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    PSM Initiative


    PSM InitiativeThe Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has worked for many years to make the Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree a regular feature of U.S. graduate education by providing information, guidance, and “best practices” on developing new PSM programs and by communicating the need for and value of the PSM to CGS members and the community at large. Through its government relations division, CGS promotes the PSM to national leaders and policy makers who are working to maintain America’s competitive edge.


    Professional Science Master's: A Council of Graduate Schools Guide to Establishing Programs (2011)  is a comprehensive resource that provides background and context and discusses feasibility analysis, program development and operation, formal PSM affiliation, and program sustainability.  Information about the PSM initiative can be found at


    National leaders recognize that America’s competitiveness depends on innovation; the PSM is at the forefront of innovative graduate programs. The PSM is an exciting degree option for bachelor’s graduates in natural sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or computational science who choose to not pursue a Ph.D. but to seek additional training and skills to compete for careers in today’s global market place.


    There are now over 300 PSM programs at over 130 colleges and universities in over 35 states and the District of Columbia, and in Canada, the U.K., and Australia. In fall 2013, there were over 5,800 students enrolled in PSM programs, a 23% increase since 2010, according to the latest survey report. Enrollment and Degrees in Professional Science Master's Programs (PSM): 2013.


    Full Report
    Press Release


    A recent survey found that 91% of recent PSM graduates were employed in a job related to their field of study (Outcomes for PSM Alumni 2012/13, 2013).


    Background and Context of the PSM

    The PSM initiative began in 1997 when the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supported selected research universities to develop programs that integrate science and mathematics with management, law, or other professional areas. In the same year, the William M. Keck Foundation provided support to the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, a member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium, to offer a program structured on the PSM model to produce “scientists and engineers who can help translate basic scientific discoveries into practical applications that will improve the health of people.” In 2001, CGS began its partnership with Sloan to extend the PSM through development of programs at master’s focused institutions. A history of the PSM movement can be found at here.


    A list of PSM Implementation Awardee institutions is provided below:


    PSM Implementation Grant Awards


    PSM Affiliation Process and Transfer

    In 2006, CGS assumed primary responsibility from the Sloan Foundation for supporting and promoting the PSM Initiative nationally. Since then, the PSM Affiliation process has become an integral part of maintaining quality standards. Effective July 1, 2012 the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) assumed responsibility for this process.For questions about PSM Affiliation, processing of applications, and submitting new applications to the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, please send email to:




    Hironao Okahana


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.