PSM/MBA Coordinated Degree

The worlds of science and business are merging and a new breed of scientist, manager and policy maker is necessary to maintain America’s competitive edge in the global marketplace. These new professionals are PSM graduates who can serve companies in today’s competitive market needing managers with scientific knowledge who understand the business world and can effectively lead by applying their unique background to their organization’s needs.

In response to these needs, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences established the Professional Master’s Program, offering degrees in:

  • Bioscience and Health Policy
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Space Studies
  • Subsurface Geoscience

In order to offer a deeper immersion into management and business acumen, the Professional Science Master’s at Rice has collaborated with the Rice Jones Graduate School of Business to offer the coordinated PSM/MBA program. According to the Professional Science Master’s track chosen, graduates are qualified for leadership roles in industries related to the environment, nanotechnology, energy and government.


The joint degree program can be completed in 2 1/2  – 3 years. This includes a total of 45 hours of course work in business management and 30 – 32 credit hours in the chosen PSM track. Students will complete the same core requirements as the students in the regular MBA and PSM programs. Graduates will receive a Master of Science and a MBA degree

  • The first year will contain the PSM core courses. Required internship during summer is strongly encouraged.
  • The second year will contain the MBA core courses including the MBA Action Learning Project
  • Additional internship after second year is optional. Return for final semester and finish remaining MBA and PSM elective courses

General Requirements

  • Course schedules will be planned in consultation with the PSM Track Adviser and with the MBA program director
  • Student must be accepted by both the Jones School and the PSM Program (please submit two separate applications)
  • Note that applicants are allowed to use GRE scores for both the MBA and PSM application.

Admission Requirements

All application materials for the MBA and the PSM programs.

MBA Admission Requirements are as follows:

  • Completed application submitted online
  • One personal essay submitted online
  • Professional or Academic resume submitted online
  • Official GMAT or GRE required for scholarship consideration
  • One confidential evaluation submitted online or mailed to our office
  • Official transcripts of all previous coursework mailed to our office
  • Interview (by invitation only)

PSM Admission Requirements are:

  • Completed on-line application
  • Three personal letters of recommendation
  • General GRE scores
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (if required)

Course Requirements

  • 75 credit hours of coursework including min. 30 in a science discipline and 45 in business administration
  • All core requirements of the MBA program
  • All core requirements of the specific PSM track
  • Summer internships are required
  • Course schedules are planned in consultation with the MBA program and the specific PSM advisor
  • All requirements can be fulfilled in three years


The program will include the option for one or two internships (each three months long) after the first and/or second year, and the MBA Action Learning Project during the 2nd academic year. Students could also elect to do a six-month internship after the second year. Students will pay Rice Graduate tuition for the first two semesters, MBA tuition for the next two semesters, and depending on the remaining course work Rice Graduate tuition for science courses and MBA tuition for MBA courses for the last semester. Full-time students would be eligible for scholarships offered by the Jones School.

Are you interested in applying to graduate school? Explore Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s programs and contact us if you need any personalized advice. 


Explore Your Campus Dining Options

We are in full swing with our fall classes! If you are coming to campus after work or if you are meeting friends before class, Rice University has some great dining options for you to try.

Food Trucks

Visiting food trucks park on Mudd Loop Road (in between the Mudd Building and Hamman Hall).

On Campus Schedule:
Trucks serve from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.:

Follow Rice Dining on Twitter for updates, @RiceDining

Flo Paris

Inside the glass-walled Brochstein Pavilion is Flo-Paris, offering salads, sandwiches, specialty coffees and wine. You can enjoy your meal in the hub of campus overlooking our marvelous lawns.

Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Ambassador Chinese

Ambassador Chinese operates a satellite restaurant in the Rice Student Center inside Willy’s Pub. They offer traditional dishes using only fresh, high-quality ingredients. Come by and get fast, fresh food. Tetra, cash and credit accepted.

