History of the PSM Initiative

Over the past decade, the PSM has been embraced enthusiastically by the graduate education community in an effort to produce the kinds of science and engineering professionals needed to keep the U.S. globally competitive. The PSM has rapidly expanded from about 80 programs in 2006 to over 300 programs at more than 150 institutions today.

  • The first PSM program was started in 1997.
  • Two PSM programs were implemented at UNC-Chapel Hill in fall 2014:  Toxicology and Biomedical and Health Informatics. A third program in Digital Curation and Management has since been implemented.
  • There are currently over 300 programs at more than 150 colleges and universities in 31 states and the District of Columbia. There are also international programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
  • The number of PSM programs has grown 65% since 2010.
  • A 2008 National Academies report recommended “concerted action to accelerate the development nationally of professional science master’s education” and funding for PSM students and programs by all federal science agencies.
  • A $15 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant program to develop PSMs was authorized by the America COMPETES Act and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, with awards to 23 institutions to develop or expand PSMs.

Learn more about Professional Science Master’s programs from The PSM National Office.