Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

New programs create new opportunities for Bulldogs

Redlands offers more than 45 undergraduate programs and encourages students to take the time to discover and develop their academic goals. This fall, Bulldogs will have even more choices with the addition of four new majors: data science, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) B.A and B.S., and kinesiology.  

Data Science 

What are the main pollutants affecting air quality? Have reading levels improved in elementary school students since new standards were implemented? Are there patterns in patients that can help predict early signs of heart disease? These are just a few questions data scientists can help answer through analyzing and interpreting complex data sets.  

Data science is a multidisciplinary field that utilizes scientific methods, algorithms, and statistics to understand patterns and trends. Redlands’ new program offers a unique opportunity for students to bridge liberal arts with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Unlike other university data science programs, students are not expected to have a formal background in mathematics or computer science.  

The program aims to provide students of different backgrounds and interests with a solid foundation that not only advances technical skills but also fosters ethical responsibility, diversity, and collaboration. The program utilizes tools from mathematics, statistics, and computer science to investigate questions in a wide variety of disciplines, even areas that have not traditionally been seen as data focused. Students in the program will gain experience in Python, R, and SQL— three of the top programming skills required by many employers — and acquire a myriad of skills, such as data cleaning, visualization, statistical modeling, and machine learning.  

Professor Joanna Bieri, the data science program director, believes “that these technical skills must be complemented by non-technical skills, such as critical thinking, effective communication, and creative problem-solving. Data science is not just about crunching numbers — but about asking meaningful questions and finding solutions within specific domains. The Redlands liberal arts environment is the ideal place to develop both the technical and non-technical skills that employers are looking for,” she said. 

To learn more about the Data Science program, click here 

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)  

As described by Esri, the world’s leading producer of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software, “GIS is a system that creates, manages, analyzes, and maps all types of data. GIS connects data to a map, integrating location data — where things are — with all types of descriptive information — what things are like there.” The U of R will offer two new GIS programs: the Bachelor of Arts in GIS (BAGIS) program and the Bachelor of Science in GIS (BSGIS). Both programs aim to create leaders in the field of GIS, but the BSGIS program differs from the BAGIS program in that the former offers students more advanced skills in GIS without the same exposure to interdisciplinary applications contained in the latter.  

John Glover, a history and GIS professor, said “We inhabit a world saturated with spatial information, from maps and charts to mobile devices that employ location-based services.  It is also increasingly clear that the pressing issues confronting society — from urban planning to energy needs, natural hazards, climate change, and human health — are fundamentally spatial in nature. Linking locational and descriptive information makes it possible to visualize data in the form of maps and charts to conduct location-based analyses, revealing patterns that can inform decision making.”   

Continue reading to learn more about the BAGIS and BSGIS programs. 


The BAGIS program is an applied, interdisciplinary curriculum that empowers students to utilize GIS. BAGIS distinguishes students by enabling them to gain a strong foundation in the application of GIS through one-one-one mentorship, real-world problem-solving, and first-hand experience in internships. BAGIS has three major points of emphasis: interdisciplinary learning, applied career-oriented spatial skills, and complementarity nature for a potential second major.    

Students in the program will take elective courses to further emphasize diverse case studies and interdisciplinary application of spatial tools. Career-oriented classes showcase real-world problem solving — flood control, crime deterrence, fire management, and more — and the senior seminar helps students to identify and compete for GIS internships and jobs. Due to the streamlined and applied design, students are encouraged to complete a second major, where students of all interests and backgrounds can be leaders in the field of GIS.  

To learn more about the B.A. in GIS, click here. 


The BSGIS program equips students with skills needed to proficiently identify, propose, design, and develop solutions to spatial problems, emphasizing four main skills: spatial data acquisition, data management, spatial analysis, and information presentation.   

Students will strengthen their understanding of acquiring spatial data by studying real-world applications, such as image sourcing, GPS data, and coordinate calculations from field measurements. Effectively organizing substantial volumes of data is a pivotal skill in GIS, and students will actively learn how to upload, create, and retrieve various types of spatial information. Courses like Introduction to Python Programming and Applied Data Analysis with Python within the curriculum will establish a strong foundation for students to excel in creating compelling visuals for effectively communicating information and solutions to spatial problems.  

To learn more about the B.S. in GIS, click here. 


Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training are just a few of the growing fields in allied health. The new kinesiology program will provide students the opportunity to excel in an academically rigorous program that provides a pathway to graduate programs and career opportunities within the allied health industry.  

Tom Whittemore, chair of physical education, said, “Transitioning our PE minor into a kinesiology major is something we have talked about within the PE and Athletics Department for several years. As I talked to current U of R students, it became more and more apparent that there is great interest in kinesiology and careers in the allied health professions.” 

“I am confident that this new program will be a great draw for prospective students with an eye toward careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, teaching, coaching, and strength and fitness. The timing is perfect for us to launch the kinesiology major, and we have received tremendous support from administration, faculty, and students.” 

Students are encouraged to have a strong background or willingness to learn in biology and chemistry courses. Paired with various elective courses, such as biomechanics and exercise physiology, students will gain a deep understanding in the fundamentals of human movements and applications of kinesiology to human health.  

To learn more about the kinesiology program, click here.