2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


RUIZ, Joaquin, Dean, College of Science, Univ of Arizona, PO BOX 210077, Tucson, AZ 85721 and TOBIAS, Sheila, The Sloan Science Outreach Project, 724 N. Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, jruiz@u.arizona.edu

The master's degree has always been a popular end-point for certain geosciences students with good prospects in the workforce. Typically, it has been research-oriented, not unlike the first two years of a geosciences Ph.D. While geoscience departments cultivate employers and may steer their master's graduates appropriately, there hasn't been until recently, a focused master's (in any of the sciences or mathematics) directed toward students who want to broaden their skills at the graduate level with a view toward entering business and industry.

What are being called "professional master's degree programs" are designed in partnership with and supported by business/industry advisory groups. They are generally non-thesis master's programs including a 6-10 week internship and involving interdisciplinary studies. This paper will describe a set of programs in geographic information systems (GIS), environmental science, and geoscience more generally that define themselves as PSM's. Most of the programs are too new to have placed many graduates, but faculty are aiming to prepare their graduates for positions of leadership and decision making in business, industry and the public sector.