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Professional Science (M.S.)

Take your career to the next level.

This innovative graduate degree is designed to combine advanced STEM training while simultaneously developing highly valued workplace skills.


The Professional Science (M.S.) is a professional science master’s (PSM) degree that combines advanced training in STEM fields with project management skills, leadership and supervisory skills to produce in-demand, working graduates. PSM programs prepare students for science careers in business, government, or nonprofit organizations, where workforce needs are increasing. Graduates also work with the federal government or for university technology transfer operations. The Professional Science program has been designed to allow students to select an area of emphasis – choices listed below – to combine with professional management coursework for the STEM workplace and align with career goals. Courses are delivered through online and face-to-face instruction.

Our emphasis areas are also offered as standalone graduate certificates:

Applied Physics

A 12-credit certificate that provides knowledge and practical experience to have an advanced experience with health physics, nuclear physics, or condensed matter physics. Be well prepared to advance in your career path in applied areas of physics, including laboratory management. Learn more about the Applied Physics Graduate Certificate.


A 12-credit certificate that provides a solid foundation in the application of biological, biochemical and genetical processes in the development of agricultural, environmental, clinical, and industrial high-value products, including the commercial exploitation of microorganisms, plants, and animals for biotechnological applications. Learn more about the Biotechnology Graduate Certificate.

Environmental Policy

A 12-credit certificate that provides knowledge and practical experience for you to have an advanced experience with environmental economics, environmental laws, and environmental risks and management. Learn more about the Environmental Policy Graduate Certificate.

Food Technology

A 12-credit certificate that provides knowledge and practical experience to have an advanced experience with food technology methods, food components, and product development. Be well prepared to advance in your career path in the food industry or to start your own food technology-based initiatives. Learn more about the Food Technology Graduate Certificate.

Geographic Information Sciences

A 12-credit certificate that will help prepare you to utilize your knowledge of geographic applications and various geospatial technologies to meet the challenges of today’s society. The program offers you the ability to develop your knowledge and technical skills in satellite & drone imagery and real-time mapping. Learn more about the Geographic Information Sciences Graduate Certificate.

Precision Agriculture

A 12-credit certificate that provides knowledge and practical experience for students to have an advanced experience with precision farming and its protocols.  Individuals that complete this certificate will be well prepared to advance in their career paths in the modern agricultural industry that utilizes advanced precision technology. Learn more about the Precision Agriculture Graduate Certificate.

Professional Management

A 12-credit certificate that provides foundational economics, management, and financial skills to aid in advanced business decisions. The certificate will provide training in key areas of management applicable to any profession, and will benefit those entering or already in the workforce. Learn more about the Professional Management Graduate Certificate

Program Overview:

30-credit coursework only professional master’s degree (Option D)

Curriculum will consist of a 12-credit professional management core, 12-credit emphasis, and 6-credits of elective STEM graduate coursework. The combination of management and STEM coursework is a hallmark of professional science master’s programs, as students will be prepared for careers in industry or placement into a doctoral program. The professional management core will be completed by all students and provide consistent professional competencies in management. Each student will select an emphasis area composed of a stackable graduate certificate and through conversations with advisors select six credits of complementary STEM electives. Students may initially complete one or more graduate certificates to stack into the Professional Science (M.S.). The stack-ability of the graduate certificates allows flexible options for students while being cost-efficient for SDSU due to a single shared core and use of existing courses. The overall M.S. provides STEM based skills that transcend disciplines and are widely applicable.

Admission Requirements
  • GRE: Not required
  • TOEFL: 71 Internet-based or TOEFL Essentials: 7.5 or IELTS: 6.0 or Duolingo: 100
  • Applicants must submit a personal statement identifying the emphasis area to be included on their plan of study. In the personal statement, the applicant should primarily identify the specific emphasis area they plan to pursue, as well as their interests, including how their skills and career goals align with the graduate program. The personal statement should be roughly 500 to 750 words long.


Program Coordinator

Nicole Lounsbery, Ph.D.
Director, Graduate School


Ready to take the leap?