As our national economy becomes increasingly dependent upon technology, there is a need for people in industry and government to possess scientific expertise as well as leadership and management skills.
In response to these needs, the Sloan Foundation began funding the development of a new MS degree in universities across the United States. The Professional Science Master's (PSM) is a two-year degree that prepares students for work outside academia. Instead of specializing in a research area, you will learn what it takes to become a well-rounded, technically adept professional—just the sort of person that employers are looking for these days!
Rice developed three degrees (Environmental Analysis and Decision Making, Nanoscale Physics and Subsurface Geoscience) in cooperation with a Board of Affiliates composed of representatives from business and industry, and added two more degrees: Bioscience and Health Policy in 2011, and Space Studies in 2012. A second Board of Affiliates was created focusing on the Space Studies track, only. Both Board of Affiliates will advise and assist with curriculum, recruitment, internships, and job placement.
All degrees are offered through a 16 to 21-month* program that requires both coursework and hands-on training—typically in the form of an internship. The students take science courses alongside doctoral students, but no dissertation is required. Instead PSM students take required courses in management and team training, and policy and ethics. They also take a seminar series featuring both outside speakers, faculty, and student speakers. The internship/practical work experience can be completed as a summer internship, or a longer internship during one of the semesters. Students receive intense training to prepare them for the internship search and receive access to a wealth of resources to be successful in their search.
Please find the PSM Guidelines and Procedures here.
Other Resources and Opportunities:
In addition to the curriculum, Rice offers several opportunities for students to expand their experience and knowledge through activities, courses, and events, including:
*Based on full-time enrollment. Program length for part-time students will vary with individual background, work experience, and course load. Program length for full-time students will vary depending on length of internship/work experience.
Curriculum developed to guide students into careers in industry and business
Depending on the program chosen, graduates will be able to pursue opportunities globally in many different types of organizations. Please review specific information under each program and read the bios of our graduates to see where they interned and where they found employment.