Program Overview

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.

It is the goal of Rice's Professional Master's Program that by integrating a disciplinary course of study with shared experiences that enhance the student's awareness and key skills in management, communications policy, and ethics, the graduate will be familiar with the culture of business and industry and will see his/her future chances of success enhanced.

Each degree program is composed of science courses, a set of cohort courses, and an internship or practical work experience. Each student will have a faculty adviser to help generate a personalized course of study that will enhance the student's core of knowledge.

Science Courses

Each degree program requires a unique set of science courses that provide students with the core expertise needed by industrial and governmental organizations. Additional skills, such as computational training, are interwoven with the advanced coursework. Students supplement these foundation courses by choosing electives in line with their areas of interest. For a detailed list of courses, visit the coursework pages for Applied Chemical Sciences, Bioscience and Health Policy, Energy Geoscience, Environmental Analysis and Space Studies.

Access to Courses from Other Educational Institutions

With the permission of the advising faculty, students can enroll in courses offered by Rice Partner institutions. Instructions and forms can be found here.

Cohort Activities

The cohort activities provide the additional skills students needed for a non-academic career.

  • Management for Science and Engineering
  • Science Policy and Ethics
  • Professional Master’s Seminar

Students can further deepen their knowledge of business, management and leadership by selecting MBA elective courses offered through the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.

Internship or Practical Work Experience

A key feature of the Professional Master's Program, internships provide students with the learning and practical experience they seek. For employers, internships are considered the best return-on-invest for recruiting and provide the most economical, efficient, and effective means for hiring talent. Students should find a three- to a six-month position suited to their interests in an industry directly related to their area of study. The program provides students with extensive support during their internship search including personal corporate contacts, mentorship by Industry Advisory Board Members, networking opportunities, training to be successful when interviewing, writing resumes and reaching out to potential employers, introductions, and time management.

Rice recognizes that students may have previous industrial experience in their area of study. In lieu of an internship, the track director may allow these students to choose an appropriate project for their final report. Part-time students who already work in their area of study may be able to fulfill the internship requirement by working on a special project with their current employer.