Common elements that define a Professional

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PROFESSIONAL MASTER’S
DEGREE PROGRAMS
INITIATIVE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
Introduction
Definition
Possible Benefits
Opportunities for Development
Examples of Existing Programs
Startup Checklist
New Program Checklist
UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
I.
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
INTRODUCTION
The UC Irvine Graduate Division has developed the following materials to assist
the campus in creating professional master’s degree programs. Such programs
generate much-needed revenue that can be used to support the programs
themselves, as well as other initiatives, including doctoral education. They
promote an educated workforce in an increasingly competitive environment.
Additionally, a focused initiative to identify existing and new fields that lend
themselves toward professional master’s programs may greatly enhance the
campus’ visibility and stature.
Programs may be developed for full-time and part-time students who are
working professionals. They may include, for example, weekend residential
courses, a combination of residential and online courses, and/or regular day-time
courses. Currently, most professional master’s programs developed by other
institutions are professional science master’s degree programs (PSMs); all have
strong internship components with excellent potential employment opportunities
for their graduates.
UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
II.A. COMMON ELEMENTS THAT DEFINE PROFESSIONAL
MASTER’S DEGREES







Same/similar core as disciplinary (academic) M.S. or M.A.
Interdisciplinary work in related disciplines
Professional component (business, public policy, etc.)
Skills development (writing, communication, ethics)
Project/team experience and/or BGN (business, government, nonprofit)
internship
Advisory board from employment/other sectors (role: active involvement in
curriculum, teaching, advising, internship, placement/evaluation)
Tracking of graduates
II.B. PROFESSIONAL VS. SELF-SUPPORTING DEGREES
Both professional and self-supporting degrees allow for fees outside of the
normal registration and education fees:

Professional fees are set by the Office of the President and are in addition to
the regular registration and education fees that all graduate students
pay. Students in professional programs are counted as part of our budgeted
enrollment figures. The professional fee portion may be used in support of the
academic program — fellowships, extra salary compensation, hiring lecturers,
etc. Students in professional fee programs are eligible to use all campus
facilities.

Self-supporting program fees are recommended by the school with agreement
from the various offices involved, and taking into account all the
constituencies involved (e.g., Graduate Division, Registrar, International
Center, etc.). The program fee must be approved by the Office of the
President. Students in self-supporting programs are not counted as part of
the budgeted enrollment for the campus, which means that those students do
not have access to many of the campus’ facilities, are not eligible for GSHIP,
nor are they eligible for fellowship support.
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UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
III.
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS
For Schools
 Professional fees provide an income source, allowing programs to become
largely self-supporting.
 Professional fees can be used to support:
- other academic programs
- extra salary for faculty
- faculty research and research programs
- doctoral students
- administrative functions
- other needs of the school/program
For Students
 Professional master’s degrees provide an alternative to doctoral education for
those preparing for BGN (business, government, nonprofit) careers.
 From professional degree programs, students gain:
- Research/interdisciplinary experience greater than B.S./B.A.
- Experiential Component (team project typical for new employees)
- Active involvement of employment sector (internships and
apprenticeships can help with job placement)
- A program that is more accessible to working students
- Connections for future employment opportunities
 According to a recent report released by the National Research Council,
median salaries of master’s degree recipients tend to exceed those of Ph.D.
recipients in the first one to five years after the degree is conferred.
 Professional degree programs support students through paid internships and
by creating the opportunity for additional TA positions (Ph.D. support).
For UCI and the Community
 Professional degree programs are built around the need for workers within a
specific industry in close proximity to the campus. As internships and
apprenticeships are a major component of these programs, a symbiotic
relationship is created where the university trains professionals for an
industry, while that same industry shares in the training — and benefits from
internships.
 In the long run, this relationship results in creating and maintaining
opportunities for employment within California.
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UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
IV.
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL
MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMS
Biological Sciences
 Biotechnology with
Stem Cell Emphasis
ICS

