National Science Foundation Awards $700,000 to Rutgers’ New Master of Business and Science Program

National Science Foundation Awards $700,000 to Rutgers’ New Master of Business and Science Program

Grant will fund student recruitment, fellowships


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University’s new professional science master’s program will receive $700,000 from the National Science Foundation. The funds will support recruitment and fellowships for students seeking to augment their science backgrounds with multidisciplinary, entrepreneurial skills that add value and increase effectiveness in the marketplace.

MBS program

Aleta You , right, associate director of Rutgers' Master's in Business and Science program, speaks with a prospective student at a recent career day at Rutgers-Newark.

Rutgers is among 21 schools selected from 210 applicants to receive approximately $14.5 million in total NSF funding from the Science Master’s Program funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. These new master’s degrees comprise a growing segment of graduate education that aims to prepare persons with science, math and engineering backgrounds to meet the challenges of the global economy.

“This was a very competitive grant,” said Deborah Silver, director of Rutgers’ PSM program and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Receiving this award acknowledges the hard work involved to develop a new statewide professional science master’s degree across all three campuses in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden.”

Rutgers’ program awards a master’s of business and science degree (MBS) and combines master’s level science courses within a scientific discipline with business and policy courses. It is offered in collaboration with Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Management and Labor Relations and the graduate schools on all three campuses.

Rutgers’ MBS science concentrations include actuarial science, biomedical engineering, biotechnology and genomics, chemical and biochemical engineering, chemistry and personal care chemistry, drug discovery and development, electrical and computer engineering, food science, geospatial information systems and technology, horticulture and turf science, industrial mathematics, information technology, international agriculture, kinesiology and applied physiology, quality and reliability engineering, statistics and biostatistics, sustainability, and urban environmental science and management. Future concentrations are expected to include applied microbiology, forensic engineering, and nanotechnology.

“The degree’s modular structure allows Rutgers to combine offerings from many disciplines and quickly develop new area of specialization in response to changing industry demands,” said David Finegold, dean of the School of Management and Labor Relations and founder of Rutgers’ PSM program.

Rutgers also has introduced a BS/MBS program for highly qualified Rutgers juniors. The program enables undergraduates to begin MBS graduate courses in their senior year.

In addition to the NSF grant, Rutgers’ MBS program has received support from the Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and the U.S. Department of Labor through the federal WIRED grant. The program aims to enroll up to 30 students in each concentration. Part-time study is possible, and online courses are being developed.

Rutgers’ MBS program recently began a collaborative relationship with Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea to facilitate student exchanges and joint academic activities, including courses, guest lecture series and visiting scholars.

“Our goal is to build at least 10 such strategic partnerships with leading universities in the fields of science, engineering and business on five continents to make Rutgers’ MBS the first truly global program of its type,” Finegold said.

Similar partnerships are under discussion in China, Australia, India, Singapore, France, Japan and other locations in South Korea, Finegold said.

A 2008 report by the National Research Council recommended that four-year research universities invest in PSM programs to help increase American industrial competitiveness.

“American businesses need workers who are not only knowledgeable in their technical fields but also have the skills that can adapt that knowledge to compete profitably in the marketplace,” Silver said. “Graduates with an MBS degree will know how to lead innovations from idea to commercialization, understand market and customer needs, know how to assess financial decisions and demonstrate leadership and team-building skills.”

For more information about the program, visit

Media Contact: Sandra Lanman
732-932-7084, ext. 621