A new kind of science program at Northern Arizona University offers students a way to thrive in the growing global economy.

NAU’s first Professional Science Master’s degree—the master’s in applied geospatial sciences—provides students a direct path to industry, government or non-profit careers.

“The U.S. needs well-rounded science professionals with an in-depth understanding of their field as well as the skills to communicate effectively, solve problems and manage projects,” said Pam Foti, department chair for Geography, Planning and Recreation. “Professional Science Master’s degrees prepare students for work in a variety of cutting-edge fields and yield a highly marketable degree and competitive salary after only two years of postgraduate study.”

Professional Science Master’s degrees supply advanced training in sciences, technology and mathematics while developing practical workplace skills such as business fundamentals and project management. These interdisciplinary degrees also may include training in intellectual property law, technology transfer, regulatory affairs, information technology, product marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship and communication.

Foti is enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by an affiliation with the Professional Science Master’s program.

“We see this as a chance to make a formal connection with a national organization and initiative while working in conjunction with private and public enterprises,” she said. “These kinds of partnerships will only enhance the quality of our program and add to the future employment opportunities for our graduates.”

The Professional Science Master’s degree is a professional rather than a research degree. A master’s degree in many natural science fields traditionally is a steppingstone to a doctorate rather than an end in itself. But over the past 13 years, foundations and universities have worked together to develop new master’s programs for students seeking professional skills for the 21st century global marketplace.

The master’s in applied geospatial sciences has become the first degree program at NAU to be approved for affiliation as a PSM program by the Council of Graduate Schools. See geog.nau.edu/grad/msags/index.html for information on NAU’s master’s in applied geospatial sciences.