AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 132. Innovations in Graduate Education in Astronomy
Special, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 612

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[132.02] The Viability of a Professional Masters Certification Program in Physics/Astronomy

G. D. Bothun (U. Oregon)

In principle, a professional masters program represents an intermediate level of certification; more rigorous than a Masters but without the dissertation required of the Ph.D. The purpose for originating such programs is the growing recongition that academic employment is saturating in our field and that a new skill set given to Grad Students can equip them for multiple career trajectories. At the heart of the professional masters ideal are intimate ties to industry, both in terms of curriculum offered and internships available. This talk will briefly describe progress to date on the limited program at the University of Oregon and will focus on three identifed obstacles to a more robust implementation: a) the rollercoaster economy, b) lack of faculty buy-in/understanding of the necessity of this program, and c) unrealistic expectations on the part of students.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.