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August 2012 Archives

The science-based majors listed below are each offered through the College of Science and Engineering (bachelor of science degree) and the College of Liberal Arts (bachelor of arts degree). 

In addition to the benefits of learning from world-class faculty and utilizing state-of-the-art facilities, students who are seeking a science-based career can also utilize the Career Center for Science and Engineering to work on their resumé, participate in mock interviews, learn about internship and co-op opportunities, and more.

To learn more about U of M major options, visit: http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/admissioninfo/fresh_acadprog.html.

Major: Chemistry

(College of Science and Engineering, College of Liberal Arts)

Description: Chemists interact with nature at a fundamental, molecular level. This field of science impacts medicine, materials science, genetics, biology, pharmacy, food science, and environmental science. The curriculum encompasses the major subfields of chemistry including theories, techniques, and tools. It also includes chemistry, physics, mathematics, and the liberal arts. Students select an emphasis area from the following:

  • Bioscience and bioproducts
  • Chemical physics
  • Chemistry education
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Materials chemistry 

Examples of Careers: Biochemist, microbiologist, industrial hygienist, analytic chemist, pharmaceutical chemist, crime lab analyst, researcher, or food technologist


Major: Computer Science

(College of Science and Engineering, College of Liberal Arts)

Examples of Careers: Researcher, Computer Communication Specialist, Computer Engineer, Robotics Engineer, Software or Hardware Developer, Systems and Security Administrator or Web Designer

Description: Computer scientists develop programming languages and operating systems, design computer software and hardware, apply computational techniques to other sciences, investigate social uses of computing, and advance new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. Students will learn to design and analyze computer systems, to use them to solve practical problems, and to assess their limitations. They use state-of-the-art computing platforms and instructional facilities and also have access to special research facilities like the Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Vision Laboratory, which includes a lab devoted to undergrads.

Major: Computer Engineering

(College of Science and Engineering)

Description: Computer engineers design, build, test, and install high-tech computing devices or everything from supercomputers to toys. This in-demand field includes hardware, software, and systems that contain microprocessors or microcontrollers. Students in this major learn to integrate hardware and software into systems that deliver power, performance, safety, security, and reliability. Seniors choose one of the following emphasis areas:

  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Software Engineering
  • Microprocessor and Microcontroller Systems
  • Computer-Aided Circuit Design

Examples of Careers: custom computer designer, computer chip designer, software designer, computer network engineer, electronic systems designer, hardware engineer, development engineer, or systems engineer

Major: Physics

(College of Science and Engineering, College of Liberal Arts)

Description: Physics students study the basic principles that govern time, space, energy, and matter from the smallest subatomic particles to the entire Universe. Students learn how everything fits together while preparing for a career in industry, research, or teaching. Undergraduates in this major choose from five emphasis areas:

  • Professional physics
  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Teaching
  • Computation

Examples of Careers:  Advanced research in industry, government laboratories, or universities, teaching in a high school or college, public policy, gateway to economics, engineering, journalism, law, or medicine, product development, technical sales, or investments management.

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Hello again! I hope that you all had a wonderful summer-I know I did! It's great to be back at the Office of Admissions after my amazing study abroad experience in Sydney, Australia. I can't wait to tell you all about it!

I chose to study abroad in Sydney this summer because I have always wanted to travel to Australia, I knew that I wanted a summer program, and I wanted the option to complete an internship abroad. Luckily, the Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota had the perfect program for me! My program was called "Study and Internships in Sydney" and lasted six weeks. I had the choice of taking classes over the six weeks or interning, and I chose the internship. I was placed at a fashion PR firm, Adam Worling PR, and I loved it! As a Marketing major, I never completely understood how a public relations firm operates until I completed this internship, and now I am considering adding PR classes to my curriculum. It was an amazing experience to work in high fashion and see stylists and editors of well-known publications in the Adam Worling showroom every day.

