Asee peer logo

Engineering Management And The Professional Science Masters (Psm) Program

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Engineering Management Program Management

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.645.1 - 12.645.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


William Daughton University of Missouri

visit author page

Dr. William Daughton is professor and chair of the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering department at the University of Missouri-Rolla. He has significant industrial management experience in the semiconductor industry and over 15 years of teaching experience.

visit author page


Benjamin Dow University of Missouri

visit author page

Dr. Benjamin Dow is a Lecturer in the Engineering Management and Sytems Engineering Department at the University of Missouri-Rolla. He has considerable expertise in project management and holds a PMP from the Project Management Institute. He also has indsutry experience in marketing and strategic management. Dr. Dow holds an MBA and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Engineering Management And the Professional Science Masters (PSM) Program


The Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree has become very popular around the United States for working scientists seeking both additional specialization training in their field and a foundation in business and management to enable them to move into supervisory and leadership positions. Engineering Management has participated with the science and mathematics departments at UMR to create a PSM degree in which Engineering Management courses provide a portion of the foundation courses in management. The development and structure of this new degree at UMR is discussed along with the role Engineering Management has played in its creation.


The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree program was initiated in 1997 by the Sloan Foundation with grant funds available to universities for program development.1 The motivation for this degree is based on the fundamental problem that science and mathematics based companies need individuals not only with technical backgrounds but with business acumen. Individuals are needed who can manage research teams and interface with the business side of the organization including marketing, finance and legal departments. Traditionally, advance degrees in science are too academic, and MBA degrees often focus just on management skills in non-technical disciplines.

A Master’s degree with a mix of advanced technical courses and business/management courses was originally proposed by the Sloan Foundation and targeted at individuals holding science or mathematics Bachelor’s degrees and either now working in or preparing for professional careers in industry. This idea gained rapid acceptance as there are now over 100 PSM programs at about 50 universities in 26 states.1,2 California seems to have the largest concentration of these degree programs with seven different locations in the state providing PSM degrees.2 As an illustration of the discipline focus of these degrees, Table 1 contains a list of PSM programs in the Midwestern U.S. This region was of particular interest to the University of Missouri-Rolla in its initial investigation of the potential for offering this degree. The entries in this table are representative of the diversity of disciplines in PSM program around the U.S. and demonstrate how universities can leverage their areas of expertise through this degree. In reviewing the national list of programs, it became clear that biology-related PSM programs are very popular. There are 30 biology-related PSM degree emphasis areas with a heavy concentration in biotechnology and bioinformatics.2

Daughton, W., & Dow, B. (2007, June), Engineering Management And The Professional Science Masters (Psm) Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1531

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015