Monday to Friday 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Pronounced Four Point Tac OH – Featuring homemade tortillas, carefully crafted recipes that use fresh ingredients and incredible service. These are just three things that make 4.Tac0 THE place for tacos on campus. Our chefs have added delicious chips and queso, Mexican street corn, and made-to-order baked potatoes (a potato is kind of like a taco, right?). 4.Tac0 is conveniently located in the heart of the Rice Student Center, near the bookstore.

Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast

Monday and Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Whoo Deli

The Whoo Deli is located in the Rice Student Center inside of Sammy’s. The deli features sandwiches made-to-order with dozens of fresh ingredients and a multitude of breads. The menu also includes one to two soups of the day and a variety of side dishes including delicious salads. The Whoo Deli is open to Rice students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Monday – Friday11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Before or after class, you can enjoy a beer and snacks in Rice’s famous graduate student-run Valahalla Pub.

Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch (Food & Drink) 4:00 p.m. -2 a.m.
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday7 p.m. -2 a.m.

Rice Farmers Market

Snack on some food samples, macarons, a smoothie or just knock out some grocery shopping while you are waiting for class to start.

Tuesday, rain or shine 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Visit their website to see the complete list of vendors and special events:

Discover Rice PSM on the Road

Check out the dates and locations below to see if we will be in your city! Be sure to stop by and chat with us and find out more information about our wonderful 4 Professional Science Master’s programs we have at Rice University.

Wednesday, September 13th- Texas A&M University

Thursday, September 14th- UT Dallas

Friday, September 15th- Baylor University

Thursday, September 20th- Saint Thomas University

Tuesday, September 25th- Brown University

Wednesday, September 26th- Cornell University

Thursday, September 27th- Rochester Institute of Technology

Monday, October 1st- Purdue University

Tuesday, October 2nd- University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne

Monday, October 15th- Georgia Tech

Tuesday, October 16th- Emory University

Wednesday, October 17th- University of Georgia

Monday, October 22nd- Duke University








Life in Houston as an International Student

International students studying in the United States often have to deal with culture shock. Everything’s different from home. Attitudes, fashions, social expectations, architecture — even the food is unfamiliar. It takes a little time to get comfortable to your new surroundings. Sometimes you just long for a little slice of home.

That’s what makes Houston, Texas so enticing for foreign students. In Houston, you can find that little piece of home when you need it. The fourth largest city in the United States and a major economic center, Houston is home to over 100 different nationalities, giving the city a cosmopolitan, multiethnic feel. In addition to being the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston is also the most racially and ethnically diverse of the country’s 10 most populous metropolitan areas.

College Student Associations

Most colleges with foreign student bodies have an International Student Association, which can answer student questions and help you adapt to life and study in the U.S.A. There are currently many different International Clubs at Rice. In addition to student clubs, your college may offer workshops to introduce international students to important aspects of studying and living in the United States.

The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) offers many services and resources to international students such as:

  • Orientation upon arrival at the university
  • Workshops on income taxes and the IRS, healthcare and insurance, immigration status, and more
  • Social gatherings – welcome party, dinner for new graduate students, activities fair, cultural movies, and Graduate Student Association (GSA) party
  • Rice Host Family Program (sponsored by the Houston chapter of the International Institute of Education)

Houston-area families open their homes to students from other countries, giving them a place to go for holidays, spring break, birthday celebrations, or simply a brief escape from academics.

Spouse of Internationals at Rice organization: Plans lunches and other events for wives and international women students.

Housing and Living Expenses

Houston has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, so food and housing are all cheaper than you’d find in other metropolitan areas. International students who decide to find accommodations off-campus find rental properties very affordable.

