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Frequently Asked Questions

A1. Who should apply to the PSM Certificate?

The Professional Science Management Certificate is designed for undergraduates in their Senior year and graduate students in the Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Math, Natural Science Interdisciplinary and Physics departments. Graduate students in the Geography department are also eligible.

The PSM Certificate is for students who:

  • Seek careers in science or technology fields related to industry, government,
    or business.
  • Are interested in combining science and management.
  • Do not wish to pursue a PhD.
  • Want a hybrid degree geared to the new “Knowledge Economy”
  • Are looking for a competitive edge in the job market.

This is an excellent way for undergraduates in their Senior year to set themselves apart as they prepare to enter the workforce. For Graduate students, it allows you to attain two academic credentials simultaneously.

A2. What courses will I take?

Coursework is heavily dependent on which Certificate track you select. While there is some flexibility within the Certificate curriculum, guidelines exist to guide you in selecting the courses you need to complete PSM Certificate. Five 3 or 4 credit hour graduate level courses are required to complete the PSM Certificate. Generally, students should be able to complete Certificate requirements in 2 semesters at full-time status.

Students are encouraged to review the course schedule in advance to ensure that their chosen courses will be available during the semesters they plan to pursue the PSM Certificate. Please visit the Certificate Tracks page for curriculum outlines and course options.

A3. Are there any requirements beyond the five courses?

Each track includes a credit-bearing culminating experience that should be either an internship, thesis, project, research, lab experience or independent study. To document this culminating experience, students are required to create a portfolio that summarizes and displays the knowledge, skills and problem solving capabilities in their respective field.

The portfolio should contain all of the following materials:

  • A resume and a short summary (2 pages) of the student’s interests, professional and academic experiences and career goals.
  • A primary research paper (10-15 pages or more) pertaining to the internship, thesis, project, research, lab experience or independent study.

Current UB undergraduates are encouraged to simply add the necessary components to their existing e-portfolio that is required of the General Education program.

A4. When should I apply?

Undergraduate students who want to begin working on the PSM certificate should apply in the spring of their Junior year if you plan to incorporate PSM coursework into your Senior year schedule.

New Graduate students should submit applications to the PSM Certificate simultaneously with a master’s degree application to your department.

A5. Do I need to turn anything in to have the Certificate awarded before applying for graduation?

Students planning to graduate should meet regularly with the Director of Graduate Studies from their department to review their PSM Certificate curriculum to ensure they are on track to complete the requirements. The Director of Graduate Studies will serve as the Faculty Advisor to students in the PSM Certificate. Faculty Advisors should use the PSM Certificate Checklist to record a student’s progress towards completion. This is not a formal document that needs to be signed or submitted, rather it serves as a tool to ensure that you and your Advisor are both aware of your status in the PSM Certificate.

Once your curricular requirements are complete, the portfolio must be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Advisor.

A6. Who can I contact if I have questions?

Students with questions about the PSM Certificate can contact Danielle Lewis, the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program Coordinator, or the Director of Graduate Studies of their home department.