Masters of Professional Science Gives Students Competitive Advantage

Marine Conservation, Coastal Management, Marine Mammal Science, Aquaculture among offerings that can be completed in 12–18 months


MIAMI — March 4, 2011 — Graduating with a bachelors of science? Need help finding areas of interest where your knowledge can be put to good use? The Masters of Professional Science program at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science is an innovative graduate degree intended for students who seek advanced training in the fields of marine science and conservation.

Now in its first full year of operation, this 12-18 month program gives participants an unparalleled learning experience that positions them to successfully enter today’s competitive job market. The MPS program prepares students for professional opportunities in aquaculture, broadcast meteorology, coastal zone management, marine mammal science, marine conservation, and tropical marine ecosystem management, where employment demands are growing. The program is accredited through the National Council of Graduate Schools - Professional Science Master’s.

Drs. Brian Soden and Jill Richardson are spearheading the MPS program. Their goal when developing the curriculum: to give students an edge in the work force after graduation. With that in mind, they met with current professionals all over the state of Florida and beyond, asking for specific qualities they want their employees to possess. Based on their findings, the team developed the MPS curriculum, drawing on the expertise of faculty at the Rosenstiel School, one of the nation’s top academic institutions in marine science.

“The curriculum is well rounded so students come away with more than an understanding of scientific theory, but also practical ways in which they can apply relevant skills as part of the work force,” says Richardson, who is a UM faculty lecturer and director of Professional Studies. “So far, the program is growing rapidly. We are pleased with the reception, and expect it to double in size this coming fall semester.”

The coursework provides students with a solid foundation in science that is complimented by coursework in communication, business, and legal and regulatory knowledge. In place of a research-based thesis, MPS students complete an internship in a business, government or public sector entity where they can apply their skills in a hands-on setting. The unique skill set they develop aids graduates in stepping seamlessly into their new careers.

Richardson points out that this program might not be the right fit for someone focused on obtaining a Ph.D. It is geared more toward those who wish to pursue careers in resource management, field research, conservation, as well as health and policy making.

Soden elaborates further adding, “Often so much emphasis is placed on theory, that science graduates from all institutions are unable to effectively apply their scientific training to the real world. Aside from the research students conduct alongside some of the world’s leading experts in marine science, this program teaches students about functioning within business, public health, communications, law and other professional environments.”

For more information, or to enroll in the Rosenstiel School’s Masters of Professional Science program, please visit or call 305-421-4202.

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About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

aquaculture •  meteorology •  dr. brian soden •  dr. jill richardson •  mps •  marine mammals •  management •  conservation •