A curiosity tucked away in a handful of university catalogs a decade ago, the professional science master’s degree is emerging from the shadows at a number of college campuses.
The degree, which a few universities quietly pioneered in the mid-1990s, combines graduate studies in science or mathematics and business management courses. In 2008, 58 universities were offering the professional science master’s degree, or P.S.M. By the start of this academic year, the number had nearly doubled to 103.
The degree involves two years of study, and there is no thesis requirement. There is a large minority of international students pursuing a P.S.M.
One of them, Aayush Pandey, 23, is studying biotechnology at Northeastern University in Boston. After earning an undergraduate degree in that subject last year at the Amity Institute of Biotechnology in New Delhi, he thought that with a P.S.M. degree he could prepare for a management-level job. When he completes his degree, he will look for a job with a US biotech company, aiming to save enough money in two to three years to repay his parents the $36,000 that they lent him to cover his tuition.