Ryerson’s first masters up for approval

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By Allison Heather

Ryerson is on its way to offering its first masters degree.

Plans for offering graduate programs have been in the works since Ryerson became a university in 1993.

This past summer, academic council approved two programs that would be run with the University of Toronto and York University, and now a third program based out of Ryerson is up for approval.

Academic council as to vote on a motion Tuesday to approve a masters in environmental applied science and management offered by Ryerson alone.

All three new graduate programs must go to the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) for final approval before Ryerson can offer them.

The environmental masters degree is meant to fill a need in industry and government for ways to cope with environmental challenges such as energy and resource use, waste management and pollution prevention.

“The earliest we expect [the program] to operate is the year 2000,” said Rena Mendelson, Ryerson’s associate v.p. academic.

The program would draw on the expertise of several faculty and departments within Ryerson, including economics, applied chemistry and biology, civil, chemical, mechanical and industrial engineering, applied geography, environmental health and urban and regional planning.  The program is multidisciplinary, so won’t be based in Ryerson’s school of environmental health.

“This is new for us in terms of structure and development,” said environmental health professor Ronald Pushchak.  “It is Ryerson’s first stand-alone [graduate] degree program so we don’t have the help that other universities can bring.”

Ryerson’s two other proposed graduate programs for which it is seeking approval from the OCGS are a master’s in spatial analysis developed with the University of Toronto, and a masters and PhD in communications and culture administered with York University.

Pushchak said the environmental masters is targeted at three groups — chemical, environmental and civil engineers, and graduates of physical and natural sciences and other environmentally related programs.

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