Graduate Catalog

Professional Science Master's (PSM)

What differentiates the PSM from the core Master's degree?

The Professional Science Master's (PSM) is an innovative, non-thesis degree option designed for students to pursue advanced training in science, health or engineering while simultaneously developing professional leadership skills highly valued by employers. PSM programs typically consist of 8 core courses in science, health or engineering, 3 professional courses in leadership, communication and project management, a paid internship or professional development project and a reflective seminar. PSM programs have been developed in concert with industry in response to employer demands for specific skills and knowledge above and beyond the core science curriculum. 

In contrast to typical Master’s degrees, which require a thesis as a step toward preparation for an academic career, PSM programs are designed as terminal degrees that prepare candidates to compete in the global market. In essence, PSM programs are the MBAs of the 21st century. The National PSM Association offers networking and professional workshops to promote continued career development for PSM alumni across the country. 

What PSM programs are available at U Mass Lowell?

UMass Lowell offers 19 PSM programs. Graduates earn a Master’s degree in Science with a PSM Option in the fields indicated below.

Biological Sciences 

  • Applied Biotechnology 
  • Environmental Biotechnology 
  • Biosafety 
  • Project Management in Life Sciences
Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology

  • Chemistry and Polymer Science 
  • Pharmaceutical Biochemistry
Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Environmental Sciences

  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Geosciences

Marine Sciences

  • Costal and Ocean Administration, Science and Technology


  • Industrial Mathematics 
  • Radiological Sciences 
Professional Leadership

The Professional Leadership certificate is a useful credential for science, engineering and technology professionals in the private and public sectors who wish to advance to managerial and/or move to more business related positions within their organizations. This is a 12 credit (four courses, three credits per course) program.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, technology or mathematics. 
  2. Minimum of two years post-baccalaureate work experience.

This program consists of four master’s level courses (3 credits each), with three courses in the professional leadership area and one advanced course in the individual’s field of expertise.  For qualified individuals, the 12 earned graduate credits are transferable to an related Professional Science Master’s graduate program with the approval of the appropriate graduate program coordinator.

Required Professional Courses: (three credits each – all are online courses)
  • PSM 535 Project Management for Science Professionals
  • PSM 545 Professional and Scientific Communication 
  • PSM 555 Professional Science Leadership 
One business courses may be substituted for one of the above courses, with approval of the program advisor.  

Required Science, Engineering, or Technology Course (three credits) – One graduate level course within the student’s academic discipline, to be chosen with the approval of the appropriate Graduate Coordinator, is required.

Deborah White

Work Environment 

For more information regarding PSM programs at UMass Lowell contact William Smith.

Recommended PSM Science Courses:

Students should consult with faculty advisers to determine best course choice for their career advancement needs. All PSM students should include at least 1 course (basic or enhanced) that incorporates communication into their curriculum. Course descriptions can be found on the  Recommended Courses (pdf).