Professional Science Master's (PSM) Degrees
What is the PSM degree?
The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree is a unique professional degree in an interdisciplinary area of science, mathematics or technology and is designed to prepare students for a variety of career options in the industry, government or non-profit organizations.
The degree combines advanced coursework in science and/or mathematics with an appropriate array of professional skills-development activities to produce graduates who are highly valued by employers and fully prepared to progress toward leadership roles.
The PSM also contains a professional component that may include internships, special course projects, capstone projects and "cross-training" in business, management and communications. This unique experience makes the PSM degree-holder capable of embarking upon an entrepreneurial career. The professional component is developed in concert with industry and designed to dovetail into present and future professional career opportunities.
Why choose a PSM program at UMUC?
UMUC has seven PSM programs, listed above, each of which is offered completely online. The professional component of these programs includes virtual internships, integrated as employer-sponsored projects in the capstone courses. In these courses students work in small groups on real-life, problem-based projects, provided by discipline-specific companies. Projects run through the length of a semester and provide hands-on experience and a final report/presentation for the employer. In some cases, special laboratory exercises and projects consisting of hypothetical scenarios based on real-life cases, and developed on the basis of the recommendation of representatives from industry and government agencies or other experts, are included in the relevant courses to enhance students’ learning experience.
How is a PSM unique?
- More science (or mathematics) than an MBA
- Often more informatics/computation than science degree
- More professional skills (business, law, communication) than a PhD
- Connections with potential employers
- Project or team-based learning: real world experience
- Awareness of industrial trends
- Preparing students to become entrepreneurs
- Curriculum developed in concert with employers
- Programs designed based on analysis of demand for graduates
- Addressing emerging needs quickly—only two years (36 credits)
- Employer/industry advisory board
What are the benefits of a PSM?
The PSM degree provides students an alternative way to remain in science without getting a PhD. Additionally, a PSM degree positions students to
- Seek career advancement in government, industry and technology
- Gain a competitive edge in the job market
- Re-enter workforce with refined professional/technical skills
- Seek career growth
What kind of options do PSM graduates have?
- Work in non-academic sectors
- Have interdisciplinary careers
- Work in team-oriented environments
- Obtain managerial or other professional-level positions
- Work in emerging areas of science and scientific discovery
- Become entrepreneurs