Master of Professional Science

MPS Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long will it take to acquire an MPS degree?

    The RSMAS Master of Professional Science program is designed to be completed in 12-15 months. Students will be enrolled in 2 semesters of coursework, followed by an internship. The internship can range in length from 3-9 months, depending on the hosting organization and relevant expectations. A comprehensive internship report is due upon completion of the internship, and students will graduate pending the evaluation of this manuscript. Additional program details can be found here: http://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/requirements/

  2. How many classes will I be required to take each semester?

    Students will be enrolled in approximately 4 classes each semester for a total of 12 credits/semester. This will fulfill the 24-credit coursework requirement, which will be followed by a comprehensive exam and the internship. Additional program details can be found here: http://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/requirements/

  3. Will I be responsible for identifying the internship on my own?

    No, you will be offered ample assistance and guidance via your Academic Advisor, Faculty Mentor, Track Coordinator, and/or the MPS Internship Coordinator. We provide a significant amount of professional guidance and support during your residency at RSMAS, and we do our best to assist our students in identifying internships that reflect their personal and professional goals.

  4. Are research and/or teaching assistantships available for this program?

    No, there are no research or teaching assistantships available to MPS students. The MPS is a self-funded degree program.

  5. Are there scholarships available for this program?

    No, there are no University scholarships available at this time for the MPS program. However, with ample searching effort, you should be able to identify other national or international scholarships via the World Wide Web. A good place to start is the FinAid website: www.finaid.org

  6. Will I be able to work while being enrolled in this program?

    Full-time enrollment in the MPS program will involve a significant amount of coursework (classes hosted predominantly during the day) and time commitment. Thus, we do not recommend that students work full-time while enrolled. However, many students find part-time employment locally in order to offset the costs of the program and living. There are a few on-campus options for employment (availability is not guaranteed), including the RSMAS library and the RSMAS Commons.

  7. Can I enroll part-time in the MPS program?

    Yes, you can enroll in the MPS program part-time. You will take 2 classes (vs. 4) each semester, and course selection will be discussed with your Academic Advisor. Please note that if you enroll in the program part-time, it will take approximately 2+ years to complete the degree.

  8. Are there any courses available online?

    No, we do not offer online courses at this time.

  9. What classes will I be taking while in residence at RSMAS?

    Each degree program, or track, has specific requirements. The curricular and experiential structure of each track was designed by experts in the field, as well as leaders from local businesses, NGOs and government organizations. Thus, you will be exposed to the theory and skills those experts felt were relevant and necessary to your development and professional success. There are a few mandatory courses in each track, as well as options for electives. The electives will reflect personal and professional interests and should be selected wisely. If you have a strong proficiency in a topic covered in a mandatory course (e.g. GIS), then you may be waived from the requirement with the approval of your Academic Advisor. For sample curricula and options for electives, please go here: http://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/degree-program/, and click on your preferred degree program.

  10. How do I apply?

    You must submit the following before the deadline: an application form (online through CollegeNet), a $65 application fee (check made out to: Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science), official transcripts, a personal statement, your GRE scores, and 3 letters of recommendation. We do not require GRE subject tests. You can start this process by using this link: http://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/apply/

  11. Is there a minimum GRE score required for entry into the program?

    The University of Miami requires a minimum score of 1000, or 297 (new test), (verbal + quantitative) for program consideration.

  12. Can I apply for more than one track/degree program?

    You may indicate a “Second Choice” for track/intended area of concentration on your application. Please make sure you have the required prerequisites for each track before making your selections (see our Program Requirements ).  You should contact the following Academic Advisors for track selection guidance: Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (MPO): MPS Associate Dean Dr. Brian Soden (bsoden@rsmas.miami.edu), Marine Biology and Fisheries: MPS Director, Dr. Jill Richardson (jrichardson@miami.edu), Marine Affairs and Policy (including the joint JD/MPS program): MAF Academic Director, Professor Maria Estevanez (mestevanez@rsmas.miami.edu).

  13. My application has been submitted, and I am waiting to hear back. When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

    We cannot evaluate your application until it is complete. Please check CaneLink regarding the status of received documentation. When your application is complete, you should expect a response within 2-3 weeks, though evaluations in some tracks (e.g. Marine Mammal Science) may take longer. If you have questions about whether or not your application is complete, or to check on the status of your application, please contact the RSMAS MPS Office: mps@rsmas.miami.edu or (305) 421-4340. Application evaluations begin in late February and roll through June 15th.

  14. Based upon my undergraduate degree and relevant coursework, what degree programs/tracks am I eligible for?

    The requirements for degree programs within each division (i.e. Marine Biology and Fisheries, MBF, Marine Affairs and Policy, MAF, and Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, MPO, and) are listed here: http://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/requirements/

    As long as you have successfully completed the relevant pre-requisites, you are eligible for that track (i.e. regardless of your major).

  15. Are there options for spring enrollment?

    Spring enrollment is available for the following degree programs/tracks: Coastal Sustainability, Coastal Zone Management, Marine Conservation, the joint JD/MPS program, Weather, Climate & Society, and Broadcast Meteorology.  The deadline for spring applications is October 1st.

  16. What is the difference between the Master of Professional Science Program and a traditional Master of Science degree?

