The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

An inside look at the different majors of UNC Asheville

Graphic by Sydney Mason

UNC Asheville currently offers 35 majors. Some students may not be aware of the specifics of these majors or that they are even offered. 

To learn more about some of these majors, five students from UNCA gave their inside perspective on their program. 

The Art Department of UNCA is extremely broad. Art majors can choose from six areas of concentration: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking or sculpture. There are also accommodating minors, including art history and arts management and entrepreneurship. 

“I’m taking Painting IV, Museum Studies, which is a specialized art history class, and I’m taking Entrepreneurship and also Wearable Sculpture, which is another elective sculpture class,” senior painting major Cayla Ritchy said.

According to UNC Asheville officials, the Art Department has a faculty of acclaimed artists. The department encourages imagination and experimentation while challenging you to integrate content, concept, and technique to discover your own unique voice. 

“The Art Department here is small but also very intimate, so you get to meet a lot of people and make a lot of connections while you’re here. And a lot of the professors are really willing to work with you on your work and give you connections going into the future, so I highly recommend,” Ritchy said.

On the other end of the wide range of majors offered by UNCA, the science majors are also extremely thorough. At UNCA, the science majors offered include Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Environmental Studies, Physics, Atmospheric Sciences and Astronomy.

Brock Newsome, a senior at UNCA, said he’s majoring in chemistry, with a minor focus in neuroscience. 

“You take intro, so that’s your general chemistry, and then you have classes like Organic Chemistry. You have Physical Chemistry, I’m taking that right now, it’s difficult. Then you have lots of labs, lots and lots of labs,” Newsome said. 

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at UNCA is full of dedicated professors. This department, as well as the other science departments, is constantly working on hands-on projects. According to UNCA officials, the chemistry department works on a wide range of projects, from researching sustainable energy generation to developing new antibiotics naturally produced by bacteria. 

“You get to take a lab called Project Lab, and in that lab you get to do real research that helps hopefully real people solve real world problems. Currently we are doing really cool stuff with some antibiotics,” Newsome said. “Telling your mom and your dad that you’re working on something to hopefully cure and fight disease is really cool.” 

Another science related major offered at UNCA is Environmental Studies. This major focuses on worldwide environmental issues and offers concentrations in earth science, ecology and environmental management.  

“There are three different concentrations you can do, so my concentration is ecology so it’s more based around plants and animals. This semester I have Ecology and Field Biology, and then I also have a lab for that class. I’m taking Intro to Meteorology, Introduction to Sociology and Environmental Geology,” sophomore environmental studies major Olivia Williams said.

According to UNCA officials, among the Ecology and Environmental Biology concentration forest and wetland ecology, freshwater biology and wildlife management are just a few of the areas that may be explored. Students also can choose from a variety of advanced environmental science, ecology, botany, and zoology courses. 

“My dream job would probably be a wildlife conservationist where you basically just help the wildlife when they’re in rehab centers. Another job I would love is environmental restoration, and that’s another kind of job where you go out to different areas and help restore the environment,” Williams said. 

The environmental studies program is dedicated to preparing students for the workforce. According to UNCA officials, for 15 consecutive years the program has been named to the list of pre-professional programs, with exceptional strength in preparing students for careers by The Fiske Guide to Colleges. 

“It’s a great major, and even if you wouldn’t have it as a major, a lot of people have it as a minor too just as a backup. It’s only my second year and I’ve already learned so much so far. Most of the classes are really enjoyable and we go on lots of fun field trips,” Williams said.

Environmental studies is another extremely experiment oriented major. UNCA’s location in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers over a million acres of biodiverse forest for hands-on learning. 

UNCA also offers a business major to help students prepare for a successful career in finance, management, global business, marketing, entrepreneurship and beyond. 

“There are plenty of organizational classes as well as some business law and ethical classes as well. You have to take economics and dip into accounting as well,” junior business major Colson Combs said. “This semester I’m taking Legal and Ethical Environment, as well as business 230, which is the structure of organizations and understanding organizational development. I’m also taking Economics 103.”  

According to UNCA, the curriculum in the business major includes management and accounting, but also marketing, operations, strategy, global perspectives, data analytics, human resources, leadership and entrepreneurship. To graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business, students must complete either an internship, undergraduate research project or study abroad program. 

The business program offers a wide variety of opportunities. The business degree offers project-based internships, the opportunity to work with non-profit organizations and the ability to conduct independent research. 

Back to the more art-based majors UNCA offers, Drama is also offered. Drama majors also choose from a specified area of study, including acting, design directing, K-12 theatre arts licensure or theater history, as well as front of the house management. Students are also offered positions in the scene shop, house electrics and the costume shop. 

“There’s a lot of interesting classes. Last year I took a prop making class, everything from welding and forging to counterfeit paper, not in an illegal way just like how to age it,” sophomore drama major James Stone said. “On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have Intro to Technical Theatre and Voice and Body. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Global Theatre History and light hang, learning how to mess with lights and stuff. 

This department offers various unique opportunities including theater productions, independent productions and professional internship opportunities with local theater companies. 

“I’ve gotten some job opportunities and I’ve done some jobs already because of learning how to do stuff,” Stone said. “I would definitely recommend it, even as a minor. On the technical side you learn tons of skills.” 

For a more in depth look at these majors, check out the video on the Blue Banner’s YouTube page, linked here:

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