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Graduate Certificate in Professional Skills for STEM Practitioners

The 15-credit hour Professional Skills for STEM Practitioners graduate certificate offers working professionals management, communication and critical thinking skills necessary for leadership roles in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — industries and fields.

Program Features

  • No required prerequisites
  • 8 week courses, all available online
  • Full-time faculty with experience as practitioners
  • May start coursework any time during the year
  • No out-of-state tuition and fees
  • Can complete certificate in 12-18 months


CreditsCourse CategoryDescription
12 creditsProfessional Skills CoursesProfessional Courses available to the PSM
3 creditsCapstone ExperienceCapstone Experience 1 and 2
15 total credits  


AAI 795 — Topics in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-3 credits)

Selected topics in applied and interdisciplinary studies.

AAI 801 — Interdisciplinary Process (3 credits)

The overall goal of this course is for students to develop an understanding of and practice in design thinking as both a framework that allows interdisciplinary and cross-function teams to work together and as a process to generate imaginative and creative solutions to complex challenges and problems.

AAI 840 — Regulatory Aspects of Drug and Vaccine Development in the Animal Health Industry (2 credits)

This course explores the topic of regulations associated with animal health product development and manufacturing. Topics for discussion will include an overview of the regulatory affairs process in the U.S. and other countries, drug and vaccine classifications and the approval process, GCP/GLP guidelines, drug and vaccine efficacy and safety testing, human and environmental safety issues, and future challenges and current industry needs.

AAI 858 — Capstone Experience I (1 credit)

This course provides students the opportunity to synthesize and integrate knowledge in its application to professional practice. It is designed for students who intend to work in an applied professional setting where they are expected to critically apply existing knowledge and methods to solve problems. Students will complete a project on a topic of interest, in consultation with the instructor.

AAI 859 — Capstone Experience II (2 credits)

This course provides students the opportunity to synthesize and integrate knowledge in its application to professional practice. It is designed for students who intend to work in an applied professional setting where they are expected to critically apply existing knowledge and methods to solve problems. Students will produce written reports and oral presentations on their project of focus.

AAI 870 — Seminar in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Student presentations and discussion of current topics and recent findings in applied and interdisciplinary studies.

AAI 880 — Problems in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Opportunity for advanced independent study of a specific problem or technique in applied and interdisciplinary studies. Topics selected jointly by student and instructor.

AAI 895 — Advanced Topics in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Focus on advanced topics in applied and interdisciplinary studies.

COT 703 — Project Management for Professionals (3 credits)

This course focuses on applied project management methodology, tools, and techniques. Topics include career aspects of project management; business factors affecting the project; project organization, planning, execution, and communications; the project life cycle; risk analysis; and best practices in project management.

COT 704 — Managerial Finances, Metrics, and Analytics (3 credits)

Provides an overview of an organization’s financial statements, with an emphasis on the interaction between people in management positions and those statements, as well as an examination of the business investment decision-making process; Explores the use of metrics and analytics to measure and improve managerial performance.

COT 706 — Informatics and Technology Management (3 credits)

Provides theoretical and practical experience in using information technology to support organizational decision-making processes; Provides tools in areas such as statistics, research methods, data mining, and information technology to develop solutions tailored to business problems.

DMP 815 — Multidisciplinary Thought and Presentation (3 credits)

Training in critical thinking, writing, and speaking for the food, veterinary, plant, health, and related sciences. With emphasis on writing, students prepare technical reports, news releases, abstracts, and commentaries. Students prepare meeting agendas and present seminars. Committed students will emerge with enhanced critical-thinking and written-presentation skills.

DMP 816 — Trade and Agricultural Health (2 credits)

This course considers the multilateral trading system as it relates to food safety, food security, animal health, plant health, and international cooperation. The course content will be of value to students interested in food safety and security, epidemiology, public health, agriculture, food science, security studies, political science, agricultural economics, veterinary medicine, and international relations.

DMP 888 — Globalization, Cooperation, & the Food Trade (1 credit)

This course will include 15 45-minute lectures and/or reading assignments. They will be assessed through online quizzes and one essay project.

EDACE 832 — Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Dynamic (3 credits)

This course explores various psychological and sociological factors that impact leadership. Through examining topics like verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, learning and presentation styles, emotional intelligence, conflict, and motivation, students gain a deeper understanding of how these factors affect their personal leadership styles and impact adults they are leading.

EDACE 834 — Leading Adults in a Globalized and Diverse World (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the foundations of adult leadership in the context of managing a culturally diverse workforce. Concepts of globalization as well as cross-cultural and international environments as they relate to adult leadership are emphasized through theory to practice projects and research.

EDACE 835 — Developing Teams and Leaders (3 credits)

This course will examine how teams and leaders can be developed using theories from psychology, sociology, and learning principles. Through this course, students will be able to analyze when it is appropriate to use these tools, their strengths, weaknesses and limitations. To complement the course readings, students will be asked to share their professional experiences with team and leader development.

EDACE 836 — Group Dynamics (3 credits)

This course focuses on group and team behavior and processes. Various factors that impact group behavior, processes, and effectiveness will be examined and participants will learn skills needed to more effectively manage and facilitate groups and teams of adults to achieve organizational objectives, accomplish tasks, and fulfill individual members’ needs.

EDACE 886 — Seminars in Adult Education (1-18 credits)

These seminars will consider research and professional development on the special interests of the students in the several fields of education represented.

Admission Requirements

  • Graduate School Application
  • One official transcript for all undergraduate coursework (minimum 3.0 GPA required)
  • One official transcript for all graduate coursework

* Graduate students must be seeking a degree to qualify for federal financial aid loans.