Professional Science Master's Concentrations

collage of physics laboratories and instrumentation

Our Professional Science Master's Programs

Professional Science Master's logoTwo of the three concentrations in Engineering Physics at Appalachian State are Professional Science Master's (PSM) degrees. The concentrations are:

  • PSM in Instrumentation and Automation
  • PSM in Nanoscience for Advanced Materials

About 25% of our PSM students choose to pursue a dual degree track with the Walker College of Business and earn both a MS in Engineering Physics and an MBA in about three years.

What is a Professional Science Master's Degree?

The Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree is a graduate degree that combines advanced training in science while simultaneously developing workplace skills that are highly valued by employers. PSM programs consist of two years of academic training in an emerging or interdisciplinary area, along with a professional component that includes internships and "cross-training" in business and communications. All have been developed in concert with industry and are designed to dovetail into present and future professional career opportunities.

PSM Graduates are...

  • Interdisciplinary scientists: PSM students receive advanced training at the cutting-edge interfaces of science and technology. The combination of science with professional skills and experience means PSM graduates require minimal additional training, saving employers time and money in professional development.
  • Excellent communicators: PSM students are often trained in business management, conflict management and negotiation, technical writing, and presentation skills. The "science-plus" training prepares the PSM graduate to serve as the liaison between corporate research groups and business administration or to even handle the job of both groups.
  • Innovative problem-solvers: The PSM capstone experience is designed to address the challenges and opportunities found in the real world. The PSM graduate's capstone and internship experiences prepare them to hit the ground running for future employers.

Why a PSM at Appalachian?

  • Makes physicists marketable as scientists, engineers, and software developers, while instilling industry experience and know-how
  • Applicable across many industries – high demand skill set that meets the demands of North Carolina and national labor force
  • Builds on a successful and nationally recognized graduate program in Engineering Physics at Appalachian

 

To learn more about the PSM initiative in North Carolina and nationwide, please check out the wealth of information at these sites:

The University of North Carolina Systemwide Professional Science Master's Programs

PSM Affiliated Programs in the United States

National PSM Association

 

Typical Program of Study for PSM - Instrumentation & Automation Concentration

First Year

Fall

Spring

Summer

(4) PHY 5330: Digital Electronics(4) PHY 5735: Microcontrollers(3) PHY 5900: Internship
(4) PHY 5730: Analog Systems(4) PHY 5740: Sensors and Transducers 
(0) PHY 5011: Applied Physics Colloquium(0) PHY 5011: Applied Physics Colloquium 
(3) MBA xxxx(3) MBA xxxx or (3) TEC 5149 
Total: 11 credit hoursTotal: 11 credit hoursTotal: 3 credit hours

Second Year

Fall

Spring

(1) PHY 5400: Professional Skills(1) PHY 5405: Graduate Seminar
(3) Grad electives(3) ENG 5520: Technical Writing
(3) MBA xxxx(3) elective for full time
(3) elective for full time(3) elective for full time
Total: 10 credit hoursTotal: 10 credit hours

Typical Program of Study for PSM - Nanoscience for Advanced Materials Concentration

First Year

Fall

Spring

Summer

(4) PHY 5330: Digital Electronics(4) PHY 553x: Material Science(3) PHY 5900: Internship
(4) PHY 5730: Analog Systems(4) PHY 5740: Sensors and Transducers 
(0) PHY 5011: Applied Physics Colloquium(0) PHY 5011: Applied Physics Colloquium 
(3) MBA xxxx(3) MBA xxxx or (3) TEC 5149 
Total: 11 credit hoursTotal: 11 credit hoursTotal: 3 credit hours

Second Year

Fall

Spring

(1) PHY 5400: Professional Skills(1) PHY 5405: Graduate Seminar
(3) PHY 5860: Physical Principles of Electron Microscopy(3) ENG 5520: Technical Writing
(1) PHY 5861: Physical Principles of Electron Microscopy lab(3) PHY 5845: Nanoscience and Technology
(3) MBA xxxx(3) elective for full time
(3) elective for full time 
Total: 11 credit hoursTotal: 10 credit hours

Common electives in Fall include (3) PHY 5020: Computational Methods in Physics & Engineering, (4) PHY 5430: Digital Systems, (4) PHY 5450: Programmable Logic Controllers, (4) PHY 5620: Optics, and (4) PHY 5860: Physical Principles of Electron Microscopy.

Common electives in Spring include (4) PHY 5435: Laboratory Automation, (4) PHY 5635: LabVIEW Interfacing and Robotics, (3) PHY 5845: Nanoscience and Technology, and (3) PHY 5850: Advanced Materials Science Laboratory.


For more information, contact Brad Johnson (johnsonbg2@appstate.edu; 828-262-7318).