The low cost of living is due, in part, to the city’s diverse and thriving industries. Over 23 Fortune 500 companies call Houston home, often offering internships and educational opportunities to students. Medical students may have a chance to work at the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Houston also includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Tastes of Home

The U.S. News and World Report ranks Houston as the third most ethnically diverse city in the United States of America. Houston’s multiethnic population provides opportunities for international students. Restaurants, music festivals and community organizations all reflect the city’s diversity, so homesick students can often find familiar sights, sounds and tastes when they need a little home-based comfort.

Every year, at the end of April, the city hosts the Houston International Festival, a two-day celebration of the city’s cultural diversity. The festival offers a chance for students to volunteer and introduce their new-found American friends to their own culture.

Are you interested in applying to graduate school? Explore Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s programs and contact us if you need any personalized advice. 

Living In Houston: Houston is a place you can call home.

Rice University is located in the heart of Houston, TX. In addition to being the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston is also the most racially and ethnically diverse of the country’s 10 most populous metropolitan areas. We capitalize upon our position as home to the second largest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies in the country and our relationships with corporate entities within the world’s largest medical complex and the energy capital of the world located right here in our backyard.

The Houston metro area has always attracted people with an entrepreneurial spirit. These days, it’s also a premier destination for those who want to work at some of the country’s largest companies. Because Houston is not only the hub of the oil and gas industries (and known as the “energy capital of the world”), it’s also a major center of manufacturing and health care.

Houston also boasts more than 11,000 restaurants with everything from award-winning establishments like Underbelly to barbecue joints like Gatlin’s BBQ. The metro area also offers a variety of international cuisine ranging from Ethiopian to Indian.

Our students avail themselves of the rich cultural life that Houston has to offer with its many business and cultural districts – Rice Village and the Museum District (our home), the Energy Corridor, the Theater District and the Galleria/Uptown Park shopping district, to name a few. Much like the students we attract, Houston is a city that is multifaceted and ambitious. Consider:

  • There are more than 145 languages spoken here.
  • Houston is a truly international city: 1 in 4 Houstonians relocated here from outside the U.S.
  • The Port of Houston ranks first in U.S. foreign tonnage.
  • Houston ranks as a top 10 greenest city, with more than 128 miles of hike and bike trails along our parks and bayou system.
  • Our low cost of living means Houston ranks 1st among U.S. cities where paychecks stretch the farthest.
  • Places to worship include 37 megachurches, 40 synagogues and numerous temples and other denomination and faith-based opportunities.
  • Houston hosts the third largest concentration of consular offices, representing 86 nations.
  • We are home to professional football, soccer, baseball and basketball teams.
  • Resident companies in ballet, opera, symphony and theatre thrive in Houston.
  • As a “Third Coast” city, Houston provides easy access to beaches and pier attractions.
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Rice University’s Running Trail Loop: The loop is roughly 3 miles and most of the route is lined with beautiful old oak trees whose branches overlap the trail.

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Leisurely kayak around Kinder Lake at Discovery Green® and enjoy all the fish swimming beneath the surface.

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Enjoy the city’s views while walking or jogging

Are you interested in applying to graduate school? Explore Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s programs and contact us if you need any personalized advice. 

Are you looking for ways to earn some extra money whilst pursuing your studies?

During the school year, the best jobs are part-time and flexible, leaving room for class attendance and homework. Here are seven great jobs for college students.

1. Tutoring

If you’re strong in a particular subject, consider turning your knowledge and hard work into a tutor-ing job. You can apply to work at your campus’ tutoring center, or try going it on your own. The up-side of working on campus will be access to manuals, books, and a study space, but you will probably not be paid a ton. If you strike out on your own, you can ask for a higher wage, but you will have to work to drum up your own business, and provide your own materials and study location. 

2. Office Positions 

Many campus offices seek part-time office assistants to help with their department’s work load.

3. Recreation Center Staff

The recreation center on campus needs attendants year round and has a variety of jobs that can be performed part-time.

4. Freelance writing

Get experience with writing, meeting deadlines, and working with editors by doing some freelance writing work. This is also a good chance to build up a body of work to show future employers. Earn money writing blog posts, articles, and other content. You may even receive some career advice and make contacts in journalism that will help you get a job later. 

