News FocusScience Education

Reinventing the Science Master's Degree

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Science  04 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5420, pp. 1610-1611
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5420.1610

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The Sloan Foundation is backing an experiment at five universities to offer science undergrads an alternative to the Ph.D.--a professional master of science degree that is tailored toward careers in business and industry rather than academe. The new breed of science master's must overcome several hurdles, however, including the disdain U.S. academic scientists generally shower on master's degrees. But many educators say the time is ripe to renovate the science master's, particularly as there are no longer ample opportunities for freshly minted Ph.D.s in academia, and many new Ph.D.s flounder in today's job market or find that they didn't even need the years of doctoral studies to succeed.