The University of the Cumberlands (UC), a private, Christian liberal arts university in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is to become the first US university to offer a dedicated graduate degree in blockchain technology. From summer 2019, the university will teach a Master of Science in Global Business with Blockchain Technology program.
An Ambitious Vision
Founded in 1888, UC has a relatively small undergraduate population of approximately 1,600 students but is working to expand its graduate and executive programs. Recognizing the increasing demand for blockchain skills among businesses, the university is seeking to provide an educational program that goes beyond the shorter certificate programs more typically offered by other US colleges.
“Blockchain is much more than cryptocurrency; it’s the most groundbreaking technology since the internet. It will completely revolutionize standard business practices. With how prominent blockchain is in the marketplace, employers have a massive need to fill positions with people who are well-versed in this technology.”Lois McWhorter, Department Chair of the Hutton School of Business
UC has therefore followed the likes of the University of Nicosia and the University of Malta by developing its own graduate degree program in blockchain technology. The degree program is entirely online but will also be offered as an executive program, allowing for a residency component. The university is even considering introducing an undergraduate degree program in blockchain technology at some point in the future.
Online Master’s Degree
The online master’s degree is “designed to give business and IT professionals an in-depth understanding of the issues and components associated with blockchain technology, equipping them with the core concepts, frameworks and techniques necessary to lead and implement blockchain initiatives in a business environment.”
The program focuses on the application of blockchain technologies across different industries and business functions, taught primarily through virtual lab exercises, research theory, and application activities. Students will cover how to:
- Develop programming code to implement crypto assets and perform blockchain data mining;
- Create and implement cryptocurrencies, hyperledgers, Ethereum, and decentralized applications;
- Analyze blockchain technology’s impact on different aspects of business;
- Address specific needs and challenges in the field of blockchain technology.
The degree requires a total of 31 credit hours, comprising the following courses:
- BLCN 531 Introduction to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
- BLCN 532 Blockchain Development
- BLCN 533 Finance and Blockchain
- BLCN 534 Fundamentals of Database Systems
- BLCN 535 Cryptography
- BLCN 631 Blockchain Implementation
- BLCN 632 Data Mining
- BLCN 633 Global Marketing and Blockchain
- BLCN 634 Human Resource Management and Blockchain
- BLCN 635 New Technologies for Business Leaders
- BLCN 699 Capstone
Executive Master’s Degree
UC also offers the degree as an Executive Master’s in Global Business with Blockchain Technology. The curriculum is the same but delivered in a hybrid format combining online and on-site study, requiring attendance at weekend residency classes in Williamsburg and Florence, Kentucky. As a result, tuition fees for the executive program ($15,500) are higher than the 100% online program ($9,765).
Both programs are regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).