., B.S.)

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Political Science

Whether it’s the actions of a local school board or of sovereign nations, everything is political. The Political Science Department at Nebraska Wesleyan University teaches students the theories and concepts necessary to make sense of today’s events while preparing them for successful careers in fields ranging from environmental law to business administration. By studying political science, students develop analytical and communication skills vital to communicate with and understand diverse people living in a complex world. Internships will give you the opportunity to learn by experience and prove yourself in a professional setting. The Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) connects NWU students to an array of exciting Washington, D.C., internships in and out of government. See also Communications.

Majors

  • Political Science (B.A., B.S.)
  • Political Communication (B.A., B.S.)

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Pre-Nursing

Many future nurses begin their education here before moving onto a basic nursing program. After completing the pre-nursing requirements, including subjects such as anatomy, chemistry, psychology, sociology and microbiology, you may choose to remain at Wesleyan to take additional general education courses for the B.S. Nursing program before transferring to a nursing school.

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Psychology

Psychologists use science to better understand the human mind, behavior and the ways we treat one another. The Nebraska Wesleyan psychology degree program covers a broad range of studies, including counseling skills, psychological testing, psychological statistics, behavioral neuroscience, and the psychology of women, gender, adolescents, and organizations. Whether it’s lab experiments on the neurological effects of alcohol to survey studies of body type preferences in married couples, the science here is real and relevant. And the experiences are hands-on. Your understanding of the human mind and behavior make you a good candidate for jobs that require strong communication skills; for example, positions in sales, marketing, human resources, and social services. 

Majors

  • Psychology (B.A., B.S.)

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Religion and Philosophy

In an attempt to nurture an appreciation for the diverse religious and philosophical traditions of our global community, the Religion and Philosophy Department offers courses in Christian theology and Biblical studies, as well as comparative studies of world and tribal religions. Philosophy classes heavily emphasize developing your ability to think clearly and concisely about very complex issues through close readings of historical and contemporary philosophical texts. You will use interpretive frameworks to understand and evaluate the world around you. You’ll also construct arguments to clarify or refute assumptions and make reasoned decisions about your most fundamental religious and philosophical beliefs. Upper-level courses are small, allowing you to engage in rigorous dialogue with fellow students and professors as you determine your own positions on philosophic and religious issues. You’ll also have the opportunity to put your values and beliefs about humanity into action through national and international service learning projects.

Majors

  • Religion (B.A.)
  • Philosophy (B.A., B.S.)

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Sociology and Anthropology

Since the focus of sociology and anthropology is the group, it’s essential that its students function well within groups. So, our emphasis is on improving your self-awareness, observation skills, and ability to analyze and engage in interpersonal, intercultural and institutional relations. The Department objectives include establishing basic concepts and theories in sociology and anthropology; building strong oral and written communication skills; developing sound quantitative and qualitative methods and research practices; and empowering students to take action in their communities. Common employment areas include business (human resources, marketing and communication); government (census and population studies, urban development, diplomatic services, policing and criminal justice); human services (health care, education and immigrant support); and nonprofits (community outreach, housing development and international organizations).

Majors

  • Sociology-Anthropology (B.A., B.S.)
  • Business-Sociology (B.S.)

Minors

  • Sociology-Anthropology
  • Criminal Justice
  • American Minority Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Family Studies
  • Peace and Justice Minor

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Social Work

Through a combination of classroom, community, and field work experience, social work students gain the necessary skills and expertise to become a professional, generalist social worker who can promote social justice and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Courses include subjects such as sociology, psychology, community organization, race relations, and welfare policy. Nearly half of social workers are employed as child, family, or school social workers. Social workers also are employed in medical, mental, and public health fields, including substance abuse.

Majors

  • Social Work (B.A., B.S.)

Accreditation
Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Department of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

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Theatre Arts

At Nebraska Wesleyan, your theatre opportunities will begin immediately. With more than 40 productions scheduled each year, Nebraska Wesleyan University Theatre will give you opportunities to act, sing, direct, design and work in many genres. First year students are on stage by October. Many begin directing as sophomores. Excellent theatre facilities—three major stages and the region’s largest costume and prop libraries—make it possible for Nebraska Wesleyan University to offer a diverse selection of opportunities for students to perform and learn. Last year, 90% of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Majors

  • Acting (B.F.A.)
  • Theatre Design and Technology (B.F.A.)
  • Directing (B.F.A.)
  • Musical Theatre (B.F.A.)
  • Theatre Arts (B.A.)
  • Theatre Arts Education (B.A.)
  • Theatre Studies (B.F.A.)

Minor

  • Theatre Arts

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Pre-professional Programs

  • Architecture
  • Chiropractic
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Forensic science
  • Law
  • Medical technology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathic medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Physician assistant
  • Podiatry
  • Theology
  • Veterinary science

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