5. Editing and proofreading

You’re probably spending a lot of time writing, editing, and proofreading your college papers, so why not take those skills and make money with them. You can find work doing academic editing and proofreading.

6. Website testing

You can make money visiting websites and apps and reviewing their features and performance for companies such as UserTesting. Expect to earn $10 per 20 minute website review video. 

7. Serving

When working as a restaurant server, you can schedule your shifts for evenings and weekends, or whenever you don’t have classes. If you’re taking evening classes, then just work the breakfast and lunch shifts. Some other perks are that you can make some decent money from tips and get discounts on food. 

Further financial considerations for your decision to join Graduate School


Filling out the FAFSA application is the first step to receiving grants, loans, and work study funds provided from the Federal Government for domestic students and permanent residents.

The fastest way to apply for aid is to visit the FAFSA.GOV website, which provides detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how to begin the application process. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and information you may need to fill out the FAFSA form. For example, you will need your social security number, your permanent resident card if you have one, any W-2 forms or records of money you earned for the previous year, and your tax records,

The FAFSA site is available in English and Spanish. Online help is also available on the website.  Usually, the application process can be completed in 1/2 hour or less. There is a 3 minute introduction video available to view before filling out your application.

Students with exceptional financial need might qualify for Perkins Loans, which award up to $8000 annually and have a 5% interest rate. A Federal Perkins Loan is a need-based student loan offered by the US Department of Education to assist American College students in funding their post-secondary education.

Visit which provides info on the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan – the largest federal student loan program. It offers direct unsubsidized loans and direct PLUS loans.

Also visit for additional tips, and for information on education tax credits you might be able to receive.


Remember that the return on your personal and intellectual investment may be measured not only monetarily but also personally and professionally. You will sharpen your skills and deepen your understanding in and beyond your field, increase your network, build life long relationships and friendships which all will situate you for a purposeful life ahead.

The PSM Degree Celebrates its 20th Anniversary nationwide

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the degree programs that gave rise to the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) initiative. The programs were developed to directly address growing national interest in partnerships between the STEM academic and employment communities. Since then, enthusiasm for academy-industry partnerships has only increased, and the PSM degree initiative has grown to more than 365 programs at more than 165 institutions. Designed in collaboration with industry professionals, the PSM degree ensures that graduates are workplace ready. PSM graduates acquire both STEM disciplinary expertise and high-value, transferable professional skills to prepare them for successful employment. Internships, group projects, and other experiential learning opportunities immerse PSM students in the workplace.

RICE UNIVERSITY joined in the excitement of the PSM movement in 2001 with the establishment of the M.S. in Environmental Analysis, Subsurface Geoscience, Bioscience and Health Policy and Space Studies. Our PSM programs currently enroll 55+ students and have graduated over 300 workforce ready professionals.

PSM students and graduates strengthen economic development and competitiveness, especially as part of the local and regional STEM workforce. Graduates from the Rice programs are employed at well-known companies and organizations, including Chevron, Shell, Cheniere Energy, GSI Environmental, CDM Consulting, Lockheed Martin, M.D. Anderson, TMC Health Policy, Boeing and Jacobs Engineering.

Souni Saengchanh, a PSM alum from the Bioscience and Health Policy program, emphasizes the competitive advantage gained in PSM degree programs. “One of Rice’s mantras is “unconventional wisdom”, and I think that the PSM program is an embodiment of this spirit, challenging students to draw from and assimilate knowledge from various disciplines in order to tackle issues that are currently at the forefront of science. The program equips students with a unique combination of skills needed to be competitive in an interdisciplinary industry.“

Employers like K+S Healthcare Management also recognize the importance of our PSM programs in preparing a capable STEM workforce. “The Rice intern’s performance has been exceptional throughout his tenure with our company. We put him into a multitude of department responsibilities across our organization and he outperformed all expectations. All of the supervisors he worked closely with praised his thoroughness, attention to detail, speed of learning and project completion, ability to follow complex direction after one instructional meeting, and his self-motivated and independent passion for his work. The PSM program at Rice prepared him well for technical and managerial challenges in this industry, and his polished and competent attitude and demeanor made him an outstanding professional. It has been a pleasure having him with our company.”

