Professional Development Specialization Area

Students complete a program of study designed in consultation with their advisory committee as part of their Professional Development Specialization Area (PDSA). The PDSA is designed to provide training for the student’s self-selected career path. Science Communication PDSA options are encouraged and trainees may also elect to take the 3-credit domestic and/or international field experience courses as part of their PDSA. The remaining coursework, from a list of electives, is tailored to the trainee’s professional interests and is designed to add breadth to the scope of coursework required of traditional, disciplinary degree programs. PhD trainees complete 12 credit hours of student to satisfy the PDSA requirement; MS trainees complete 6 credit hours.

One of the following Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) programs can be completed to satisfy the PDSA requirement, if the certificate program falls outside of the traditional scope of a trainee’s graduate program. Existing CAS programs relevant to EMPOWER include Public Management & Policy, Conflict Resolution, Environmental Decision Making, and Sustainable Enterprise.

For more information, please see the PDSA course guide: