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Degree Overview: Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.) Degrees

Higher Education Articles November 13, 2015

Master’s degree programs in professional science are alternative master’s degrees focusing primarily on mathematics and science. Biology, mathematics, statistics, forensic science, and chemistry are available majors.

Professional Science Master (P.S.M.) Degree Programs

Non-thesis Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in the areas of Mathematics, Science, and Technology are available to enrollees in Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.) degree programs.

Students take two years to complete a PSM, an interdisciplinary program that typically trains students in areas such as management, business, and communications. A ‘professional skills’ component is also incorporated in PSM programs covering workshops, courses, real-world internships, and employer-sponsored projects. Students often complete projects via teamwork. Schools offer some of these programs in distance learning formats and enrollees in most PSM programs are ready for entrepreneurship. Schools offer a choice of three types of PSM programs.

Enrollees in the first kind of program can gain additional skills in the field of their undergraduate studies. Incoming students to the second kind of program can learn a field of science at a deeper level than they did in their undergraduate studies. Applicants for admission to the third kind of program are enabled to integrate math and science skills with their professional domains, such as management or law.

History of PSM

Twenty-six research institutions offered the PSM for the first time in 1997 as a support system for mathematics, science, and bioinformatics programs. In 2001, master’s focused institutions also began to offer PSM programs. In April 2014, 142 postsecondary institutions offered 309 PSM programs (Science Masters). The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) ensures that all graduate programs in the U.S. offer the PSM as a regular feature.

Coursework

Schools currently offer Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.) degree programs in fields of study such as (National Professional Science Master’s Association):

•Telecommunications management
•Information assurance
•Software Engineering
•Physics and geological sciences
•National defense
•Mathematics and statistics
•Pharmaceutical Sciences
•Agriculture
•Medical Sciences
•Molecular biology
•Chemistry
•Physics
•Biotechnology
•Forensic Sciences
•Environmental Sciences

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek mathematics and science careers in business, industry, non-profit, and government organizations. Graduates may also seek career advancement in current jobs, pursue entry-level jobs, or start their businesses. About 60% of PSM graduates find employment in some industry (Science Masters). Program graduates may seek possible job titles such as:

•Regulatory specialist
•Project Manager
•Mathematician
•Business development manager
•Statistician
•Research Associate

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