Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

June 2012

OSU First to Receive Professional Science Master’s Recognition

Oklahoma State University’s Environmental Science Graduate Program (ESGP) has become the first program in Oklahoma to gain Professional Science Master’s or PSM affiliation. The PSM is an innovative new degree specialization designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science and mathematics, while acquiring workplace skills highly valued by employers.

The PSM degree designation in environmental science - environmental management option includes areas of practical expertise that are in big demand with industry. “This designation combines rigorous academic training in environmental science with critical skilled-based coursework in management and public policy. The national PSM recognition greatly enhances our graduates’ education and competitiveness for jobs,” said Sheryl Tucker, dean of the OSU Graduate College.

The PSM option will consist of two years of academic training, with 21 credit hours in physical or natural science and an additional 12 credit hours for the professional component. These additional workplace skills can be developed through coursework, or more commonly, hands-on internships in business, communications, and regulatory affairs.

The culmination of the internship is a final report that must be presented both in writing and through a presentation, according to Dr. Scott Stoodley, interim director of Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, who led development of the specialization. “PSM programs emphasize writing and communication skills, as well as ‘real-world’ experiences, such as team projects in a business or public-sector enterprise,” said Stoodley.

The specialization represents another first in the Environmental Science Graduate Program, which was one of the first interdisciplinary programs of its kind in the nation, established in 1977. The ESGP attracts and produces students capable of thinking beyond a single discipline. Its unique approach to graduate education offers flexibility with locations in Stillwater and Tulsa. The program offers graduate students either a M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Each student has a unique opportunity to develop a degree plan that specifically addresses their individual career goals. Degree integrity is ensured through the guidance of the student's graduate adviser and committee.

Over the last several decades, the program has graduated 111 Ph.D. and 248 M.S. students. These ESGP graduates have gone on to be leaders in every facet of the environmental field. They are lead scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, professors and deans at major universities, industry and energy leaders, chief executive officers of environmental consulting firms, sustainability experts, tribal environmental program leaders, environmental educators, and leaders in a wide variety of municipal, state and federal agencies.

There are over 128 faculty affiliated with ESGP at OSU, and more than 70 have served as faculty advisers from a diverse array of departments – agricultural economics, economics, leisure studies, plant and soil sciences, natural resources ecology and management, biosystems and agricultural engineering, geology, geography, political science, educational and school psychology, School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership, sociology, and zoology.

More information on the PSM programs and institutions can be found at www.sciencemasters.com.

Campus E-Clips is published by the Communicators Council, an advisory group to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education comprised of Oklahoma higher education public information officers. All stories are submitted to a review panel of council members for editing and selection. To submit a story, please contact the participating council member from your institution. Stories must meet newsletter submission guidelines. Click here to view the Guidelines. For additional information, email newsletter@osrhe.edu. Site hosted by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Disclaimer