By: Judah Stiefel  | 

YU Adds New Katz School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Innovation meets graduate education as YU’s Katz School of Graduate and Professional Studies kicks off its exciting first semester. The newly opened graduate school takes a refreshing, practical approach to education, using careful market analytics before creating a degree. The Katz School currently offers three graduate degrees: an MS in Quantitative Economics, an MS in Speech Language Pathology, and degrees in marketing and accounting offered through YU’s AACSB-accredited Sy Syms School of Business. Three more degrees are expected to be made available as soon as next year.

There is a progressive professional aura about the Katz school which stems from its hands-on approach to education, its diligent market analytics when it comes to degree selection, and its invested and creative faculty. All three of these factors contribute to the school’s mission of creating capable, well-rounded professionals who can navigate the modern trend towards emerging and expanding fields. As Dr. Paul Russo, experienced educator and Dean of the Katz School put it, “[We are a school] informed by industry. A thorough process of research and planning goes into each degree the school offers.”

Before establishing a degree, the Katz School’s administration goes through four steps in determining the viability of the field in question. An initial analysis of the labor market is conducted in order to determine whether graduates for the field in question are in high demand. There is also research done to determine the availability of local jobs, job security, expected growth in the field, and wage mobility. The administration of the school then does detailed research into forecasts for the future of the field in question. They are only willing to offer degrees that will guarantee their graduates stable careers in the future with room to grow.

Lastly the school looks into other graduate programs, a process Dean Russo describes as an “art form”. Dean Russo wants to ensure that any degree that the school offers is unique. If there are a sufficient number of competing programs that offer the same or a similar degree, the school won’t go forward in creating it. The results of this selective process are invaluable. This guarantees that there will be quality and potential in each degree that the Katz School offers.

Consistent with its research-oriented approach to which degrees it chooses to offer, the school takes a similarly rigorous and practical-minded approach to its education. Says Dean Russo, “Students are evaluated on what they build, not on what they can regurgitate.” The evaluation of students is meant to test their practical skills with the goal of creating well-rounded innovators in the workplace. Courses are project-based and the learning is practical and experiential. Energetic faculty facilitate this approach to education. When selecting faculty, each interviewee is required to demonstrate what they have done to improve their field. They are expected to maintain a high teaching level, show proficiency in research, and demonstrate genuine care for their students.

Dean Russo originally became an educator after working for years in high-tech at Texas Instruments. He worked for 20 years at CUNY, focusing on higher education startups. He built four major initiatives at CUNY including an online education initiative. Dean Russo sees YU as an academic powerhouse and has brought his 20 years of experience to create a graduate school that can apply YU’s great potential.

Overall, the Katz School has three main goals. Firstly, to create graduate degrees in emerging and expanding professions. Secondly, to create attractive graduates and to connect them with the right employers. Thirdly, to create an exemplary experience for students while maintaining an informed and welcoming environment. The school wants employers to feel comfortable and at ease in doing business with the school.

While it is currently in just its first year, the school is growing quickly, and it plans to add three more majors by next year. The Katz School for Graduate and Professional Studies is a great opportunity for driven students within and beyond the YU community to obtain a unique and well-rounded education.