Education
 Credential
 MAT
 Education Technology
 EdD

Engineering
 Advanced Power and
Energy
 Engineering Management
Health Sciences and the
School of Medicine
 Genetic Counseling
 Audiology
 Physical Therapy
 Epidemiology
 Environmental Toxicology
 BATS
Humanities
 Summer Master’s in English
 Film Studies
 Journalism
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Computer Sciences
- games and decision
making
- virtual reality
- information management
Statistics
Physical Sciences
 Chemistry
 Physics
 Mathematics
Social Sciences
 International Studies
Interdisciplinary
 MPP
 DASA
 Transportation Sciences
 Networked Systems
UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
V.
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
EXAMPLES OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS WITH PROFESSIONAL
SCIENCE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMS:
Michigan State University
 Biomedical Laboratory Operations
 Computational Chemistry
 Food Safety and Toxicology
 Industrial Mathematics
Oregon State University
 Applied Biotechnology
 Applied Systematics in Botany
 Environmental Sciences
 Applied Physics
Penn State University
 Applied Statistics
 Biotechnology
 Forensic Science
 Integrative Pharmacology
Stanford University
 Biomedical Informatics
University of Texas at San Antonio
 Applied Industrial Mathematics
University of Utah
 Science and Technology
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UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
VI.
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
PROFESSIONAL MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM STARTUP
CHECKLIST
Pre-Planning
 Inform the Graduate Dean of plans to establish a professional master’s
program. The Graduate Division will advise on how create a proposal that will
garner speedy review and approval.
Learn about jobs and labor markets for graduates, including salaries.
Determine an identifiable niche that will generate interest from faculty and
students with strong support from business, government and/or nonprofit
sectors.
Form advisory board of industry and other likely employers.
Meet employer needs for relevant technical and professional skills.
Define scholarly rationale for the proposed degree program and its content.
The focus area could be interdisciplinary or nontraditional, where there is
existing faculty expertise and interest. The degree is named for the focus area,
not for the discipline(s).
Assure faculty enthusiasm for the new degree, including commitment by
regular department faculty to provide the bulk of instruction.
Win high-level institutional commitment to professional master’s level
education, including central coordination of all professional master’s
programs at level of dean or above.
Prepare business plan projecting both expenses and revenues, and show how
and when each degree program can become self-sustaining based on tuition
revenues, corporate support and university support. Contact the Principal
Finance Analyst in the Budget Office (Karen Mizumoto,
[email protected]) for details on how to determine professional fees.
continued
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UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
Curriculum Development
Design a curriculum that can be evaluated by those in the field.
Develop intense identity-building experience, including a team project for
entering students.
Encourage business/industry internships or equivalent.
Design exposure to cutting-edge research issues and equipment, for example,
by lab rotations.
Conduct seminar/colloquia jointly for all professional master’s students.
Teach writing/communication/negotiation/consensus-building and other
workplace assets.
Include a number of existing courses that may be adopted or adapted for the
program.
Require final project, often team experience, in which meeting a schedule
really matters.
Degree could be completed in approximately two years.
Apply to the Council of Graduate Schools for recognition as a professional
master’s program.
Program Management
Appoint personnel or hire staff coordinator to serve as a liaison to business
and industry, and to handle publicity, recruitment, student services and
placement.
Win rapid approval of new degree programs by state regents and other
gatekeepers.
Create management teams dedicated to recruitment of students and
placement of graduates.
Set up systems to keep track of graduates and network them.
Keep contact with other professional master’s programs around the country.
Set up systems for assessment and quality control.
Program Proposal Writing
Visit the following link for the UC Academic Senate’s CCGA program proposal
template:
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/committees/ccga/ccgahandbo
ok_current.pdf#page=16
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UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
VII. NEW GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM CHECKLIST AND FLOW
CHART
Pre-Review Process Checklist
Inform the Graduate Dean of plans to establish a professional master’s
program by contacting Frances Leslie at [email protected] and Director of
Graduate Academic Planning Rachel Kaufman at [email protected]
In order to streamline the proposal review process, it is strongly
recommended that the Graduate Dean be involved in early stages
of the discussion. Inclusion of the Graduate Division will ensure that all
elements of a successful proposal are in place prior to Grad Council review.
While the review process, from beginning to end, can take up to 2 years,
assistance from the Graduate Division could potentially lower the review time
to 1 year.
Inform the Principal Finance Analyst in the Budget Office (Karen Mizumoto,
[email protected]) of plans to create a professional degree in order to
determine professional fees.
Inform UCI Extension if the program proposal includes plans to incorporate
online courses.
continued
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Professional Master’s Degree Programs Initiative
UCI GRADUATE DIVISION
UCI Academic Senate Approval Process for Graduate Programs
Faculty Develops
Proposal
(Five-Year
Perspective)
Executive Vice
Chancellor &
Provost for
enrollment and
resource analysis
Dean of School
Faculty Vote on
Proposal
Graduate
Council
(Approval)
Senate Chair
Transmits for
Review
Council on
Planning and
Budget
(Review)
Cabinet
Endorsement
Council on
Educational Policy
(Optional Review)
If new degree
designation or if
Cabinet deems
controversial,
send to Divisional
Senate Assembly
for Approval
Executive Vice
Chancellor & Provost
Notifies OP
Systemwide
Review & Approval
Source: Academic Senate 08.10.09
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