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Civil engineering, Biophysical Chemistry doctoral programs approved

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has authorized Texas State University to offer two innovative new doctoral degrees in civil engineering and integrated molecular and biophysical chemistry.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved the degree programs in May 2023. They will open to student enrollment beginning in fall 2024.

Approval of the programs marks an important milestone in TXST’s efforts to achieve the R1 Carnegie Classification.

“These innovative doctoral programs are a testament to Texas State University’s commitment to advancing knowledge, fostering research excellence and preparing our students for high-tech, in-demand jobs,” said Pranesh Aswath, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

“The civil engineering and integrated molecular and biophysical chemistry programs will not only prepare our students for entering the high-tech workforce and enhance our research profile but also significantly contribute to the Texas and national economies and to the global scientific community. The programs embody our vision of transforming Texas State and making a profound impact on the world.” The TXST civil engineering doctoral program addresses a growing demand for civil engineering researchers in Texas and the nation. The new program will cultivate the next generation of visionary industry leaders through an intensive curriculum and meaningful research opportunities, including artificial intelligence applications in civil engineering.

Graduates of the program will have plentiful job prospects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), a doctoral degree is indispensable for civil engineers aspiring to lead independent research and development projects. These professionals earn a national average annual salary of over $98,000. According to HigherEd-Jobs, there are currently more than 2,500 jobs available for graduates who hold a doctoral degree in civil engineering and artificial intelligence fields.

TXST’s civil engineering doctoral program graduates will be strong candidates for faculty, postdoctoral researchers and scientist positions at national universities around the world, at federal agencies such as U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Education, as well as for private companies such as Tesla, Cruise and Uber.

The TXST integrated molecular and biophysical chemistry (IMBC) doctoral program is set to advance biomedicine and the life sciences in Texas and beyond. The program will train doctoral- level biochemists and biophysicists for the growing biomedical and life science industry in the state and nation. Building on the strong foundation of TXST’s Master of Science in Biochemistry program, the IMBC is supported by a stellar team of well-funded faculty members committed to pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery.

With a chemistry and biochemistry focus, the IMBC will supplement the innovative and commercialization success and applied research and development achievements of the university’s materials science, engineering and commercialization (MSEC) doctoral program. IMBC’s unique emphasis on commercialization and industrial collaboration sets it apart in Texas, positioning it to expand the biomedical research landscape in the state and the country. IMBC has great potential for interdisciplinary synergy with existing doctoral programs on campus, including MSEC and aquatic resources and integrated biology.

Employment opportunities abound for future IMBC graduates. Biochemists and biophysicists must have doctoral degrees to work in independent research and development, according to the USBLS. The national average salary for these workers is more than $100,000 per year and the BLS projects that there will be 3,200 annual openings in this field nationally between 2016 and 2026. Texas is no exception to the strength of the doctoral graduate job market in this field. The Texas Workforce Commission projects a 24% growth in the number of biochemistry and biophysics positions in-state from 2018 to 2028, with 180 annual openings available. The number of life science companies in Texas, and specifically Central Texas, is growing rapidly. In 2018, there were more than 240 life science companies within a 25-mile radius of Austin. According to data from the TWC, the Austin metropolitan area saw a 54.5% increase in the number of life sciences companies from 2005 to 2015. Growth in biotechnology companies has only increased in recent years, as new companies are founded, existing companies are relocated and new facilities are added in Central Texas.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666