Another part of my experience was choosing to do a homestay during my time in Sydney. I lived in an apartment building in the suburb of Chatswood with a woman named Marcia. She was an amazing cook and took great care of me. I was also able to meet her children, and I am thankful to have had constant exposure to the completely new culture. I would definitely recommend the homestay option to students who are studying abroad in the future. I learned so much from the family I stayed with, and I became very independent within the city.

In addition to interning in Sydney during the workweek, I also had the opportunity to travel around Australia on the weekends. During the first weekend, I went hiking in the Blue Mountains. I also went to a wildlife park where I saw kangaroos, koalas, dingos, and many other native animals! A second weekend trip was north of Sydney in the city of Port Stephens. There, I fed sharks and sting-rays, went whale watching, took a hike, went dune boarding, and road a camel on the beach! It was an adventure-filled weekend. I also took a trip to Surfers Paradise, which is a part of the country close to Brisbane. I have a friend who lives there, so it was great to visit her and go to the beach all weekend long. Above all, though, my favorite part of the six weeks was going to surf camp. I learned how to surf over the course of three days at Mojo Surf Camp with real surfer dudes. It was a blast!

On my last day in Sydney, I climbed the Harbor Bridge (a famous Sydney landmark) with a couple of my coworkers. What a way to end the trip! I would recommend studying abroad to anyone, especially because the number one regret I hear from most college graduates is that they did not study abroad. The Learning Abroad Center makes it very easy for U of M students to get the most out of their experience abroad, and with more than 70 countries to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect program for you--I know I did!


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It's hard to believe that the summer is nearly over! I love the start of a new school year because you get to meet new people and get a fresh start. Next week, I'll be starting my junior year, but this week the University of Minnesota Class of 2016 will be moving in and participating in Welcome Week on campus.

Welcome Week is a new tradition for incoming freshmen that takes place the week before school starts and is designed to help new freshmen adjust to campus and college life. This year's Welcome Week will be held this week, from August 29 to September 3, 2012. The class of 2016 will have the opportunity to connect with their advisors and faculty members, build friendships with classmates, become an expert at navigating campus, and sign up for student groups and other opportunities. 

When I was an incoming freshman to the U of M, I loved Welcome Week! I didn't know anyone when I moved here, so it was great to get to know students who were going through the same experience as I was. My favorite events were the Target Run and Late Night at Mall of America. During the Target Run, freshmen are bussed to Target after hours to pick up last minute school supplies or items for their residence halls. There are also tons of freebies and games going on in the Target parking lot at this event. Another fun event  is "Late Night at Mall of America" After the mall closes, the U of M freshmen take over and 
spend the evening on the rides at Nickelodeon Universe or exploring Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America. I had a blast at Nickelodeon Universe with all my new friends.

Another cool part about Welcome Week is that students who attend Welcome Week have a greater sense of belonging and higher fall & spring GPAs (as reported by research based on survey and attendance data from Fall 2009 cohort). What's not to love about Welcome Week? 

Ski-u-mah, and welcome to the Class of 2016! I hope you all have an amazing Welcome Week!

Check out the video below to learn about more great events that happen during Welcome Week, such as Convocation and Pride and Spirit Day:

Did you know that Radio K, the award-winning student-run radio station of the University of Minnesota, is the oldest station in Minnesota? Today, the station is celebrating its 100th birthday! 

Throughout the years, Radio K has played eclectic, independent music for the listeners of Minneapolis-St. Paul. According to http://www.radiok.org, "Radio K educates students, breaks ground in musical programming, and provides cutting-edge cultural coverage through our specialty shows and Culture Queue." Tune in today at 770 AM, 104.5 FM, or 100.7 FM for Real College Radio!

Radio K is one of the 800+ student groups and organizations on campus that give U of M students a wide variety of great opportunities to get involved, meet new people, and gain real-world skills that are related to our areas of interest.

