National Professional Science Master's Association
The National Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA) is a collaborative of program directors, faculty, administrators, alumni, and students of Professional Science Master's (PSM) Degree Programs that supports PSM degree program initiatives. It engages businesses, industries, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and professional associations in the development of PSM degree programs and with internship and job placement for PSM degree program students and graduates.
In July 2007, the NPSMA was awarded a development grant by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bylaws were adopted, and the first board of directors elected. Bogdan Vernescu, professor and head of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), served as the first president of the NPSMA from July 2007 through December 2008. Stephen J. Lemire was hired as the first executive director, October 2007.
In addition to Vernescu, the other founding board members were Ursula Bechert, Dave Bieber, Lisbeth Borbye, Jung Choi, Loida Escote-Carlson, Elizabeth Friedman, Alaina Levine, and Peiru Wu.
The NPSMA has a national Advisory Board of leaders in academia, industry, and graduate education who further the connection between universities and employers supporting PSM degree programs.
Products and services
The NPSMA provides national conferences and quarterly workshops for those in the PSM community to network, share experiences, and develop best practices. The NPSMA offers PSM constituents information on PSM developments through its website, newsletter, and listserv calls-to-action. PSM advocates may also network electronically through any of the NPSMA’s various social media pages. The NPSMA has also established an Alumni Connection designed to provide professional development opportunities for PSM graduates and students. The NPSMA provides the PSM community with one common PSM marketing brand and invites programs to be represented by the NPSMA at regional and national conferences, career fairs, and tradeshows.
One of the strategic goals of the NPSMA is to collect data on all of the PSM degree programs nationwide and serve as a clearinghouse for these data. Informing government, industry, and institutions of higher education is part of its mission.
In 2008, the United States National Research Council endorsed the NPSMA in its publication "Science Professionals: Master's Education for a Competitive World":
"We encourage the further development of the National Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA)...The NPSMA has a unique opportunity to strengthen the national PSM movement by engaging all its constituents in a synergistic collaboration.”