The University of the Sciences on Tuesday announced it will develop its first fully online programs in partnership with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton.
Six masters-level degrees and graduate certificates will be offered in genomics, health administration, and health informatics, beginning in January, the university announced. Multiple start dates for the programs will be offered throughout the year to give prospective students flexibility, university officials said.
“This partnership with Geisinger builds on the strengths of both of our institutions and provides expanded expertise and offerings to our students,” Paul Katz, USciences president, said. “We are delighted to build this relationship with a strong regional presence in the health care industry such as Geisinger and believe it will provide greater opportunities for all of our students.”
University of the Sciences, located in West Philadelphia, currently offers some hybrid courses — a mix of in-class and online options. But the new programs will be exclusively online, the school said.
Like at many schools, enrollment at the university has been dropping. In 2014, total enrollment was 2,732, more than 1,600 of them undergraduates. Last year total enrollment was 2,231. The university in 2017 announced it would lower its sticker price or reset its tuition in an attempt to attract a wider student base.
This year, the university exceeded its enrollment target for freshmen, bringing in more than 430, said spokesperson Jenna Pizzi. The school last spring opened a new, 436-bed residence hall.
The university has begun accepting applications for the new online programs it is rolling out with Geisinger, a private medical school associated with Geisinger Health System. Geisinger enrolls 500 students, 400 of them medical students and 100 students seeking master’s degrees.