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There are a few things you’ll need to consider before submitting your application to the PSM Certificate program:

A1. What certificate track do you want to pursue?

  • Computational Chemistry – The emphasis in Computational Chemistry is life application of existing chemical software to problems (i.e. molecular biology, environmental chemistry and industrial chemistry.) Opportunities for training in software development are available.
  • Molecular Chemical Biology – This program combines computational training with extensive lab experiences. Graduates from this area will have practical and marketable experience in the lab, as well as an understanding of the techniques of informatics in the context of biology and chemistry.
  • Environmental Geographic Information Systems– This track offers students a thorough education in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) as applied to the study of environmental and epidemiological issues. Students learn GIS as well as scientific and statistical issues related to specific project applications.
  • Biophysics –Biophysicists use the methods of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to study how living organisms work. They investigate how the brain processes and stores information, the heart pumps blood, muscles contract, plants use light in photosynthesis, genes are switched on and off, and many other questions. With quantitative modeling skills and experimental experience paired with exposure to modern biology, biophysicists are attractive candidates for employment in biotechnology companies, pharmaceuticals, medical device fabricators, imaging companies and many other technology fields.
  • Geohazards – This track is focused on training that improves students’ understanding, and mitigates the consequences of, natural hazards.

You can visit the Certificate Tracks page for curriculum outlines and course options.

A2. What courses will I take?

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. What will your culminating experience be?

Each track includes a credit-bearing culminating experience that should be either an internship, thesis, project, research, lab experience or independent study. Students should discuss with their Faculty Advisor what options exist for the culminating experience within their department. The Assistant Director for Experiential Learning within the College of Arts and Sciences, Caitlin Hoekstra, can also assist PSM students in identifying opportunities to serve as their culminating experience.

A4. Plan to work on your Portfolio requirement gradually as you pursue the PSM

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.