Professional Science Master’s (PSM) programs are important new professional programs that prepare students for the workforce – at companies, government and nonprofit agencies. These programs provide both technical science skills and professional skills (business, policy, legal, regulatory, communications, leadership, or other) necessary to be effective employees from the first day on the job. Imbedded in these programs is the requirement that you have an internship experience to provide you with an opportunity to make a connection with an employer. Also, each PSM program has an Advisory Board composed of employers that helps to guide the curriculum, provide interesting and meaningful projects throughout the curriculum, hosts receptions and other functions, provides internships, and otherwise supports the program. The benefit to employers is that they get a well-trained, highly educated employee upon graduation who will immediately contribute to the company.
The PSM was started in 2000 and there are now more than 296 programs at over 125 universities that offer the PSM. Bachelor’s level science education is often not enough for a science career in today’s increasingly technical workplace. The Florida Statewide PSM Initiative has grown to 33 active PSM programs since its inception 2009. More information on this intitiative can be found at www.flpsm.org.
UCF has five PSM programs:
Health Care Informatics – a 16-month program, mostly online, designed specifically for working professionals who would like to work in this new and exciting field. Graduates of this program design the databases and codes that are used in the healthcare industry to record services.
Modeling and Simulation – a two-year online program designed specifically for working professionals who would like to work in simulation or already are employed in the simulation industry and would like to upgrade their skills. This program provides the fundamentals of modeling and simulation and has applications for all fields.
Biotechnology – this two-year on-campus program prepares students for work in the growing Biotech industry. Students gain skills in techniques used in biotechnology and the policy and regulatory information necessary for drug development.
Conservation Biology – this two-year on-campus program is designed for those who care about environmental issues and plan to work in government or nonprofit agencies that support responsible growth, a sustainable environment, and good resource management. Policy, regulatory, economic and other considerations are included in the professional content of this program.
Professional Engineering Management - this two-year industrial engineering program focuses on effective decision-making in engineering and technological organizations. Online courses are available with this program.
The benefit to students who enroll in these programs is that they are educated to be innovative problem-solvers and excellent communicators who possess the technical skills and business and management skills to be more competitive in the job market. Often PSM graduates become program managers, project scientists, or technology innovators. PSM graduates are uniquely qualified to be technology translators – taking new discoveries and moving them to new products, new processes, and new innovations.