Attending a Grad Fair?

Fall will be here soon, and your school will host a Graduate Fair inviting a wide variety of universities to come to your campus and provide students with information about potential graduate programs.

Hopefully, you’re aware of why it’s so important to attend a graduate information session and also how to make the most of attending such a fair.

You cannot be a passive attendee. Coming prepared with questions will enable you to make the right decision about your graduate school aspirations.

Here are some questions we strongly recommend getting answers to.

About students in the graduate program:

  1. What undergraduate degrees do students in this program have?
  2. How varied is the demographic?
  3. Do most students come straight from undergrad, or are many working professionals?
  4. Are most students in the program full time or working full time?

About graduates of the program:

  1. Where do graduates of this program work now?
  2. How quickly did they find employment?
  3. What is the average expected salary for graduates 1-3 years after their program? Later?
  4. What do they say about their degrees?
  5. Is there an active alumni network?

About the professors:

  1. What are their areas of expertise?
  2. Are any well-known in their fields? For what?

About the curriculum:

  1. Which classes do students struggle with the most? Why?
  2. Does the program partner with any real-world companies or organizations?
  3. Will I get help finding an internship?
  4. What do students who work full-time while in the program say about the courses helping their performance at work?
  5. Are there any prerequisite classes I need to take before I enroll?
  6. What is the typical class size?

About the tuition:

  1. How much does tuition cost?
  2. Will the tuition increase while I’m still in the program?
  3. Are there scholarships available?

Again, don’t let yourself be a passive attendee! Attending an info session is great, but you won’t get nearly as much out of one if you don’t ask the right questions.

Grab a notebook, jot these questions down, and go prepared to educate yourself! You won’t regret it.

If you’re considering what it would mean to pursue a Professional Science Master’s degree at Rice University, we encourage you to reach out to us for more information and to schedule a visit or a phone call :



What you’ll need to know about a prospective employer depends entirely on your experience, your skills, and the company in question. Remember, you’re looking for particulars that can inform your resume and cover letter, and eventually make you shine in an interview. Focus on items that are relevant to you, your skills, and the position to which you’re applying.

Start with the company’s website. Read their “About Us” page. If they have a blog, read it. Read their Twitter feed and Facebook page. Get to know their voice. Get to know what they value. Get to know who their audience is and how they connect with them.

Google them. Find any and all news from the past year or so and read it. Look for pivots, successes and failures, and new product launches. Look for shake-ups in the C-suite.

Identify their competitors. Figure out who else is doing what they’re doing, and take note of how they’re doing it. Identify at least three competitors, get a handle on each one’s value prop, and know how they differ from the company to which you’re applying.

Find them on Linkedin. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. Search for them on Linkedin. Look at who they employ. Browse the employees’ profiles until you develop a sense of the kind of person they like to hire. Take note of pedigree (where they’ve worked before) and try to develop a sense of whether they’re a fairly relaxed culture or if they’re buttoned up. Additionally, find out if you’re connected to anyone who works there, either by a first or second degree connection. If so, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask specific questions. ATTEND A LINKEDIN SESSION AT THE CCD AT RICE!


The whole goal is to differentiate you from the rest of the pack and help the recruiter and hiring manager understand that you’re the right person for the job. Take what you’ve learned, look for ways that it dovetails with your skills and the position in question, and then deploy that information strategically throughout your application materials. Use your cover letter to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and show off how your skills can help the company solve its current problems. Then drive it home by speaking knowledgeably about the company during your interview.