Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Are TA/RA positions available?

A: A limited number of graduate research assistantships are available. Most students enrolled in the MTSU MSPS program attend on a part-time basis, and therefore are not eligible for graduate research assistantships.

Q: Do you have opportunities with local businesses that may employ a student while they are working on their master’s degree?

A: Yes. As a matter of fact, a pre-professional internship is required prior to graduation. The MTSU faculty will assist candidates with securing an internship in their field of interest.

Q: Will it be possible to earn a degree via evening and weekend courses? If so, over what time frame?

A: Yes. All courses in the Geosciences MSPS program are offered in the evenings. The time required for graduation depends upon the number of credit hours a student completes each semester. Students attending full-time may complete the program in four semesters.

Q: What positions will this degree qualify me for?

A: The MSPS program is designed to prepare students for entry level professional management positions in the geosciences. The exact area of employment will depend upon student interest and, frequently, the area in which the student completes the required pre-professional internship.

Q: Is there a demonstrated demand for this degree?

A: Yes. The demand for professional geoscientists is high and expected to increase. (Information on geoscience employment is available on the MTSU Geosciences home page and the MSPS page.) Of course, successful attainment of employment depends upon many factors, including student performance and willingness to relocate outside of Middle Tennessee.

Q: Have employers expressed interest in hiring candidates with this degree?

A: Yes. Employers indicate a strong interest in graduates who have background in both management and science, as provided by the MSPS degree.

Q: Why should I pursue this degree rather than a research-oriented degree with TA and RA funding?

A: The choice of graduate program is an important personal decision. Students wishing to pursue research careers clearly should choose a research-based graduate program. However, students wishing to pursue a career in science management should seriously consider a MSPS program, such as that at MTSU. Although traditional master’s programs in geosciences are research-based, employers are expressing increasing interest in entry-level employees who have some knowledge and experience in management (i.e. budget management, accounting, information management, etc.). Consequently, MSPS programs are increasing in number, and are offered by many top research universities. Additional information and a list of MSPS programs certified as Professional Science Masters degrees by the Council of Graduate Schools are located at: