Professional Science Master’s Programs

What is a Professional Science Master’s Program?

Professional Science Master’s (PSM) are innovative graduate degrees that combine advanced training in a STEM field while also developing professional skills valued by employers.

Programs must include the following components to be eligible for NPSMA affiliation:

  • A majority of the course content in the natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computational sciences.
  • A professional skills component that must be developed in consultation with leaders from industry, business, government, or non-profit organizations
  • An experiential component that must include at least one capstone project, supervised collaboratively by faculty and employers, evaluated or graded by faculty and typically developed with an employer(s), which integrates the practical application of scientific and professional knowledge, behavior, and skills.

UND School of Graduate Studies PSM Structure

The PSM will be added as a transcriptable subplan option to the existing degree.  The PSM option can be requested by submitting a program change request in Courseleaf.

The University of North Dakota School of Graduate Studies has developed the following structure for programs to follow if they plan to develop a PSM option in their program.

  1. At least 50% of credits must be in the major discipline and up to 50% of credits consisting of PSM core coursework.
  2. Final experiential component has two options. Both options must include written and oral communication elements. Program may also opt to allow students to complete both options.
    1. Option 1: A 3-6 credit internship option may be offered to meet the experiential component and will be offered at 40 hours of experience for one credit hour. Internships should not be mandatory unless the program is sure they are able to help all students find an experience.
    2. Option 2: A 2 credit Independent Study

Credit load

Programs may have 30 or 36 total credits required. The credit load should be as follows:

For programs with 30 credits:

  • 15-18 credits in the major field
    • Up to 6 credits for the final experiential component
  • 12-15 PSM core credits
    • A minimum of 6 credits from each category

For programs with 36 credits:

  • 18-21 credits in the major field
    • Up to 6 credits for the final experiential component
  • 15-18 PSM credits
    • A minimum of 6 credits from each category

Core Coursework Options

Quantitative/Analytic Skills Courses:
EFR 513Large Dataset Management and Analysis3
EFR 515Statistics I3
EFR 516Statistics II3
EFR 518Multivariate Analysis3
EFR 535Data Analytics and Visualization with R3
GEOG 471
Cartography and Visualization
and Cartography and Visualization Laboratory
GEOG 474
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
and GIS Laboratory
GEOG 476Selected Topics in Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG 574Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems3
ENE 530Applied Engineering Business Analysis3
ESSP 520Earth Systems Modeling3
ESSP 540Advanced Topics in Geospatial Technologies3
PSYC 540Foundations of Behavioral Data Analytics3
Professional Skills Courses:
COMM 516Principles of Professional Communication3
COMM 524International/Intercultural Communication for Professionals3
COMM 527Persuasion & Persuasive Communication3
COMM 529Science Communication3
ENGL 408Advanced Public and Professional Writing3
ENGL 540Science Writing3
ENGR 554Applied Project Management3
ESSP 562Environmental Economics, Policy and Management3
ESSP 570Communicating Environmental Information3
CHEM 509Graduate Seminar (Literature Review, Intro to Proposal Writing)1
ENGL 599Special Topic (Writing Science)1-3
ENGR 554Applied Project Management3
ENE 533Project Dynamics & Strategy Modeling3