    For starters, a Master of Science (MS) degree typically requires a 2-3 year time commitment, whereas the Master of Professional Science (MPS) degree is designed to be completed in 12-15 months. In addition, the MS is based on an independent research project, or thesis, while the MPS is skill and internship based. The primary focus of each track is to provide students with industry relevant, multidisciplinary skills that are necessary to acquire and perform well in various employment settings. So, although students will not necessarily be conducting independent research, they will be exposed to research and develop their analytic, writing, and speaking skills. The internship experience is a contributory one, in that our students provide substantial logistical, developmental, management, and or regulatory knowledge and feedback to the hosting organization. So, it is literally, a “real-world” experience and opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge they have gained in residence at RSMAS in a relevant setting.

  17. What types of jobs do students with an MPS degree attain post-graduation?

    Most of our students become either marine resource managers and/or policy makers, and many of them work with government agencies, NGOs, and environmental consulting groups. Employment rate post-graduation is approximately 85%. Some students are employed by the internship hosting organizations after the termination of their internships, and the potential for this is something we consider heavily in the identification of and commitment to specific internships. Some of the groups our students both intern and acquire employment with include, but are not limited to: the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Royal Caribbean (Environmental Department), Everglades National Park, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, the Billfish Foundation, PBS&J, Biscayne National Park, SeaGrant, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Environmental Resource Management.

  18. What is the deadline for fall enrollment?

    The deadline for fall enrollment is June 1st. However, we begin accepting and evaluating applications on February 1st. All applications received after February 1st will be evaluated on a rolling basis through June 1st.

  19. Are there additional application requirements for international students?

    In addition to the GRE, International Students must also take the TOEFL or IELTS exam and complete the Financial Responsibility Form: http://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/pdfs/financial.pdf

  20. Who has to take the TOEFL exam?

    International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An exception to this rule is the international student who is earning a degree, or has completed a substantial amount of coursework, at a North American university. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), 80 for the iBT (internet-based test), or 6.5 for the IELTS is required by the University of Miami for admission. This requirement cannot be waived. TOEFL scores remain valid for a period of two years.

  21. What is the visa process for international students?

    If you are accepted to the Rosenstiel School, we will prepare your I-20 and send it to you by express mail. However, you must first provide us with the financial/bank approval form. When you receive the I-20, you must verify that all the information on the I-20 is correct and then take it the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for your F-1 visa. If you are required to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa, please contact your U.S. Embassy or Consulate and inquire about how to apply for an exchange visitor visa. Contact information for and information on visa application procedures at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide is available through the U.S. State Department website: http://www.travel.state.gov.

    To apply for an F-1 visa, you must provide the U.S. Embassy or Consulate your Form I-20, your passport, statement of funds, and other documents, as required by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. To apply for a J-1 visa, you must provide the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with your Form DS-2019, passport, statement of funds, and other documents, as required by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

    For more information regarding international admissions, please see the following: http://www.miami.edu/sa/index.php/student_life/student_services/isss/.

  22. What is the appropriate ETS code to use for the GRE and TOEFL exams?

    Please use institution code 7690 for the GRE scores and 2919 for the TOEFL.

  23. Is health insurance required?

    Yes, all domestic students enrolled in six or more credit hours per semester (or considered full time), and all international students, are required to have health insurance. The University of Miami Student Health Service offers a student health insurance plan. The premium for this plan is added to each student’s fees.

  24. Do I have to purchase the health insurance plan offered by the University? What if I’m covered under my parents/spouse/other source?

    Domestic students with adequate, alternative coverage may request cancellation of the health insurance fee by submitting a Domestic Insurance Cancellation Form, or through the electronic CaneLink system. Students with limited out of area coverage are urged to carefully review their options before waiving the Student Health Service sponsored insurance plan. Deadlines to waive the insurance are July 25th for the fall semester, January 25th for the spring semester, April 25th for summer I, and June 25th for summer II.

    All international students are required to enroll in the University sponsored heath insurance program. This cannot be waived.

  25. How much does the University of Miami insurance plan cost?

    The annual premiums for the 2013–2014 insurance plan offered by the University through United Healthcare are $2197 for both domestic and international students.
    Students scheduled to graduate at the end of the fall semester can request to be charged for the fall semester only by completing an insurance exception form by September 1st. Students who request to be charged for the fall only, and remain enrolled, will be subject to the spring/summer insurance fee.

    Further information about these plans can be found at: http://www.miami.edu/sa/index.php/student_health_center/

  26. If accepted, when should I plan to arrive in Miami?

    We recommend arriving in Miami about 2-3 weeks before classes begin. This will give you ample time to find housing, get settled in, and familiarize yourself with the city before classes begin.

  27. Where do RSMAS graduate students live?

    The Rosenstiel School is not a residential campus, and there are no housing facilities on site. The main campus of the University of Miami, located about ten kilometers away in Coral Gables, does offer some graduate student housing in the form of campus apartments. However, most Rosenstiel students choose to live in apartments or rental units in the many diverse neighborhoods of the greater Miami area. Further information on housing can be found here: http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/grad-studies/housing.html

  28. If accepted, when do I register for classes?

    Registration for classes runs from roughly July 15th to the week before classes start. You will be contacted by, and meet with, your Academic Advisor during this timeframe to discuss your personal and professional goals and select your classes.


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