Happy birthday, Radio K!

What? It's the end of summer! How did this happen?!? Sadly, I guess it's my time to say farewell as your Gopher student blogger. 

Throughout the summer I've had the opportunity to work closely with amazing colleagues that have taught me about about good work ethic, teamwork, and dedication (especially to all things maroon and gold). I have never been more proud to be a University of Minnesota student as I have been this summer. Seeing high school students touring campus (and giving my very first campus tour!) brought back the excitement that I had just four years ago when I first stepped foot on Gopher territory.

I could give you a plethora of advice as you embark on your college journey, but instead I will stick to a few essential bits of advice to help you succeed as a student...

1) Never take anything for granted. Every class you have and every person you meet will shape you over the course of the next four years. Some of my closest friends today are people who I thought I had nothing in common with. Friends are like leaves, some fall away and some stay on the branch, but either way, the more you rake up, the more fun you will have! (Who doesn't love jumping into leaf piles? Right?)

2) Take pictures. I feel like someone told me this just yesterday as I began my college career, but college goes by way too fast! Take it from a soon-to-be-graduating senior who feels like she just moved to the U of M. (At least I'll always have this great photo of my Welcome Week experience!)

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3) Take advantage of your surroundings. Step away from the screen you're looking at (only after you have read the rest of this post...obviously) and remind yourself that you're in the Twin Cities! Anything you could ever want is at your fingertips! Go to the zoo, go to a Twins game, sip coffee on West Bank of campus, shop until you drop at the Mall of America, rent paddleboards on Lake Calhoun, and so much more! Students at the U of M truly have a great location to take advantage of. 

4) Always remember that dreams DO come true! This summer I lived my dream by going to a movie premiere in Hollywood, California. The U of M has given me infinite opportunities to grow as a student, a young adult, and a working professional. Take advantage of these opportunities. Whether it be through extracurricular clubs, internships, or volunteer positions, the U of M has the resources and opportunities that can help you achieve your goals and dreams too! 

5) Most importantly... don't spend all your Flexdine at Starbucks! Your funds will dwindle faster than you can say "orange mocha Frapuccino." But seriously, live like a college student now so that you won't have to later. There are many free and discounted opportunities for fun on and off campus, so you can have fun and not break the bank.

With that said, I will give you a digital tip-of-the-hat and hope that your college career unfolds as beautifully as mine did.


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In today's digital age, people are continuing to trade in their flip phones for the latest and greatest smart phone on the market. Many people have returned their paperbacks to the library and are now operating Kindles, Nooks, and iPads. What makes these new devices so enticing? The wide variety of apps, of course!

In a world full of bloggers, Tweets, Facebook, and other fast-paced and technologically advanced programs, many institutions are now only a click away. If clothing stores and restaurants have apps, shouldn't art museums? 

Recently, I learned about a new course offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Department of Art History, and College of Design at the U of M. The goal of the course will be to conceptualize an interactive app for the world-renowned Weisman Art Museum (WAM), which is located on the U of M east bank campus. The course will combine research, writing, design, observation, and discussion to create an exciting new app. 

I was so excited to learn about the amazing opportunity, and I signed up for the course right away. It's great to see the University constantly offering new coursework and opportunities that are following the trends of technology and society, and helping us stay ahead of the curve in our knowledge and skills. I look forward to learning a lot from this class next semester!

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The summer 2012 London Olympics was the pop culture event of the year. Of the 530 athletes competing for Team USA, the University of Minnesota represented maroon and gold across several events. Not only in an athletic sense, but behind the scenes as well. We're #UMNProud of these Gophers and alumni!

Kelci Bryandt

Kelci is a synchronized diver who previously finished 4th in the 3-meter synchronized diving event in Beijing four years ago. After training with Olympic diving coach Wenbo CFhen at the U of M, she was ready for this year's competition. This summer Kelci and her partner, Abby Johnston, won the silver medal in the event.

