An Industry Perspective of the Professional Science Master’s Degree in California

Author(s): DeCillis, M. Daniel; King, Donna; Koehler, Gus A.; Koehler-Jones, Victoria

Release Date: January 10, 2005 | Last Updated Date: January 10, 2005


In 2004, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed requested that CCST assist a coalition of 17 CSU campuses seeking to establish or enhance a Professional Science Masters (PSM) program with the assistance of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation by conducting a qualitative study on the interest level of business and industry.

The PSM is a two-year masters level program that is designed to prepare professionals for work outside academia, that combines a theoretical knowledge with practical applications and business acumen. Several institutions in California already offer PSM degrees. In addition to several CSU campuses, programs are offered at the University of Southern California, Stanford, and at some University of California campuses.

This project was conducted with support from the CSU campus coalition and the CSU Chancellors Office.

Principal recommendations:

  • The PSM program must establish credibility in order to be accepted on a broad basis.
  • In order to succeed, the PSM must be targeted to industries where it is best suited.
  • Industry and universities need to develop better working relationships.
  • Statewide partnerships should be explored which best leverage the resources of the CSU.