WSU Professional Science Master’s to Begin this Fall

May 29, 2013

Currents Magazine, Featured


Starting in the Fall 2013, Winona State will offer the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) – a graduate degree designed to prepare students for science and industry careers by combining practical training with a strong academic foundation.

Who is it for?

It’s designed for working professionals hoping to move on to the next phase of their careers, and recent graduates seeking advanced training in a hands-on discipline. Toby Dogwiler, professor of geoscience, notes that there are limited options for master’s programs in southeastern Minnesota, and most require dedicated classroom time and travel. “That’s not feasible if you’re working 9-5,” Dogwiler acknowledges. “There’s a real need and market for this type of degree right here, for people who work in Winona, La Crosse, and Rochester.”

How does it work?

This 2-year program is flexible to accommodate the needs and goals of the individual student. Once admitted to the program, graduate students work with a committee of professors and industry professionals to determine an appropriate course of study. Some classes are offered in the evening, allowing students to work towards the degree while maintaining industry jobs.

How is it different from a traditional master’s?

As opposed to traditional programs the PSM offers practical training outside of academia. “We’re being very deliberate and thoughtful about the way we’re tying the curriculum to the needs of the workforce,” Dogwiler states. While students may complete the traditional thesis, they’re encouraged to pursue internships and work experiences to practice on-the-job problem solving.

What will it prepare me for?

The PSM “opens up doors for advancement, and it opens up financial doors” for those working in fields like forensic science, geology, biotechnology, and bioinformatics. PSM students are qualified for scientific jobs and management positions immediately after graduation.

For more information on Winona State’s PSM, visit:, or contact Toby Dogwiler at


Copy by Elaine Ayers

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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