Lindsay Whalen

As a senior at the U of M, Lindsay led the women's basketball team to the Final Four in 2004. She also holds Minnesota career records in points, scorning average, free throws made, free throw percentage, and games in double figures. She helped the Minnesota Lynx win their first WNBA title last fall, and was chosen for the Olympic basketball team for the first time. We're so proud of Lindsay, who helped lead Team USA to take the gold in women's basketball!

Jillian Tyler

A native of our neighboring country Canada, Jillian was the NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke as a senior at the U of M in 20011, as well as eight-time Big Ten champion and 13-time All American. She earned her second straight trip to the Olympics by placing first in the 100-meater breaststroke at the Canadian Olympic trials.

Hugh McCutcheon

New Zealand native Hugh McCutcheon led the USA men's team to an Olympic gold victory in 2008. He has since coached the women's national team to an 85-37 record in just three years! We are proud to say that Hugh will be coming to the U of M this fall to replace the retiring Mike Herbert.

Amanda Smock

Although Amanda was never a Gopher athlete, she did manage to find time between training sessions to earn her Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the U of M in 2010. After four years of focus and training, she won the triple jump at the U.S. Olympic trials in June.

Barbora Spotakova

As a member of Minnesota's track and field team, Barbora was All-American in 2002 in the javelin and also made it to the NCAA champtionships in heptathlon. Currently, she is the reigning Olympic champion and world-record holder in the javelin. This sumer will be her third time competing in the olympics, representing her native Czech Republic. 

Roberto Sobalvarro

En garde! Roberto has developed and taught several classes at the U of M in both sabre fencing and foil fencing for the last 20 years. He coached the U.S. women's epee team in the individual team competition of the London Olympics. 

Susan Sokolowski

Susan earned her Ph.D. in apparel design from the College of Design here at the U of M. Currently, she works as the senior innovation manager on the Apparel Innovation Team at Nike. The U.S. women's track and field team featured her team's work in London this summer. She has been recognized internationally for her achievements in design and innovation. 

Brock Anundson

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sport and recreation management, Brock has been working at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs since January 2011. He works as a programs coordinator/operations specialist, which involves setting up everything that's required for athlete training at the complex- from lodging and meals to training schedules. 

Julie (Schmitz) Miller

CEHD alumna Julie Miller lived in London this summer and worked in the Athlete Village during the Olympic games on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee. If you want to read about her amazing experiences in London, check out her blog!

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources offers majors in environmental science; bioresources and bioenergy; engineering; food, animal and nutritional sciences; applied economics and business; education; agriculture; natural resources; and plant sciences. We've highlighted two CFANS majors below. To learn about more U of M major options, visit http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/admissioninfo/fresh_acadprog.html.

Major: Agricultural Education

Description: Majoring in agricultural education provides an understanding of how to work with people in business and education through courses including applied economics, physical and biological sciences, humanities, and communications. Students choose between two exciting specializations within the major:

  • Agricultural Education Teacher Licensure
  • Agricultural Leadership and Communication

Examples of Careers: Agriculture Education Teacher, Communications Specialist, Extension Educator, Corporate Agricultural Associate, Customer Service Representative, and Sales Representative


Major: Nutrition

Description: Nutrition explores how nutrients and the foods from which they are derived aid the body in growth and development and in maintaining health and wellness. With the national and international concern for the effects of food an nutrition on health and wellness as a disease, there are many career opportunities for graduates of this program. Students choose from three possible fields of study:

  • Nutrition Studies
  • Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  • Nutritional Science

Examples of Careers: Community Health Worker, Nutrition Educator, Assistant Food Editor, Research Scientist, Sports Nutritionist, Nutrition Program Manager, or Dietetic Technician

If you would like to learn more about Agricultural Education or Nutrition, we encourage you to schedule a campus visit at http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/visit. CFANS visits are held every Monday and Friday.


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