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National Leadership

The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) initiative began in 1997 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the William M. Keck Foundation to launch a new kind of workforce-oriented master’s degree at individual institutions across the nation.

In 2000, the Sloan Foundation entered into partnership with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) to focus on the expansion of the PSM initiative. The CGS team concentrated on PSM growth at master’s focused institutions and university systems, in addition to individual campuses. These Sloan-funded expansion efforts continued through 2010. The CGS team also sought to develop a formal and sustainable affiliation review process to ensure quality of PSM programs. A stakeholder’s group produced the PSM guidelines and designed specific quality assurance processes for the initiative. In 2012, the CGS and Sloan Foundation handed over these quality-control responsibilities to Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), a member of the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA and designated the organization as the Professional Science Master’s National Office.

In 2005, a group of PSM Program Directors created the National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA) as an organization dedicated to providing a collective voice and benefit services to its members. In 2007, the Sloan Foundation provided a grant to the NPSMA and it was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Since 2012, the PSM National Office and the National Professional Science Master’s Association have worked in a collaborative partnership to serve the PSM community.

In 2018, the PSM National Office has updated the title of the office to be more reflective of the role the office plays, relative to the NPSMA. The name of the office is now Commission on Affiliation of PSM Programs.

As of June 2019, the NPSMA assumed the Commission’s responsibilities for recognizing PSM programs and collecting and disseminating PSM data. The previously co-shared obligations in managing the website and PSM brand management were transferred in full to the NPSMA.