Monday, May 24, 2010

CGS Applauds First Historically Black University to Establish PSM Program

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has recognized two graduate programs at the University of the District of Columbia as Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree programs.
UDC is the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to establish a PSM program, and is leading the HBCU Mid-Atlantic PSM Alliance, a group of universities partnering to develop and offer new PSM degree programs.

The PSM is an innovative graduate degree designed to prepare students for 21st century science careers in business, government or non-profit organizations. Programs combine rigorous training in science or mathematics with coursework in workplace skills highly valued by employers, such as project management and communication.

“The Council of Graduate Schools is delighted to recognize the first Professional Science Master’s programs at an HBCU,” said Carol B. Lynch, Director of the PSM Initiative at CGS. “We look forward to UDC’s continuing leadership in the HBCU Mid-Atlantic PSM Alliance.”
CGS has been at the forefront of promoting the PSM degree by providing official recognition of new PSM programs, helping universities achieve such affiliation, serving as a clearinghouse for best practices, and working to make the degree a regular feature of graduate education.

“The adoption of PSM programs at HBCUs and other Minority-Serving Institutions is an important step forward in attracting more students from under-represented groups to graduate education,” said Debra W. Stewart, CGS President. “UDC’s program comes at a critical time, as the PSM continues to gather national momentum, spurred in part by recently-announced awards from the National Science Foundation for new program development,” she added.

Universities are establishing PSM degree programs at an accelerating rate: the number increased by nearly 30% in 2009, and has grown an additional 22% so far this year. There are currently almost 200 PSM programs at nearly 100 institutions, in 25 states and D.C., as well as in Canada and the U.K.
More information about the PSM Initiative is available at

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of over 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. Among U.S. institutions, CGS members award 95% of the doctoral degrees and 78% of the master’s degrees.* The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.

* Based on data from the 2008 CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees
Council of Graduate Schools
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