5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2016 6:47 PM by Richard Shreve

    Professional Science Masters versus M.S. in Chemistry?

    Matthew Sylvestre

      I have currently began the process of investigating graduate programs in Chemistry.  Specificly Master's programs.  In my investigative work I discovered some schools are offering a Masters of Chemistry (Professional Science Masters Degree) wrather than a M.S. in chemistry.  They are both considered graduate degrees.  The only major difference between the programs are a M.S. in chemistry requires a thesis.  My question is how do employers view the Professional Science Masters Degree?  Do employers feel this is a suitable degree for someone searching for a higher level research position?  If anyone could give me some opinions on this degree it would be greatly appreciated.

        • Re: Professional Science Masters versus M.S. in Chemistry?
          Barbara Belmont

          I got a Professional Science Masters in Analytical Chemistry from Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004, and am very pleased to have done so.  Most of my class mates were there because the only way to advance in management at their company was to have an advanced degree.  Their employers considered the PSM to be the appropriate level of training for advancement in management.  It is my experience that most people don't distinguish between the MS and the PSM.  The academic work is just as rigorous.  For my program, the capstone event was a comprehensive exam just as rigorous as any PhD candidacy exam.

           

          I can't answer your specific question about whether the PSM will get you into a higher level research position, but it will definitely get you into higher positions of responsibility.  It is my understanding that the PSM is considered a terminal degree.  That is, PSM is not usually a bridge to the PhD.  On the other hand, the MS is often such a bridge.

           

          MY PSM has opened some unexpected doors for me, and it was the best thing I ever did with my education.  By the way, I was 45 when I entered the PSM program, so it was also the hardest thing I ever did with my education.  Wouldn't trade it for the world!

           

          Recommend you ask your potential PSM program coordinators for more alumni to talk to about this.

           

          Barbara Belmont

          • Professional Science Masters versus M.S. in Chemistry?
            Kristie Grzywinski

            Matthew -

            Recognizing a need to produce competent employees who bring both scientific knowledge and professional skills to the workplace while adddressing the needs of students who prefer a graduate experience different than a tradtional PhD education, educators in higher education established the Professional Science Master's degree (PSM).

            The PSM degree's innovative curriculum is based on a solid core of science courses (most often the same classes taken by MS and PhD students) coupled with the development of communication and business skills to produce a highly-skilled professional increasingly in demand by business and industry.

            According to the Council of Graduate Schools, there are more than 230 programs at over 110 institutions in the US. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) was one of the frist universities to establish a PSM degree in Chemistry in 1996.

            Employers choose PSM graduates for both their strong science background and their ability to exhibit problem-solving skills and leadership potential.  An early 2011report from the National Governors Association titled, "Degrees for What Jobs?" notes that "Professional Science Master's degrees . . . are a compelling example of curricula that educates scientists at the crossroads between scientific, business, and leadership skills."

            For more information on PSM degrees, visit npsma.org and sciencemasters.com.

            For more information on IIT's online PSM degrees in Analytical Chemistry and Materials Chemistry visit iit.edu.

            - Kristie

            Kristie A Grzywinski, MS, MLIS

            Coordinator, Professional Science Master's Programs

            College of Science and Letters

            Illinois Institute of Technology

            312-567-7974

            kgrzywin@iit.edu

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            • Professional Science Masters versus M.S. in Chemistry?
              Kristie Grzywinski

              Matthew -

              There have been several articles written about how employers view PSM degrees - I can provide you with links to these articles.

              In addition, we've had many happy and successful graduates of our program - include Barbara above.

              I know that they would be willing to share their experiences with you.

              Please feel free to contact me.

               

              Kristie

              Kristie A Grzywinski, MS, MLIS

              Coordinator, Professional Science Master's Programs

              Illinois Institute of Technology

              312-715-6784

              kgrzywin@iit.edu