Volume 20 | issue nº 1 Spring 2018

What’s New at LAU

By Hoda Hilal

More in this issue

The university is launching four new programs this fall

LAU is constantly enhancing its educational catalog with new academic offerings. The university is introducing three new graduate programs and one on the undergraduate level, all to be debuted in fall 2018. Each of the programs responds to the demands of a changing job market in line with the first pillar of LAU’s Third Strategic Plan: to expand research capacity and scholarly activities.

Designed to help School of Pharmacy (SOP) graduates tap into the growing pharmaceutical development market in the Middle East, the school’s new Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Development and Management was launched to provide a strong foundation in pharmaceutical sciences while allowing graduates to pursue their educational interests. According to SOP Dean Imad Btaiche, graduates will be prepared to take leading roles in the industry, whether in drug development, research, quality control, regulation or management.

The program is unique in its flexibility and variety for offering thesis and non-thesis tracks, along with a management component that is supported by the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB). “This is the first such program at the School of Pharmacy during its 20-plus years of history, and it represents a major step forward in further putting the school on the map of graduate education,” said Btaiche.

Similarly, the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Natural Sciences created a program to help graduates enter a growing field. The new Master of Science in Nutrition will focus on the determinants, incidence and prevention of obesity and its related diseases, as well as food security, safety and quality. What sets the degree apart is the opportunity for students to participate in human trials and clinical research at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital. The goal is to produce leaders in the field who are able to design and implement nutrition programs and promote health in communities and educational institutions across the region.

Associate Professor of Nutrition and Coordinator of the Nutrition Program Nadine Zeeni emphasizes its unique interdisciplinary nature. “It is no longer enough for health workers to be professional,” she said. “They also need to be inter-professional to address the region’s current health challenges.”

The third new graduate program to launch this fall, a Master of Science in Human Resources Management, aims to take HR professionals beyond office work and make a profound impact on the lives of the people in their organizations. The master’s will provide graduates with extensive knowledge of HR-management strategies to promote organizational performance in a diversifying landscape. At the end of the program, graduates will have developed a thorough understanding of challenges and trends in the field, as well as solutions to modern management problems.

“We are in contact with the industry, so we know that there’s a need in companies today to build a productive workforce and a gap in such knowledge in the market,” said Assistant Professor of Management Hussein Ismail. “HR has changed over the past 15 years or so. Today there is a trend in the field toward motivation and talent management,” he added. By espousing new movements in the industry, the program will form professionals who can make an impact on organizations in any field.

On the undergraduate level, a new BS in Applied Physics will bridge physics and fields such as medicine, engineering, astronomy, chemistry, biology and environmental sciences.

“The physics program will add a new dimension to the department and complete the range of scientific programs offered at LAU,” said Assistant Professor of Physics at the Department of Natural Sciences Jimmy Romanos.

To be offered on both the Beirut and Byblos campuses, the bachelor’s espouses the real-life application of both experimental and theoretical physics. Three areas of concentration are offered: pre-med physics, materials science and electronics. Classes will promote active and experiential learning by giving students access to the latest technology and lab equipment.

With its new academic offerings, LAU gives current and future students the opportunity to produce new breakthroughs in different fields, in line with what the Third Strategic Plan was developed to accomplish.